Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), the innovator in global cruise travel, today announced a further restart of operations in Europe from the homeports of Barcelona and Rome (Civitavecchia) with previously scheduled port-intensive itineraries to the Mediterranean and Greek Isles beginning Sept. 5, 2021.
Guided by the robust protocols of the SailSAFE Global Health and Safety Program, and in partnership with local governments, NCL plans to welcome travelers to experience the warm and vibrant cultures and sites of Spain, Italy and Greece. Currently scheduled to sail from Barcelona, Norwegian Epic will cruise seven-night Western Mediterranean itineraries from Sept. 5, 2021 through Oct. 24, 2021, with Norwegian Getaway sailing a mix of 10 to 11-day Greek Isles voyages from Rome (Civitavecchia) from Sept. 13, 2021 to Oct. 25, 2021. With five to eight ports of call, up to 13 hours in each city and no more than two days at sea, guests can spend their days exploring ancient ruins and medieval architecture, admiring artistic masterpieces or simply savoring a variety of local cuisine.
“Europe is a top travel destination, so we are very much looking forward to returning to some of our most beloved homeports, resuming those itineraries and welcoming our guests to experience a vacation of a lifetime in the safest possible manner,” said Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “We are actively working with our local partners and government officials, as we plan for resumption of voyages in the region with Norwegian Epic and Getaway joining Norwegian Jade this summer. Relaunching Norwegian Epic and Getaway will allow us to provide a greater variety of highly sought-after itineraries for those travelers preparing to take their first cruise vacation in over a year.”
“While cruising has not yet restarted from Spanish ports, the Port of Barcelona has been closely working and cooperating with the Spanish Ministry of Health and with the Health Department of the local government of Catalonia towards the same objective: the resumption of cruise traffic following the safest protocols for guests, crew and the inhabitants of Barcelona,” said Mercè Conesa, president of the Port of Barcelona. “We are hopeful that we will soon welcome Norwegian Cruise Line and its guests to Barcelona.”
Norwegian Epic Redesign
Reaffirming the Company’s commitment to elevating the guest experience at sea, the Cruise Line will debut an all-new The Haven by Norwegian complex aboard Norwegian Epic, following an extensive refurbishment in Marseille, France at the end of 2020. Norwegian Epic was the first in the fleet to premiere the Brand’s key-card access ship-within-a-ship concept in 2010, complete with private amenities, dedicated services and the most luxurious accommodations on board. The recent renovation resulted in 75 reimagined and upgraded suites combined with redesigned experiences including The Haven Restaurant and The Haven Courtyard Pool and Sundeck. Norwegian Epic features one of the largest The Haven complexes in the Norwegian fleet.
“Although we have been unable to connect with our guests at sea, we have used the last year to prepare for their return by investing in our fleet and our onboard offerings,” said Sommer. “Norwegian Epic’s redesign is a testament to our unwavering commitment to extraordinary quality and elevating the standard of excellence across our fleet.”
EMBARK – The Series, Episode 2
Following this month’s highly successful global debut of “EMBARK – The Series,” the five-part docuseries chronicling the Company’s highly anticipated comeback, is the second episode, “Second to None,” scheduled to premiere on Friday, May 21, 2021 at 8 a.m. at www.ncl.com/embark and Facebook. The episode will further explore themes of health and safety, the evolution of the Company’s culinary offerings and the intricacies of operating one of the world’s largest traveling production companies.
“The first episode of EMBARK – The Series set the stage for what viewers can expect throughout the five-part series, and episode two will continue to bring viewers along for an honest look at the future of cruising as it unfolds” said Sommer. “The most exciting part is that we are filming each episode in real time, so viewers are truly experiencing decisions regarding our return to service as they’re being made.”
The upcoming episode will provide insight into guest and crew safety protocols being implemented both onboard and on-land, along with a behind-the-scenes look at the Brand’s private island in the Bahamas, Great Stirrup Cay. Viewers will preview the sweeping changes being implemented to help ensure the safety of all, while not sacrificing the thrill-filled experience guests have come to know and love. The episode will also return viewers to New York City to John Kristiansen’s Custom Costume Shop, where the designer costumes for the Company’s Broadway and West End-caliber productions are masterfully created. Kristiansen shares his story about how the temporary pause of the entertainment and cruise industries have impacted his team and operation and how they are overcoming these extraordinary circumstances to comeback better than ever. Onlookers will also pull up a seat for a private tasting of the revitalized menu for the specialty on board restaurant, Le Bistro, alongside the Company’s executive leadership team, including Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ President and Chief Executive Officer Frank Del Rio and President and Chief Executive Officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Harry Sommer.
The first episode of “EMBARK – The Series,” which to date has received over 700,000 views, premiered live on April 16, 2021 and is now streaming on-demand as part of NCL’s recently announced EMBARK with NCL content platform at www.ncl.com/embark. The next episode, “Second to None,” is scheduled to air on May 21, 2021 at www.ncl.com/embark at 8:00 a.m. HKT.
In conjunction with today’s redeployment announcement, the Cruise Line has canceled all voyages on Norwegian Bliss and Pride of America through July 31, 2021; Norwegian Getaway through Sept. 2, 2021; Norwegian Dawn, Spirit and Star through Sept. 30, 2021; Norwegian Sun through Oct. 7, 2021; Norwegian Escape through Oct. 10, 2021; Norwegian Breakaway through Oct. 17, 2021; and Norwegian Gem from Oct. 29 through Nov. 17, 2021. Guests and Travel Partners with impacted reservations will be contacted directly.
As of today, the Company has announced the redeployment of five of its 17 ships beginning as early as July 25, 2021, sailing new and revised itineraries in Europe and The Caribbean, as part of its return to service plans. Guests will be able to cruise the Greek Isles with seven-night itineraries on Norwegian Jade from Athens (Piraeus) beginning July 25, 2021; or aboard Norwegian Getaway with 10 to 11-day voyages departing from Rome (Civitavecchia) from Sept. 13, 2021 to Oct. 25, 2021. In addition, week-long Western Mediterranean itineraries will be available on Norwegian Epic from Barcelona between Sept. 5, 2021 through Oct. 24, 2021. The Company will also resume cruises to The Caribbean on Aug. 7, 2021 with week-long Western Caribbean itineraries aboard Norwegian Joy from Montego Bay, Jamaica; and seven-night Eastern Caribbean voyages from Punta Cana (La Romana), Dominican Republic on Norwegian Gem. As these first ships prepare to welcome guests back on board, the Company looks forward to announcing further redeployments in the near future.
The Cruise Line also extended its temporary Peace of Mind cancelation policy to guests sailing on cruises with embarkation dates through Oct. 31, 2021. These guests have the flexibility to cancel their cruise 15 days prior to departure. Those who take advantage of the Peace of Mind policy will receive a full refund in the form of a future cruise credit which may be applied to any sailing through Dec. 31, 2022. In addition, final payment for all voyages with embarkations through Oct. 31, 2021, will require payment 60 days prior to embarkation versus the standard 70 days.
Norwegian Cruise Line will continue to take a thoughtful approach to redeploying its fleet, working in partnership with its destination partners and the leading experts of the Sail SAFE Global Health and Wellness Council. The Council will regularly evaluate the robust protocols of the Sail SAFE Health and Safety program and make 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.