Norwegian Cruise Line will resume sailing in Europe, Caribbean in late July
Norwegian Cruise Line announced on Tuesday that the official restart is scheduled for the end of July with departures in Europe and the Caribbean.
"The cruise line will resume operations at reduced capacity, with Norwegian Jade, Joy and Gem being the first of their 17 fleets to welcome guests back on board," Norwegian said in a press release.
The cruise line will be offering 7-day itineraries on the Greek islands on the Norwegian Jade from Athens from August 7th and a Caribbean cruise from Montego Bay in Jamaica from August 7th with Norwegian Joy from July 25th. The company will also be sailing with voyages from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic on Norwegian Gem starting August 15.
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Norwegian said the new Caribbean routes will allow passengers 10 to 11 hours in each of the four ports of call and that the ships will only spend two days at sea. Passengers traveling from Montego Bay visit Harvest Caye, the company's private Belize vacation destination.
"More than a year after we initially stopped sailing, the time has finally come to bring the news of our great cruise comeback to our loyal guests," said Harry Sommer, President and CEO of Norwegian, in the press release.
All passengers booking journeys with embarkation dates by October 31st must be fully vaccinated and tested prior to boarding.
"Given the ever-evolving nature of the pandemic, the accelerated adoption of the vaccine and the pace of scientific knowledge, it is premature to make decisions about our health and safety protocols for cruises with embarkation dates from November 1st," Sommer continued, citing the fact that it is premature that the cruise line will continue to evaluate the health and safety protocol, which is subject to change.
A year without a cruise: no “crystal ball” that could tell when sailing could resume
Norwegian Encore in the newest ship in the Breakaway Plus segment of the fleet.
However, Norwegian’s restart plan doesn't mean the end of the litany of cruise cancellations that the industry has seen over the past year.
"The Cruise Line today canceled all July and August itineraries on Norwegian Breakaway, Dawn, Escape, Getaway, Sky, Spirit, Star and Sun," said Norwegian. "In addition, trips on Norwegian Epic through September 1 and Norwegian Pearl through November 7 have been canceled."
The cruise has not yet resumed in US waters and there is no set date for the resumption. The announcement comes one day after the Norwegian parent company Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. announced a vaccine request and sent a letter to Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, asking for permission to resume sailing in US waters on July 4th.
Norwegian isn't the only cruise line that offers sailing in other waters. Royal Caribbean announced sailing in Israel, Bermuda and the Bahamas last month, and its sibling line Celebrity added itineraries for St. Maarten - all with specific vaccine requirements.
The cruise cancellation file: The latest status updates for each line
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Norwegian Cruise Line to sail in Europe, the Caribbean, in late July
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