After making a public plea to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention seeking approval to restart sailings in the US from 4 July, Norwegian Cruise Line has announced its return to service with new itineraries sailing from Europe and the Caribbean.
The 17-ship cruise line will restart operations on Jade, Joy and Gem at reduced capacities in accordance to the SailSAFE health and safety protocols developed by parent company Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.
Norwegian Jade will sail seven-day cruises to the Greek Isles from Athens (Piraeus) beginning 25 July 2021. In the Caribbean, the cruise line will host week-long itineraries from Montego Bay, Jamaica on Norwegian Joy from 7 August 2021, and will operate its first-ever sailings in the Dominican Republic from to Punta Cana on Norwegian Gem beginning 15 August 2021.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s president and CEO Harry Sommer, said, “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.”
Guests sailing aboard Norwegian cruises with embarkation dates through October 2021 will be required to be fully vaccinated and tested prior to boarding ships, Sommer informed.
He added that it is "premature" to make decisions about the cruise line's health and safety protocols for embarkation dates after 1 November, given "the ever-evolving nature of the pandemic, the accelerating rollout of the vaccine, and the speed of scientific learnings".
While Norwegian has announced resumption of services for a trio of ships, it has cancelled all July and August itineraries aboard Norwegian Breakaway, Dawn, Escape, Getaway, Sky, Spirit, Star and Sun. In addition, voyages aboard Norwegian Epic through 1 September 2021 and Norwegian Pearl through 7 November 2021 have also been cancelled.