Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings today announced it will restart service this July with cruises from Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Greece with the Norwegian Joy, Jade and Gem.
The Jade will sail seven-day cruises to the Greek Isles from Athens starting on July 25. The Norwegian Joy will sail seven-day itineraries from Montego Bay starting on August 7, and the Norwegian Gem will launch service from the Dominican Republic on seven-day cruises starting on August 15.
The Jade’s Greek Isles program will see a different port call daily, including Iraklion, Rhodes, Mykonos, Olympia, Corfu and Santorini.
Both Caribbean sailings each feature four ports and two days at sea. Sailing from Montego Bay, the Joy’s calls include Harvest Caye, Roatan, Cozumel and Ocho Rios. Sailing from La Romana in the Dominican Republic, the Gem will visit Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Maarten and Antigua.
Guests wishing to go ashore will need to purchase a Norwegian Cruise Line shore excursion for sailings taking place in July and August. Norwegian said this policy will be continually evaluated and it will modify requirements accordingly.
The company said the news was part of a two-pronged plan for its long-awaited return to cruising this summer, also including the proposal the company sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC on April 5, 2021, outlining its plan to restart cruising from U.S. ports starting July 4 and requesting the CDC lift the Conditional Sail Order.
All initial voyages will operate with fully vaccinated guests and crew in addition to the company’s robust, multi-layered SailSAFE health and safety program, which includes universal COVID-19 testing prior to embarkation.
The company has also announced the formation of the SailSAFE Global Health and Wellness Council, the company’s expert public health council, chaired by former Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Dr. Scott Gottlieb, which will complement the work of the Healthy Sail Panel (HSP).
“We are excited to unveil our initial plans for the resumption of cruise voyages embarking outside of the U.S. with sailings to the Caribbean and Europe. In addition, we continue to plan for a resumption of cruising from U.S. ports and await further discussion with the CDC regarding our proposal for a July 4 restart to participate in America’s national opening. As we prepare for our return to cruising, the health and safety of our guests, crew and communities we visit is our first priority, as demonstrated by the establishment of our robust, multi-layered SailSAFE health and safety program and our Company’s SailSAFE Global Health and Wellness Council,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.
“Safe and highly effective vaccines are a gamechanger and to create the safest environment possible, we will require all guests and crew to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccine requirements will be combined with multiple additional layers of protection against COVID-19 introduction, including universal testing, and we will continue to evaluate and modify protocols over time as the science dictates.”
Del Rio continued: “The return to cruising has been much-anticipated by our loyal guests, valued travel partners, the destinations we visit and our team members across the globe. We look forward to once again delivering best in class vacation experiences and also restarting our cruise ecosystem, bringing much needed economic benefit back to our homeports and the destinations we visit that have been significantly impacted by the halt in cruising.”
As Norwegian Cruise Line makes its final preparations to welcome guests onboard, guests will have the opportunity to follow along with its new docuseries, EMBARK – The Series, premiering April 15 at www.ncl.com/embark and Facebook.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises will announce details on their voyage resumption plans at a future date. All voyages on these brands with embarkation dates through July 31, 2021 have been cancelled.