Norwegian Cruise Line’s Transatlantic Voyage Did Not Go as Planned

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As a wave of harsh weather continues to disrupt cruises around Iceland, Norwegian Prima becomes the latest vessel to alter its course. Following in the wake of the Sky Princess, which saw four ports cancelled in Iceland in the past week, Norwegian Prima was forced to revise its voyage plans, leaving guests with altered itineraries.

Due to arrive in Reykjavik on May 24, the ship made it to its homeport on May 25. Norwegian Cruise Line issued a letter to guests onboard, apologizing for the inconvenience caused, and has offered compensation in the form of a Future Cruise Credit (FCC). 

Norwegian Prima Cancels Two Ports Due to Bad Weather

Springtime doesn’t necessarily mean good weather in the North Atlantic, as thousands of cruise ship passengers have found out over the last few days. The latest ship to be affected is Norwegian Cruise Line’s flagship, Norwegian Prima.

The cruise ship set sail on a transatlantic voyage on May 14 from New York City. The itinerary was designed to provide guests with an extensive exploration of the North Atlantic, stopping at Halifax and Sydney in Nova Scotia before reaching Iceland.

After the vessel missed a call in Isafjordur due to weather conditions on May 23, NCL notified passengers onboard Norwegian Prima of more itinerary changes, citing weather conditions as the catalyst.

Norwegian Prima Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Melissa Mayntz

Originally scheduled to make port calls at Isafjordur on May 23 and Reykjavik on May 24 and 25, the 142,500 gross tons cruise ship with a capacity of 3,219 guests found itself in a holding pattern for most of May 24 and the early hours of May 25.

However, the ship eventually reached its destination in Reykjavik, docking at 3 AM today, May 25. Recognizing the inconvenience, NCL issued a formal apology to its guests, emphasizing its commitment to guest safety. The company’s leadership expressed their shared disappointment, stating:

“We appreciate your patience over the last few days, as we navigated through some inclement weather, which unfortunately impacted the original itinerary. However, as always, your safety and that of our crew is our number one priority… We apologize for any inconvenience these changes may have caused and share your disappointment.”

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The cruise line also announced it would extend a 25% discount as a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) for passengers to rebook their cruise, adding a 50% FCC for those who choose to sail on any of NCL’s European voyages in 2023.

Weather Forecast for Upcoming Norwegian Prima Cruise

As Norwegian Prima prepares for its next cruise, departing on May 25, 2023, out of Reykjavik, weather forecasts indicate smooth sailing towards Isafjordur and Akureyri. 

However, the outlook is less promising for the ship’s crossing to Alesund in Norway, with wave heights potentially reaching up to 20 feet. The prospect of bad weather raises the possibility of Norwegian Prima staying overnight from May 25 to 26 rather than the original plan of May 24 to 25.

Norwegian Prima Cruise Ship
Photo Courtesy: Norwegian Cruise Line

These weather-induced disruptions highlight the unpredictable nature of cruising in the North Atlantic, especially around Iceland. However, they also underscore the importance of cruise lines prioritizing the safety of passengers and crew members, particularly in dangerous areas such as the North Atlantic. 

This series of events mirrors the recent disruption of Sky Princess‘s voyage, which had its itinerary significantly altered due to similar weather conditions. The 145,281 gross ton Royal-class ship, housing 3,660 guests, had to cancel four of its stops in Iceland, much to the disappointment of those onboard.

Following the conclusion of a season sailing in the United States, Norwegian Prima will now operate in Europe for the summer, sailing from several different homeports, including Reykjavik, Southampton, Barcelona, and Civitavecchia.

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