Norwegian Cruise Line has notified guests booked on the February 4, 2024 departure of Norwegian Star of a shortened port visit during the coveted sailing that includes scenic cruising in Antarctica.

While the change is relatively minor, it could be a disappointment to guests who are eager for what is often a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit this remote region.

Guests setting sail next month on Norwegian Star for a 14-night South America: Argentina & Chile cruise have been alerted that one of their port calls is being slightly shortened. Norwegian Cruise Line emailed guests of the change so they can plan accordingly.

“We are committed to providing the best vacations at sea and have been working tirelessly to continue to elevate the quality of our offerings and overall guest experience while driving a positive impact on society and the environment,” the email explained. “As we optimize itineraries for fuel efficiencies, we have modified Norwegian Star’s itinerary.”

The impacted sailing departs on Sunday, February 4, 2024, and two small changes have been made to the previously planned schedule. On Friday, February 9, the ship is calling in Punta Arenas, Chile from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. That time remains unchanged from the original itinerary, but now “Cruising Chilean Fjords, Chile” is also listed for that date.

Because there is no time change for the visit to Punta Arenas, the addition to the date is simply clarifying that there will, in fact, be scenic cruising that evening. On February 9, the will set at approximately 9:25 p.m. local time in Punta Arenas, so even though the fjord cruising is later in the day, the views should be spectacular.

The second itinerary adjustment is to the last port of call on the itinerary, Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands on Thursday, February 15. Originally, the ship was scheduled to be in port from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., but now the visit has been trimmed by one hour and Norwegian Star will depart at 3 p.m.

Norwegian Star Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Lukassek / Shutterstock)

This small change may affect some shore excursions later in the day, but should not have a major impact on options offered in the destination. Passengers who may have arranged their own private tours, however, will want to be sure their tour operator can accommodate an earlier time back to the ship.

No other itinerary changes are indicated at this time, and Norwegian Star will be returning to Buenos Aires, Argentina as originally scheduled on Sunday, February 18.

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The 91,740-gross-ton ship is homeported from Buenos Aires offering similar outstanding itineraries through the end of March. Guests booked on similar sailings will want to stay in contact with Norwegian Cruise Line in case their cruises also have slight itinerary modifications.

Norwegian Star can welcome 2,348 guests onboard, and is also home to just over 1,000 international crew members. After her season in South America, she will reposition to Europe to offer a variety of sailings to the British Isles, Scandinavia, Iceland, Greenland, and northern Europe before returning to South America in December 2024.

Such a small in-port time change may not seem significant, but it can be helpful as the cruise line has stated, for “fuel efficiencies” and having a positive impact on the environment. Norwegian Cruise Line has made similar itinerary modifications to various ships and sailings in the Caribbean as well.

By leaving earlier, the ship can cruise at a slightly slower, more efficient speed, lowering overall emissions and minimizing marine noise that can disturb delicate habitats and disrupt wildlife.

In a remote destination like the Falkland Islands, where nature viewing and photography is a main tourist draw, protecting the environment and safeguarding wildlife is critical. By taking simple steps now, Norwegian Cruise Line and other cruise lines are working to ensure that future cruises can also enjoy the region with the same pristine quality and phenomenal viewing opportunities.

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