Norwegian Breakaway at six months; Cruise destinations Fecamp and Etretat, France

Norwegian Breakaway cruise ship


It has now been six months since Norwegian Breakaway entered service. She is one of the most innovative ships to debut in recent years so I decided to return and see how the ship was doing after half a year in service. After all, there is no guarantee that doing something different will make people like you.


Having sailed on Breakaway last June, we were not surprised to find that the ship is working out as well as Norwegian Cruise Line had hoped. People seem to like the ship. She offers a lot to do and the format of the cruise allows you a lot of choice in deciding what to do and when.


This is even more so than the other Norwegian ships, excepting Norwegian Epic, which was the forerunner of Breakaway. Under Norwegian’s Freestyle system, you always had plenty of choice with regard to when and where to eat. However, the evening’s entertainment centered around the shows in the theater as on other cruise ships. With Breakaway and Epic, you have several quality choices as to entertainment as well so the evening does not revolve around the show times in the main theater.


There are other innovations on Breakaway such as her outdoor promenade that has bars and restaurants on it. Another bold move was to station Breakaway year-round in New York rather than in Florida. Such ideas seem good but I was interested in finding out how they are being received by the cruising public. So we spoke with Breakaway’s Hotel Director Hugo Vanosmael about Breakaway at six months. It is at


To go along with this article, we have added a new photo essay of Breakaway sailing out of New York on her first Bahamas cruise. Fall days can be particularly good for photographing ships sailing from New York because there is less humidity and haze. The photo essay is at


Switching topics, we have added a new shore excursion experience to the Northern France section of Beyondships. This one is about touring the Alabaster Coast region of Normandy. In particular, we stopped at Fecamp and Etretat.


In Fecamp, we went to the Benedictine Palace. This elaborate building was erected in the late 19th century to house the factory that makes Benedictine liqueur. A visit takes you through the process of making the liqueur and there is an opportunity to taste some at the end. However, the Palace also houses a fine arts museum that focuses on Renaissance and Medieval art. Thus, a visit is more than the typical tasting experience that you have at most wineries and distilleries. The page on Fecamp is at


While the experience in Fecamp was enjoyable, the highlight was Etretat. Etretat is a popular resort town located by the sea. It lies in a depression in a coastline that is otherwise made up of vertical chalk cliffs that tower over the sea. You can climb up onto the cliffs or admire them from below on the stone-covered beach. Thus, if you like natural beauty and/or hiking, Etretat has much to offer.


For art lovers, this place is of special significance. The cliffs have been painted by many famous artists. However, they are best known from the numerous studies done by Claude Monet, the leader of the Impressionist movement. Signs indicate where Monet stood to make some of his paintings. Moreover, there has been little change to the area in the century or so since Monet did his paintings.


Our page on Etretat is at


If you are cruising to Northern France, you will probably call at Cherbourg or Le Harve. We have added a new cruise port page about these ports.


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