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Norwegian Cruise Line destination guide: The 5 best places it sails


Thinking of booking a cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line? You have a lot of choices. The Miami-based line operates vessels in almost every corner of the world, with a wide range of itineraries in many destinations.

You’ll find Norwegian ships everywhere, from the Caribbean and the Bahamas to Europe, Asia and Australia. The line is also a big player in Hawaii.

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In addition, Norwegian is particularly known for cruises to Bermuda out of Boston and New York City, and it offers Canada and New England cruises regularly. It also operates some Panama Canal sailings and trips from the West Coast of the U.S. to the Mexican Riviera.

In North America, Norwegian ships sail from a relatively wide range of home ports, including Boston; New York City; Miami and Tampa; San Juan, Puerto Rico; New Orleans; San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco; Seattle; Honolulu; Vancouver, British Columbia; Quebec City and Quebec in Canada; and Seward, Alaska.

Here is a look at the best destinations you can visit on a Norwegian Cruise Line ship.

Related: The ultimate guide to Norwegian Cruise Line

Europe

Norwegian’s new Norwegian Prima docked in Reykjavik, Iceland. GENE SLOAN/THE POINTS GUY

Some of Norwegian’s most exciting itineraries are in Europe, where the line is a significant player. It offers a wide range of itineraries in the Mediterranean and across northern Europe.

Norwegian will typically deploy around half of its 19 ships to the continent from spring to fall, making Europe its biggest focus for more than half the year. Norwegian also sometimes offers Europe cruises in the winter — albeit typically with just one ship.

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Norwegian’s Mediterranean sailings provide the chance to see such iconic destinations as Barcelona in Spain; and Florence, Rome and Naples in Italy in a single cruise. Or, you can sign up for a Mediterranean cruise that focuses on the Greek Islands.

In northern Europe, Norwegian will take you to such famed Baltic cities as Stockholm; Tallinn, Estonia; and Helsinki in a single sailing.

In past years, such Baltic trips have also included a multiday call at St. Petersburg, Russia — traditionally the highlight of any Baltic sailings. However, like all major cruise lines, Norwegian pulled St. Petersburg from Baltic itineraries for 2022 and 2023 in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

As of the publishing of this guide, Norwegian had opened bookings for all of its Baltic sailing through late 2025, and St. Petersburg remains off the schedule for all of them. The line hasn’t said when it might return to St. Petersburg.

For those looking to explore northern Europe, Norwegian also offers itineraries that zero in on Iceland, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Norwegian’s Europe voyages range widely in length from just three nights to a whopping 19 nights.

Among the longest sailings that Norwegian offers that include calls in Europe are one-way trips between Piraeus, Greece (the port for Athens), and Dubai. Typically lasting 18 or 19 nights, these will often include stops in Israel and sometimes Greece, as well as visits to Egypt, Jordan, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

In Northern Europe, Norwegian ships mostly sail out of Amsterdam, Stockholm, Copenhagen, England’s Southampton and Reykjavík in Iceland.

In the Mediterranean, the line’s hubs are Barcelona, Civitavecchia (the port for Rome) and Venice in Italy, Piraeus (the port for Athens) in Greece, and Istanbul.

Related: Everything you want to know about cabins and suites on Norwegian ships

The Caribbean and the Bahamas

The new Norwegian Prima will spend winters in the Caribbean and the Bahamas. NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE

The Caribbean and the Bahamas have always been a big area of operations for Norwegian. In fact, for a long time, the regions were so much the focus that the line included “Caribbean” in its name. Up until 1987, Norwegian was known as Norwegian Caribbean Line.

These days, Norwegian usually keeps just two of its 19 vessels in the Caribbean and the Bahamas year-round (in recent years, the year-round ships have been Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Escape, both sailing to the Caribbean and the Bahamas from Florida ports). However, it really ramps things up in the region in the winter, when it deploys a large portion of its ships to the Caribbean and the Bahamas.

Norwegian currently has 15 of its 19 ships scheduled to sail to the Caribbean and the Bahamas for at least part of 2024 — including its newest and most advanced ship, the 3,219-passenger Norwegian Viva.

Related: I’ve sailed on nearly every Norwegian ship. Here are my first impressions of Norwegian Prima

Norwegian offers a broad range of Caribbean and Bahamas itineraries from more than half a dozen home ports. If you’re looking for something short, the line has you covered in the form of lots of quick, three- and four-night trips from Miami to the Bahamas.

It also offers an abundance of seven-night sailings to Caribbean and Bahamian ports, as well as a handful of longer trips in the region that range from nine to 14 nights.

At the core of the line’s Caribbean and Bahamas program are its seven-night sailings, which break down into three broad categories:

  • Eastern Caribbean voyages
  • Western Caribbean voyages
  • Southern Caribbean voyages

A typical seven-night Norwegian sailing to the Eastern Caribbean includes stops in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; and Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian’s private island in the Bahamas.

Norwegian’s seven Western Caribbean voyages will typically include a visit to Roatan, Honduras; Harvest Caye, Belize; and Costa Maya and Cozumel in Mexico.

The line’s Southern Caribbean itineraries will often bring visits to Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, St. Lucia and St. Kitts. They typically begin and end in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

When sailing to the Caribbean, Norwegian ships generally sail out of Miami, Port Canaveral and Tampa in Florida; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. The line also offers Caribbean sailings out of New Orleans, New York City and, occasionally, Panama City, Panama.

