Norwegian Cruise Line has decided to cancel three months’ of sailings for the Norwegian Escape. The cruise line cited “fleet redeployment” as the primary reason for this decision.
Nevertheless, while the cruise line may have plans for the Norwegian Escape, the shift will undoubtedly impact numerous guests, primarily since the cancellations encompass three 14-day voyages – typically booked well in advance compared to shorter cruises.
The redeployment is one in a string of announcements from the cruise line in the past year, where it cancelled cruises for numerous ships.
Impact on Guests and Bookings
Norwegian Cruise Line has cancelled a total of eight cruises onboard Norwegian Escape between January and March 2025.
The move is especially notable because among the cancelled sailings are three 14-day cruises – a significant highlight for many guests who plan their vacations long in advance.
The cancellations span from January 3, 2025, to March 21, 2025. With these sailings just over a year away, the implications for guests who had already set their sights on these dates are evident.
In an official letter sent out to guests and travel partners, Norwegian Cruise Line said:
“As a result of a fleet redeployment, Norwegian Escape’s sailings from January 3, 2025, through and including March 21, 2025, have been canceled. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We sincerely appreciate your understanding and, as always, are at your service.”
Guests affected by this cancellation will receive full refunds within 30 business days. For those who utilized a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) for their bookings, the credit will be restored to their accounts. Moreover, as a gesture of goodwill, the cruise line is offering a 10% discount as an FCC for future voyages, valid through the end of 2025.
Impacted Norwegian Escape Cruises
The sailing dates for the affected voyages are the three fourteen-day voyages sailing on January 3, 17, and 31. Additionally, five seven-day cruises are affected, sailing February 14, 21, and 28, as well as March 7 and 14.
A glance at the affected sailings provides insight into the extent of the changes—the three 14-night voyages through the Caribbean were due to sail to destinations such as Cozumel and the Dominican Republic.
The cruises would have taken guests from Galveston, Texas, to ports such as Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas, St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, Cozumel in Mexico, and St. Lucia, among others.
The 7-night Caribbean cruises featured calls to popular spots in the Western Caribbean, including Norwegian’s private island Harvest Caye in Belize, Cozumel, and Roatan.
History Repeats Itself
History is repeating itself with Norwegian Cruise Line. This isn’t the first instance where the company announced a redeployment that led to the cancellation of multiple cruises.
Previously, Norwegian Cruise Line eliminated Norwegian Epic‘s upcoming winter season from Europe. In a communication to its customers, the cruise line confirmed the removal of 11 cruises spanning December 2023 to April 2024, attributing the decision once again to fleet redeployment.
In January, NCL cancelled an entire month of sailings for Norwegian Joy, setting the ship aside for a dry dock in early 2024.
Additionally, a dozen Alaska cruises on the Norwegian Spirit were scrapped, although it’s worth noting that the ship is still in service but reserved for charter sailings. Fast forward to 2025, and the transatlantic crossing scheduled for Norwegian Breakaway also won’t set sail.
More recently, in June, Norwegian Cruise Line decided to pull the plug on three Norwegian Epic cruises. These were all slated for 2025, with the justification being a dry dock the vessel will undergo during that year’s spring.
Cancelling cruises aboard the 164,998 gross tons, 4,266-guest Norwegian Escape draws attention to the decision-making at Norwegian Cruise Line’s headquarters.
While occasional alterations in itineraries are expected, the frequency of these changes might lead potential guests to think twice before making long-term bookings, given the perceived uncertainty around shifting deployments and changes in dry docks.