Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), the innovator in global cruise travel, yesterday officially commemorated its highly-anticipated cruise comeback 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 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.
“Welcoming our guests and crew back 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 so 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.”
Norwegian Jade’s deployment in Athens 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.
“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.”
“Our long-awaited global return to cruising marks an incredibly significant moment for our brand, but also brings us one step closer to our restart in the Asia Pacific region. When Norwegian Sun arrives in the region for the very first time in 2022, guests will have the chance to experience NCL’s Freestyle cruising right from their doorstep,” said Ben Angell, Vice President and Managing Director, APAC at Norwegian Cruise Line.
Norwegian Jade is the first ship to recommence voyages as part NCL’s larger restart efforts. On 7 August 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 Sail Safe health and safety program, which at its cornerstone includes that all crew and guests must be fully vaccinated to embark for voyages through 31 October, 2021.
Working with the leading experts of the Sail Safe Global Health and Wellness Council, the robust 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 at www.ncl.com/sail-safe.