Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), the innovator in global cruise travel with a 55-year history of breaking boundaries, has welcomed the New Zealand Government’s decision to reopen its maritime borders to cruising as the line prepares for its inaugural Australasian season for the newly-refurbished Norwegian Spirit, set to offer four sailings from Auckland between January and March 2023.
“As we mark our full fleet now back in the water, doing what we do best – delivering exceptional holidays at sea – we are delighted by this announcement which paves the way for our return to New Zealand waters after three years,” said Ben Angell, Norwegian Cruise Line Vice President and Managing Director, APAC. “Our commitment to New Zealand both as a guest source market and as one of the most highly sought-after destinations on our global cruise map is steadfast and we can’t wait to resume our operations Down Under for the benefit of guests, our crew and the New Zealand economy.”
As an industry, cruise injected NZD$500 million into the New Zealand economy* during the last local cruise season in 2019/2020. Norwegian Spirit’s upcoming Australasian deployment will see Auckland become a seasonal home port with four turnarounds providing an additional economic boost through pre and post-cruise international visitor stays, as well as 45 visits to eight different New Zealand ports throughout the 2022/23 season: Auckland, Dunedin, Lyttleton, Wellington, Napier, Tauranga, Bay of Islands and Akaroa.
Norwegian Spirit’s local voyages will showcase the magnificent coastal scenery and cosmopolitan cities of both Australia and New Zealand through a collection of eight 12-day sailings with port-intensive itineraries departing from Sydney and Auckland between December 2022 and March 2023. Her first departure from Auckland will be on 3 January 2023 followed by 27 January, 20 February and 16 March 2023.
Following the most extensive and expensive ship renovation in NCL’s history, at a cost of over USD$100 million, Norwegian Spirit will arrive in New Zealand with 14 brand-new venues. Designed to be different, she offers a unique style of laidback luxury that appeals to adult cruisers, making her unlike any other cruise ship sailing local waters. The reimagined vessel features 14 dining options and 10 bars and lounges for guests to choose from, including contemporary Italian fare at the all-new Onda by Scarpetta and the Ibiza-inspired adults-only pool retreat Spice H20, which transforms into a cocktail lounge and open-air nightclub when the sun goes down. Award-winning entertainment options include the exhilarating ‘Blazing Boots’, a vibrant pop-country musical with toe-tapping tunes from all the best country stars; “Palace of Lights’, a musical set in 1950’s Cuba; and “Elements”, a visual feast of flying, dance and magic.
Norwegian Spirit will return for her second local season from December 2023.
Please find a link to high-res images and B-Roll of Norwegian Spirit here
For more information or to book a cruise with NCL, please contact a travel professional; call NCL in Australia on 1300 255 200 or in New Zealand on 0800 969 283; or visit
(*Source: New Zealand Cruise Association Economic Review 2020)