Norwegian Adds More Ships to Restart Plans… Outside the United States

While cruises from the United States are still suspended, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. — parent of Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises — continues to move toward a return to sailing elsewhere.

Regent Seven Seas at the dock

Today, the company announced the addition of trips from Barcelona and Rome for Norwegian Cruise Line, a resumption of sailing from Copenhagen for Oceania Cruises, and a return of Regent Seven Seas with U.K. cruises starting in September.

For NCL, Norwegian Epic will cruise week-long Mediterranean trips starting in September, departing Barcelona. Norwegian Getaway will sail 10/11-day trips from Rome to the Greek Isles, starting later the same month.

Interestingly, the trips don’t appear to be set in stone. Cruises have yet to sail from Spain, but officials are “hopeful” on welcoming them back.

“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.”

As for Oceania Cruises, it announced that one of its ships, Marina, will resume sailing in August. It has planned trips to Scandinavia and Western Europe, departing from Denmark.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises now plans to sail from the United Kingdom with trips aboard the Seven Seas Splendor. Those sailings will start in mid-September, with an 11-night trip from England, followed by cruises in the Mediterranean, including departures from Barcelona, Venice, Istanbul, and Athens.

More Opening Up Outside the United States

These trips mark even more sailings that continue to open up around the world, while cruising is still paused here in the United States. For instance, Norwegian Cruise Line has already announced cruises sailing from Montego Bay, Jamaica and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic this summer.

Rival Royal Caribbean has plans to sail from spots like Israel, Bermuda, The Bahamas, and more. Carnival Cruise Line has said that it may have no choice but to look at sailing outside the United States to return to cruising.

In the meantime, the impasse between government officials in the U.S. and cruise companies continues to drag on.

While the industry has called for a return to sailing by July 4th, Florida has filed a suit to allow cruises to return, and there have even been bills introduced in Congress to allow sailing, it’s still not clear when cruises might return. Multiple times there have been optimistic comments from cruise executives about a return, yet there is still no concrete date.

At this point, American cruise passengers wanting to set sail will have to do so by first departing the United States to board a ship.

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