Norwegian Cruise Line has reached out to guests booked aboard Norwegian Epic from December 1, 2023 through April 9, 2024, to inform them that all of the ship’s sailings within that time frame have been cancelled.
Guests are being offered various refunds and future discounts for the disruption to their travel plans.
Norwegian Epic European Cruises Cancelled
An email sent to booked guests and travel partners has announced the cancellation of more than four months of sailings for Norwegian Epic, with 11 total sailings impacted.
“As a result of a fleet redeployment, Norwegian Epic’s sailings from December 1, 2023, through and including April 9, 2024, have been canceled,” the email read.
The affected cruises include various departures from Rome, Haifa, Trieste, and Lisbon. These longer Mediterranean sailings – ranging from 10-14 nights – were to have visited outstanding ports in Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Croatia, Portugal, Morocco, Spain, the Canary Islands, and many more destinations.
“We understand the desire to travel now more than ever, so we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause,” the email continued.
Refunds and Discounts Offered
All impacted guests will receive a full refund automatically returned to the original form of payment. With so many refunds – Norwegian Epic can welcome as many as 4,100 guests per sailing at double occupancy, which could mean up to 20,000-45,000 refunds – it may take up to 30 days for refunds to be processed.
If guests paid for their now-cancelled cruise with a future cruise credit (FCC), the FCC will be returned back to their Latitudes loyalty account automatically within 10 days.
As further compensation, Norwegian Cruise Line is also offering guests a 20% discount for any European sailing through and including April 30, 2024 departures. This can be a great deal to rebook a similar sailing on a different Norwegian ship, with plenty of extra time to make vacation plans.
All guests will also receive an additional 10% discount as an FCC for any future voyage for sailings through and including December 31, 2024. This 10% discount can be used in any sailing region, but may not be combined with the 20% European sailing discount.
“We sincerely appreciate your understanding and look forward to welcoming you aboard very soon,” the email concludes.
Plans for Norwegian Epic
While 4.5 months of European cruises are being cancelled, Norwegian Cruise Line has not yet announced where Norwegian Epic will be sailing in the meantime.
The email indicates “a fleet redeployment” but does not indicate what that may be. It is likely the vessel will instead sail in popular winter destinations, such as offering Caribbean itineraries, or could even be redeployed to Australia or New Zealand during that region’s summer sailing season.
There is no mention of any dry dock or refurbishment plans that would remove the ship from service. Nor are these cancellations apparently the result of full ship charters, as is the case with the cancellation of much of the 2024 Alaska sailing season for Norwegian Spirit, which was just announced a few days ago.
Norwegian Epic is currently scheduled to resume Mediterranean cruises from April 19, 2024, with a 10-night roundtrip Greek Isles sailing from Rome, calling on such amazing ports as Santorini, Athens, Mykonos, and Corfu in Greece, as well as additional ports of call in Malta and Italy.
The ship will remain homeported from Rome (Civitavecchia) through early November 2024, when she will reposition to Port Canaveral to offer 7-night cruises that include Norwegian Cruise Line’s private island in The Bahamas, Great Stirrup Cay.
In April 2025, Norwegian Epic will return to Rome for another season of Greek Isles sailings.