Some people dismiss bucket list travel to Alaska and Europe as too expensive or too difficult to plan. But it doesn’t have to be. Book a trip to one of those regions with Norwegian Cruise Line, and you’ll find it’s a vacation that’s both flexible and easy to organize.
Norwegian Cruise Line is known for offering a wide range of itineraries that include exciting destinations across the sea. A cruise with the brand is your ticket to memorable experiences, with all the thrills and none of the hassles.
But it’s not just the destinations that make Norwegian Cruise Line stand out; the onboard experiences are equally impressive. With a commitment to offering extensive, cutting-edge entertainment and dining options, relaxing spa treatments, standout service, and spacious cabins, NCL ensures that every passenger can find their ideal vacation, whether they’re seeking a relaxing escape or a life-changing, adventure-packed journey.
Here’s what NCL has to offer and why it should be the go-to for your next sailing.
Visit bucket list destinations in Alaska and Europe
Picture it: You’re sailing through an icy fjord, breathing in the crisp morning air, when a bald eagle soars overhead. Nearby, a huge glacier is calving, icy chunks falling with an impressive boom. Later, you’ll take in the picture-perfect scenery from the ship’s hot tub, keeping an eye out for whales as you let the tension drain out of your muscles.
Or perhaps you’re strolling hand-in-hand with your significant other down a cobblestone street surrounded by historic buildings. You spot a charming cafe and spontaneously decide to linger over steaming cups of European coffee and freshly baked pastries. You can’t believe that, just a few days earlier, you were walking in the footsteps of ancient peoples and gazing at artifacts that date back thousands of years.
The itineraries offered by Norwegian Cruise Line are carefully crafted to visit places that travelers truly want to explore. From iconic metropolises to hidden gems, every port of call is chosen to provide enriching experiences and create lasting memories.
One of NCL’s specialties is Alaska, where nearly one-fourth of the line’s fleet sails every summer. During the 2024 and 2025 seasons, Norwegian will position seven vessels there, ranging in capacity from 1,936 to 4,004 passengers, making it easy for travelers to choose the size of ship that best suits their needs.
Norwegian offers a large selection of round-trip cruises from Seattle, which is ideal for U.S. citizens hoping to cruise to Alaska without a passport or reach their embarkation port with as little expense and hassle as possible. Without ever flying to or from Alaska, you can visit the marquee cruise ports of Skagway, Ketchikan and Juneau.
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These cities — and the amazing wilderness around them — aren’t easy to reach on your own. Juneau might be Alaska’s state capital, but no roads lead into or out of the city. It can only be reached by air or sea, making an NCL cruise a terrific choice of transportation. Leave the logistics of traveling from port to port to the experts so you can enjoy all the fun of glacier hikes, seafood bakes and gold panning with none of the headaches.
Norwegian Cruise Line makes touring easy, too, with dozens of preplanned shore excursions offered by insured operators. Spend your time in the 49th State on a whale watch, zip line adventure, helicopter tour, scenic train ride on the White Pass Railway or floatplane ride with a water landing at an Alaskan lodge. Take a trip to a totem pole park, salmon hatchery or sled dog training center.
If you’d like a glimpse into local culture, NCL has you covered there, too. The cruise line has partnered with locals to develop port facilities at Icy Strait Point and Ward Cove. The effort not only provides more authentic experiences for passengers when they’re ashore and connects cruisers to local artists and vendors, but also drives funds back into the community.
With trips that range from seven to 16 days, Norwegian caters to passengers hoping to hit the highlights, as well as those who want to stay longer and dive deeper. It also offers cruisetours that add on a few days of land-based exploration in places like Denali National Park, where you can go on a hike or travel down the park’s main road for some wildlife viewing. (Moose and bears, anyone?)
Plus, an extended Alaska season, which now runs from April to October, offers chances for passengers to view the swirling green magic of the northern lights.
Planning your first trip to Europe can make your head spin. How do you travel between cities, navigate the language barrier and find the right places to stay and eat? Fortunately, Norwegian Cruise Line offers nearly 300 itineraries — featuring a mix of 160 ports in Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands and the Greek Isles — that take all the vacation planning work off your plate. All you need to do is decide where you most want to go.
A whopping 13 Norwegian ships will ply the waters in those regions in 2024 and 2025, including the two newest, Norwegian Prima and Norwegian Viva. Once you board, you’ll have a comfortable home base — complete with plentiful dining options, evening entertainment and a friendly crew. You won’t have to lift a finger to figure out how to get from one country to the next as you explore Italy, Spain, Portugal, Iceland, Greece and other European destinations.
