Norwegian Cruise Line will return its entire fleet to operation by April, 2022, the cruise line announced during its recent earnings report.
The announcement comes as Norwegian Cruise Line ramps up restart plans with cruises having now resumed in the US and Mediterranean.
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Norwegian Jade began cruising from Piraeus in Greece on July 25th, marking the first passenger voyage conducted by the cruise line since it shut down operations in March last year.
On August 7th, Norwegian Encore resumed cruises, sailing from Seattle for Alaska, marking the first US passenger cruise for the line in over 15 months, while on Sunday, Norwegian Gem is scheduled to operate the first cruises from Miami.
“Last week we reached a historic milestone in our Great Cruise Comeback with the successful commencement of our relaunch with the first ship in our fleet, Norwegian Jade, sailing the Greek Isles,” said Frank Del Rio, President & CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.
“As we recommence operations, we are putting health and safety at the forefront with our robust, science-backed SailSAFE health and safety program, including our 100% vaccination policy which applies across all voyages on our three brands,” he added.
Del Rio added that the significant demand previously reported by Norwegian Cruise Line continues to influence its restart plans.
“We…continue to see incredible strength in our booking trends for future cruises. Our team is working tirelessly to execute on our plan to return our full fleet to operation by April 2022 to capitalize on this unparalleled pent-up demand,” Del Rio said.
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Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is the parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Del Rio’s comments applied to all three brands, with the 28 ships owned by the parent company expected to be back in operation by April 1st, 2022.
At least 21 ships will have returned to cruising by the end of the year, according to Norwegian Cruise Line’s latest restart plans, with August marking the busiest month (as it does for most other cruise lines).
Norwegian Cruise Line remains locked in an ongoing legal battle with the State of Florida over its vaccine passport ban. Norwegian Cruise Line wants to limit sailings to vaccinated passengers, a move that Florida has blocked.
In June, NCLH asked the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to invalidate Florida’s prohibition and to grant a preliminary injunction to allow it to resume sailing with the vaccine mandate in place.
Late last week, that injunction was granted to the cruise line, in a move legal experts have said is a major blow to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s effort to ban “vaccine passports”.
Norwegian has mandated vaccines across its three brands, and says that the precaution has not affected demand for future cruises, with 2022 bookings looking stronger than in 2019.
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