Two More Norwegian Ships Cancel Cruises
Norwegian Cruise Line has canceled voyages on two more ships, Norwegian Breakaway and Gem.
On Thursday, passengers sailing on Norwegian Gem received a letter informing them their current cruise was being cut short, and the ship was headed back to New York City. It was halfway through a 10-night Caribbean voyage that departed on January 9. It’s set to arrive there as scheduled on January 19.
Passengers will receive a full refund of the cruise, as well as a 50 percent future cruise credit.
Also on Thursday, guests booked on Norwegian Breakaway received emails saying the ship’s New Orleans cruises have been canceled through January 23.
Those two ship cancellations are in addition to 11 other ships on which Norwegian has recently canceled sailings.
CDC’s Conditional Sailing Order Expires
As of today, the CDC’s Conditional Sailing Order for ships calling in U.S. ports has officially expired.
In its place, the agency has introduced a new program that cruise lines can voluntarily opt into, called the “COVID-19 Program for Cruise Ships Operating in U.S. Waters.”
Ships that are opted into the program will continue to be monitored much like they were under the Conditional Sailing Order, with minimal changes. If a foreign-flagged ship does not opt in, it will be listed as gray in the CDC’s color code system, meaning the agency hasn’t reviewed or confirmed its health protocols.
All mainstream cruise lines are expected to opt into the new program.
Viking Neptune Floated Out in Italy
Viking’s upcoming ocean ship Viking Neptune has been floated out at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy.
Following a two-day process to set Neptune afloat, the ship will be moved to a nearby outfitting dock for final construction and interior build-out.
The float-out marks the next stage of construction for the 47,800 gross ton, 930 passenger vessel.
Viking Neptune expected to begin sailing in November 2022, following the debut of another ocean ship from the line in May, Viking Mars.