MIAMI — It was a double dose of celebrations for Norwegian Cruise Line yesterday, with the Norwegian Jade not only becoming the line’s first ship to resume sailing but also the first in its history to homeport in Athens.
The ship, which embarked for the Greek Isles on July 25 with a brand new itinerary, is the first in NCL’s fleet to recommence voyages after a 500-day suspension due to the global pandemic. Following the Norwegian Jade, Norwegian Encore is set to return to service from the U.S. on Aug. 7, 2021 when it debuts in Seattle for its inaugural season of Alaska cruises.
Norwegian Jade’s immersive Greek Isles itinerary will be available until November 2021, spending eight-to-nine hours each day exploring some of Greece’s most picturesque islands, including Crete, Mykonos, Rhodes and Santorini. According to Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line, the ship’s first Greek Isles voyages sold out shortly after the company made the announcement of resumption.
“Welcoming our guests and crew onboard has been one of the most memorable moments of my over-30-year career,” said Sommer. “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.”
The ship’s deployment in Athens (Piraeus) is part of a long-term strategy to further increase NCL’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.
“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,” said Sommer.
NCL’s fleetwide redeployment will continue in partnership with local governments and are guided by the protocols set out in its SailSAFE health and safety program. In addition to extensive health and safety measures, the program also requires all crew and guests must be fully vaccinated to embark for voyages through Oct. 31, 2021.For all protocols and updates go to www.ncl.com/sail-safe.
For added assurance, NCL’s 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.
For the latest information on NCL’s redeployment click here.