Cruise Restart - Norwegian Cruise Line Welcomes First Guests after 500-day Hiatus
Cruise shipping company Norwegian Cruise Line on Sunday officially marked return to business, with its Norwegian Jade ship the first of its 17-ship fleet to welcome guests after 500 days. It was also another first for the Norwegian Jade, as it became Norwegian Cruise Line's first vessel to homeport in Athens (Piraeus).
"Until November 2021, guests sailing aboard Norwegian Jade's immersive Greek Isles itinerary will wake up in a new destination every day, able to spend eight-to-nine hours exploring some of Greece's most picturesque islands including luxurious Crete, bustling Mykonos, historical Rhodes and the iconic blue and white Santorini," Norwegian Cruise Line said.
"Welcoming our guests and crew on board has been one of the most memorable moments of my over 30-year career," said Harry Sommer, president, and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. "We are excited to embark on the Great Cruise Comeback with a brand-new itinerary and homeport for our brand, offering our guests an even greater selection of unique vacations at sea."
Greek Minister of Tourism Harry Theoharis added, "We are overjoyed to welcome Norwegian Jade and her guests to Greece. The planned itineraries will offer unique experiences that combine our rich history, bustling culture, and famous gastronomy."
"Norwegian Jade's deployment in Athens is part of a long-term strategy to further increase the brand's presence in Europe, one of the line's most popular cruise destinations. Through 2023, the company plans to position nine ships in the region, with Norwegian Dawn, Epic, Escape, Getaway, Gem, Jade and Star scheduled to sail in Greece," the company said.
Voyages in Greece sold out quickly. U.S. restart planned soon
"Norwegian Jade's first Greek Isles voyages sold out shortly after we made the announcement that we were on our way back," said Sommer. "With such strong demand, we are glad to expand our offering in Greece with seven ships through 2023, providing our guests with a range of innovative vessels and itineraries to choose from."
Norwegian Jade is the first ship to restart voyages as part of the company's larger restart efforts.
On Aug. 7, 2021, Norwegian Encore will be the first ship to return to service from the U.S., when she debuts in Seattle for her inaugural season of Alaska cruises.
"The fleetwide redeployment will continue in partnership with local governments and are guided by the robust protocols of the Company's SailSAFETM health and safety program, which at its cornerstone includes that all crew and guests must be fully vaccinated to embark for voyages through Oct. 31, 2021," Norwegian Cruise Line said.
'Peace of Mind'
Norwegian Cruise Line also said that its Peace of Mind cancelation policy remains in effect for cruises with embarkation dates through Oct. 31, 2021.
"Guests booked on these sailings have the flexibility to cancel their cruise 15 days prior to departure and receive a full refund in the form of a future cruise credit which may be applied to any sailing through Dec. 31, 2022," Norwegian Cruise Line said.