PHOTO: Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Breakaway sports its Peter Max hull art. (photo by Jason Leppert)

Norwegian Cruise Line is shaking things up for its winter 2018/2019 schedule.

The line will be earmarking the Norwegian Breakaway for New Orleans departures. Following its 2018 Baltic summer season, the ship will redeploy from New York to Louisiana.

“Norwegian Breakaway will be the largest and newest ship from Norwegian to sail from New Orleans, and we are thrilled to bring our signature Breakaway-class ship to this important homeport,” said Andy Stuart, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line, in a press release. “We want to provide more opportunities for our guests across the country to explore beautiful destinations and enjoy all of the spectacular features of our newest ships, along with the freedom and flexibility that only a Norwegian cruise can offer.”

From the Big Easy, the 4,000-guest ship will depart for the Caribbean destinations of Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; Roatán, Bay Islands, Honduras and Norwegian’s own Harvest Caye, Belize.

Replacing the Breakaway from New York City during this time will be the Jewel-class Norwegian Gem, originally scheduled from New Orleans. Passengers already booked on the Gem will automatically have their reservations transferred over to the larger Breakaway.

The new Norwegian Breakaway voyages from Louisiana will open sales on October 24.

“The Port of New Orleans values our close partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line and appreciates the addition of Norwegian Breakaway to the cruise schedule next year,” said Brandy D. Christian, Port of New Orleans President and CEO, in the release.

“The passengers who begin and end their Norwegian Breakaway cruise from our historical city will experience Port NOLA’s commitment to high level service and the Crescent City’s vibrant energy. Our cruise business contributes significantly to the hospitality industry’s regional economic impact and we are pleased to welcome the largest ship we have ever accommodated.”

READ MORE: Set Sail for Cuba on the Norwegian Sun

Breakaway’s enticing accommodations feature Studios for solo travelers up to ones for the whole family in The Haven by Norwegian exclusive ship-within-a-ship complex. Other amenities include more than 25 dining venues, an aqua park, a ropes course with zip lines and Broadway entertainment like “Rock of Ages” and 678 Ocean Place.

The latter is the ship’s all-encompassing dining, shopping and entertainment district outlined by The Waterfront. The al fresco boardwalk brings the indoor excitement outdoors along a wraparound promenade deck.

What’s more, the ship is scheduled to receive a two-week dry-dock refurbishment next spring to rejuvenate its public areas with updated furniture and new flooring and decor, as well as bring new carpets to the cabins.

The Norwegian Breakaway will arrive in New Orleans on November 11, 2018 and sail from there to the Caribbean through April 7, 2019.

READ MORE: Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Lends a Hand

Meanwhile, the newly refurbished Norwegian Gem will sail from New York City to the Caribbean, Canada & New England and the Bahamas & Florida. Also from Manhattan, the Norwegian Escape will depart beginning in summer 2018 on seven-day cruises to Bermuda starting on April 22, 2018.

The Breakaway’s move to New Orleans follows Norwegian’s current trend of distributing its newer and larger vessels farther west. Its upcoming Norwegian Bliss is set to be introduced on the West Coast in Alaska and has already been received positively. The Breakaway from New Orleans only adds to such convenient options outside the more common mainstays of New York and Florida.

While the westbound ships may be scheduled elsewhere seasonally, the shift potentially still foreshadows even more growth for Norwegian in the likes of Alaska, California and Louisiana.

For more information, contact a travel agent, call 866-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784) or visit www.ncl.com.

This post first appeared on TravelPulse.

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