When Norwegian Cruise Line returns to sailing this summer in Europe and the Caribbean, its guests will have the freedom to explore ports on their own.
Norwegian Cruise Line will allow guests to go ashore without signing up for a Norwegian-sponsored shore excursion, an approach that differs from other cruise lines that have decided to require guests to stay in their cruise line “bubbles” by going ashore and interacting only with other guests.
Norwegian made the update on its website last week, writing that “after working closely with our destination partners, guests are now able to explore ports of call on their own, according to the protocols in each specific port, and purchase shore excursions if they wish.” The full NCL sail safe protocols can be found here.
The cruise line is still requiring all guests and crew to be fully vaccinated at least two weeks prior to departure (that is a requirement that will remain in place through at least Oct. 31). Norwegian is also requiring COVID-19 antigen tests, paid for by Norwegian, prior to boarding.
However, the shore excursion news should provide guests the opportunity to have a closer-to-normal onshore experience, though local COVID-19 rules and protocols will still remain.
Just last week, Norwegian announced it was ramping up its restart, adding additional sailings in Europe from Barcelona and Rome with previously scheduled port-intensive itineraries to the Mediterranean and Greek Isles beginning Sept. 5, 2021.
Currently scheduled to sail from Barcelona, Norwegian Epic will cruise seven-night Western Mediterranean itineraries from Sept. 5 through Oct. 24. Norwegian Getaway will sail a mix of 10 to 11-day Greek Isles voyages from Rome (Civitavecchia) from Sept. 13 to Oct. 25.
Each of the itineraries has five to eight ports of call, up to 13 hours in each city and no more than two days at sea.
Norwegian also said it is actively working with local partners and government officials, as it plans for the resumption of voyages in the region with Norwegian Epic and Getaway joining Norwegian Jade this summer.