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Huge Norwegian ship extends Port Canaveral stay

Ship one of world's largest cruise ships

The Norwegian Epic will be based at Port Canaveral, for the next two winter seasons.(Photo: Norwegian Cruise Line photo)
The Norwegian Epic will be based at Port Canaveral, for the next two winter seasons.(Photo: Norwegian Cruise Line photo)

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. – The Norwegian Epic will winter at Port Canaveral for a second consecutive year in 2017-18, Norwegian Cruise Line has decides.

The Epic, one of the world's largest cruise ships, will debut at Port Canaveral this November. The latest announcement, extending the stay for a second year, is an important development in Port Canaveral's efforts to continue to grow its cruise business.

The ship, built in 2010, has a double-occupancy capacity of 4,100 passengers and a crew of 1,753.

In a statement issued to News 6 partner Florida Today, Andy Stuart, Norwegian Cruise Line’s president and chief operating officer, said: “While we are eagerly awaiting her first call this fall, we are thrilled by the excitement and extremely warm reception we’ve received for Norwegian Epic returning to Port Canaveral for a second season in 2017. We see a great opportunity to have this nearly new vessel home-port in Port Canaveral, and a second season is a natural fit for us.”

Port Canaveral Chief Executive Officer John Murray said: “We are thrilled that Norwegian Cruise Line has announced it will continue to sail from Port Canaveral, giving even more opportunities for passengers to experience our world-class facilities and customer service, in addition to the hospitality of our community.”

The cruise line said, during the 2017-18 stay at Port Canaveral, the Norwegian Epic will offer three-, four- and seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean and Bahamas itineraries.

It will feature Norwegian’s private island destination, Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas, on all of its itineraries from Port Canaveral. The cruise line said Great Stirrup Cay will receive new features, amenities and enhancements during the next 16 months.

Norwegian Epic will sail alternating seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral from Nov. 5, 2017, through March 21, 2018.

The seven-day Eastern Caribbean itinerary will include stops in Tortola, British Virgin Islands; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands and Great Stirrup Cay.

The Norwegian Epic’s Western Caribbean itinerary will feature stops in Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Great Stirrup Cay.

Norwegian Epic also offer a series of three- and four-day Bahamas itineraries in March 2018, with stops in Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay.

Norwegian Cruise Line in August announced its 2016-17 deployment of the Epic to Port Canaveral in August. For 2016-17, the Norwegian Epic will offer seven-day cruses to the Eastern and Western Caribbean and three- and four-day cruises to the Bahamas from Port Canaveral.

The ports of call will be the same for both years.

Currently, the Norwegian Spirit is based at Port Canaveral. The ship, which will be here until mid-April, has a double-occupancy capacity of 2,018 and a crew of 962.

The Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Gem are among the ships scheduled to make port-of-call stops at Port Canaveral.