The Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings family of cruise lines has announced a return to offshore sailing beginning in August.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises will restart cruising with voyages from the U.K. beginning in September.
The Splendor’s voyage on 11SEP 2021 also marks the resumption of Regent’s new flagship’s inaugural season. The Splendor had only completed two cruises with guests after being christened in February 2020.
Oceania Cruises will resume operations with sailings to Scandinavia and Western Europe beginning in August.
Oceania’s Marina will resume her originally published voyage schedule commencing on 29AUG, 2021 in Copenhagen.
All voyages on Regent and Oceania, excluding these newly announced voyages, with embarkation dates through 30SEP, 2021 have been cancelled. NCLH says impacted guests on voyages that will not operate will be notified accordingly.
Norwegian Cruise Line will continue its phased restart with Mediterranean voyages on board Norwegian Epic and Norwegian Getaway in September, following its previously announced Caribbean and Europe itineraries beginning in July and August.
Currently scheduled to sail from Barcelona, Norwegian Epic will cruise seven-night Western Mediterranean itineraries from 05SEP 2021 through 24OCT, 2021.
Norwegian Getaway will sail a mix of 10 to 11-day Greek Isles voyages from Rome (Civitavecchia) from 13 SEP, 2021 to 25OCT, 2021.
“Europe is a top travel destination, so we are very much looking forward to returning to some of our most beloved homeports,” said Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “We are actively working with our local partners and government officials, as we plan for resumption of voyages in the region.”
“While cruising has not yet restarted from Spanish ports, the Port of Barcelona has been closely working and cooperating with the Spanish Ministry of Health and with the Health Department of the local government of Catalonia towards the same objective: the resumption of cruise traffic following the safest protocols for guests, crew and the inhabitants of Barcelona,” said Mercè Conesa, president of the Port of Barcelona. “We are hopeful that we will soon welcome Norwegian Cruise Line and its guests to Barcelona.”
All NCLH voyages will initially operate with fully vaccinated guests and crew in addition to NCLH’s SailSAFETM health and safety program, which includes universal COVID-19 testing prior to embarkation.
“We are pleased to unveil the next chapter of our resumption of cruise voyages embarking outside of the U.S. with sailings in Europe on all three of our award-winning brands. We value the health, safety and well-being of our guests, crew and the communities we visit above all else and we have worked tirelessly to develop our science-backed plan to safely resume cruising, including mandatory vaccinations and robust SailSAFE preventative protocols,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.
Still Planning on Summer Sailing in U.S. Waters
He also says the company hasn’t given up on sailing this summer from U.S. ports.
As reported in Open Jaw NCLH issued a public challenge to the CDC earlier this month, submitting a plan to restart cruising from U.S. ports starting July 4th and requesting the CDC lift its Conditional Sail Order.
The company simultaneously announced the launch of the first NCL offshore sailings.
Del Rio is quoted as saying at the time, “I challenge you to tell me of another venue anywhere that has this kind of iron-clad health and safety protocols in place … cruise ships will de facto become the safest place on earth.”
Today’s announcement that all NCLH brands will commence offshore cruising is, according to Del Rio, “part of our two-pronged approach to return to cruising within and outside of the U.S.. We are simultaneously planning for a potential resumption of cruising from U.S. ports while we await further discussion with the CDC regarding our proposal for a July 4th restart to participate in America’s national opening.”