|Love NCL America's port-intensive weeklong Hawaii cruises, but miss kicking back on days at sea? NCL America, Norwegian Cruise Line's U.S.-flagged subsidiary, has announced that longer voyages with sea days are just around the corner for the 77,104-ton, 2,002-passenger Pride of Aloha.|
Beginning in September of 2007, Pride of Aloha -- which currently sails year-round seven-night Hawaiian cruises roundtrip from Honolulu -- will move to 10- and 11-nighters. These cruises will also sail roundtrip from Honolulu, but will include a mix of all-Hawaii itineraries and voyages that call at Fanning Island in Kiribati.
The addition of Fanning Island to NCL America's menu is particularly noteworthy because NCL actually created the brand in order to bypass the lengthy trip there, thus offering the industry's only seven-day inter-island cruises. According to a company statement, the tweaks are in response to requests from guests for longer versions of the destination-rich itinerary -- with a day or two at sea thrown in for good measure. Currently, NCL America's three ships (Pride of Aloha, Pride of America and Pride of Hawaii) are in port every single day; I will say firsthand that the port-a-day experience is both exhilarating ... and exhausting!
Read on for additional details on Pride of Aloha's new itineraries:
Ten-night Hawaii-only itineraries feature an overnight in Honolulu, an overnight in Kauai, three days in Maui (including an overnight in Kahului and a call at Lahaina), calls at Hilo and Kona on the Big Island, and one day at sea for some much-needed relaxation.
Eleven-night Hawaii-only cruises offer the same lineup as the 10-nighters, with the addition of a second sea day.
Eleven-night Hawaii/Fanning Island voyages include an overnight in Kauai, calls at Hilo and Kona on the Big Island, a visit to Maui's Kahului, and a call at Fanning Island; every fourth Pride of Aloha cruise will sail this itinerary. This itinerary features four days at sea.
Norwegian Sun, which was previously scheduled to handle 10- to 13-night Hawaiian cruises in the fall and winter (remember, an international call is a requirement for that Bahamas-registered ship), will be redeployed to Miami; that ship will now sail seven-day Western Caribbean cruises from October 2007 through mid-April 2008.
Norwegian Wind will continue sailing its Hawaii/Fanning Island itineraries until April 2007. At that point, the ship will be transferred to the fleet of NCL parent Star Cruises.
Pride of America and Pride of Hawaii will continue sailing their weeklong inter-island cruises departing from Honolulu on Sunday and Monday respectively.
--by Melissa Baldwin, Senior Editor