Related: The ultimate guide to Norwegian’s Latitudes Reward loyalty program

Hawaii

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America sails year-round in Hawaii. NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE

Norwegian is the undisputed leader in Hawaii cruises. Most cruise lines that offer sailings to Hawaii only offer a limited number of such trips during a few months each year. Norwegian, by contrast, offers sailings around the Hawaiian Islands out of Honolulu every week of the year — the only cruise line in the world to do so.

Norwegian’s Hawaii voyages are also more intensely focused on Hawaii than the Hawaii trips offered by most other lines. This is because Norwegian offers its Hawaii cruises on one of the only cruise ships in the world that meets the regulatory requirements allowing it to spend all its time in the destination.

Norwegian’s Hawaii trips take place on Norwegian’s 2,186-passenger Pride of America, which has the rare distinction of being both U.S.-flagged and U.S.-crewed. By law, only such a vessel can cruise full-time in Hawaii without regularly traveling long distances to foreign ports.

An iconic presence in Hawaii, Pride of America has been permanently dedicated to the archipelago since its debut in 2005. It offers a repeating seven-night itinerary that begins each Saturday in Honolulu and brings the chance to visit four different Hawaiian islands on a single seven-night trip.

Beginning and ending on the island of Oahu, the itinerary includes two days each on the islands of Maui, Kauai and Hawaii. The two-day visit to Maui involves an overnight stay at the port of Kahului.

The two-day visit to Kauai involves an overnight stay at the port of Nawiliwili. The two-day visit to Hawaii is split between a call at Hilo and a call at Kona.

Related: The 8 classes of Norwegian ships, explained

Alaska

Norwegian isn’t the biggest player in Alaska cruises. The giants of cruising to Alaska are Princess Cruises and Holland America, which are sister lines that control a large percentage of the market.

Still, Norwegian typically sends three to five vessels to Alaska every summer, and its big, activity-filled ships are a popular pick with families looking to visit the destination.

The Alaska cruise season is a short one, lasting roughly from May to early October.

For 2024, Norwegian plans to deploy four ships to the Alaska market for the full season:

  • Norwegian Encore: Norwegian’s biggest vessel will operate seven-night voyages to Alaska round trip out of Seattle. It will call at the Alaska towns of Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, plus Victoria, British Columbia. It will also visit Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park for glacier viewing.
  • Norwegian Sun: This ship will operate a mix of nine- to 11-night sailings to Alaska out of Seattle. The list of port calls varies based on the length of the trips.
  • Norwegian Bliss: The 4,002-passenger vessel will operate seven-night voyages to Alaska round trip out of Seattle. On most sailings, it will call at Sitka, Juneau, Ketchikan and Icy Strait Point in Alaska, plus Victoria, British Columbia. It will also visit Alaska’s Endicott Arm for glacier viewing. Some sailings at the start and end of the season substitute a visit to Skagway and Glacier Bay National Park for the stops in Sitka and Icy Strait Point, and drop the visit to Endicott Arm.
  • Norwegian Jewel. The 2,376-passenger ship will operate one-way voyages to Alaska between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Seward, Alaska. The trips typically include stops in Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan, plus a visit to either Glacier Bay National Park or Icy Strait Point.

In recent years, the 2,018-passenger Norwegian Spirit also has spent its summers sailing in Alaska, but its Alaska voyages for 2024 were canceled as a result of the vessel being chartered to another company.

The appeal of the one-way sailings on Norwegian Jewel is that they can be combined with Norwegian-organized land tours of Alaska lasting from three to six days to create 10- to 13-night “cruisetours.”

The land tour portion of such trips brings visits to such well-known interior Alaska locations as Denali National Park and the town of Fairbanks.

Related: The ultimate Alaska cruise guide

Bermuda

Norwegian Joy is one of two Norwegian Cruise Line ships that will sail to Bermuda in 2023. NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE

Norwegian usually deploys two ships on Bermuda runs every year — one out of New York City and one out of Boston.

In both cases, the sailings offered are mostly seven nights in length and include a two-night stay in Bermuda.

For 2024, Norwegian will devote one of its biggest and newest ships, the 3,802-passenger Norwegian Joy, to Bermuda. It will run out of New York. The line’s 2,394-passenger Norwegian Gem will sail to Bermuda out of Boston.

In addition, the line’s 3,969-passenger Norwegian Getaway will operate a handful of sailings to Bermuda out of New York during the early part of 2024, and the 3,963-passenger Norwegian Breakaway will operate a few sailings to Bermuda out of New York toward the end of 2024.

The line’s relatively new Norwegian Prima will operate a single Bermuda sailing out of New York at the end of 2024.

While most of Norwegian’s Bermuda sailings are seven nights in length, the line also sometimes offers a few shorter four- and five-night Bermuda sailings and, occasionally, a longer, nine-night Bermuda sailing.

Note that the shorter Bermuda sailings can offer very little time in the country, sometimes as few as nine hours.

Bottom line

Norwegian offers a wide range of itineraries in destinations around the world, from the Caribbean to Asia. However, you’ll find the most choices among Norwegian itineraries in the Caribbean and Europe.

The line is also well-known for voyages around Hawaii and to Bermuda. Its Hawaii sailings, in particular, are something of a rarity in the industry.

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