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BACK IN THE GAME: Norwegian Cruise Line announces its return to service

Norwegian Cruise Line has announced its highly anticipated return to service, with new itineraries sailing Europe and The Caribbean beginning 25 July, 2021.


The Cruise Line 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 northern hemisphere summer exploring ancient ruins and sunny beaches with all new seven-day cruises to the Greek Isles on Norwegian Jade from Athens (Piraeus) beginning 25 July, 2021. They can also island hop with week-long Caribbean itineraries available from Montego Bay, Jamaica as of 7 Aug, 2021 on Norwegian Joy or from Punta Cana (La Romana), Dominican Republic on Norwegian Gem beginning 15 Aug, 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 Oct. 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 Nov. 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.” 


While the Cruise Line already had robust health and safety protocols in place, it has spent the past year further developing and refining those protocols, using the latest scientific findings and expert advice. Its parent Company Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings recently launched its SailSAFE Health and Safety program, which is founded on three pillars: 1) Safety for guests and crew with vaccination requirements, universal COVID-19 testing and enhanced health screening protocols; 2) Safety aboard with medical-grade air filtration, increased sanitation measures and enhanced medical resources; and 3) Safety ashore through the collaboration with land-based tour operator partners to extend health and safety measures to each destination.  As protocols evolve and additional information becomes available, updates will be published at    


Guests have the opportunity to follow along as the Company makes its final preparations to welcome guests on board with its new docuseries, EMBARK – The Series, will be available on demand as of 16 April at 10am AEST/12pm NZST at


The Cruise Line has been working closely with destination partners and others to help provide not only a safe holiday but an exceptional experience for guests.


Sommer said, “Resuming operations is a comprehensive endeavor, involving many parties around the globe. We are very proud of our collaborations and look forward to deeper partnerships as we forge into the future.”


These new Caribbean itineraries provide guests with ten to 11 hours of port time with each sailing featuring only two days at sea and four distinct ports of call.  In addition, guests embarking on voyages from Montego Bay, Jamaica on Norwegian Joy will enjoy a visit to Harvest Caye, the Company’s private resort destination in Belize.


Guests sailing aboard Norwegian Jade’s Greek Isles itinerary this northern hemisphere summer and beginning of the northern hemisphere autumn will wake up in a new destination every day with eight to nine hours of port time to explore.


In conjunction with its return to service announcement, the Cruise Line 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 1 Sept, 2021; and Norwegian Pearl through 7 Nov, 2021 have also been cancelled. Guests and Travel Partners with impacted reservations will be contacted directly.


The Cruise Line also extended its temporary Peace of Mind cancellation policy to guests sailing on cruises booked by 30 April, 2021 with embarkation dates through 31 Oct, 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 31 Dec, 2022. In addition, final payment for all voyages with embarkations through 31 Oct, 2021, will require payment 30 days prior to embarkation versus the standard 120 days. 


Travellers seeking the latest details about Norwegian’s redeployment can register here.


For more information about the Company’s award-winning 17-ship fleet and worldwide itineraries, or to book a cruise, please contact a travel professional, call NCL in Australia on 1300 255 200 or in New Zealand on 0800 969 283 or visit


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Published: 7 April 2021

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