Norwegian Cruise Line has announced plans to resume sailings in Europe and the Caribbean this summer for vaccinated guests.
The line will operate seven-day Greek Isles itineraries from Piraeus onboard Norwegian Jade from July 25, with Norwegian Joy sailing from Jamaica from August 7 and Norwegian Gem operating from the Dominican Republic from August 15.
All passengers on sailings with embarkation dates before the start of November will be required to be fully vaccinated and tested before embarking.
Harry Sommer, NCL president and chief executive, said: “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.
“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.”
He added: “All guests sailing aboard cruises with embarkation dates through October 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 November 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.”
Guests on Norwegian Jade’s Greek sailings will have eight to nine hours of port time within their itineraries, the line announced.
The country’s minister of tourism Harry Theoharis said: “We warmly welcome the announcement of Norwegian Cruise Line restarting its cruises from Greece.
“In 2020, we safely opened tourism and we are working to continue to do the same this year, so travellers go home with memories that they are proud to share and that last a lifetime.”
In conjunction with the restart announcement, NCL confirmed the cancellation of all July and August itineraries onboard Norwegian Breakaway, Dawn, Escape, Getaway, Sky, Spirit, Star and Sun, in addition to the cancellation of all Norwegian Epic itineraries until September 1 and Norwegian Pearl sailings to November 7.
The announcements came after NCL’s parent company Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings outlined a framework to resume cruising from US ports from July 4.
In a letter to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it said operating with reduced capacity and with vaccinated passengers and crew was “consistent with the CDC’s updated guidance that international travel is safe for fully vaccinated individuals and that Covid-19 vaccination efforts will be critical in the safe resumption of cruise ship travel”.
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