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Ocean Explorer arrives in Downtown Norfolk for first overnight cruise ship call of 2022 season

Ocean Explorer.jpg
Posted at 10:43 PM, Apr 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-21 22:43:56-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Welcome to Norfolk!

The luxury cruise liner Ocean Explorer arrived at the Nauticus Half Moone Cruise & Celebration Center in Downtown Norfolk Thursday evening for the first overnight cruise ship call of the 2022 season.

According to Nauticus, 110 passengers and 92 crew members will spend Friday enjoying all the area has to offer. They'll head to New York City at 5 p.m.

The Ocean Explorer was launched last year and is one of the cruise industry's newest premier ships built for global exploration. Its unique bow is designed to break ice as it navigates the waters of Antarctica.

Earlier this month, the Norwegian Gem and Norwegian Gateway arrived in the Mermaid City on back-to-back days for the first time since the return of cruise ships in February. The two ships brought a combined 5,000 passengers to Downtown Norfolk.

Nauticus says this is the busiest cruise season in its history, with an estimated 180,000 passengers predicted to arrive by year's end — compared to 60,000 the year before the pandemic.