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NCL pulls Pride of Aloha from Hawaii cruises

NCL_pulls_Pride_of_Aloha_Hawaii_cruisesAnd then there was one.

NCL Corporation announced today that it will be withdrawing its cruise ship Pride of Aloha from Hawaii inter-island operations beginning May 11.  This is the second ship that NCL has removed from Hawaii in recent months. Back in January, NCL relocated Pride of Hawaii to Europe, renaming it the Norwegian Jade.

The move leaves NCL with a single cruise ship, the Pride of America, offering inter-island cruises.

In a press release, NCL president and CEO Colin Veitch acknowledged “extraordinarily difficult” times for the company’s Hawaii operations. He blamed lower prices and “an unprecedented expansion of capacity” from foreign-flagged competition.

NCL’s Hawaii cruise ships are United States flagged.

NCL executive vice president of marketing, sales and passenger services Andy Stuart said, in the same release, that the company could not justify further investment in Pride of Aloha.

“Withdrawing Pride of Aloha was an extremely difficult, but necessary commercial decision,” said Stuart.

A Honolulu-based spokesperson for NCL told HawaiiMagazine.com that the Pride of Aloha crew would be offered employment opportunities on other cruise ships in the company's worldwide fleet. The jobs of more than 850 NCL employees here will be affected by the loss of Pride of Aloha.

NCL officials said that Pride of America will operate in Hawaii through 2010. If the market demands, the company could return another ship to the Islands.

Pride of Aloha will be transferred to Hong Kong-based Star Cruises and re-flagged for Asia cruises.

UPDATE, 2/13/08: NCL president and CEO Colin Veitch says remaining inter-island cruise ship also at risk.

Photo courtesy of NCL Corporation

Check out these related HawaiiMagazine.com posts:
NCL claims cruises still afloat in Hawaii
Hawaii-based Pride of America cruise ship slated for $30 million in upgrades
How to find a cruise to Hawaii from the West Coast

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