Norwegian Cruise Line will launch operations from Barcelona and Rome in September, on cruises open to fully vaccinated travellers.
The Norwegian Epic and Norwegian Getaway will launch seven- to 11-day itineraries in the Mediterranean and Greek Isles, respectively, beginning 5 September.
The vessels are Norwegian's second and third ship slated to resume operations in Europe this year, following the Norwegian Jade, which will be the line's first ship to resume service this summer, with seven-day cruises from Athens beginning July 25.
The Epic will cruise from Barcelona on seven-day Western Mediterranean itineraries from 5 September to 24 October, while the Getaway will offer 10- to 11-day Greek Isles sailings from Civitavecchia, the port city closest to Rome, from 13 September to 25 October. The ships will visit ports in Spain, Italy and Greece on itineraries will featuring no more than two days at sea.
The sailings will incorporate the protocols of the Sail Safe Global Health and Safety Program Norwegian launched last month, which include a passenger vaccination mandate, with no exception for minors.
"We are actively working with our local partners and government officials, as we plan for resumption of voyages in the region with Norwegian Epic and Getaway joining Norwegian Jade this summer," said Norwegian CEO Harry Sommer. "Relaunching Norwegian Epic and Getaway will allow us to provide a greater variety of highly sought-after itineraries for those travellers preparing to take their first cruise vacation in over a year."
As of today, Norwegian has announced the redeployment of five of its 17 with itineraries in Europe and the Caribbean, part of a return to service plan that includes the Norwegian Joy from Montego Bay, Jamaica, starting 7 August, and the Norwegian Gem from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, launching 15 August.
The Epic will enter service with a new Haven by Norwegian complex onboard, following an extensive refurbishment completed at the end of 2020. The Epic was the first in the line's fleet to premiere the brand's "ship-within-a-ship" Haven concept in 2010, and it still offers one of the largest Haven complexes in the Norwegian fleet. The renovation resulted in 75 upgraded suites and redesigned experiences including The Haven Restaurant and The Haven Courtyard Pool and Sundeck.
Norwegian's sister brands, Regent Seven Seas and Oceania, also revealed plans this week to sail from Europe this summer.
Regent Seven Seas Splendor's Regent Suite Bedroom
Regent returning with UK, Mediterranean cruises beginning in September
Regent Seven Seas Cruises will return to service in September with the Seven Seas Splendor's inaugural season in the UK and the Mediterranean.
Passenger vaccinations will be required to sail, as they are on all Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings brands, as part of its SailSafe health and safety programme.
On 11 September, the Splendor, which completed just two passenger cruises after being named in February 2020, will sail an 11-day, roundtrip cruise from Southampton, England, that will visit Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland.
Regent said that the line intends to preserve the ship's originally planned itineraries "as much as the global health environment at the time allows." After that first sailing, the Splendor will transition to the Mediterranean to offer a series of cruises from Barcelona, Venice, Istanbul and Athens. The ship will then cross the Atlantic to launch Caribbean sailings from Miami starting in December.
Regent said it will announce more Regent return-to-service plans at future dates and has currently suspended all sailings through 30 September on the Seven Seas Explorer, Seven Seas Mariner, Seven Seas Navigator and Seven Seas Voyager. The Seven Seas Splendor's cruises before 11 September were also cancelled.
Oceania Marina will sail again to Scandinavia and Western Europe in August.
Oceania Cruises will resume sailing in August
Oceania Cruises will resume cruise operations with the 1,250-passenger Marina in August with sailings to Scandinavia and Western Europe.
The Marina is slated to resume service on what was its originally published schedule, an 29 August Copenhagen to Stockholm cruise with ports including St Petersburg and Helsinki. That will be followed by sailings from Stockholm, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Barcelona, Venice and Rome.
Passenger vaccinations will be required to sail, as they are on all NCLH brands as part of its SailSafe health and safety programme.
"This is the moment we've all been waiting for as we shift our focus and energy to our return to service," said Bob Binder, CEO of Oceania, in a video about the line's restart plans. "Now, this will not be a quick restart -- it will be methodically phased and disciplined to ensure that throughout the entire process we are doing what is right for our guests, team members, travel partners, as well as communities we visit."
Oceania said that phased restart dates for the rest of its ships will be forthcoming as itineraries are evaluated for port availability and adjusted as needed closer to the sailing dates.
Source: Travel Weekly