Norwegian Cruise Line Announces Return Date
It’s been a long time since Norwegian Cruise Line carried passengers on a cruise vacation, but we finally have a date for the company’s restart. Beginning July 25, 2021, Norwegian Cruise Line will resume cruise operations in Europe followed by the Caribbean on board three ships; Norwegian Joy, Norwegian Jade and Norwegian Gem. The cruise line also canceled all July and August itineraries aboard Norwegian Breakaway, Dawn, Escape, Getaway, Sky, Spirit, Star and Sun.
The first sailings will be seven-day cruises to the Greek Isles on Norwegian Jade from Athens (Piraeus) starting July 25th, then on August 7th Norwegian Joy will sail from Montego Bay, Jamaica and on August 15th Norwegian Gem will sail from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
“Over a year after we initially suspended sailings, the time has finally come when we can provide our loyal guests with the news of our great cruise comeback,” said Norwegian Cruise Line’s President and Chief Executive Officer Harry Sommer. “We have been working diligently towards our resumption of operations, focusing on the guest experience with health and safety at the forefront. The growing availability of the COVID-19 vaccine has been a game changer. The vaccine, combined with our science-backed health and safety protocols, will help us provide our guests with what we believe will be the healthiest and safest vacation at sea.”
Norwegian Cruise Line is requiring guests to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to board their ships, at least for now.
“All guests sailing aboard cruises with embarkation dates through Oct. 31, 2021 will be required to be fully vaccinated and tested prior to boarding our ships. Given the ever-evolving nature of the pandemic, the accelerating rollout of the vaccine, and the speed of scientific learnings, it is premature to make decisions about our health and safety protocols for cruises with embarkation dates beginning Nov. 1, 2021. We will continue to evaluate our health and safety protocols and rely on science and our expert council as we make decisions and evolve our policies and procedures.”
Norwegian Cruise Line’s SailSAFE™ Program
While they spent much of 2020 developing a health and safety protocol, yesterday Norwegian Cruise Line announced their updated SailSAFE™ program which puts guest and crew health and safety at the forefront of every cruise vacation. The program is founded on three principals: 1) Safety for guests and crew with vaccination requirements, universal COVID-19 testing and enhanced health screening protocols; 2) Safety aboard with medical-grade air filtration, increased sanitation measures and enhanced medical resources; and 3) Safety ashore through the collaboration with land-based tour operator partners to extend health and safety measures to each destination.
Norwegian Cruise Line also established a SailSAFE Global Health and Wellness Council made up of six experts in the fields of health and wellness and led by Chairman Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
In preparation for their return to cruising, NCL created a new docuseries, EMBARK – The Series, premiering April 15 at 8 p.m. at www.ncl.com/embark and Facebook. Guests can tune in to see exactly what the cruise line is doing to help keep passengers and crew safe.