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Pride of Aloha says sayonara to Hawaii heads to Asia

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On February - 11 - 2008

Norwegian Pearl Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) stated today that it is withdrawing Pride of Aloha from the Hawaii market effective May 11, and will transfer the ship to Star Cruises for reflagging and redeployment in Asia this summer.

At the same time, the company confirmed itineraries through 2010 on its remaining U.S.-flag ship, Pride of America. That vessel will sail every Saturday from Honolulu.

The developments follow the withdrawal of Pride of Hawaii from the NCL America fleet for reflagging and redeployment in Europe as Norwegian Jade.

NCL said its Freestyle 2.0 enhancements to dining and other areas will be in place on Pride of America by mid-May, following a scheduled drydock.

“Pride of Aloha pioneered the new inter-island market but, as we move forward with Freestyle 2.0 to take our product to the next level across what is already the youngest fleet in the industry, we cannot justify further investment in this ship,” says Andy Stuart, NCL’s executive vice president of marketing, sales and passenger services.

Stuart said that withdrawing Pride of Aloha was “an extremely difficult but necessary commercial decision; however we see a strong future for the long-term flagship in Hawaii, Pride of America.”

Pride of Aloha was built as Norwegian Sky in 1999 and renamed and reflagged for Hawaii service in 2004. The newly built Pride of America entered Hawaii service in 2005.

Following a 14-day drydock in Hawaii from April 26 to May 10, Pride of America will sail with a change in order of ports including an overnight in Nâwiliwili, Kauai; an afternoon cruise of the Nâpali Coast; Hilo, Hawaii; an evening sail by Mount Kîlauea; Kona, Hawaii; and an overnight in Kahului, Maui.

Stuart added that, in the longer term, NCL hopes to bring back its other modern, purpose-built U.S.-flag ship, Pride of Hawaii.

Sadly, ExpertCruiser doubts this will happen.  Let’s hope they can keep Pride of America in America.

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