The Pride of Hawaii left Honolulu this week on a five-day cruise to Los Angeles, where it will enter a six-day wet dock and become the Norwegian Jade.

NCL America's newest ship is leaving the Hawaii-based fleet and giving up its U.S.-flag status. It will begin sailing in Europe this summer as a foreign-flagged vessel.

NCL announced last spring that the ship would no longer be used for Hawaii interisland cruises because of overcapacity in the market, due to its own growth and competition from other lines operating cruises from West Coast ports.

That decision prompted Customs and Border Protection, a unit of the Department of Homeland Security, to propose changes to the interpretation of the Passenger Vessel Services Act that would require foreign-flagged cruise ships to spend 48 hours in foreign ports en route to U.S. ports.

On Feb. 16, the Norwegian Jade will depart Los Angeles on a 13-day Panama Canal cruise that ends in Miami on Feb. 29. The Jade will then embark on a 13-day, transatlantic cruise, arriving in Barcelona, Spain, on March 13. NCL said it will add a casino during a wet dock there.

The Norwegian Jade's first European cruise, a 12-day trip from Barcelona to Istanbul, leaves on March 30. It will then operate a mix of 12-, 13- and 14-day eastern and western Mediterranean cruises departing from Barcelona, Istanbul and Athens.

At the end of May, the Norwegian Jade will be repositioned to Southampton, England. Through November, the Jade will be utilized for cruises to the Mediterranean, Norway's North Cape, western Europe and the British Isles.

To contact reporter Johanna Jainchill, send e-mail to [email protected].

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