This Week in Cruise: New Homeports, Sales Updates and Ship Repositions

Showing the growth of Florida homeporting beyond South Florida, the Space Coast and Tampa, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) will seasonally homeport for the first time at Jacksonville, FL, from November 2025 through April 2026. The 2,394-passenger Norwegian Gem will sail both four- to five-day cruises and 11- to 12-day voyages. It will return each subsequent winter season through at least 2028 as well, thanks to unanimous approval of an agreement between JAXPORT’s board of directors and NCL.

Virgin Voyages, additionally, has changed the routing of Resilient Lady's repositioning voyage from Sydney, Australia to Athens, Greece, departing March 27, 2024. Originally the ship was set to transit the Suez Canal but instead the ship will sail along Africa's southern tip and its west coast to reach the Mediterranean.  

Providing insight into Wave Season, the competitive seascape and sales initiatives, Regent Seven Seas Cruises' newly appointed Steve Odell, chief sales officer, as well as Shawn Tubman, SVP sales, North America, spoke to sister publication Luxury Travel Advisor in an update for travel advisors.

Elsewhere, European river specialist Viva Cruises has released its 2025 cruise program with 64 itineraries. The top highlight is the launch of new Douro cruises by the newly built Porto Mirante. On the ocean front, Viking has unveiled its 2026 program of voyages and new pre- and post-cruise extensions in Barcelona, Istanbul, London, Rome, Stockholm and Venice.

More Cruise News

"Come aboard, we're expecting you," former "Love Boat" cast members who played Doc, Gopher, Isaac and Vicki Stubing will say to guests on a new Princess Cruises "Love Boat" themed cruise. Departing round-trip from New York City on August 31, 2024, the cruise will head for New England and Canada aboard the 3,660-guest Enchanted PrincessPrincess Cruises Celebrations Ambassador Jill Whelan will join Bernie Kopell, Fred Grandy and Ted Lange aboard.  

Crystal will also offer a portfolio of themed cruises for 2024, including two Broadway-focused sailings on Crystal Serenity between Quebec City and New York City on October 10 and October 18. Guests can expect performances by American actress and singer Rachel York and other notables.

Showing just how much of the world the cruise industry's ships visit, this past week Azamara’s World Cruise guests went ashore at Pitcairn Island. It was the line's first-ever call at the remote South Pacific isle, a British Overseas Territory.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness that recently occurred on Cunard Line’s Queen Victoria; approximately 7 percent of guests and 2.5 percent of crew members reported symptoms.

Carnival Corporation is ahead of schedule on its greenhouse gas emission goal.

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