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NCL expanding to Jacksonville with varied cruises in multiyear deal

Startting in November 2025, Norwegian Gem will sail seasonally (November to April) from Jacksonville every year through 2028
Norwegian Cruise Line is expanding to a new homeport, Jacksonville, Florida, with short and long sailings starting in November 2025.

The JAXPORT board of directors approved an agreement for Norwegian Gem to sail seasonally (November to April) from Jacksonville every year through 2028.

Three-, four-, 11- and 12-day cruises

Norwegian Gem will operate three 12-day and two 11-day round-trip Eastern Caribbean sailings to Great Stirrup Cay, Puerto Plata, St. Thomas, Antigua, St. Kitts and San Juan, Puerto Rico, among other destinations. The ship also will sail four- and five-day Bahamas cruises to Great Stirrup Cay, Freeport and Nassau.

Joins year-round line Carnival

Carnival Cruise Line has been JAXPORT's resident cruise operator for many years. Carnival sails year-round four- and five-day Bahamas jaunts.

NCL said Jacksonville is a growing drive-to cruise market, with more than 98m consumers living within driving distance of the JAXPORT Cruise Terminal. The terminal is located minutes from major interstates, including I-10 and I-95, with fast access to and from Jacksonville International Airport.

'We look forward to Norwegian Gem’s arrival to Jacksonville in November 2025, and welcoming guests from the area as well as neighboring cities and states, on board to deliver them an exceptional vacation,' NCL President David Herrera said.

Bookings open Feb. 15.

Economic impact

Jacksonville's cruise industry is responsible for nearly 800 jobs and more than $187m in annual economic impact for Northeast Florida, according to a 2019 study. Sixty percent of travelers surveyed cited easy access to the port as the primary reason for cruising from Jacksonville.

And more than three-quarters of passengers surveyed said they would be 'very likely' to return to Jacksonville for a future vacation.