Norwegian Cruise Line has announced its return to revenue sailing with a Greek Isles itinerary aboard the Norwegian Jade.
The Miami owner of 17 vessels, which is the flagship brand for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, has homeported the 3,590-berth Norwegian Jade (built 2006) in Athens with plans to offer voyages through the Greek Isles until November.
The vessel is the first cruiseship ever to make Greece's capital its homeport as part of Norwegian Cruise Line's Great Cruise Comeback, according to the company.
"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 Cruise Line chief executive Harry Sommer said.
"Norwegian Jade's first Greek Isles voyages sold out shortly after we made the announcement that we were on our way back."
Pulling up those anchors
The six other ships in the restart effort are the 2,340-berth Norwegian Dawn (built 2002), 4,100-berth Norwegian Epic (built 2010), 4,248-berth Norwegian Escape (built 2015), 3,903-berth Norwegian Getaway (built 2014), 2,394-berth Norwegian Gem (built 2007) and 2,348-berth Norwegian Star (built 2001).
The brand expects to position two other ships in the region by the end of 2023 but would not say which ones.
The company also plans to debut the 3,998-berth Norwegian Encore (built 2019) in Seattle on 7 August for its inaugural season of Alaska cruises.
Norwegian Cruise Line said it will redeploy these vessels while working with local governments to prevent Covid-19 outbreaks.
It will also follow its SailSAFETM health and safety programme, which requires all crew and guests to be fully vaccinated by the end of October.
Norwegian Cruise Line announced these plans just days after a federal appeals court upheld a lower court order prohibiting the US government from enforcing coronavirus-related cruiseship rules in Florida, Reuters has reported.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's October 2020 conditional sail order required passengers to show proof of vaccination.
Florida passed a state law on 1 July that prohibited owners from doing this, so Norwegian Cruise Line sued the state on the grounds that the law prevented a safe return to cruising.
Passengers may cancel their cruise 15 days before departure and receive a future cruise credit toward any sailing to the end of next year.