Norwegian Cruise Itinerary Dramatically Altered for Sustainability

One sailing for Norwegian Sky is changing times for every port of call and rearranging the itinerary, all for sustainability.

Guests booked aboard the June 8, 2023 sailing of Norwegian Sky will have a dramatically different itinerary than originally planned. Ports of call have been rearranged and the length of every single port stay has been adjusted for a radical loss of time in port, all in the name of the cruise line’s global sustainability program, Sail & Sustain.

Ports Rearranged for Norwegian Sky

The June 8, 2023 sailing of Norwegian Sky is a 10-night roundtrip sailing from Miami, with seven ports of call from The Bahamas to Puerto Rico and many ports in between.

On the itinerary are Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian Cruise Line’s private island destination, as well as San Juan, St. Maarten, St. Johns, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, and Puerto Plata.

Norwegian Sky Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: EQRoy / Shutterstock

Norwegian Cruise Line has now reached out to travel partners and booked guests about changes for the sailing, however.

All the same ports of call are remaining on the cruise, but the itinerary has now been rearranged, and with Great Stirrup Cay moving from the first port of call to the last port visited. Likewise, Puerto Plata has been moved from the end of the original itinerary to the first port of call for the rearranged cruise.

More Than a Full Day Lost

The remaining five ports of call for the sailing will still be on the same days as originally scheduled, but every single port has had the visit times adjusted, with six out of seven ports now having shorter visit times, and only one port – Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic – extending the visit by just one hour.

The adjusted times are as follows:

  • Great Stirrup Cay – 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. will now be 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (-30 minutes)
  • San Juan – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. will now be 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (-2 hours)
  • St. Maarten – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. will now be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (-3 hours)
  • St. John’s – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. will now be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (-4 hours)
  • St. Kitts – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.m will now be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (-4 hours)
  • St. Thomas – 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. will now be 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. (-1.5 hours)
  • Puerto Plata – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. will now be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (+1 hour)

In total, 14 hours of port time is being trimmed from the itinerary, more than a full day’s typical port visit time. This will impact the number of shore tours that can be offered and will trim any extra, at leisure time either guests or crew members may have been able to enjoy while in the port of call.

Norwegian Sky Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Stefan Ugljevarevic / Shutterstock

Any shore tours booked through Norwegian Cruise Line are being automatically adjusted to the new port visit days and times, and guests do not need to take any action to guarantee pre-booked tours.

Any guests who have made independent tour arrangements should contact their tour operators to make adjustments, request refunds if possible, or inquire about other options.

All for Sustainability

Norwegian Cruise Line is making these adjustments to support its global sustainability program.

“We are continually seeking opportunities to reduce our overall carbon footprint, and recently committed to pursuing net zero greenhouse gas emissions across our operations and value chain by 2050,” the email explained. “To support this mission, we have optimized our arrival and departure times.”

By trimming the time in port, a cruise ship can sail at a slower speed between ports of call. Slower speeds are more efficient on the engines, reducing emissions, maximizing fuel efficiency, and reducing overall wear on the engines.

Norwegian has made similar changes to other ship’s itineraries recently, including adjustments to two Norwegian Getaway sailings in January, as well as a change to eight different Norwegian Joy departures from May through August, all removing Norfolk, Virginia from the itinerary.

How much difference these changes have made to the cruise line’s overall sustainability goals has not been disclosed, but may be shared at a later date with annual reports or other reviews.

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