(10:55 a.m EST) — Miami’s loss is Europe’s gain, as Norwegian Getaway will move from its Florida homeport in May 2017 to spend the summer in Germany. And even better news for British passengers: Norwegian Cruise Line will deploy Norwegian Jade in Southampton for summer 2017 – the first time the line has had a ship based in the U.K. for seven years.
The 2,400-passenger ship – which will undergo a complete refurbishment before it arrives in Southampton – will offer four-, seven and nine-night sailings to Hamburg, Amsterdam, Zeebrugge, France and the Norwegian fjords from May 12, 2017 to October 16, 2017.
Norwegian is also deploying its second-newest ship – and one of its biggest – Miami-based Norwegian Getaway in Germany for the same period. The move will boost Norwegian’s presence in Europe to five vessels which also includes Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Spirit and Norwegian Star.
The arrival of the 4,200-passenger Getaway will also mean a 70 percent increase in the number of cabins available in Europe next year.
Announcing the news at a press conference in London today, Harry Sommer, EVP International Business Development, said: “Part of this is a response to market demand, part of this is the growth in the company.”
Norwegian has launched three huge ships in the past three years – the aforementioned Getaway, sister Breakaway and last year, Norwegian Escape. The company has long promised a return to the U.K. – which it left in 2008 – once it had more ships.
Sommer said Norwegian intended to fill Getaway with half European and half U.S. passengers.
Francis Riley, senior vice president international sales & operations, told Cruise Critic: “Norwegian has been punching above its weight in Europe. We’ve done well in the fly-cruise market [from the U.K.], but that’s just half the picture. We want to play in the other half of the market and that’s ex-U.K. cruises.
“We also considered putting the ship [Jade] in a secondary U.S. market such as Tampa, but we felt it would be better deployed in the U.K.”
Norwegian had considered offering Mediterranean cruises on Jade from Southampton, but had ruled it out due to the time it takes to get there from the U.K.
Norwegian Getaway, meanwhile, will be based in Germany from May to September 2017, offering seven-night round-trip cruises from Copenhagen, calling in at Warnemunde (for Berlin), Tallinn, Saint Petersburg, where it will overnight; Helsinki and Stockholm.