You can tell a lot from smiles. The cruise guests embarking and disembarking the Norwegian Jewel in Hobart this week almost all had smiles on their faces.
Similarly, the crew, making their first visit to the Tasmanian capital, went about their onboard duties clearly happy to be playing their various roles.
There's a good feel about the Norwegian Jewel, part of the Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) fleet that has just begun her inaugural Australia and New Zealand season. It's clearly a happy ship with a good mix of age demographics
As the first Norwegian Cruise Lhomeportto home port in Australia for a full cruising season, Norwegian Jewel’s arrival reflects Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings long-term focus on the region, following similar announcements from sister brands – Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises – that they are more committed than ever before to Australia and New Zealand.
NCLH recently announced that Norwegian Jewel will return to Australian waters in 2018/19 – fresh from a multi-million-dollar bow-to-stern refurbishment – for a series of home-ported sailings.
She is a light and airy ship with no fewer than 16 different dining options, making sure even the fussiest guest does not get bored with the culinary offerings.
“We are thrilled to welcome Norwegian Jewel to Sydney for her highly anticipated inaugural Australia and New Zealand season, said senior VP Steve Odell. "Norwegian Jewel’s arrival breaks the mould when it comes to freedom and flexibility, ushering in a new style of cruising with no set dining times, no pre-assigned seating and no dress codes, giving Australian travellers the unique opportunity to create bespoke cruise holiday experiences any way they want.”
“The way Australian cruisers have embraced Norwegian Jewel’s inaugural season has exceeded our expectations, with the current booking season already close to capacity before it has even started.
"Norwegian Jewel’s 2018/19 season is now on sale, and early booking activity indicates it is set to be another ground-breaking one.”
For those seeking the ultimate in luxury, Norwegian Cruise Line’s private enclave – The Haven by Norwegian features the most luxurious accommodation on board with a 24-hour butler, dedicated concierge service and a private sundeck.
The ship boasts those 16 impressive dining venues (half of them included in the tariff), along with 15 bars and lounges including dedicated Champagne, sake, mojito, whisky and cabaret bars, as well as a poolside bar for afternoon cocktails at sea.
Guests keen to explore the raft of dining possibilities on board can indulge in Brazilian steakhouse Moderno, Japanese specials at Teppanyaki Room, authentic American fare at Cagney’s Steakhouse, Tuscan country flavours at La Cucina, and sushi and sake at Chin Chin.
Entertainment options for cruisers include Australia’s own Burn the Floor dance cabaret, magic and comedy shows and acrobatics by Le Cirque Bijou. There is an impressive spa facility and a large on-board theatre.
During her November 2017 to February 2018 time in local waters, Norwegian Jewel will embark on a total of nine sailings commencing with the current five-day sampler to Tasmania, visiting Burnie and Hobart before returning to Sydney.
Other season highlights include a nine-day voyage calling at regional gems such as Eden, Kangaroo Island and Burnie, departing December 14, and a series of 10- to 16-day Australia and New Zealand itineraries visiting destinations including Milford Sound and the Bay of Islands.
Following her inaugural Australian and New Zealand season, Norwegian Jewel will travel to Asia, and then on to Alaska for the Northern Hemisphere summer before making her way back to Australia and New Zealand next year.
The 2018-2019 home-ported sailings are now on sale and offer a number of new itineraries, taking in destinations such as Cairns, Hobart, Milford Sound and Tauranga, as well as sailings to the South Pacific, Southeast Asia, and a transpacific voyage from Vancouver to Tokyo (Yokohama).
Norwegian Jewel can host up to 2,376 guests. Built 12 years ago and set for an off-season refurb, she has 1,069 professional crew.
For further information visit www.ncl.com; or ring 1300 255 200 in New Zealand.
# The author was a guest of Norwegian Cruise Line and Norwegian Jewel will host the Sunrise breakfast program on Channel Seven when it docks back in Sydney on November 17.