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Norwegian Releases 2018/2019 Cruise Schedule



Norwegian Cruise Line has announced their summer and fall 2018, and winter 2018/2019 itineraries.  The line’s deployments span across the world, and are now on sale for all cruise guests.


In summer 2018, Norwegian will be sailing Alaskan waters on three ships.  The brand-new Norwegian Bliss is being purpose-built for Alaska, and will arrive in June 2018.  Her inaugural season will offer seven-day cruises from Seattle, making it the first Norwegian ship to make its debut there.

Following an extensive renovation in 2017, Norwegian Pearl will sail seven-day Glacier Bay Alaska cruises from Seattle.

Rounding out the Alaska fleet, Norwegian Sun will return to Vancouver and Seward to offer the popular north and southbound seven-day Alaska highlights cruises, giving guests the opportunity to book back-to-back sailings for a 14-day roundtrip adventure.


Guests sailing with Norwegian in Europe will have five ships to choose from in summer 2018.  Norwegian Breakaway will leave New York in April for a 12-day transatlantic voyage to London.  She will then head into dry dock for various enhancements, then journey to her new seasonal homeport of Copenhagen.  From there, the ship will operate nine-day Scandinavia & Russia cruises throughout the summer.

Norwegian Jade will return to Europe in summer 2018, sailing a series of Norway, Iceland, and North Cape cruises from London and Hamburg – showcasing the Norwegian fjords and British Isles on select dates.

Norwegian Spirit will return also, sailing 10-day western Mediterranean and 11-day eastern Mediterranean & Adriatic cruises from Civitavecchia (Rome).

Norwegian Star will reposition to Venice, sailing a series of seven-day Greek Isles and Adriatic & Greece cruises from The Floating City.

Norwegian Epic, which recently underwent an extensive refurbishment will once again sail seven-day western Mediterranean cruises from Barcelona to Rome, showcasing the best of Italy, France, and Spain.

That winter, Norwegian Spirit will sail from Barcelona to the Canary Islands & Morocco on a series of 10 and 11-day cruises for guests looking to escape winter weather and explore Northern Africa.


Norwegian will continue sailing from New York City and Boston to Bermuda between April and September 2018.  The line’s newest ship Norwegian Escape will reposition to New York, operating seven-day cruises to Bermuda each week.

Norwegian Dawn recently underwent extensive enhancements, and will also sail seven-day cruises to Bermuda, but from Boston every Friday.

Bahamas & Florida

In summer 2018, Norwegian Gem will set sail for the Bahamas and Florida each week from New York.  Norwegian Sky will continue to sail 3 and 4-day Bahamas cruises from Miami year-round, providing guests a chance to escape to Great Stirrup Cay, which is currently undergoing extensive enhancements.

In the winter, Escape will remain in New York, and bring guests to the Bahamas and Florida on seven-day cruises.  Norwegian Breakaway will return to New York from Europe, and will also sail seven-day Bahamas & Florida cruises from Manhattan during winter 2018/2019.


Seven Norwegian ships will be operating in the Caribbean during 2018 and 2019, from New York, Boston, Port Canaveral, San Juan, Miami, New Orleans, and Tampa.

From December to February, Escape will sail from New York on 12 and 14-day southern Caribbean cruises, as well as 14-day western Caribbean cruises which will include a call at the line’s new private destination in Belize – Harvest Caye.  Breakaway will also sail 10 and 11-day eastern Caribbean voyages from New York, including calls in the Virgin Islands.

New for 2018, guests cruising from Boston can set sail on Norwegian Dawn for a 14-day eastern Caribbean cruise in October 2018.

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Norwegian Gem will reposition to New Orleans for 7, 10, and 11-day cruises to the western Caribbean.  Guests sailing from Miami in the winter can head to the western Caribbean as well, on Norwegian Getaway for 7-day cruises that include a stop in Harvest Caye.  Norwegian Pearl will homeport in Tampa during winter 2018, sailing seven-day cruises to the western Caribbean.

Norwegian Dawn will homeport seasonally in San Juan during the winter, sailing to the southern Caribbean on 7, 10, and 11-day cruises.  Guests can also sail to the southern Caribbean from Miami on Norwegian Jade on a 10-day cruises on select dates from November to April.

Norwegian Epic will return to Port Canaveral in fall 2018, alternating western and eastern Caribbean cruises, along with select 10 and 11-day western Caribbean sailings from November to January with a call in Harvest Caye.  Those who want to visit Great Stirrup Cay can do so from Port Canaveral in March, as Epic will also offer a four-day Bahamas cruise from Port Canaveral and a five-day western Caribbean cruises that calls in Cozumel and Great Stirrup Cay.

Canada & New England

Norwegian will be operating three ships in Canada and New England in fall 2018.  Norwegian Escape will operate 7-day cruises from New York on select dates in September.

