Norwegian Cruise Line and the Port of Houston Authority announced today that they have reached an agreement for Norwegian to sail seasonally from Houston for three years, totaling 75 calls, with an option to extend for up to two years. Beginning in the fall of 2014, Norwegian will bring the 2,374-passenger Norwegian Jewel to Houston to sail seven-day Western Caribbean cruises. The line’s return to Houston marks the first time Norwegian has had a ship sailing from the city since Norwegian Dream in 2007. Economic activity from the cruise line each season is expected to generate $50 million* annually, including local purchases of $3.6 million. A total of 222 jobs will be touched, including the creation of almost 100 new jobs. An estimated $941,000 in state and local taxes is anticipated.
"With the growth of our capacity from the upcoming additions of our two new ships — Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway, we can expand our existing fleet into new homeports," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. "We listened to the feedback from our travel partners and guests who have been requesting our return to Houston. We are also going back in a big way by sending one of our Jewel-class Freestyle Cruising ships to their very impressive new cruise terminal."
"The Port of Houston Authority is elated that Norwegian Cruise Line has agreed to return to Houston and sail from its state-of-the-art cruise facility located in Pasadena, Texas," said James T. Edmonds, Chairman of the Port of Houston Authority Commission. "Norwegian’s presence plays a critical role in Port-related activity, as well as the greater Houston’s tourism industry. We eagerly anticipate Norwegian’s Jewel’s arrival in 2014, when the Port of Houston celebrates its 100th anniversary, and look forward to a long and successful partnership."
The Bayport Cruise Terminal located in Pasadena, Texas is just outside of Houston is an exciting home port city for cruise travelers looking for efficient and world-class services before and after their cruise. It is conveniently accessible to both major Houston airports. The 96,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility combines visual appeal, passenger convenience, accessibility and innovative security systems. Passenger access from parking and drop-off areas is immediately adjacent to the front of the terminal. Covered walkways connect the building to bus and private passenger drop-offs and taxi stands. Once inside the terminal, passengers’ first-class experience continues in the expansive great area. The cruise terminal’s proximity to fine restaurants and hotels make it an ideal point of disembarkation.
The 93,500 gross-ton Norwegian Jewel offers an array of incredible accommodations including The Haven, Norwegian’s exclusive and luxurious suite accommodations, featuring the largest suites at sea – the 5,000 square foot, three-bedroom Garden Villas. The Haven also includes 10 Courtyard Villas that share a private courtyard, complete with swimming pool, whirlpool and a gym. These villas also have access to a private sundeck with large two-person sun beds and hammocks. Positioned high atop the ship, the villas boast incredible ocean views, and impressive amenities, typically found at five-star land-based resorts, including butler and concierge service.
Guests will also enjoy the beautiful views from comfortable mini-suite and balcony staterooms, in addition to an array of well-appointed ocean view and inside staterooms.
Vacationers sailing from Houston will also love all of Norwegian Jewel’s 14 delectable dining options including French, Asian, American, Norwegian’s signature steak house, Cagney’s; and the line’s newest restaurant, Moderno Churasscaria, a Brazilian-style steakhouse.
As far as activities and entertainment go, Norwegian Jewel has it all. During the day, guests can lounge around the swimming pools or relax in one of four hot tubs, try their luck in the casino; grab at drink at one of the 10 bars and lounges; get pampered in the full-service spa and salon; work off the delicious food in the fitness center offering state-of-the-art exercise equipment or marvel at world-class entertainment.
Families will delight in the exclusive Nickelodeon programming found on board. Activities include breakfast with the characters, where kids – and adults – can eat, sing and play with SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, Patrick, Diego and more; Dora’s Dance Party, where kids can join Dora and the Nickelodeon cast to dance and sing along; meet and greets with popular Nickelodeon characters, including SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer and many more. There are also other family activities offered, including Nick Jr. story time, family trivia and special arts and crafts sessions.
Kid’s will also have a blast in the line’s new kid’s program, Splash Academy (ages 2 – 12), and teens program, Entourage (ages 13 – 17), supervised by high-qualified and trained youth counselors. Both Splash Academy and Entourage feature a different theme every day. Whether it’s ocean-related, pirates, space cowboys, jungle fever or circus, every day offers a new surprise tailored to the individual age groups.
Source = Norwegian Cruise Line