Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) today announced its highly anticipated return to service, with new itineraries sailing Europe and The Caribbean beginning 25th July 2021.
NCL will restart operations at a reduced capacity with Norwegian Jade, Joy and Gem as the first of its 17-ship fleet to welcome guests back on board. Travellers long-awaiting a return to cruise will have the opportunity to spend the summer exploring ancient ruins and sunny beaches with all new seven-day cruises to the Greek Isles on Norwegian Jade from Athens (Piraeus) beginning 25th July 2021. They can also island hop with week-long Caribbean itineraries available from Montego Bay, Jamaica as of 7th August 2021 on Norwegian Joy or from Punta Cana (La Romana), Dominican Republic on Norwegian Gem beginning 15th August 2021.
“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.”
Sommer continued, “All guests sailing aboard cruises with embarkation dates through 31st October 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 1st November 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.”
The Greek Minister of Tourism Harry Theoharis said, ‘’We warmly welcome the announcement of Norwegian Cruise Line restarting its cruises from Greece. The diversity and rich color of all our destinations together with our long history, unique culture, and famous gastronomy will ensure a remarkable experience for all guests. In 2020, we safely opened tourism and we are working to continue to do the same this year, so travelers go home with memories that they are proud to share and that last a lifetime.”
In conjunction with its return to service announcement, NCL today cancelled all July and August itineraries aboard Norwegian Breakaway, Dawn, Escape, Getaway, Sky, Spirit, Star and Sun. In addition, voyages aboard Norwegian Epic through 1st September 2021; and Norwegian Pearl through 7th November 2021 have also been cancelled. Guests and Travel Partners with impacted reservations will be contacted directly.
NCL also extended its temporary Peace of Mind cancelation policy to guests sailing on cruises booked by 30th April 2021 with embarkation dates through 31st October 2021. These guests have the flexibility to cancel their cruise 15 days prior to departure. Those who take advantage of the Peace of Mind policy will receive a full refund in the form of a future cruise credit which may be applied to any sailing through 31st December 2022. In addition, final payment for all voyages with embarkations through 31st October 2021, will require payment 60 days prior to embarkation versus the standard 120 days.