Australian cruising grew over the weekend with one more ship and thousands of extra beds at sea thanks to Norwegian Cruise Line, which sent Norwegian Jewel to home-base from Sydney this season.

Norwegian’s first Australia-based cruise ship sailed into the Harbour City on Sunday, giving locals access to the brand over the full peak cruising period and to mark the line’s long-term focus on the region.

Sadly, the cruise line’s closest celebrity friend, Pitbull, wasn’t on board when Jewel sailed in, but there was Norwegian’s unique cruising concept, which includes no pre-assigned seating or set dining times in world-class dining venues, immersive destination experiences, diverse onboard activities and a wide range of accommodation options.

Norwegian Jewel 2

As the brand’s first Australia-based ship, bosses say she’s drummed up a fair bit of attention in the market and interest has “exceeded expectations”.

“The current booking season [is] already close to capacity before it has even started – testament to the strong support we’ve received from our travel partners.”

Steve Odell, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Senior Vice President and Managing Director Asia Pacific

“The way Australian cruisers and our trade partners have embraced Norwegian Jewel’s inaugural season has exceeded our expectations, with the current booking season already close to capacity before it has even started – testament to the strong support we’ve received from our travel partners.”

Norwegian Jewel 3

During her November 2017 to February 2018 time in local waters, Norwegian’s first Australia-based cruise ship will embark on a total of nine sailings commencing with a five-day sampler to Tasmania, visiting Burnie and Hobart before returning to Sydney.

Other season highlights include a nine-day voyage calling at regional gems such as Eden, Kangaroo Island and Burnie, departing 14 December 2017, and a series of ten to 16-day Australia & New Zealand itineraries visiting destinations including Milford Sound and the Bay of Islands.

Following her inaugural Australian and New Zealand season, Norwegian Jewel will travel to Asia, and then on to Alaska for the Northern Hemisphere summer before making her way back to Australia and New Zealand next year.

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