Norwegian Cruise Line has announced a significant change to the sailing of Norwegian Pearl on 14 June 2024, due to the standards of the local tender service falling short. It comes after the popular tourist destination banned large cruise ships (over 25,000 gross tonnes) from visiting, or from sailing past the historic St Mark’s Square through the lagoon.
“Large cruise ships calling to Venice are required to anchor outside of the lagoon and utilise tender boats to access the Port of Venice,” said Norwegian Cruise Line in a letter to passengers and travel partners.
“While we have made every effort to maintain these calls, the tender operation and overall experience falls short of the standard we aim to deliver.”
Travel agent partners have been informed of the cruise line’s upcoming changes.
The initial Norwegian Pearl 10-day itinerary promised a tour starting and concluding in historic Venice (Trieste), journeying through the ports of Koper, Slovenia; Zadar and Split, Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro; and Corfu, Santorini Island, and Mykonos, Greece.
Adjusting to new regulations, the Norwegian Pearl’s updated route now includes an inaugural call to Rijeka, Croatia, and an earlier visit to Koper, Slovenia, reordered to accommodate new sailing times and days. Other cruise lines have shifted calls to mainland ports Ravenna and Marghera.
The change also affects the ship’s 10-day ‘Greek Isles: Santorini, Mykonos & Croatia’ cruises from Venice in July, August, September, and October.