Thanks to two new airlines direct flights to Berlin and Paris, it’s getting easier – and cheaper – to fly between South Florida and Europe. French Bee is operating direct flights between MIA and Paris-Orly, while and Norse Atlantic Airways is now operating direct flights between FLL and both Berlin and Oslo. All are operating three days a week.
Norse Atlantic emergence is particularly big for FLL as it reistablishes the airport as a gateway to Europe, something airport leaders have looked to do since Norwegian Air Shuttle ceased services between North America and Europe several years ago.
“It’s an exciting day for FLL as we welcome the airport’s first-ever scheduled nonstop route to Berlin,” Mark Gale, CEO/director of aviation at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, said in a statement. “Norse’s new service between Fort Lauderdale and Germany’s capital city follows its June launch of Oslo, Norway, flights. Both routes play a pivotal role in helping reestablish FLL as a transatlantic gateway. We look forward to welcoming other European flights in the near future.”
Both French Bee and Norse Atlantic bill themselves as economy choices for trans-Atlantic travel. French Bee offers three classes of ticket – Basic, Smart and Premium. Basic and Smart are both economy-class “Eco Blue” tickets. As an economy airline, French Bee typically charges for amenities such as seat selection and in-flight meals.
Norse Atlantic offers a similar arrangement. The airline sellls Economy and Premium tickets, and a Light, Classic and Plus range of fairs. Travelers who want the largest baggage allowance, two meals and more ticket flexibility should go with Plus.
Norse Atlantic flies Boeing 787 Dreamliners while French Bee flies Airbus A350s. Norse Atlantic boasts that its “Premium cabin offers an industry leading 43″ seat pitch and 12″ recline, allowing passengers to arrive at their destination feeling refreshed and ready to explore their destination.”
In 2023, train fans are finally able to see Brightline trains hit those top speeds of 125 miles per hour. That happens as trains leave the Orlando area airport corridor before heading east along State Road 528 towards Cocoa. Outside the greater Orlando area, the trains will hit those top speeds.
Those first trains still won’t have any passengers on them, but the test runs will bring train travel between South and Central Florida even closer. At this magazine’s deadline, Brightline leaders had not yet named an exact date for service between Orlando and South Florida, but they expect it to be in 2023. There have been delays, but according to Brightline, this has been a tricky part of the process.
“Our construction through OIA presented one of the most complex construction efforts of this entire project and our successful completion is a testament to partnership, teamwork and out-of-the-box thinking,” said Michael Cegelis, executive vice president, development and construction for Brightline in a statement last year.
The work comes as Brightline has added to its South Florida service thanks to two additional stations that debuted at the end of 2022. Both Boca Ration Station and Aventura Station offer easy access to shopping, dining and entertainment. Boca Ration Station sits just across Dixie Highway from Mizner Park, while Aventura Station sits directly across Biscayne Boulevard from Aventura Mall, With no delays, Aventura is a 14-minute ride from Fort Lauderdale; Boca is 16 minutes. Both stations were introduced with intraductory $10 fares.
Meanwhile, the station at Orlando International Airport is ready to go.It is located at the airport’s Terminal C, its newest. It’s meant to be a multimodal transport hub with trains, airplanes, buses and cars coming and going from the same place – not unlike Miami International’s transportation station, although in addition to MetroRail and buses including Miami-Dade’s and Greyhound, Miami is served by Tri-Rail.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Prima had its maiden American voyage in October 2022, sailing roundtrip from New York City and visiting Nova Scotia. Now, South Florida cruise fans can have a look.
Norwegian Prima was christened in Reykjavik – the first major cruise ship ever to be christened there. Then, more than 2,4000 guests traveled on its New York voyage, followed by one out of PortMiami, while experiencing NCL’s heightened “Prima Class.”
The newest vessel in NCL’s 18-ship fleet, Norwegian Prima’s Prima-class luxuries include a three-level racetrack at sea with the Prima Speedway, upmarket food hall Indulge and The Metropolitan, which NCL bills as “the cruise industry’s first sustainable cocktail bar featuring responsibly crafted zero-waste cocktails prepared with surplus ingredients.”
Five more ships will be joining Norwegian Prima in NCL’s new Prima Class. It has capacity for 3,100 guests in total at double occupancy, and it offers the highest staffing levels and space ratio of any contemporary or premium cruise ship. Recreational activities include the fastest slides at sea – The Rush and The Drop – and the Prima Speedway. Ocean Boulevard offers a the 44,000 square foot outdoor walkway that wraps around the entire ship. There’s a multi-million dollar outdoor sculpture garden, pool decks and infinity-style pools at Infinity Beach.
NCL also premiered the Tony Award-nominated musical “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical” on Norwegian Prima’s christening voyage. The headlining act is an 85-minute immersive production and a first-at-sea experience where the theater itself transforms into a full disco and guests can become a part of the show and dance to Summer’s all-time fan favorite medleys. Further entertainment highlights on board include “Noise Boys,” an award-winning beat boxing experience produced by Nic Doodson, creator of “The Choir of Man,” NCL’s best-rated entertainment show to date and currently residing on Norwegian Encore and Norwegian Escape.