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blueliner February 11th, 2008 09:00 PM

NCL Pulls Pride of Aloha from Hawaii Fleet

Company announces Pride of America’s deployment through 2010
Pride of Aloha to leave the fleet in May

HONOLULU – February 11, 2008 –NCL Corporation (“NCL?) today announced the withdrawal of Pride of Aloha from the Hawai‘i market effective May 11, 2008. The ship is being transferred to Star Cruises and will be re-flagged and deployed in Asia in the summer of 2008.

The remaining year-round ship in Hawai‘i will be the larger and newer Pride of America, introduced in 2005, a vessel specifically designed and built for Hawai’i cruising. The company announced, and put on sale, Pride of America’s sailings through 2010 offering its popular inter-island cruises departing every Saturday from Honolulu.

Since the announcement a year ago of Pride of Hawai‘i’s temporary transfer to NCL's European deployment, renamed as Norwegian Jade, the company has embarked on a major fleet-wide initiative called Freestyle 2.0 featuring significant product and hardware upgrades to its modern fleet, including Pride of America. The Freestyle 2.0 program will further enhance the on-board experience taking Freestyle Cruising to the next level. Enhancements include a major investment in the total dining experience; upgrading the stateroom experience; new wide ranging on-board activities for all guests; additional recognition, service and amenities for balcony, suite and villa guests; and the establishment of casual action-station restaurants taking the place of the “traditional? buffet experience. Freestyle 2.0 will be in place on Pride of America and across NCL’s fleet, now the youngest fleet in the cruise industry, by the middle of May 2008.

“Pride of Aloha pioneered the new inter-island market but, as we move forward with Freestyle 2.0 to take our product to the next level across what is already the youngest fleet in the industry, we cannot justify further investment in this ship,? said Andy Stuart, NCL’s executive vice president of marketing, sales and passenger services. “Withdrawing Pride of Aloha was an extremely difficult but necessary commercial decision; however we see a strong future for the long-term flagship in Hawai‘i, Pride of America. In Pride of America, we have created a commercially successful modern U.S. Flag cruise ship home ported in Hawai‘i - the first time that has ever been achieved. With Pride of America, we are offering a high quality product, on a world class ship sailing one of the most exciting itineraries available in the industry.

“With today’s announcement of Pride of America’s itinerary through 2010, our guests and travel partners can choose a Freestyle Cruising vacation on a big, modern ship visiting all four main islands and featuring more time to explore ashore than any other cruise line sailing in Hawai‘i. In the longer term, as demand continues to grow for this premium experience, we hope to bring back our other modern purpose-built U.S.-flag ship, Pride of Hawai‘i.?

Guests booked on Pride of Aloha

For guests booked on Pride of Aloha from May 11, 2008 and beyond, NCL is holding space and will offer the same cruise fare as they currently have paid on their Pride of Aloha cruise if they would like to transfer to the same week on Pride of America, departing one day earlier. In addition:

• Guests will receive a $100 per person on-board credit (up to $200 per stateroom).

• For guests who made their air and/or hotel arrangements through NCL, NCL will protect the rates they currently have paid and cover any air or hotel change fees.

• For guests who purchased their own air, NCL will protect up to the first $100 per person of any increase in air costs and cover up to $75 per person in air change fees.

• For guests who made independent hotel arrangements, NCL will cover any hotel change fees up to $25 per person.

Guests may book any other NCL cruise and receive a $100 per person on-board credit (up to $200 per stateroom) if they rebook by March 7, 2008. In addition, NCL will cover up to $75 per person in air change fees and up to $25 per person in hotel change fees.

Guests may cancel their cruise and receive a full refund if NCL is notified by March 7, 2008. In addition, NCL will cover up to $75 per person in air change fees and up to $25 per person in hotel change fees. After March 7, 2008 cancellation fees will apply in accordance with NCL’s cancellation policy.

Mean Dean February 12th, 2008 03:06 AM

Just read this week of some interesting legislation Congress is considering regarding foreign-flagged cruise vessels intineraries...........


Kuki February 12th, 2008 03:34 AM

Unfortunately sad but rather expected. NCL America (NCLA) put alot of money and effort into attempting to make cruising in a the Hawaiian islands a winner.

But having to use almost exclusively US crew, and abide by all US labor laws left it unable to deliver a product cruises have come to expect for their cruise vacation dollars.

Maybe they feel they can still get enough good crew for one ship if they choose the best from those they had on three ships.

NCL has been the most innovative cruise line over the past couple of years, and have the other cruise lines rushing to imitate them in many ways. They also have the youngest fleet in the industry.

But with the restrictions on NCLA they were unable to offer the same product as they do on the NCL fleet. And there's many sad things to be said for that.... but not about the company, in my opinion.

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