Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) commemorated its highly-anticipated cruise comeback on Sunday (July 25) with a double debut: Norwegian Jade was not only the first of its 17-ship fleet to welcome guests after 500 days, she also made NCL history as the first vessel to homeport in Athens (Piraeus).
Until November 2021, guests sailing aboard Norwegian Jade's 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 Crete, Mykonos, Rhodes and Santorini.
"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."
The restart begins
Norwegian Jade's deployment in Athens is part of a long-term strategy to "further increase" the brand's presence in Europe, NCL said.
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.
"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 recommence voyages as part of the NCL'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 NCL's SailSAFE 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.
Working with the leading experts of the SailSAFE Global Health and Wellness Council, the protocols will regularly be evaluated and modified as needed, making science-based decisions to protect guests, crew and the destinations it visits.
As protocols evolve and additional information becomes available, updates will be published here.
Travellers seeking the latest details about NCL's redeployment should click here.
The cruise line's Peace of Mind cancellation 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.