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Wrapping inaugural Cape Town season, NCL says 2024 S. Africa 'selling fast'

Norwegian Jade is shown sailing from Cape Town. In 2024, Norwegian Dawn will cruise from there and from Port Louis, Mauritius
With Norwegian Jade completing Norwegian Cruise Line's first season sailing from Cape Town, South Africa, the company said its newly announced 2024 program is already going strong.

Since Dec. 21, Norwegian Jade has operated 12-day 'Extraordinary Journey' voyages along the coast of South Africa and Namibia with an overnight stay at Cape Town and visits to Mossel Bay, Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha) and Richard’s Bay, South Africa; and Luderitz and Walvis Bay, Namibia.

International and local travelers were carried.

Norwegian Dawn in 2024

Building on this, NCL will deploy Norwegian Dawn to the region between January and March 2024.

The 2,340-berth ship will sail from Cape Town and Port Louis, Mauritius on 'Extraordinary Journey' cruises.

Immersive itineraries

NCL President/CEO Harry Sommer said these more immersive itineraries combine 'bucket-list locations such as Cape Town and Mauritius with hidden gems like Pomene and Maputo in Mozambique or Fort Dauphin in Madagascar.' The calls average almost 12 hours.

Sommer said the new voyages are already among NCL's fastest selling cruises for 2024 and are attracting travelers from almost 60 countries.

Economic impact

According to Mireille Wenger, Western Cape minister of finance and economic opportunities, 'Cruise tourism generates R300 million [$17.4m] in economic impact for the Western Cape and supports thousands of jobs in the province. Positioning Cape Town as a homeport for international cruising and a gateway to Africa is a key growth opportunity for our region, and we welcome NCL’s commitment to sailing from Cape Town.'

Varied 2024 itineraries

On Jan. 3, 2024, Norwegian Dawn will embark on a 17-day repositioning cruise to the region, sailing for the first time in NCL's 56-year history from Doha, Qatar to Mauritius. The itinerary includes calls at the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Seychelles, Kenya, Tanzania and Madagascar.

On Jan. 20, the ship will offer a 12-day itinerary from Port Louis, Mauritius, calling at Pointe des Galets, Réunion; Fort Dauphin (Toalagnaro), Madagascar; Pomene and Maputo, Mozambique; Richard’s Bay, Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha), Mossel Bay and Cape Town.

On Feb. 1 and March 8, Norwegian Dawn will operate 12-day round-trips through South Africa and Namibia with calls at Mossel Bay, Durban, Luderitz and Walvis Bay. On March 20 the ship will embark on its most ambitious itinerary, sailing from Cape Town to Barcelona. The 21-day voyage along Africa’s west coast will visit ports in Namibia, Angola, Sao Tome and Principe, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Senegal, Cape Verde, Canary Islands and Morocco.

MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises maintains a regular seasonal presence in South Africa and will operate 35 sailings on MSC Splendida from Durban and Cape Town from November 2023 to early 2024.