Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Jewel returns to service and arrived in Colon, Panama, ahead of a cruise that will see the ship homeport in the city for the first time, but also the only time for now. The NCL vessel will embark on a 12-day cruise to San Diego, California.
In December of last year, Norwegian Cruise Line announced it had struck a deal with the Panama Tourism Authority, which allows the Company to homeport at the Colon and Fuerte Amador Cruise Terminals seasonally. A temporary pause in operations for Norwegian Cruise Line limited the number of departures for Norwegian Jewel to just this one.
Norwegian Jewel Resumes From Panama
Although she intended to resume operations on March 20, 2022, from Colon, it’s better late than never for Norwegian Jewel as the 93,502 gross ton vessel sets sail from the first-time homeport. Embarking guests were warmly welcomed by locals who were happy about the economic impact of the Norwegian Cruise Line visits on the region.
“Norwegian Jewel’s first sail is not just another major milestone in our Great Cruise Comeback but it’s the sign of a bright future as we will seasonally homeport from incredible Panama in November,” said Norwegian Cruise Line President and Chief Executive Officer, Harry Sommer. “With Norwegian Jewel’s diverse itineraries spanning voyages from Alaska to the Caribbean, guests will be able to see the world in one of our award-winning ships.”
On the Caribbean side of Panama, Colon is not well known as a cruise port but rather the entry port to the world-famous Panama Canal. The city has seen its fair share of ships passing by, yet Norwegian Jewel is the first one to call the city home.
From Colon, Norwegian Jewel will sail today on a cruise that will see plenty of highlights in Central America, with many ports not often visited by cruise liners.
After a passage of the Panama Canal, guests will be visiting Puntarenas in Costa Rica, followed by San Juan del Sur in Nicaragua, and Acajutia in El Salvador. It’s another stop in Central America with Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala, before Norwegian Jewel heads to Huatulco, Puerto Vallarta, and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, before arriving in San Diego, California, on April 10.
From San Diego, Norwegian Jewel will sail on three Mexican Riviera cruises before heading north to spend the summer in Alaska. Norwegian Jewel will be offering cruises alternating from Vancouver, Canada, and Seward, Alaska.
Norwegian Jewel is the first of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Jewel-class ships. While she is not the biggest cruise ship in the fleet at 93,502-gross-tons. She can accommodate 2,376 passengers, who will enjoy a luxurious 15 restaurants and a variety of bars and lounges on the 2005-built cruise ship. The ship entered service in 2005.
Strong Focus On Panama
It’s not just Norwegian Jewel to sail from Panama in the coming years. Norwegian Cruise Line plans to bring a significant amount of cruise ship calls to the Central American country. According to Norwegian’s President, for good reason:
“Part of our Company’s mission is to create unforgettable experiences in some of the most special places around the world,” said Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “This new agreement enables nearly 24,000 guests to experience the beauty of Panama each year.”
From January 14, 2023, Norwegian Gem will be calling in Panama on a select number of voyages, including an 11-day cruise with visits to Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curaçao; Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, and Grand Turk, before ending in New York City.
On December 6, 2023, Norwegian Joy will be sailing from Panama City’s cruise terminal, Fuerte Amador, and visit destinations such as Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; George Town, Grand Cayman; Roatán, Honduras; Harvest Caye, Belize; Cozumel, Mexico, and Great Stirrup Cay, the company’s private island in the Bahamas.
The cruise line has scheduled 18 cruises that call in Panama, of which eight during which one of Norwegian’s ships will use one of the country’s cruise ports as a homeport.