Norwegian Cruise to start Caribbean, Greek Isles trips in July

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings cruise ship Marina arrives at the Havana bay, Cuba March 9, 2017. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini/File Photo

(Reuters) - Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd said on Tuesday it would begin sailing outside the United States from the Caribbean and Greek Isles in July, restarting trips after a year-long hiatus brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company had appealed to federal health authorities on Monday to allow sailing from U.S. ports following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) latest guidance to the industry, including the need for COVID-19 vaccinations.

Norwegian Cruise will initially offer seven-day cruises to the Greek Isles from Athens (Piraeus), Greece beginning July 25, and seven-day Caribbean itineraries originating in Montego Bay, Jamaica and from La Romana, Dominican Republic in August.

The trips will operate with a robust health and safety program including mandatory vaccinations for all guests and crew and universal COVID-19 testing, the cruise operator said.

Royal Caribbean Group will also resume sailing some of its cruises from the Caribbean in June with vaccinated adult guests.

Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri