The Courier

Be immersed in a feeling of freedom and discover a magical new city every day (almost)

Cruising the dazzling Amalfi Coast with Norwegian Escape. Picture supplied
Cruising the dazzling Amalfi Coast with Norwegian Escape. Picture supplied

This is branded content for Norwegian Cruise Line.

What decisions to have to make. Today, will you discover Greece's ancient temples on a bike tour of Athens followed by a glass (or two) of ouzo in a taverna in the lively Plaka neighbourhood? Or will you stretch out by the pool sipping cocktails aboard your seafaring home away from home? Tomorrow, will you spend the day exploring Florence with a local, or be pampered at your onboard spa? Maybe both?

These are the kinds of oh-so-difficult choices confronting guests when they cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), the innovative cruise operator whose mission is to provide the ultimate sense of freedom for its sea and culture seeking travellers, with no schedule to follow but your own, whatever you feel like on the day.

Cruising with NCL is truly a voyage of discovery with its emphasis on more time in port at the many incredible destinations and less time at sea, so guests have the opportunity to "experience a different tomorrow" every day in a way that suits them exactly.

NCL pioneered the philosophy of 'Freestyle Cruising' offering guests more flexibility with a focus on authentic and port-rich itineraries, delectable and diverse dining - with no assigned dining times to rush off to - and incredible entertainment choices.

It's an exciting time to cruise with NCL. The award-winning cruise line has recently added three groundbreaking new ships to its fleet with three more to come, all representing the new NCL Prima Class designed to elevate every expectation for guests.

This month saw the launch of Norwegian Aqua, now open for sale for cruises from 2025. In August, Norwegian Viva embarked on her maiden voyage and is delighting passengers on its European and Greek Isles routes, while Norwegian Prima set sail for the first time last year, cruising Northern Europe.

Exploring Barcelona. Picture supplied
Exploring Barcelona. Picture supplied

Now with more than 170 ports of call just in Europe alone, including superstar destinations like Rome, Venice, Barcelona, Santorini, Lisbon, Paris, Istanbul, and London, NCL offers over 1400 different shore excursions, all designed to provide deeper experiences of the culture, history, food and landscape of each destination. By cruising Europe with NCL you'll discover a new city nearly every day.

Foodie travellers might choose a gourmet shorex experience like the one that takes you to Barcelona's historical Market Santa Caterina followed by a cooking class at the bar and grill El Puntal and lunch paired with local organic wines.

For those keen to get to really know a city like the people who live there, there are the Go Local tours that allow you to experience first-hand how the locals live, work, eat and play. In Lisbon, for example, you'll follow a local guide through the city's most atmospheric districts, pausing to savour Portuguese delicacies or taste the sweet cherry liqueur known as ginja, jumping on a tram ride with the locals, seeing the views from the best vantage points and eating the local specialities such as cod fish pastry and cornbread with sausage.

Superb Italian food at Onda by Scarpetta. Picture supplied
Superb Italian food at Onda by Scarpetta. Picture supplied

On board NCL's ships there's a delicious freedom in dining as well. With more sublime options than sea days, choosing what to eat could be tricky, but it's a lovely dilemma to have. Maybe NCL's ever-popular Cagney's Steak House, or fried rice and filet mignon, with chef entertainment thrown in (literally), at the Japanese Teppanyaki? Leading hospitality names on land, such as modern Italian restaurant group Onda by Scarpetta, have also partnered with NCL on onboard venues, elevating the dining experience even further.

When it comes to onboard activity NCL guests are spoiled for choice. Feel like seeing a Broadway show, like the Tony-award-winning Beetlejuice: The Musical or the phenomenal Jersey Boys? NCL offers some of the best entertainment you'll find.

Perhaps you'd like to try zooming around a three-story racetrack or the thrill of riding the fastest slide on the open ocean on Norwegian Viva and Norwegian Prima. How about a stroll along the Ocean Boulevard that wraps around the Prima Class ships - some sections with a glass bottom revealing the ocean below - designed to provide a greater sense of space and freedom, bringing guests even closer to the wild blue world around them.

Space is also the word in your suite. NCL offers some of the industry's most spacious staterooms, sanctuaries in peace and restful comfort, where you can drift off to sleep dreaming of the new destination that will be outside your window tomorrow. What will it be?

Ready to cruise? Norwegian Cruise Line is currently offering up to 50 per cent off sailings plus a free beverage package with premium spirits included*. To book your cruise visit ncl.com, call 1300 255 200 or contact your local travel agent.