Norwegian Cruise Line Celebrates First Cruise Season in South Africa and Namibia

Gallivant Africa

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), the innovator in global cruise travel, celebrates a new milestone today having successfully concluded its inaugural season sailing from Cape Town. 

On Dec. 21, 2022, Norwegian Jade became the first vessel in the line’s 18 ship fleet to homeport from the South African port, offering international and local guests 12-day Extraordinary Journeys along the coast of South Africa and Namibia with an overnight stay in Cape Town and visits to Mossel Bay, Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth), Richard’s Bay, Luderitz and Walvis Bay. 

Kevin Bubolz, VP and Managing Director Continental Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “We are excited to offer our South African guests the opportunity to sail with NCL right from their doorstep and enjoy our unique ‘Freestyle Cruising’ philosophy without the need for long-haul travel and lengthy visa applications. We experience a growing demand for our cruises in South Africa. In fact, during her inaugural season in the region, Norwegian Jade welcomed the highest number of South African guests on any NCL cruise to date. After testing us locally, a growing number of guests opt for our long-haul cruises to bucket-list itineraries in Europe, Alaska or Asia.”

Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger, comments: “Cruise tourism generates R300 million in economic impact for the Western Cape and supports thousands of jobs in the province. Positioning Cape Town as a homeport for international and local cruising is a key growth opportunity for our region and we welcome NCL’s commitment to sailing out of Cape Town.” 

The international cruise line is building on its successful inaugural season in South Africa and has recently announced the deployment of Norwegian Dawn to the region in winter 2024. Homeporting from Cape Town and Port Louis, Mauritius, the 2,340-passenger ship will offer a series of Extraordinary Journey voyages between January and March 2024. 

“Mauritius has long been a popular holiday destination for South African travellers and Norwegian Dawn’s new itineraries provide for the perfect opportunity to combine a land-based vacation in Mauritius with a cruise that visits some of the most sought-after destinations in the neighbourhood, including Reunion, Madagascar and Mozambique, all while unpacking only once. The new itineraries prove very popular and are amongst our fastest selling cruises for 2024.”

On Jan. 20, 2024, Norwegian Dawn will sail a 12-day itinerary from Port Louis, Mauritius, calling to Pointe des Galets, Réunion; Fort Dauphin (Toalagnaro), Madagascar; Pomene and Maputo, Mozambique; Richard’s Bay, Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth), Mossel Bay and Cape Town. 

On Feb. 1 and Mar. 8, 2024, she will complete 12-day roundtrip voyages through South Africa and Namibia with calls to Mossel Bay, Durban, Luderitz and Walvis Bay before embarking on her most extensive itinerary on Mar. 20, sailing from Cape Town to Barcelona, Spain. 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. 


For more information about the Company’s award-winning 18-ship fleet and worldwide itineraries, or to book a cruise, please contact a travel professional or  


As the innovator in global cruise travel, Norwegian Cruise Line has been breaking the boundaries of traditional cruising for 56 years. Most notably, the cruise line revolutionised the industry by offering guests the freedom and flexibility to design their ideal vacation on their preferred schedule with no assigned dining and entertainment times and no formal dress codes. Today, its fleet of 18 contemporary ships sail to nearly 400 of the world’s most desirable destinations, including Great Stirrup Cay, the company’s private island in the Bahamas and its resort destination Harvest Caye in Belize. Norwegian Cruise Line not only provides superior guest service from land to sea, but also offers a wide variety of award-winning entertainment and dining options as well as a range of accommodations across the fleet, including solo-traveller staterooms, club balcony suites, spa-suites and The Haven by Norwegian®, the company’s ship-within-a-ship concept. For additional information or to book a cruise, contact a travel professional or visit For the latest news and exclusive content, visit the NCL Newsroom and follow Norwegian Cruise Line on Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok and YouTube @NorwegianCruiseLine; and Twitter @CruiseNorwegian.

Gallivant Africa
Gallivant Africa hosts junior journalists and intern travel writers to share their stories and experiences with our audience. Read their stories and help them grow into leaders of the industry.

Leave a Reply