Sponsored by Norwegian Cruise Line
Freedom and flexibility flow through the fleet of Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL). From the design of the ships to the port-rich itineraries, NCL offers a more relaxed cruising style that appeals to Australians.
Instead of following a traditional schedule, there are no fixed dining times, set dining tables or formal dress codes. The company pioneered this concept more than two decades ago, calling it Freestyle Cruising, and it continues to break boundaries every year.
Most notably, stunning new ships are launched almost annually. The first two vessels of its Prima class, Norwegian Prima and Norwegian Viva, debuted in Europe in 2022 and 2023. Next year, Norwegian Aqua will be the first in its Prima Plus class, followed by three more ships on order from 2026 to 2028.
These latest ships are distinguished by their wide-open spaces, thoughtful design and new experiences such as a hybrid rollercoaster and waterslide called Aqua Slidecoaster, and a digital sports complex with an interactive LED floor that transforms into a nightclub.
The spacious accommodation also stands apart, with stylish studios for solo travellers, club balcony suites, spa suites, and The Haven by Norwegian, the luxurious ship-within-a-ship area with exclusive spaces and amenities.
Uniquely positioned as upper contemporary, the line delivers superior guest service and exceptional dining and entertainment. Combined with the innovative ships and diverse itineraries, NCL offers some of the best value at sea.
NCL regards every moment on land as special as the time spent at sea, ensuring guests can discover more in each location, from ancient cities to tropical islands.
With 20 ships to choose from, the global programme expands to more than 450 destinations. The wide range of port-rich itineraries include many late evening stays or overnight calls, allowing a more leisurely way to explore the local culture and attractions.
NCL also offers several cruises not offered by any other cruise line. One of these highlights is an exclusive Hawaiian itinerary that departs every week of the year, so it can fit into anyone’s calendar.
The European programme is particularly comprehensive, covering the Mediterranean, Canary Islands, Greek Islands, Northern Europe and the Baltic, Greenland and Iceland, as well as transatlantic voyages that venture to Morocco and the Caribbean.
NCL's Europe itineraries explore iconic destinations, visiting a new port nearly every day, with overnights and late stays on many sailings.
Norwegian Viva, the 2nd vessel in the new Norwegian Prima Class, returns to the Mediterranean in May 2024. This innovative ship joins 11 others in the NCL fleet, offering over 350 itineraries as part of the 2024-2025 Europe season .
Spending an average of 10.5 hours in port and fewer days at sea, guests can experience more of the beauty and culture of European cities, with over 160 ports of call.
Popular itineraries include a classic route through Spain, France and Italy on a 9-day cruise from Barcelona on Norwegian Escape, or a 7-day Greek Isles cruise to Santorini, Rhodes and Mykonos, from Athens (Piraeus) on Norwegian Viva.
Further north, a 10-day cruise to Greenland and Iceland, roundtrip from Reykjavik, is offered on Norwegian Star, or a 11-day cruise to Iceland, Norway and Belgium sails from Southampton, UK, on Norwegian Prima.
Every year from 2008 to 2023, NCL has been named Europe’s Leading Cruise Line at the prestigious World Travel Awards.
As the only cruise line that visits four islands in seven days, NCL's Hawaiian itinerary is unmatched. The US-flagged, 2,186-passenger Pride of America conveniently departs year-round from Honolulu every Saturday.
This is the ultimate inter-island adventure, from famous surf beaches to breathtaking landscapes and shore excursions exploring the local culture. Guests can also learn about Hawaiian life through the eyes of native ambassadors on board the ship.
Overnight stays in Maui and the ‘garden island’ of Kaua’i allow extra time to experience dinner ashore, sunset drinks or the tropical nightlife. Other ports of call include Kona, renowned for its snorkel-friendly bays, historical sites and a lively waterfront, and Hilo, blessed with rainforests, waterfalls and Volcanoes National Park.
The spacious suites and balconies on Pride of America are ideal for whale-watching or witnessing Kilauea Volcano. A wide range of restaurants includes Italian, French and authentic Hawaiian cuisine, while the nightlife can be enjoyed at Pink's Champagne Bar, the New Orleans-inspired Mardi Gras Cabaret Lounge & Nightclub, or Waikiki Bar, specialising in cocktails.
The 20 contemporary ships allow travellers to choose the best one to match their preferences, while also enjoying fleetwide features of innovative design, stylish comfort, and cutting-edge technology.
All ships have spacious, private accommodation, with many cabins having ocean views, and the added luxury of balconies, or guests can upgrade to the most luxurious suites in The Haven, NCL’s exclusive ‘ship-within-a-ship’ concept (pictured above).
The line is also remains a market leader in solo cruising, winning Cruise Critic's Editors' Picks Awards for "Best for Solo Travellers" in 2023, with dedicated single-occupancy staterooms and communal lounges for solo travellers to mingle.
More than just a mode of transportation, each ship is a destination in itself, offering a host of complimentary activities, entertainment options and dining experiences.
NCL spoils its guests with culinary delights at any time of day or night. From casual bites to gourmet feasts, passengers can indulge in cuisines from around the world, around the clock. Chefs prepare your meal in front of you at Teppanyaki, a hibachi-style restaurant; savour the seafood at Ocean Blue, or try a Brazilian-style steak restaurant, Moderno.
The dozens of restaurants and bars onboard serve carefully crafted drinks and an extensive wine list. Or step up your evening entertainment with award-winning shows, live music and comedy performances.
No Hidden Costs - Gratuities Included
One of the distinguishing factors that sets NCL apart is its transparent inclusion of gratuities in the cruise fare. Rather than hiding this cost, passengers know upfront that tips for crew are included, so there is no concern about unexpected fees and charges.
Reduced Deposits and Added Value
Whether travelling this year or planning ahead for 2025 and 2026, your dream cruise can be secured for a reduced deposit of just $149 per person. The best value can be found by booking the line’s Free At Sea promotion, which adds an extra layer of value with an exceptional array of inclusions.
NCL’s Free At Sea
With NCL's Free At Sea promotion, guests are entitled to five complimentary perks: a beverage package including premium drinks and cocktails; a specialty dining package to use in up to 23 cafes and restaurants on the ship; a Wi-Fi package; a US$50 credit for shore excursions at every port; and reduced rates for the third and fourth guests in your group or family.