|Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Spirit (Shown) along with the Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Encore will be temporarily docked in Norfolk, Virginia|
On Friday it was announced that 3 Norwegian Cruise Line ships - the Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Encore and the newly transformed Norwegian Spirit will be laid up at Norfolk Virginia's Portsmouth Marine Terminal . The ships reportedly have only a skeleton crew of 175 each. Crew member will NOT be allowed to go ashore but the ships will have reduced fuel, staffing and upkeep costs. The trade offs - these ships will require more time to reactivate to a cruising status.
This may be a foreshadowing of the fate of the Norwegian Bliss' Alaska program; the Norwegian Spirit's Eastern European cruise program and the Norwegian Encore's 2020 New York cruise program to Bermuda.
Although the current announcement says the lay-up in Norfolk is expected to be 30 days. It is assumed that the agreement can be extended beyond that time.
The Portsmouth Marine Terminal will be closed to container ship traffic starting on May 4th (today). The temporary closure of the Terminal is being driven by the lack of cargo coming into the port due to the worldwide pandemic. The Norfolk container operations are being consolidated at 2 other container terminals in the port.
At this point, all three Norwegian Cruise Line ships, (Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Encore, Norwegian Spirit), are currently just about 50 nautical miles off the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. The Norwegian Encore and Norwegian Spirit are expected to arrive Monday (5/4). The date for the Norwegian Bliss in expected to be Monday or Tuesday - but have not been finalized yet.
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