Cruise ship giant NCL is now offering cruises from Haifa port

The international vacation ship giant is joining the rivalry for Israeli vacationers by starting cruises for the first time in its history on voyages from the northern port city.

Norwegian Cruise Line ship (photo credit: NCL)
Norwegian Cruise Line ship
(photo credit: NCL)

The international cruise ship giant NCL (Norwegian Cruise Line) is joining the competition for Israeli vacationers and will start sailing from Haifa for the first time in its history, Maariv has learned. 

Norwegian Cruise Line

The local cruise market has been crowded and company owners are facing competitors like Mano Maritime and Royal Caribbean.

NCL will be sailing from Haifa to the Greek islands or other cities in the Mediterranean basin. The international company will start holiday cruises on November 15, which marks the beginning of the winter season. 

The cruise will be on the resort ship "Afik" which can hold 4000 vacationers. NCL’s maiden voyage will go from Haifa to Rome via Turkish ports and several Greek islands including Rhodes and Crete. The base price for the 12-night cruise is $1500 which includes meals at 50% of the restaurants on the ship.

Special experiences for Israeli market

Nick Wilkinson, global vice president at NCL, told Maariv that he doesn’t underestimate other cruise lines, but NCL isn’t competing with them. Instead, NCL looks at what vacations and experiences are available,  sees which attractions interest Israelis and acts accordingly. He added that “the Israeli market is very important to us.”

NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE’S ‘Norwegian Epic’ ship. (credit: Courtesy)NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE’S ‘Norwegian Epic’ ship. (credit: Courtesy)

"NCL is well known to Israelis. We’ll offer a competitive base price with attractive packages. The cruise is at the beginning of the winter season, and it’s intended not only for Israelis but for travelers from all over the world. The goal is to satisfy the needs of those seeking special experiences. Later in 2023, there’ll be more cruises.”

Nick Wilkinson, global vice president at NCL