Norwegian Cancels Cruises on Jade and Getaway Because of Charters

August 20, 2013

(Update, 10:33 a.m.) - Norwegian has released compensation amounts for passengers bumped from Norwegian Jade on cruises scheduled from Jan. 29 to March 1, 2014.

Passengers who sign up for Norwegian Jade's available 10 or 11-night Eastern Mediterranean sailings from October 26, 2013 to April 12, 2014, 2014 (excluding December 18 and December 28, 2013) will receive a $50 onboard credit per stateroom, Norwegian spokeswoman Vanessa Lane said. Those booked in suites will receive a $100 per stateroom onboard credit. Passengers will receive the same credit if they decide to cruise on another Norwegian ship through December 31, 2014, she said.

Norwegian Jade has been chartered from Feb. 5-25, 2014, by TUI Travel, to serve as hotel lodging for the Sochi Olympic Games.

(3:57 p.m. EDT, August 19) – Norwegian Cruise Line has canceled some of its 2014 cruises on the Jade and the yet-to-debut Getaway because of private charters.

Norwegian spokeswoman Vanessa Lane confirmed Norwegian Jade will be chartered during the next Winter Olympic Games, scheduled to run February 7-23, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. According to Russian seaport developer Rosmorport the ship will be used as a floating hotel during the games.

Norwegian Getaway, which was scheduled to launch January, has been chartered from January 29, 2014 to February 5, 2014 in New York City. As a result, one of the ship's first cruises – an 11-day transatlantic cruise scheduled to depart from Rotterdam to Miami on January 16, 2014 – has been changed and shortened, Lane said. The sailing will be a 10-day transatlantic cruise from Southampton to New York instead.

In addition, Getaway's first Eastern Caribbean cruise from Miami, originally scheduled for February 1, 2014, has been canceled, Lane said. Getaway will make its first Miami departure February 8, 2014.

Chartering a full ship doesn't happen often, but when it does, cruise lines can vary on what kind of rebooking or compensation they provide (see our article here on cruise ship bumping).

Passengers who keep their reservations on Getaway's revised transatlantic will receive a $100 onboard credit per stateroom; those booked in suites will get a $200 per stateroom onboard credit, Lane said. Passengers who choose a different Getaway sailing through April 2015 will receive $50 onboard credit per stateroom, she said, adding that cruisers also have the option to move to another ship and receive the $50 credit before the end of 2014.

Cruise Critic has asked Norwegian for information on what bumped passengers on Jade, which had been scheduled to sail the Mediterranean, will receive for their canceled vacations.

Passengers booked on the sailings have expressed displeasure on the Cruise Critic forums.

Says Cruise Critic member sverigecruiser, “I think that it's ok that the cruise lines charter their ships out but I think that they should do it before they sell cruises on them.”

Booking charters can also be a gamble for the cruise lines. In 2010, NCL expected Norwegian Star to serve as a floating hotel during the Vancouver Olympic games, only to cancel the charter four days before it was scheduled to begin because of poor sales.

--by Chris Gray Faust, Destinations Editor