Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH) (the “Company”), a leading global cruise company which operates the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, today announced its much anticipated expected return to cruising in the U.S. this summer with Alaska cruises on Norwegian Bliss sailing from Seattle beginning August 7, 2021. The restart of cruising in the U.S. is contingent on obtaining a Conditional Sailing Certificate from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), which the Company expects to be granted in the coming days. Voyages will operate with all guests and crew required to be fully vaccinated, along with the implementation of the Company’s robust, multi-layered SailSAFETM health and safety program.
“We are thrilled to reach the next milestone in our Great Cruise Comeback with the expected resumption of cruising in the U.S. starting in Alaska, one of our guests’ most popular destinations. This is a moment we have all been waiting for and it would not have been possible without the strong support of the Alaska congressional delegation who worked tirelessly to pass legislation that temporarily waives certain requirements of the Passenger Vessel Services Act,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “Cruise travel is vital to Alaska’s extensive tourism economy and we collaboratively worked alongside local, state and national authorities to find a path forward to resume cruise operations and provide much needed relief to the families, communities and small businesses who rely on cruise tourism for their livelihoods. We look forward to re-starting the broad cruise ecosystem which supports thousands of American jobs and welcoming our guests back onboard to create memories of a lifetime.”
The Company previously announced its two-pronged plan for its long-awaited return to cruising within and outside of the U.S. this summer. In April, the Company announced its phased cruise resumption for voyages embarking outside of the U.S. with seven ships across its three award-winning brands. The Company continues to expect a phased-in approach to reintroducing additional vessels across its three brands while taking into account the public health environment, global travel restrictions and port availability, among other considerations. All voyages will operate with the Company’s comprehensive SailSAFETM health and safety protocols which were developed with leading public health and scientific experts including the Healthy Sail Panel and the SailSAFE Global Health and Wellness Council. The Company’s SailSAFE protocols will be continuously evaluated and modified with the latest science and technology.