Spirit of Norfolk getting $1.2 million makeover

Posted at 11:43 AM, Feb 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-23 11:43:55-05

Norfolk, Va. – The Spirit of Norfolk will be getting a $1.2 million renovation after a successful 2015 sailing season, the owner of the ship announced Tuesday.

The new Spirit will launch in the Downtown Norfolk waterfront this April.

Entertainment Cruises is the nation’s largest dining and sightseeing cruise company. They own the Spirit of Norfolk and 29 other vessels in New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., Boston, Baltimore and South Florida.

The company says the Spirit of Norfolk had a very successful 2015 season that saw a 7% increase in passengers.

“We are thrilled with the success in the market, which was the very first port for Spirit cruises in 1978,” said Jolene Price-Thompson, general manager. “We’ve been sailing on the Elizabeth River for more than 38 years, and the new Spirit of Norfolk will elevate the experience to an exciting new level for our guests.”

The new renovations include new lounge areas, modern décor, interactive games and a menu that features fresh and organic foods.

“Our changes are grounded in research and feedback from our guests – we’re responding to their suggestions as we make improvements,” added Price-Thompson. “It will be a whole new experience with contemporary bars and lounge areas. We are excited to showcase this new prototype, which will be the best waterfront dining experience in the region.”

The Spirit of Norfolk is 187 feet long with three decks that accommodate up to 400 passengers.  Dinner cruises are two hours and include a half hour dockside party. Lunch cruises are two hours, and special events such as weddings, groups and reunions can be customized. Additional cocktail and wine cruises are also part of the schedule.