For those looking for a summer cruise, Gem will also sail north from New York in June 2018 on two 7-day cruises calling in Maine, St. John, and Halifax.  The ship will also operate extended 10-day cruises from New York that include an overnight in Québec City.

Norwegian Dawn will sail a series of northbound and southbound 7-day cruises between Boston and Quebec, offering the opportunity to combine for a 14-day ultimate fall getaway.


The recently-refurbished Pride of America will continue to sail her popular 7-day Hawaii itinerary from Honolulu each Saturday through May 2019.  The ship is the only one to sail the islands, and features calls like an overnight in Kahului, Maui; Hilo, Hawaii; Kona, Hawaii; an overnight in Nãwiliwili, Kauai; and an afternoon scenic cruise past the Nãpali Coast.

Panama Canal & Mexican Riviera

A bucket-list kind of experience, Norwegian will offer one-way and roundtrip Panama Canal cruises on three ships in 2018 and 2019.  Norwegian Jade and Pearl will sail 11 and 14-day roundtrip cruises from Tampa and Miami, giving guests the chance to see one of the seven wonders of the modern world.

Those looking for an extended cruises can embark on Norwegian Star from either Miami or Los Angeles during select dates from January to March for a 14-day one-way cruise that includes a daytime transit of the canal.  Norwegian Pearl will also sail a one-way from LA to Tampa in October.

West Coast guests can embark on a seven-day Mexican Riviera sailing from Los Angeles on select dates in December and March that calls in Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán, and Cabo San Lucas.

South America

Norwegian Sun will once again return to South America, sailing a series of alternating westbound and eastbound 14-day itineraries between Valparaiso, Chile and Buenos Aires, Argentina in the winter, featuring a sail around Cape Horn and Tierra del Fuego’s beautiful fjords.

All sailings are available to book except Norwegian Bliss, which will open up on January 10, 2017.

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Cruise News

MSC Cruises to Launch Voice-Enabled Virtual Assistant



MSC Cruises has announced that they will be launching a digital cruise personal assistant as a new feature of MSC for Me. The new guest service, developed in partnership with HARMAN International, will debut on MSC Bellissima, which is currently under construction at the STX France shipyard.

The line also announced that Bellissima – their next flagship – will be christened in Southampton, England. The two announcements were made today in London.

Virtual Assistant

The virtual personal assistant for guests is a conversational Artificial Intelligence innovation that can communicate, learn, and intelligently predict guests’ needs to make relevant suggestions. The unique offering will provide tailored information to help enhance guests’ experiences onboard, by providing quick answers to questions from the comfort of their cabin.

Unlike other home systems that rely on cloud-based programs with internet-connected devices, this digital offering will be designed around a ship-based solution, customized just for MSC’s guests’ needs. Travelers will be able to community with the device in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Brazilian Portuguese, and Mandarin. It will launch on MSC Bellissima, but will be available on all future new ships, and plans are being finalized to introduce the feature on the rest of the fleet.

This service is the latest feature for MSC for Me, an experience that includes a mobile app, in-cabin connected television, and interactive information screens around the ship, among other features. MSC for Me was first launched aboard MSC Meraviglia. 

photo: MSC Cruises

MSC Bellissima in Southampton

Bellissima will become MSC Cruises’ fourth mega ship to enter into service in less than three years since 2017, and is part of a ten-year investment program that will introduce a total of 12 new ships. She is a further evolution of Meraviglia, which entered into service in June 2017.

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Launching as the line’s next flagship, she will be christened in Southampton on March 2, 2019 at an event that will be attended by VIP guests from around the world.

Ship Highlights

Some highlights that await guests aboard MSC Bellissima include:

  • Two new Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows that can only be seen onboard this ship. Currently under development, the productions are the result of a long-term partnership with Cirque du Soleil, which includes a total of eight original productions for the four Meraviglia-generation ships.
  • West-End style entertainment will be offered every evening in the theater, and the iconic LED Sky Screen will delight guests with a series of animations and shows.
  • Onboard dining has been further enhanced with the introduction of two new venues: L’Atelier Bistrot with terrace seating on the Promenade, and the modern, street food inspired Market Street, serving an array of tasty bites throughout the day and evening.
  • Features for families include a Grand Canyon-themed aqua park, a DOREMI studio lounge on the family deck, a DOREMI Tech Lab for kids who love technology, and facilities designed with LEGO and Chicco.

MSC Bellissima will spend her inaugural season in the western Mediterranean before moving to spend the winter in the United Arab Emirates.

Click here for details on MSC’s partnership with Cirque du Soleil.

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Cruise News

MSC Cruises Teams Up With Renowned Spanish Chef



MSC Cruises has announced a new partnership with award-winning Spanish chef Ramón Freixa, beginning this April.

