Norwegian Cruise Line has announced the cancellation of three Norwegian Epic cruises. All sailing in 2025, the cruise line cites a dry dock the ship is scheduled for during the spring of 2025.
The cancellation is one of several that Norwegian Cruise Line has announced lately, including thirteen cruises between December 2023 and April 2024. NCL has also cancelled several cruises onboard other ships in recent weeks for various reasons.
Three Norwegian Epic Cruises Cancelled
Norwegian Cruise Line recently sent guests an email announcing the cancellation of three scheduled sailings on the Norwegian Epic. The affected voyages, scheduled to sail on April 15, April 20, and May 5 in 2025, have been scrapped due to a dry dock and revitalization of the ship.
In a letter issued to guests and travel partners, Norwegian Cruise Line states: “As part of our commitment to continuously offer extraordinary vacation experiences around the world for our guests and to uphold a consistent world-class product across our fleet, Norwegian Epic will be undergoing a revitalization in 2025.”
“In order to complete these enhancements, Norwegian Epic’s sailings on April 15, 2025, April 20, 2025, and May 5, 2025, have been canceled. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.”
The three cancelled cruises were the first of Norwegian Epic’s summer season cruises in Europe. The dry dock will follow the Epic-class ship’s transatlantic cruise from New York City on March 31.
During the transatlantic cruise, the cruise ship will visit Kings Wharf, Bermuda; Ponta Delgada, Azores; Lisbon, Portugal; Barcelona, Spain; Cannes, France; Livorno and Naples, Italy; and concludes in Civitavecchia on April 15.
In light of the cancellations, Norwegian Cruise Line has announced a full refund for the guests booked on these cruises. In addition to the refunds, the cruise line also offers a 10% discount in the form of a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) for a future voyage. This credit can be used for any sailing through December 31, 2025.
With space for 4,100 passengers at double occupancy, the 155,873 gross-ton Norwegian Epic was the third-largest cruise ship in the world when she launched in 2009.
Sixteen Cruises Canceled for Norwegian Epic in One Month
The cancellation of the three cruises in 2025 follows a similar pattern to a series of cancellations of Norwegian Epic’s sailings announced in May 2023, due to the vessel’s redeployment. In total, 16 cruise cancellations have been announced for Norwegian Epic in the last two weeks.
Towards the end of May 2023, Norwegian Cruise Line announced it would cancel thirteen European cruises and instead said it opted to redeploy Norwegian Epic to the Caribbean. The ship will offer guests seven-day cruises from Port Canaveral, Florida, to the Eastern and Western Caribbean.
In January, NCL cancelled a full month of cruises onboard Norwegian Joy for a dry dock in early 2024. Twelve Alaska cruises were also cancelled for Norwegian Spirit recently, although the ship will remain in service for charter sailings. The 2025 transatlantic crossing for Norwegian Breakaway has also been cancelled.
This cancellation pattern raises some questions about Norwegian Cruise Line’s operational strategies. Most cruise lines schedule dry docks and charter sailings well in advance to avoid disrupting their cruise schedules.
The question that naturally arises is why NCL put cruises up for sale only to cancel them later in favor of charter sailings or dry docks.
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It is important to understand that this practice affects not only the passengers who have booked in anticipation of a relaxing cruise. It also impacts travel agents and agencies who have to deal with the inconvenience and disappointment of their clients.
While the offer of refunds and discounts for future voyages somewhat cushions the blow for affected passengers, the potential long-term implications of these disruptions on NCL’s reputation and customer loyalty could be significant.