Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has officially commemorated its 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, Mykonos, historical Rhodes and the iconic blue and white Santorini.
Harry Sommer, President and Chief Executive Officer, Norwegian Cruise Line, said, “Welcoming our guests and crew on board has been one of the most memorable moments of my over 30-year career. We are 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.”
Ben Angell, Vice President and Managing Director, APAC, Norwegian Cruise Line, said, “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.”
Harry Theoharis, Greek Minister of Tourism, added, “We are overjoyed to welcome Norwegian Jade and her guests to Greece. The planned itineraries will offer unique experiences that combine our rich history, bustling culture and famous gastronomy.”
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.
Sommer, said, “Norwegian Jade’s first Greek Isles voyages sold out shortly after we made the announcement that we were on our way back. 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.”
Norwegian Jade is the first ship to recommence voyages as part NCL’s larger restart efforts. On August 7, 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 October 31, 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.