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Norwegian unveils new itinerary out of Charleston

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Norwegian Cruise Line is changing up its itinerary out of Charleston, a popular port for cruisers who live in Georgia, the Carolinas and other southern states.

Norwegian says the 1,462-passenger Norwegian Majesty, scheduled to sail a Western Caribbean itinerary out of the port next winter, will instead sail a Bahamas and Florida itinerary.

The new voyages, like the old ones, will last seven days and take place between November and April, 2009. Stops include Grand Bahama Island; Nassau; Great Stirrup Cay (Norwegian’s private island in the Bahamas); and Port Canaveral, Fla. (gateway to the Orlando theme parks).

Norwegian hasn't said why it is making the change, but one clear benefit for the line is that the new itinerary will require less fuel. Soaring fuel costs have been crimping cruise line earnings. The new ports in the Bahamas and Florida are far closer to Charleston than the ports of the Western Caribbean.

The new itinerary goes on sale today. Norwegian says passengers who already have booked the earlier itinerary will automatically be moved to the new one. Passengers also will have the option to cancel.

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