It was a momentous occasion when the revitalised Norwegian Spirit arrived back in Sydney, the first time the brand has been back Down under in three years.
Cruise Passenger was lucky enough to be onboard when the Spirit sailed in the Sydney Harbour with water cannons, tugboats and helicopters circling as she entered into Australia.
“We’re thrilled to finally welcome Norwegian Spirit to Australia – she is well and truly worth the wait,” said Ben Angell, Vice President and Managing Director NCL, APAC. “We know Australians love our contemporary, laidback style of cruising, as well as the outstanding value only an NCL cruise can offer. Importantly, we’re delighted to be part of an industry that contributes $5 billion to the Australian economy each year.”
In Sydney to welcome Norwegian Spirit, NCL President and CEO Harry Sommer said, “Australia and New Zealand are incredibly important markets for us, both as a source market and a destination, and we are committed to this region for the long term. I’m thrilled to be here in person to celebrate our return to Australia after a three-year hiatus, and to join the festivities as Norwegian Spirit spends an extended overnight visit in Sydney before she sets sail on her Christmas.”
The Spirit will sail eight sailings between December 2022 and March 2023 from Sydney and Auckland exploring destinations like Napier, Tauranga and Fiordland in New Zealand together with Melbourne, Burnie and Eden in Australia. Norwegian Spirit will then return for a second homeporting season from Sydney and Auckland beginning December 2023.
A smaller ship at 2,032 guest capacity (double occupancy) the ship underwent a USD$100 million refurbishment.
Completely redesigned in 2020 from bow-to-stern with the adult cruiser in mind, the ship boasts brand-new features like the Thermal Suite in the sought-after Mandara Spa, including a spa, sauna, shower experience and heated-tile loungers gazing over ocean views; the opulent adults-only Spice H20 pool retreat, and the finest contemporary Italian fare at the striking Onda by Scarpetta. No one does entertainment like NCL and Norwegian Spirit is no exception, from Broadway-style pop-country spectacular, Blazing Boots to the magic, acrobatics and dance of Elements.
With half the ship’s 912 crew members dedicated to delivering exceptional quality food and beverage, guests will enjoy a complete destination immersion experience with dishes tailored to the destinations visited, such as roasted rack of lamb and grilled barramundi.
Supporting local growers and suppliers, guests can also expect to enjoy a vast variety of quality, locally sourced produce, including all barramundi, lamb, eggs, milk, yoghurt and fresh fruit and vegetables, such as berries, pineapples, bananas, lettuce and capsicum. The local wine selection includes Australian and New Zealand favourites like Wynn’s Coonawarra and Wolf Blass from the Barossa Valley, 19 Crimes from South Eastern Australia, Matua Marlborough from New Zealand and Georg Jensen Hallmark Cuvee from Tasmania.
Guests will also find local favourites such as Vegemite, Weet Bix, Milo, Four’n Twenty sausage rolls and Fountain mint sauce onboard.