NCL Holding, parent company to Norwegian Cruise Line, has announced a joint venture with an as of yet unnamed partner to operate cruises in the Far East and South Pacific starting in a year's time.

The new company, which will be based in Australia, will charter one of NCL's ships.

Long-range plans call for seasonal deployment of more NCL ships in the Far East and South Pacific as an alternative to the Caribbean, according to NCL Holding.

NCL Holding would not reveal who the joint venture partner is, but said that the venture would not affect NCL's current ship deployments.

The only regular operator in the Australian market is P&O which sails the aging Fair Princess there year­ round. CTC, which was a seasonal operator in Australia, is no longer in business, and Cunard Line, which recently tried to position a ship in Australia, has abandoned the market.

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