Norwegian Cruise Line bas announced new sailing programs, starting with the 28,000-ton, 850- passenger Norwegian Star, which will homeport in Houston, sailing seven-day cruises to the Western Caribbean, beginning in May, 1997.

According to Executive Vice President Bruce Nierenberg, the Houston program will appeal to local markets, eliminating the need for air travel, and thus be very price competitive. It will also appeal to other Southwestern and Western markets, offering cheaper and shorter flights, Nierenberg emphasized.

In addition, the 34,250-ton, 1,050-passenger Norwegian Crown will reposition to South America from January to March, beginning in 1998, sailing 14-day cruises between Santiago and Buenos Aires.

Company President Hans Golteus said that NCL is further differentiating itself by offering more space per passenger aboard its ships, which with less crowds and lines, and a more intimate, personal atmosphere, will be less like Las Vegas."