Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced this week that it will start seven-day cruises from Athens, Greece on July 25, 2021. Cruises from Montego Bay, Jamaica will set sail on August 7, and cruises from the Dominican Republic will set sail on August 15, 2021.
NCL is the latest cruise line to offer ‘fully-vaccinated’ cruises, requiring all passengers and crew to be vaccinated against Covid-19. All guests and crew must be fully vaccinated, at least 2 weeks prior to departure, in order to board. Guest vaccination requirements are currently for all Norwegian Cruise Line sailings embarking through October 31, 2021.
Cruise lines have yet to receive permission from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to restart cruises from U.S. ports. That will depend on how many Americans get the vaccine, how well the COVID-19 vaccine protects against variants, and how fast cruise lines can secure agreements with local U.S. ports and health authorities.
NCL’s Greek cruises on its Norwegian Jade ship will visit islands Iraklion, Rhodes, Mykonos, Katakolon, Corfu and Santorini. Cruises from Montego Bay, Jamaica, on its Norwegian Joy ship will visit the company’s private beach in Harvest Caye, Belize; Roatán, Honduras; Cozumel, Mexico; and Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Cruises on its Norwegian Gem ship from La Romana, Dominican Republic will visit Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Bridgetown, Barbados; Castries, St. Lucia; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and St. John’s, U.S. Virgin Islands.
As always, we recommend that before you book your cruise, that you visit the CDC’s website where you can research different cruise ships to see how they performed in their last inspection. These random inspections verify that ships are maintaining a healthy and safe environment on board. Now in a post-Covid world, this type of preparedness and vigilance is key when booking your next cruise.