Norwegian Cruise Line, a global cruise travel operator with a 56-year legacy, is eagerly preparing to resume sailings in Asia after a hiatus of more than three years. The recently refurbished Norwegian Jewel is poised for a spectacular comeback, with scheduled returns to Tokyo on October 19, 2023, and Singapore on November 11, 2023.
In the upcoming six-month Asian season of the Norwegian Jewel, there will be a diverse array of 16 immersive itineraries, each offering a rich experience in ports across 11 different countries. The ship will set sail from nine distinct departure ports, including Tokyo and Yokohama in Japan, Taipei (Keelung) in Taiwan, Bangkok (Laem Chabang) in Thailand, Bali (Benoa) in Indonesia, and Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang) in Malaysia. These cruises will vary in duration, spanning from 10 to 14 days, and the season will introduce several noteworthy milestones, such as Norwegian Cruise Line’s inaugural departures from Manila, Philippines, and Seoul (Incheon), South Korea. Additionally, there will be six new ports of call, namely Manila, Boracay, Palawan, and Salomague in the Philippines, Bintan Island in Indonesia, and Hualien in Taiwan.
The refurbished Norwegian Jewel
The Norwegian Jewel has a capacity for 2,376 guests, featuring 13 bars and 15 dining options, including three Asian restaurants: Sushi, Teppanyaki and Chin Chin. Guests can enjoy activities including a game of basketball or indulge in wellness at Mandara Spa and Thermal Suite, complete with Thalasso Therapy Pool, steam room and sauna. Check out our experience in the therapy pool in the Norwegian Prima last October.
Norwegian Jewel Asia Season Highlights
- An 11-day Asia: Singapore, Thailand & Vietnam cruise from Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang), Malaysia to Bangkok (Laem Chabang), Thailand via nine destinations, including Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, Sihanoukville in Cambodia and Ko Samui in Thailand. Departing 11 December 2023.
- An 11-day Asia: Osaka, Kochi, Nagoya & Himeji cruise from Taipei (Keelung), Taiwan to Tokyo, Japan with no sea days. 11 ports of call include Okinawa, Mt Fuji (Shimizu) and an overnight stay in Kyoto (Osaka). Departing 29 February 2024.
- An 11-day Asia: Thailand, Vietnam & Malaysia cruise from Singapore to Bangkok (Laem Chabang) via Langkawi and Penang in Malaysia as well as Phuket and Ko Samui in Thailand. Departing 5 January 2024.
Ben Angell, NCL VP and Managing Director, APAC shared with us details about NCL’s return to Asia and some of the features aboard the Norwegian Jewel.
Prior to the pandemic, what were the itineraries and which Norwegian ship sailed from Singapore as well as the region? Also, which other Norwegian ships have been through Singapore?
NCL has a long history of sailing in Asia, most recently with Norwegian Joy, Jade and Jewel between 2017-2020. Over the years, we’ve offered a number of cruises that depart from Singapore, as well as voyages that include Singapore as a port of call.
We pride ourselves on offering immersive itineraries to unique destinations – by creating open-jaw sailings versus roundtrip cruises, we can visit lesser-known locales while also spending longer (more time) in port and including extended overnight stays.
In November 2023, Norwegian Jewel will be the first NCL ship to return to Singapore after more than three years. Subsequently, in 2024/25, we’ll triple our offering in Asia with three ships set to visit Singapore – Norwegian Sun, Sky and Spirit.
Could you help me highlight some of the key entertainment features of the Jewel worthy of mention?
No one does entertainment like NCL! Norwegian Jewel is no exception with impressive entertainment options that cater to all tastes, whether you’re a family with children or a couple looking for a fun night out.
One of the highlights of the ship is the Stardust Theater, a grand venue that offers a wide range of options that will ensure our guests are entertained throughout their voyage, from live performances to Broadway-style productions to comedy acts. Whether you are looking for a laugh, a bit of magic or a night of dancing, there is something for everyone.
One of the most popular shows on Norwegian Jewel is Rock You Tonight, which promises an unforgettable evening of live music and dance. The talented production cast and showband come together to deliver a high-energy performance featuring iconic songs from Queen, Journey, and The Who. This production is a true athletic explosion of dance, with performers leaping and spinning across the stage in a captivating display of skill and artistry. Alternatively, if you’re a fan of disco, then you’ll love Velvet. This show transports guests back to the disco era of the 1970s with its dazzling costumes, music and vibrant dance routines.
For those looking for a lively night out, the Bliss Ultra Lounge is the place to be. You enter the nightclub through an illuminated tunnel before arriving at the lit-from-within bar and the dance floor – the perfect spot to unwind and have fun after an adventurous day on shore. Norwegian Jewel also offers a casino, complete with a range of games such as blackjack and roulette.
For some family fun, the video arcade is a great spot to keep the kids entertained with classic and modern arcade games. NCL also offers two youth programs, Splash Academy and Entourage, which provide age-appropriate activities and entertainment for children and teenagers. Splash Academy caters to children aged 3 to 12 years old and offers various activities such as arts and crafts, sports and video games, while Entourage is designed for teenagers aged 13 to 17 years old and features pool parties, movie nights, video game tournaments, and themed parties, with the latest technology. Both programs are supervised by experienced and certified youth counselors who ensure a safe and fun environment for the children and teenagers.
For wellness, the Mandara Spa and Thermal Suite offers sumptuous treatments such as massages, facials and hairstyling. Don’t miss the Thermal Suite for a truly relaxing and rejuvenating experience, boasting steam room, sauna, hot tub, thalasso therapy pool and heated mosaic loungers.
Could you also furnish more information about the Haven on board the Jewel?
We enhanced all accommodations on Norwegian Jewel during a significant revitalisation in late 2021. All cabins were completely refreshed with new furniture, carpets and soft furnishings, as well as brand-new modern bathrooms throughout.
The Haven by Norwegian is an exclusive ‘ship within a ship’ area of Norwegian Jewel, offering elevated and spacious accommodations for guests seeking a more intimate and private experience while also enjoying all the facilities and entertainment that only a larger ship can offer. The Haven includes a private courtyard, pool and restaurant reserved for Haven guests.
The Haven Villas are the epitome of comfort on the ship, adorned with modern decor with a private balcony, separate living and dining areas as well as a capacious bathroom that includes a tub. With exclusive amenities such as 24-hour butler service; priority embarkation and disembarkation; plus access to the Haven Courtyard, Sundeck and Lounge; guests can be sure to enjoy a truly exceptional experience.
Guests can choose from several types of Haven suites on Norwegian Jewel, including the Haven Courtyard Penthouse, the Haven Deluxe Owner’s Suite, the 2-Bedroom Family Villa and the 3-Bedroom Garden Villa. Whether guests are looking for a romantic getaway or a family vacation with multi-generational options, The Haven offers our most elegant accommodations.