NCL prioritizes port calls, many of which average nine hours in length, so you can see as much of the Continent as possible. Some itineraries even include overnights, giving cruisers an opportunity to enjoy dinner ashore, venture out to local clubs and otherwise experience the local nightlife.
Enjoy unique onboard experiences
Although a cruise’s itinerary is key, it’s only part of what makes a voyage great. Life on board a Norwegian cruise is anything but ordinary with lots to eat, see and do.
When it comes to restaurants, passengers can enjoy everything from pub grub at The Local, Asian food at Teppanyaki and seafood at Palomar to steak at Cagney’s, Italian at Onda by Scarpetta and French cuisine at Le Bistro. You can order barbecue, try some street food or satisfy your craving for Indian fare before topping it all off with a cone of soft-serve ice cream. Or, if you’re feeling like a more laid-back bite, check out the buffet, or order some room service. No matter what you’re in the mood for, you’re likely to find it on NCL’s ships.
Between meals, there are a ton of ways to spend your time, whether you choose to take a dip in the pool, relax on the adults-only sun deck, book a spa treatment or fitness class, stroll or dine on one of many waterfront promenades with astounding sea views, take a spin on the top-deck go-kart track, play laser tag, or try your hand in the virtual-reality Galaxy Pavilion. Take a trip down the onboard waterslides, do some ax-throwing, attend daily trivia, give “Deal or No Deal” a whirl, get your adrenaline pumping on a ropes course, or play a round of minigolf for good measure.
At night, reserve seats for one of NCL’s phenomenal theater productions, which include “The Choir of Man,” “Beetlejuice” and “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical,” depending on the ship. As one of the forerunners in bringing award-winning entertainment to the high seas, Norwegian works with some of the best producers, cast members and crew members in the performance industry to bring high-quality sets, costumes, acting, singing and dancing to its shows.
The value provided by Norwegian Cruise Line is not just limited to the onboard amenities. NCL’s commitment to above-and-beyond service and guest satisfaction is evident in every aspect of the cruise. From the moment guests step on board, they are greeted by a dedicated and friendly crew, ready to cater to their needs and make their vacation truly special.
Vacation as you wish
One of the key advantages of sailing with Norwegian Cruise Line is the freedom it provides. Unlike other cruises that come with more rigid schedules, set dining times and strict dress codes, Norwegian Cruise Line allows guests to tailor their experiences according to their preferences.
Norwegian has done away with traditional set dinner times, forced tablemates and stuffy dress codes. Feel free to wear jeans to dinner or put on a gown or suit if that’s fun for you. Enjoy dinner at 6 p.m. one night and 8 p.m. the next, depending on your mood. Made new friends on your shore excursion? Invite them to dine with you — Norwegian is happy to accommodate those requests.
You can also choose the level of luxury you’d like for your voyage, based on the type of cabin you book. For cruisers on a budget, NCL’s inside cabins provide basic accommodations without windows, which make for an excellent night’s sleep. For a view, try an outside cabin with a window or, for fresh air, a balcony cabin with a veranda that will serve as your own private deck area.
For more space, inclusions and amenities, consider a suite in The Haven, NCL’s exclusive luxury enclave. Accessed with a special keycard, it features a dedicated restaurant with elevated cuisine, bar, lounge and pool deck for suite passengers only. A stay there will truly make you feel pampered and special while melding all the comforts of small-ship luxury sailing with all the amenities and fun a big-ship experience provides.
Get more for your money
A vacation to Alaska or Europe might sound expensive, but Norwegian Cruise Line goes above and beyond to offer great value.
In fact, with its Free at Sea booking promotion, NCL offers extras like Wi-Fi, unlimited open bar, free specialty dining and shore excursion credits in its fares, along with multipassenger discounts and free second-guest airfare. That means no surprises on your final onboard bill, like you might get on other cruise lines where you’ll pay for these vacation must-haves a la carte. Even better, the money you save on drinks and internet will leave you with more vacation funds to spend on things like indulgent spa treatments and mementos from the onboard shops.
Whether you’re a first-time cruiser or a seasoned traveler, Norwegian Cruise Line offers an unparalleled, flexible vacation experience that can be adjusted to your specific tastes. With a wide range of cabin options, carefully curated itineraries, delectable food, top-notch service and don’t-miss entertainment, NCL provides exceptional value on its voyages. So why wait? With NCL, that journey of a lifetime is finally within reach.