The announcement was made at an exclusive MSC event, hosted at Freixa’s eponymous two Michelin Star restaurant in Madrid at Hotel Unico. The collaboration will introduce exceptional main dishes and tapas developed with Chef Freixa across the fleet, as well as a selection of dishes designed just for the Christmas and New Year menus. Plans are also underway to launch a gastronomy cruise for foodies in search of the ultimate food and travel experience.

Working with MSC Cruises’ own team of chefs, Ramón Freixa will complete in-depth, interactive training, passing on his skill to enable all MSC chefs to recreate his signature dishes to the highest standards.

Chef Freixa is known for his ability to balance tradition and avantgarde, taking inspiration from his Mediterranean roots. In addition to two Michelin Stars and three Sol Repsol for his restaurant in Madrid, he’s also been recognized with awards for culinary excellence as best chef and best restaurant. Having two restaurants in Madrid and one in Columbia, making appearances on Spanish Celebrity Masterchef, and authoring four books, Freixa holds international appeal.

“My cuisine is based on three elements: produce technique, feeling and a search for magic, in which each dish is conceived to tell a story in sequences of flavor, texture and color,” he said. “I have incorporated this approach into the recipes that I have created exclusively for MSC Cruises, reflecting our shared passion for the Mediterranean.”

Accessible Gastronomy

All of the ship offer fine dining in the main restaurants, and a different menu is offered each night featuring the best of Mediterranean and International specialties. As part of the Elegant Night celebrations, guests in the main dining rooms will be able to enjoy Freixa’s signature dish, a mouth-watering Duck Royal with cream of foie gras and onions.

MSC Yacht Club

Guests staying in the MSC Yacht Club will be treated to Glazed Pluma of Iberian pork with sautéed vegetables, or for a lighter bite a tempting choice of tapas. The private restaurant offers a host of unique food options.

For more information about MSC Cruises’ dining choices, click here.

Photos: MSC Cruises

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Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line Opens Panorama Bookings



If you’re the type of cruiser who looks forward to being among the first to board a new ship, this is your lucky day: Carnival Cruise Line is now accepting bookings for their newest ship, the Carnival Panorama.

What We Know About The New Ship

Although the ship won’t begin sailing until the end of 2019, people are already getting excited…especially since this will be the first new Carnival cruise ship to be based on the West Coast in over two decades! Better still, the Panorama be sailing out of a re-opened and expanded terminal in Long Beach, California. “The West Coast is an important market with vast growth potential,” said the line’s President, Christine Duffy, at an event back in February, adding that they were “very much looking forward to having Carnival Panorama homeported” on the West Coast.

Panorama will be the third Vista-class ship — joining sisters Vista and Horizon — and will continue to expand on the idea of allowing passengers to get as close to the sea as possible. Like her sister ships, Panorama will feature the innovate SkyRide (think of it as riding a bicycle through the clouds) and many restaurants which will offer both indoor and outdoor seating. It will also feature the wildly popular Havana section. And while Carnival promises that Panorama will also feature “innovations unique to” the ship, details about those will be released at a later date.

Where is Carnival Panorama Going? 


But for many cruisers, those details aren’t necessarily important… they want to know two things: Where is the ship sailing, and when can I take her for a spin? And this week, that information finally became available as Carnival released the initial itineraries Panorama will be sailing… even as she’s in the very early stages of construction!

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Carnival Panorama

Carnival Panorama, currently under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, Italy. Photo via Carnival.

Once the ship arrives in Long Beach, her first voyage will be a one-time-only three-day cruise from Long Beach to Ensenada from December 11 to the 14th (keep in mind, this is in 2019). After that, Panorama will be doing a three-port, seven-day itinerary departing every Saturday. Her first stop will be Cabo San Lucas, followed by Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta.

As of now, the Mexican Riviera itinerary is the only one listed for the ship, although the possibility of her eventually doing other runs out of Los Angeles are wide open. She could even do an Alaska run, such as the 14-day Carnival Journeys trip offered out of Long Beach on the Carnival Splendor.  Interestingly, Carnival Panorama will go straight from the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy to Long Beach, making this the first time the cruise line has not offered a transatlantic voyage in years.

The New Long Beach Cruise Terminal 

Long Beach

The newly refurbished Long Beach Cruise Terminal, which the Carnival Panorama will sail out of year-round. Photo via Carnival.

The state-of-the-art terminal was completed in just 10 months and now allows for 100% utilization of the site’s massive geodesic dome. Thanks to the renovations nearly doubling the space to 146,000 square feet, it also now boasts 34 check-in counters and a seating for 1,584 guests. Most importantly, Long Beach is now a two-way terminal, meaning it can operate both embarkation and debarkation at the same time.

“Carnival Panorama promises to be a spectacular addition to our fleet and we’re delighted to provide our guests with an opportunity to be among the first to sail” on her, Duffy said.

Bookings for Carnival Panorama are now open by contacting your travel agent or heading over to


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