Norwegian Joy, Norwegian Gem, and Norwegian Jade will be the first three NCL cruise ships to resume service.
Norwegian Jade will begin sailing from Athens, Greece on July 25 with seven night cruises to the Greek Isles. Norwegian Joy will sail week long cruises from Montego Bay, Jamaica starting on August 7. Norwegian Gem will begin sailing seven night cruises from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic on August 15.
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 cruise line’s private resort destination in Belize.
In conjunction with its return to service announcement, the NCL canceled all July and August itineraries aboard Norwegian Breakaway, Dawn, Escape, Getaway, Sky, Spirit, Star and Sun. In addition, voyages aboard Norwegian Epic through September 1, 2021; and Norwegian Pearl through November 7, 2021 have also been canceled.
“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 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.”
While the Norwegian 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.
Yesterday, its parent company Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings launched its SailSAFE Health and Safety program, which is founded on three pillars:
- Safety for guests and crew with vaccination requirements, universal COVID-19 testing and enhanced health screening protocols;
- Safety aboard with medical-grade air filtration, increased sanitation measures and enhanced medical resources; and
- Safety ashore through the collaboration with land-based tour operator partners to extend health and safety measures to each destination.