Norwegian Cruise Line has reached out to guests booked on one sailing of the brand new Norwegian Viva to let them know of a dramatic itinerary change, including shifts in the days the ship will embark and debark guests.
The impacted sailing is the September 21, 2025 departure date, which will now depart on September 20 and likewise will arrive in Haifa, Israel a day early for debarkation.
Cruise Dates Shift for Norwegian Viva
Norwegian Viva is still on her very first cruise, and already there are dramatic changes to an upcoming itinerary.
Norwegian Cruise Line has contacted guests booked on the September 21, 2025 sailing to notify them that both the embarkation and debarkation days are changing, and several of the ports of call on the 9-night cruise are being shifted around as a result.
“It is always our intention to maintain original itineraries, at times unforeseen circumstances require us to make modifications,” the email said. “Due to port congestion restricting the ability to disembark in Haifa, Israel on September 30, 2025, we will now embark in Athens (Piraeus), Greece on September 20, 2025, and debark in Haifa, Israel on September 29, 2025.”
Because of the shift in embarkation and debarkation dates, all the cruise’s ports of call have likewise been shifted and rearranged.
Fortunately, though the order and days of the visits has changed, Norwegian Viva will still be calling on the spectacular destinations of Santorini and Mykonos in Greece; Kusadasi and Istanbul in Turkey; both Alexandria and Port Said for Cairo, Egypt; and Ashdod, Israel.
No explanation for the dramatic change has been given other than “port congestion” in Haifa, but that alone can be severe enough to require such a dramatic alteration.
The shift may be necessary to ensure the vessel can be docked long enough for passenger movements and processing, as well as resupplying as needed.
Options for Booked Guests
Because the impacted cruise is more than two years away, booked guests have plenty of time to adjust their travel plans. In fact, many airlines do not even permit reservations to be made so far in advance, so it is unlikely that many guests will now have to juggle rebooking airfare, hotels, or other pre- or post-cruise arrangements.
As for the cruise itself, if guests wish to remain on the altered itinerary with the new dates, no action is needed and all original fare prices, promotions, and other information remains intact.
If guests do wish to cancel, they will receive a full refund automatically returned to the original form of payment. Any future cruise credits that were applied to the reservation will be returned to the guest’s Latitudes account.
Travelers are being asked to make their cancellation decision no later than Monday, August 14, 2023. After that time, the cruise line’s reservations team will begin moving bookings to the new sailing date.
Will Other Cruises Be Impacted?
During the late summer 2025 season, Norwegian Viva will be sailing a varied selection of 9- and 10-night Greek Isles itineraries, including visits to Israel and Turkey.
The exact ports of call depend on the sailing date and itinerary length, and include such top ports as Volos, Mykonos, Santorini, Iraklion, and Rhodes in Greece, as well as ports in Turkey, Israel, and more.
At this time, only the September 21, 2025 departure is impacted, but it is possible that this schedule shift will also impact additional sailings with a knock on effect.
Guests booked aboard Norwegian Viva in fall 2025 should stay alert to the possibility of schedule changes and keep their travel plans flexible.
Norwegian Viva debuted with her first sailing from Venice on August 10, 2023. The ship is the second in the Prima class, behind her sister ship, Norwegian Prima, and offers many of the same outstanding features, including an outdoor art promenade, a sustainable cocktail bar, the tallest dry slides at sea, and a 3-deck go-kart racetrack.
The 142,500-gross ton ship can welcome 3,099 guests onboard for each sailing, and is home to 1,506 international team members who provide all the exceptional service every traveler needs to truly “live it up.”