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Norwegian Cruise Line returning to Asia after 3 years, makes first calls to the Philippines |

Travel and Tourism

Norwegian Cruise Line returning to Asia after 3 years, makes first calls to the Philippines

Kristofer Purnell -
Norwegian Cruise Line returning to Asia after 3 years, makes first calls to the Philippines
Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line / released

MANILA, Philippines — Shipping company Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is going around Asia for the first time in three years after the Norwegian Jewel set sail from Tokyo, Japan to begin a six-month voyage in the continent.

The voyage will include NCL's first-ever calls to the Philippine capital Manila, tourist havens Boracay and Palawan, and Salomague in Ilocos Sur, as well as Indonesia's Bintan Island, Indonesia and Hualien, Taiwan.

Norwegian Jewel will visit 11 countries and sail from nine different departure ports, including Thai capital Bangkok, Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Taiwanese capital Taipei, Bali in Indonesia; Japanese cities Tokyo and Yokohama, and for the first time in NCL history, Incheon, South Korea.

"We pride ourselves in delivering the best vacation experience and providing endless opportunities for our guests to explore the world...  including Asia!" said NCL president David Herrera. "This region delivers some of the most intriguing history, cuisine, and culture for travellers to discover, and we are thrilled to deliver a diverse selection of port-rich voyages."

Cruises range up two weeks with an average of less than two sea days per sailing, where guests can enjoy up to 13 hours in iconic destinations like Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, as well as extended overnight stays in nightlife cities like Bali, Phuket in Thailand, and Osaka in Japan.

Related: Philippines hailed as ‘Asia’s best cruise destination’

Four NCL ships will be deployed in Asia by 2025, with Norwegian Spirit, Sun, and Sky joining Jewel going around ports in the continent.

Norwegian Spirit will go on a series of 14 Asia voyages over eight months from September 2024 to April 2025, with departures from Manila, Singapore, Taipei, Tokyo, and Seoul after a second consecutive season on Australian and New Zealand waters and repositioning cruises in the South Pacific.

Manila will be one of the stops of Norwegian Sky during a four-month season along with Singapore, Taipei, Tokyo, and Port Louis in Mauritius between December 2024 and March 2025.

The Philippines was recently recognized for the first time ever as Asia’s Best Cruise Destination 2023 at the World Cruise Awards in Dubai, United Arab Emirates last week, besting India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

In a bid to retain the title, the Philippine Ports Authority will develop new cruise terminals in Boracay, Coron, Camiguin, Siargao, and Puerto Galera.

RELATED: Disney unveils first 'eco' cruise ship visiting Southeast Asia

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