Port Canaveral saw its first Norwegian Cruise Line ship return to service over the weekend when Norwegian Escape resumed sailings from Central Florida. Escape is now the eighth ship to return to cruising in the 17-ship fleet.
“We have welcomed back more than 110,000 guests worldwide as part of our global redeployment efforts,” said Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Our Great Cruise Comeback stems beyond the relaunch of our vessels but also the return of our shipboard team members who have been excited to return to deliver unforgettable vacations experiences to our guests.”
Norwegians’ comeback to redeploy its entire fleet began on July 25, 2021, when Norwegian Jade was the first vessel to set sail with seven-day itineraries to the Greek Isles after a 500-day suspension of service. A couple of weeks later, Encore began sailing seven-night Alaska cruises from Seattle. The line hopes to have all 17 ships back in service by spring 2022.
Since the cruise industry restart, Port Canaveral has already seen Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Disney, and MSC Cruises sailing, with Norwegian becoming the fifth operator to return.
The fleetwide redeployment will continue in partnership with local governments and is guided by the protocols of the Sail Safe health and safety program, which at its cornerstone requires that all crew and guests must be fully vaccinated to embark on all NCL voyages for the foreseeable future.
Down the coast in PortMiami, Norwegian Gem is sailing seven-night Caribbean cruises, and Encore is scheduled to restart later this month.
Norwegian Escape will sail from Port Canaveral on seven-day voyages to the Eastern Caribbean visiting major ports including Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Great Stirrup Cay, the company’s private island in the Bahamas.
On December 23, 2021, she will embark on an 11-day holiday journey visiting nine destination-rich ports of call where guests can celebrate Christmas Day in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic and partake in New Year’s Eve festivities in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands before continuing the voyage to Bridgetown, Barbados and St. John’s, Antigua.