Norwegian Cruise Line's (NCL) parent company, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (NCLH) has been returning ships to service after 500 days of being laid up due to Covid-19, shared Braydon Holland, NCL senior director of sales Asia, speaking via video link at CruiseWorld Asia 2021, held on 14 December.
Holland said passengers were reassured by the health and safety precautions taken by NCL as well as the payment protection offered by NCL for anyone forced to cancel or change a trip due to circumstances beyond their control.
Norwegian Jade was the first ship to return to service, and on 8 December, Norwegian Dawn started sailing in the Caribbean.
Norwegian Spirit and Norwegian Sun are primed to start sailing in Asia at the end of March next year. Norwegian Prima, the latest ship to join the family, will start sailing in August next year.
NCL expects its full fleet to be active by summer next year. Additionally, NCHL CEO Frank Del Rio has reported its three brands – Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises – are seeing strong bookings from the second half of 2022 to the entire 2023.
One of the Prima’s signature experiences will be the Ocean Boulevard, which will allow guests to stroll across water on glass bridges, or swim in infinity pools designed to blend into the ocean.
The Ocean Boulevard, superseding the Ocean Boardwalk on earlier NCL ships, is metres longer than the Boardwalk, with 360-degree views and facilities, “taken to the next level”, Holland said. Suites and studios onboard will be larger than on previous NCL ships.
In other news, NCLH has signed a multi-year agreement with the Panama Tourism Authority which allows the company to seasonally homeport at the Colon Cruise Terminal as well as at Fuerte Amador Cruise Terminal located on the Pacific Ocean side of the country and adjacent to Panama City.
In 2022 and 2023, NCLH will offer 12 homeport voyages, starting with Norwegian Jewel on 20 March 2022.