Want the most choice of ships to book? Nearly 100% of ships will be sailing by July

Mar 15, 2022

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Can’t remember if your favorite ship has returned to sailing after the prolonged shutdown of the cruise industry? The uncertainty is nearly at an end because, as of this summer, cruising will have completed its comeback.

All the major big-ship cruise lines – Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean – have announced that nearly 100% of their fleets will be operational by the end of June. For summer vacations and beyond, cruisers will have the broadest selection of ships to sail since the pandemic began.

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Some cruise lines will be fully back well before the quarter’s end. “With the opening of the Alaska season in May, Carnival will have returned its entire fleet to service, less than 10 months after resuming operations,” the company said in a recent press release.

Norwegian Cruise Line is on the same schedule. “All of our vessels are expected to sail by early May and in time for the peak summer season,” Frank Del Rio, the president and CEO of the cruise line’s parent company said in its Q4 2021 earnings call.

Royal Caribbean will have its entire fleet in service by the end of May, Holland America will be back in full force by mid-June and Celebrity Cruises’ last ship debuts in late June.

Princess Cruises had planned for all but one of its ships to return to service by the end of June. However, with the recent reopening of Australian ports to cruise ships, the line’s Australia-based Coral Princess will set sail in June instead of September 2022.

The cruise industry ramped up slowly after it was shut down for more than 15 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In North America, the first ships didn’t welcome passengers onboard until June 2021, and the lines gradually expanded their operations throughout 2021 as destinations opened up and the CDC granted them permission to sail from U.S. ports.

This year had a rough start that saw cruise lines pulling ships from service due to the omicron surge, but with new CDC guidance, mask mandates falling and more destinations opening back up to cruise ships, the major cruise lines are looking forward to welcoming more passengers on their full fleets from a large roster of U.S. and international-based ports.

(Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)

Want the details? Here’s where the biggest cruise lines currently stand.

Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival recently had three ships return to sailing in early March; a fourth comes online in time for the Alaska season. The line recently announced that Carnival Sensation will leave the fleet without ever coming back from its pandemic hiatus. (Carnival Ecstasy will sail this spring and summer and depart the fleet in October.)

Restart dates include:

  • Carnival Ecstasy: March 5 from Mobile, Alabama
  • Carnival Spirit: March 7 from Jacksonville, Florida
  • Carnival Paradise: March 12 from Tampa, Florida
  • Carnival Splendor: May 2 from Seattle, Washington

Celebrity Cruises

As of March, 11 Celebrity Cruises ships are in service, including the line’s three Galapagos-based expedition ships. In addition to its remaining ships starting to sail this spring, the line will welcome its newest ship, Celebrity Beyond.

Restart dates include:

  • Celebrity Eclipse: April 23 from Vancouver
  • Celebrity Beyond: April 27 from Southampton, England
  • Celebrity Solstice: May 6 from Seattle
  • Celebrity Infinity: June 25 from Fort Lauderdale

Holland America

Holland America has six ships currently in service, with five more coming online this spring. Restart dates include:

  • Noordam: April 24 from Fort Lauderdale
  • Zaandam: May 12 from Fort Lauderdale
  • Volendam: May 15 from Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Oosterdam: May 1 from Civitavecchia, Italy (the port for Rome)
  • Westerdam: June 12 from Seattle

Norwegian Cruise Line

Twelve Norwegian Cruise Line ships are now sailing; the line’s most recent debut was Norwegian Sky in early March. New ship Norwegian Prima will sail its maiden voyage in mid-August.

Restart dates include:

  • Norwegian Sky: March 2 from Miami
  • Norwegian Jewel: March 29 from Panama City, Panama
  • Norwegian Star: April 3 from Barcelona
  • Pride of America: April 9 from Honolulu
  • Norwegian Sun: May 5 from Seattle
  • Norwegian Spirit: May 7 from Papeete, Tahiti
  • Norwegian Prima: September 3 from Amsterdam

Princess Cruises

Six Princess ships will welcome their first passengers in two years this spring, including Australia-based Coral Princess.

Restart dates include:

  • Island Princess: April 27 from Fort Lauderdale
  • Royal Princess: May 2 from Vancouver
  • Crown Princess: May 7 from Seattle
  • Diamond Princess: June 14 from Yokohama, Japan
  • Sapphire Princess: June 25 from Los Angeles
  • Coral Princess: June 2022 from Brisbane, Australia (exact sail dates and itineraries will be announced on Thursday)

Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean’s newest ship (and the biggest ship in the world) Wonder of the Seas debuted last week with a maiden sailing from Fort Lauderdale. It was followed by the re-launch of Vision of the Seas on March 7. Six more ships will welcome guests back in April and May, with Rhapsody of the Seas being the last ship to return to service for the cruise line.

Restart dates include:

  • Vision of the Seas: March 7 from Fort Lauderdale
  • Spectrum of the Seas: April 11 from Singapore
  • Voyager of the Seas: April 15 from Barcelona
  • Radiance of the Seas: April 23 from Los Angeles
  • Serenade of the Seas: April 26 from Los Angeles
  • Ovation of the Seas: May 5 from Vancouver
  • Rhapsody of the Seas: May 23 from Civitavecchia, Italy (the port for Rome)

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Featured image courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line.

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