Norwegian Cruise Line made a splash with the announcement that their ship Norwegian Joy would be built with the Chinese market in mind. However, after just a year of sailing from Chinese ports, the cruise line announced Norwegian Joy would be headed back to the United States for future cruises.
The move comes with others as Norwegian decided to shuffle their ships and itineraries in advance of the 2019-2020 cruising season. While Norwegian Joy repositions in Seattle for cruises to Alaska in 2019, Norwegian Spirit will replace her in China. Norwegian Pearl, currently in the Pacific Northwest, will make the trip across the pond to Europe with destinations like Amsterdam, Venice and Barcelona on the new itineraries.
New Directions for Norwegian Cruise Line
President and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Frank Del Rio explained why the repositioning made sense.
“The booming demand environment in our core markets around the world, coupled with Norwegian Bliss’ record-breaking performance, continue to exceed our expectations,” he said. “As a result, we are leveraging the strategic benefits of our growing fleet to quickly seize sizable opportunities in over performing, unserved and underserved markets to meet the demands of our global customer base and drive higher returns for our shareholders.”
Upgrades to Norwegian Joy
The move to Seattle for Norwegian Joy comes with a facelift for the ship. Norwegian Cruise Line will complete $50 million in renovations outfitting the ship to match more closely with her sister ship, the brand new Norwegian Bliss.
Some of the most popular features aboard Norwegian Bliss include a go-kart racing track, observation deck, laser tag arena, numerous restaurants and bars, a water park and a casino.
Norwegian Joy, launched in March of 2017, is a plus class ship with a capacity of more than 3,800 people and a length of nearly 1,100 feet. When the ship was launched, it stirred some debate as a godfather was chosen to christen the vessel rather than a godmother, a longstanding maritime tradition.