Some good news for folks in the UK: Norwegian Cruise Line announced that it will be sending the 4,100-guest Norwegian Epic to Southampton, England in 2015 for two special sailings, marking the first time the ship has visited the historic maritime port since her maiden voyage in June of 2010.
On September 20, 2015, Norwegian Epic will depart Barcelona, Spain on a six-night sailing to Southampton that calls on Cartagena, Spain; Malaga, Spain; and Lisbon, Portugal. She’ll then proceed to drydock in France, emerging on October 11, 2015 to sail on a special seven-night Iberian Peninsula cruise from Southampton to Barcelona. On this voyage, Norwegian Epic will call on Vigo, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Malaga, Spain; and Cartagena, Spain.
Although she was initially lambasted for her odd physical appearance, Norwegian Epic is one of my favorite ships. She’s the precursor to the fabulous Norwegian Breakaway, and was the first Norwegian Cruise Line ship to pioneer the line’s extremely-popular Studio Staterooms and the first to truly brand and exploit The Haven, Norwegian’s upscale ship-within-a-ship concept to its full potential.
On my own Eastern Caribbean sailing aboard her two years ago, Norwegian Epic proved to be a fun and surprisingly elegant vessel, with plenty of windows in public rooms to let in the passing oceanscape for traditionalists, and loads of activities for those who just want to kick back and have a good time.
Fun features include the Svedka Inniskillin Ice Bar – the first true ice bar at sea, complete with parkas, gloves, and even drink inserts made of solid ice. It’s also one of the best values onboard the ship, with three super-strong drinks included in the approximately $20 price of admission.
These new sailings were added as part of Norwegian Epic’s programme of variable-duration Western Mediterranean itineraries and exotic 10-night Canary Islands and Morocco voyages on offer during the 2015 season.
Since we’re on the subject of Norwegian Cruise Line and European departures, there’s one sailing the line has that’s a real winner in terms of pricing and duration: if you have a month to spare, you can sail aboard the line’s trendsetting Norwegian Star for a whopping 28 days as she sails from Copenhagen, Denmark to Los Angeles, California on October 6, 2014.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way: this trans-continental voyage is made up mostly of sea days. But the ports of call that Norwegian Star does call on are absolutely fabulous, giving guests a taste of Europe, the Azores, the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, and California. Norwegian Star will sail to Ponta Delgada, Azores; St. Thomas, USVI; Miami, Florida; Cartagena, Columbia; the Panama Canal; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Puerto Chiapas, Mexico; Huatulco, Mexico; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, arriving in Los Angeles on November 3, 2014.
The best part is the price, which I don’t normally like listing here because it can fluctuate so much. But, as of today (April 24, 2014), Norwegian Cruise Line has this sailing going for $1,699 USD per person. Yes, you read that correctly and no, I’m not missing numbers. It’s a heckuva deal for those with some time to spare.
Of course, make sure you do the math: gratuities for the 28-day voyage will come to about $672 per couple – but you’re still making off like a bandit with this innovative cruise.
More information on Norwegian Cruise Line and their European departures can be found by visiting the Norwegian Cruise Line Website.
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