Luxury line Seabourn wins approval to restart cruises
Add Seabourn to the list of cruise lines promising a summer restart.
The Seattle-based luxury line on Tuesday said it has gotten a greenlight to resume operations in the Greek Islands in July from the government of Greece.
Seabourn said it planned a series of Greek Islands sailings out of Piraeus, Greece (the port for Athens) starting on July 3 that would mark its return to cruising after a 16-month hiatus.
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Seabourn said it would resume sailings with just one of its five vessels at first, the 600-passenger Seabourn Ovation. The ship will sail a series of seven-night Greek Islands trips out Piraeus that alternate between two itineraries.
“The entire Seabourn family is truly excited to provide our award-winning travel experience aboard Seabourn Ovation starting again this July in the Greek Isles,” Seabourn president Josh Leibowitz said in a statement accompanying the announcement. “We’re grateful to the people of Greece for welcoming Seabourn back to the Mediterranean this summer.”
One of the two Greek Islands itineraries that Seabourn plans will feature calls at the Greek destinations of Agios Nikolaos, Rhodes, Mykonos and Nafplion as well as Limassol, Cyprus.
The second itinerary will bring visits to the Greek destinations of Patmos, Rhodes, Thira and Spetsai along with a call at Paphos, Cyprus.
The two seven-night sailings can be combined to create a 14-night sailing that hits all the above ports. The voyages will open for bookings on April 12.
Seabourn said customers would need to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccine to board Seabourn Ovation for the trips.
In addition, passengers will be required to comply with any other health protocols that may be in place at the time of the sailings, the line said. These include policies that may be in place to reach Greece for the trips or to travel homewards.
The trips will be open to passengers from any country.
Greece is quickly becoming a main hub for what appears to be a rapidly evolving comeback of cruising.
Earlier Tuesday, Norwegian Cruise Line announced plans to resume cruising in July with a single ship sailing to the Greek Islands out of Piraeus. The line plans to add two more vessels back to service in the Caribbean in August.
Norwegian's announcement came just days after Celebrity Cruises announced it would resume Greek Islands cruises out of Piraeus in June and Royal Caribbean said it would launch Greek Islands sailings out of Cyprus in July.
Greek Islands cruise specialist Celestyal Cruises also has announced plans to restart operations with sailings in the Greek Islands starting in May.
As part of Tuesday's announcement, Seabourn said it was still finalizing details of the new Greek Islands sailings, including details of the shoreside experiences that will be available. The line promised more information in the coming weeks.
In related news, river and cruise operator Viking on Tuesday announced plans for a handful of "welcome back voyages" out of Bermuda and Reykjavik, Iceland, starting in June. There will be four sailings out of Bermuda, all focused entirely on Bermuda. There will be six sailings out of Reykjavik that only include calls in Iceland.
Viking already has announced plans to restart cruise operations in May with a handful of sailings out of the U.K.
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