Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Spirit departed on its first cruise Feb. 14 after a 43-day, $100 million renovation.

The ship will operate a series of 17, 20 and 28-day cruises from Civitavecchia, Italy; Dubai; and Cape Town before homeporting in Athens starting April 19. The ship was redeployed following the cancellation of its previously planned Asia season due to coronavirus outbreak concerns.

The seven-day cruises from Athens will visit the Greek Isles, Turkey, and Israel through Nov. 8, calling in ports such as Rhodes, Mykonos; Santorini and Corfu, Greece; Kusadasi and Istanbul, Turkey; Ashdod and Haifa, Israel; Limassol, Cyprus; and two new ports of call for the brand, Patmos and Volos, Greece.

Part of the Norwegian Edge ship refurbishment program, the upgrade is the most extensive in Norwegian's history, the line said, and gives the vessel 14 new venues, additional and updated staterooms, enhanced public areas and new hull art.

The Mandara Spa was doubled in size and has a new thermal suite and relaxation area. The Pulse Fitness Center was expanded. The ship also houses Norwegian's second Onda by Scarpetta restaurant at sea (the first is on the Norwegian Encore). New complimentary dining venues include an additional main dining room, Taste; the 24-hour eatery, the Local Bar and Grill; the all-day dining outlet, Garden Caf; the Great Outdoors Bar; and Waves Pool Bar.

The Italian restaurant Onda by Scarpetta on the Norwegian Spirit.
The Italian restaurant Onda by Scarpetta on the Norwegian Spirit.

Also new are the Bliss Ultra Lounge and Spinnaker Lounge and the adults-only Spice H2O, a daytime lounge with two hot tubs and a dedicated bar, which becomes an after-hours entertainment venue.

The Spirit is part of a Norwegian fleetwide initiative launched Jan. 1 to be the first major cruise line to eliminate single-use plastic beverage bottles across its entire fleet.


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