Norwegian Cruise Ship Makes Maiden Call at Port of Valencia

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The Port of Valencia has welcomed Norwegian Breakaway for the first time. The traditional “socarrat” ceremony, which involves the vessel’s captain receiving a Valencian terracotta tile, was held to commemorate the ship’s arrival. 

Norwegian Breakaway arrived in Valencia from Malaga with 3,596 passengers on board; the call is part of the cruise ship’s transatlantic crossing from New York City to Rome, Italy.

Norwegian Breakaway’s First Visit to Valencia

The Port of Valencia in Spain welcomed Norwegian Breakaway on May 2, 2023 on the maiden call for the 145,655-gross-ton Breakaway-class cruise ship. 

The Port Authority of Valencia welcomed the vessel during a plaque exchange ceremony where the authorities handed over a “socarrat,” a Valencian terracotta tile decorated with nautical elements, to the captain of the Norwegian Breakaway. Francesca Antonelli, the head of Marketing and Cruises at the Port Authority of Valencia (PAV), presented the gift to the ship’s representatives. 

Norwegian Breakaway Socarrat Presentation
Norwegian Breakaway Socarrat Presentation (Photo Credit: Port Authority of Valencia)

In Valencia, guests can explore the world-famous City of Arts and Sciences, visit the Oceanographic aquarium, and admire the historic Cathedral. They can also stroll through the Turia Gardens and taste authentic paella, which originates in Valencia.

Norwegian Breakaway is currently sailing a 16-day transatlantic cruise which started on April 20 in New York City, with stops in Bermuda, the Azores, Portugal, Cadiz, Malaga, Valencia, and Barcelona today, May 3. The ship is still to call on Cannes, in France; Livorno, in Italy, and conclude the cruise on May 6 in Civitavecchia (Rome).

This summer season, Norwegian Breakaway will be sailing a series of 9-, 10-, and 11-night cruises to the Greek Islands and Italy. The cruises will stop at popular destinations such as Santorini, Mykonos, and Florence. Other ports of call include Piraeus, Argostoli, and Katakolon, Greece; La Valletta, Malta; Messina and Naples, Italy; and Cannes, France.

Summer Season Brings Busy Schedule for Port of Valencia

The arrival of Norwegian Breakaway is just the beginning of a busy summer season for the Port of Valencia. The port has scheduled a total of 209 cruise calls between May and December this year, with 63 different cruise ships expected to visit in the coming month alone. 

Valencia has been placing more importance on cruise-ship-based tourism of late, with plans to make the port more sustainable by offering solar-powered shore power to visiting cruise ships and by expanding the excursions on offer. 

P&O Arvia Cruise Ship
Photo Courtesy: P&O Cruises / James Robinson for Christopher Ison

The season kicked off with the visit of two of the most sustainable ships currently sailing in Europe, MSC Seashore and P&O’s Arvia. The Port of Valencia also celebrated their arrival by presenting the traditional socarrat to the captains of both ships. 

MSC Seashore was the first ship to arrive this season, followed by Arvia, a P&O Cruises’ Excel class ship, which was only recently christened in Barbados. Powered by Liquefied Natural Gas, it can accommodate over 5,000 passengers and has a crew of 1,700.

Over the following months, cruise ships from all major cruise lines will be calling on Valencia, including Royal Caribbean International with Odyssey of the Seas and Viking with Viking Sea and Viking Saturn. Costa Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Silversea, and Seabourn also have ships calling to Valencia.

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