I was recently introduced to Norwegian Cruise Line and oh boy, was I blown away! When you cruise with Norwegian, you’re free: free to dine, dance, laugh, explore, and relax. Free to follow the sun instead of a schedule. Sounds incredible, right?!
Their award-winning ships are designed to be enjoyed as you cruise to various beautiful destinations around the world. From incredible culinary experiences with the freedom to dine where and when you want, to handcrafted cocktails at your favorite bar or lounge, to some top-notch & award-winning entertainment at night, it’s an experience that must be added to your travel bucket list.
Many of their ships will be cruising from new homeports in 2019. For instance, their latest ship, the Norwegian Bliss will cruise from New York to The Caribbean and the Bahamas & Florida! They had me at New York and then I read the rest and I immediately added that to my travel bucket list! That is just one of the many options available. So with 17 ships, 308 ports and 96 countries, HOW do you decide which cruise to do?
The immediate and obvious answer would be “it depends on what you like”, right?! Perhaps, but NCL’s cruise ships are floating resorts with so much to offer that the destination actually becomes a secondary factor. There’s no better way to shift into holiday mode than their thrilling two-level Race Track on board Norwegian Bliss. Catch some sun and sea breeze as you whoosh down towering waterslides or conquer the largest ropes course at sea, or go ahead and indulge with a hot-stone massage. There’s something exhilirating (or relaxing) for everyone around every corner of their ships!
Norwegian has truly set the standard for the best food, entertainment and experiences at sea. And their shore excursions let you experience the world around you up-close and personal – and in your own time. Here are some options to help you decide which cruise(s) to add to your travel bucket list:
Experienec waking up to a new Europian city nearly every day. Explore the sights, sounds and flavours of different cultures on your own terms. Envision the ancient battles that once took place as you enter the Colosseun in Rome. Sit down – or dance around – at a Santorini restaurant to experience traditional Greek gyros, wine and music. And in St. Petersburg, take in vivid onion domes atop churches, explore the immense Hermitage Museum or spend an evening at the Russian Ballet. The European experience will let you feel like you’ve stepped into a postcard!
With seven convenient departure ports, eight award-winning ships including the new Norwegian Bliss, island-hopping The Caribbean is a breeze. Paradise awaits on Harvest Caye, The Caribbean’s premier resort-style experience. Splash the day away in a 15 000 square-foot pool then soar from island to ocean on a 3 000-foot zip line. Take a scenic drive in St. Lucia where you can hike alongside the magnificent Piton Mountains. Beauty and history surround you in Jamaica, where you will feel the rush of warm, cascading water climbing up Dunn’s River Falls.
ALASKA FROM SEATTLE, SEWARD AND VANCOUVER
This is wild and wonderful and a must-try! Explore Alaska’s captivating coastline up close and personal. Hop on a catamaran and watch whales breach the Pacific Ocean. Take the kids to meet a friendly pack of huskies at a musher’s kennel. Then kick off your shoes, grab a drink and enjoy the stunning glaciers from your private balcony. Whether you’re a quiet naturalist or a brazen explorer, you’ll be in awe of awesome Alaska.
Only Norwegian visits four islands in seven days with overnight stays in Maui and Kaua’i, so this mean’s you’re on an island each and every day which means you’ll have plenty of time to hike up a waterfall, kayak along the island’s magnificent coastline and brush up on your hula at an authentic luau. Since this is the only cruise line that sails round-trip from Honolulu year-round, you can holiday on your terms!
AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND FROM SYDNEY
Begin your holiday on a high note as you cruise out of Sydney, sailing past the iconic Opera House. In Melbourne, wave at a wallaby or cuddle a koala at a wilflife park. Head to Wellington to explore the rugged peaks and lush valleys where The Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed. Experience the treasures one amazing port after another.
ASIA FROM SINGAPORE AND TOKYO
Stand at the crossroads of ancient and modern worlds throughout Asia. Uncover temples and palaces tucked into Cambodia’s untouched landscapes. Be inspired by futuristic skyscrapers piercing the clouds over Singapore. Catcha glimpse of the revered Emerals Buddha in the Grand Palace of Bangkok and dive into Hong Kong’s fabulous food scene. The excitement and mystery of the region beckon and everlasting experiences await.
CANADA AND NEW ENGLAND FROM BOSTON, NEW YORK AND QUEBEC CITY
Rock the coastline of Canada and New England where the deep blue sea meets rich autumn hues. Travel back to the Gilded Age and explore Bar Harbor. Québec City’s iconic Château Frontenac is where you’ll find the best views of the Saint Lawrence River. Get your camera ready as you take a scenic drive along the South Shore through the quaint fishing village of Peggy’s Cove and enjoy a true “downeast” lobster bake! Whether you’re cruising from Boston, New York City, Québec City, you’ll witness a spectacle from sea to shore that you won’t easily forget.
SOUTH AMERICA FROM BUENOS AIRES, MIAMI & SANTIAGO
Cruise off the beaten path and experience South America up close and personal. Learn to tango in lively Buenos Aires, mingle among the real “March of the Penguins” in the Falkland Islands and then go for a hike at Tierra del Fuego National Park where you will enjoy dramatic vistas of rushing waterfalls, lush forests and soaring mountains that seem to touch the sky!
PANAMA CANAL FROM MIAMI, NEW YORK & LOS ANGELES
They say every story has two sides. You’ll get to talk about them both when you cruise through one of the most incredible feats of civil engineering – the Panama Canal. Along the Pacific Coast, hold your breath watching Acapulco’s cliff divers plunge more than 130 feet into the ocean below, whilst on the other side of the canal, you can walk in the footsteps of colonial history while strolling the romantic cobblestone streets of Cartagena.
For additional information or to book a cruise, contact a travel professional, call +27 21 200 6586 or visit www.ncl.com.
NOTE: Find out why cruising is so popular among South Africans: www.blossmag.co.za/cruise-the-world-with-norwegian-cruise-line
*Information and photo credits: www.ncl.com