Norwegian Cruise Line has just announced it’s first ever programme of year round Europe cruises for the 2010 built Norwegian Epic.
Hitherto, the French built ship has alternated between seven day summer sailings in Europe, and winter cruises to the Caribbean out of Miami.
In an announcement aboard the new Norwegian Getaway in January, CEO Kevin Sheehan confirmed that Norwegian Epic will be permanently deployed in Europe from early 2015. Today, the itineraries were officially posted.
Beginning on November 29th 2015, the ship will operate a series of nine night Canary Islands cruises, from her home port in Barcelona. This programme takes in Tangier, Madeira, Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Malaga, Spain, and runs through to April 7th, 2016. This includes the seasonal Christmas sailing, which departs on December 19th.
Like the rest of the itineraries, these will go on sale from next month.
There will also be a series of ten, eleven and twelve day round trip sailings from Barcelona to the Western Mediterranean, as well as a special, six day New Year’s Eve cruise that sails on December 28th, 2015. Ports of call offered on the longer cruises include Cagliari, Palermo, Naples and Civitavecchia.
The Canary Islands itineraries are the ones previously run by all year round Barcelona stalwart, Norwegian Spirit. It would seem to confirm that the latter ship will be leaving Europe after several successful seasons, through which she has proved to be very popular.
Norwegian has recently entered into an agreement with authorities at Port Canaveral to base an as yet nameless big ship year round in the Florida port. Odds must be quite high that this ship will be the Norwegian Spirit.
While the Norwegian Epic brings many more dining and entertainment options to the Mediterranean- the most on any year round mega ship, in fact- she also brings twice as many berths. She has a capacity of 4200, as opposed to 2000 on Norwegian Spirit. That represents a lot of berths to fill.
Still, the ship also has a complex of more than a hundred studio cabins for singles, offered at solo prices, which make the Norwegian Epic a great buy for single travellers.
These cruises offer a big literal departure for Norwegian Epic, which has hitherto operated on a seven day round trip cycle, both in Europe and the Caribbean. Ten, eleven and twelve day voyages will allow for more sea days, as well as more opportunities to showcase the ship’s extensive range of more than twenty diverse eateries.