Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has marked an important milestone by debuting in Haifa, Israel.
The 4,100-passenger Norwegian Epic marks the first of the cruise line's 18-ship fleet to homeport in Haifa. It recently departed from the Israeli city on a 11-day voyage to five countries including Israel, Cyprus, Turkey, Greece, and Italy.
The Norwegian Epic will then embark on a variety of 10-, 11-, and 12-day cruises with calls in Ashdod, Israel, Limassol, Cyprus, Rhodes, Greece, Naples, and Civitavecchia.
The debut, according to Nick Wilkinson, regional VP of Israel, Middle East and Africa, NCL, signifies "the beginning of a long-standing partnership between NCL and the region."
"The Israeli market is hugely important to us, and we know that our Israeli guests have been longing for embarkations out of their beautiful country for a while," Wilkinson added.
The ceremony that celebrated NCL's debut involved a traditional plaque exchange ceremony onboard Norwegian Epic, attended by Kobby Barda, the vice president of Israel’s ministry of tourism.
Wilkinson further revealed that the latest of NCL's ships, the Prima-class Norwegian Viva, will be visiting Haifa in 2025, reaffirming the significance of the Israeli market for NCL.
When the Norwegian Viva arrives in Haifa, cruisers can enjoy open-jaw voyages from Istanbul, Haifa and Piraeus in summer 2025. Featuring nine- and 10-day sailings, Norwegian Viva will call at ports in the Eastern Mediterranean including Mykonos and Santorini in Greece, Kusadasi in Turkey as well as Alexandria and Port Said in Egypt.