Major Cruise Ship Pulls Out of China

norwegian joy china alaska $50 million
Norwegian Joy will undergo a $50 million renovation to be US-ready. - Photo by Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Joy will be joining her sister ship in Alaska. The vessel’s deployment in China didn’t quite go the way the cruise line was hoping, so she’s headed east for a slightly colder destination.

In April 2019, Norwegian Joy will reposition to Seattle for seven-day cruises to Alaska, replacing Norwegian Pearl as the line’s third ship in the area alongside Norwegian Bliss and Jewel. Before arriving there, Joy will be updated to virtually mirror Norwegian Bliss. The renovations will cost approximately $50 million. One notable thing that will stay the same on Norwegian Joy will be the Galaxy Pavilion which offers simulator rides, interactive video walls, and — also featured on Bliss — the race track and laser tag arena.

norwegian joy galaxy pavilion laser tag
Galaxy Pavilion - Photo by Norwegian Cruise Line

Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, gave this explanation for the Norwegian Joy switcheroo: “The booming demand environment in our core markets around the world, coupled with Norwegian Bliss’ record-breaking performance, continue to exceed our expectations. As a result, we are leveraging the strategic benefits of our growing fleet to quickly seize sizable opportunities in over performing, unserved and underserved markets to meet the demands of our global customer base and drive higher returns for our shareholders.” In other words, the Chinese market received a lot of ships from multiple lines in a short period of time, and demand in that part of the world didn’t meet the massive supply of cabins to fill.

Norwegian Joy will sail Mexican Riviera and Panama Canal itineraries in winter 2019-2020, while Norwegian Pearl, who Joy is replacing in Alaska, will be moved to Europe in summer 2019. Norwegian Jade and Jewel will be heading to Australasia in winter 2019-2020, and Norwegian Cruise Line will keep a small presence in China with one ship: Norwegian Spirit will homeport there seasonally beginning summer 2020. 

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