Skip to content

3 major cruise lines just made it clear their ships won't all be back for a long time

May 26, 2021
5 min read
3 major cruise lines just made it clear their ships won't all be back for a long time
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

It's official: It's going to take many, many months for Norwegian Cruise Line to get all of its ships back into operation.

Ditto for Norwegian's two sister lines, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

The three cruise brands on Wednesday announced restart plans for more than half of their collective fleets with restart dates for ships that still are five to nine months away.

For more cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG's new cruise newsletter.

The restart plans covered eight of Norwegian's 17 ships, three of Oceania's six ships and four of Regent's five ships.

The earliest restart date announced for any of the vessels was Oct. 16. Some of the vessels won't be back in operation until February of 2022.

The announcements come as the lines prepare to tiptoe back into cruising over the next four months with sailings on just a handful of vessels and are consistent with longstanding plans at the brands to return to cruising in a gradual way.

Norwegian Cruise Line's 4,004-passenger Norwegian Encore is now scheduled to restart operations in November. (Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)

Norwegian plans to restart operations on July 25 with a single ship (Norwegian Jade) sailing Greek island voyages out of Piraeus, Greece. It then plans to start Caribbean cruises out of the Dominican Republic and Alaska cruises out of Seattle in August with one ship in each destination (Norwegian Gem and Norwegian Bliss, respectively).

Norwegian also has announced that two more vessels, Norwegian Epic and Norwegian Getaway, will restart operations in September and October, respectively.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Oceania plans to restart operations in the Mediterranean on Aug. 29 with just one ship, the 1,250-passenger Marina.

Regent plans to restart operations in Europe on Sept. 11 with just one ship, the 750-passenger Seven Seas Splendor.

None of the lines has operated a single cruise departure since the COVID-19 outbreak was declared a pandemic in March of 2020.

Related: The ultimate guide to Norwegian Cruise Line

Frank Del Rio, the president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, has said repeatedly over the past year that the company would resume operations gradually over many months.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is the parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

"Our great cruise comeback continues to build momentum with today’s announcement of the return of 15 additional ships across our three brands," Del Rio said in a statement accompanying Wednesday's announcement.

In its announcement on Wednesday, Norwegian Cruise Line said it would bring back one ship in October, three in November, one in December, two in January and one in February. Specifically:

  • Norwegian Breakaway will cruise from New York starting Oct. 24.
  • Pride of America will cruise from Honolulu starting Nov. 6.
  • Norwegian Encore will cruise from Miami starting Nov. 14.
  • Norwegian Escape will cruise from Port Canaveral, Florida, starting Nov. 20.
  • Norwegian Pearl will cruise from Miami starting Dec. 23.
  • Norwegian Jewel will cruise from Panama City, Panama, starting Jan. 20, 2022.
  • Norwegian Sun will sail from Hong Kong starting Jan. 28, 2022.
  • Norwegian Spirit will cruise from Sydney, Australia, and Auckland, New Zealand, starting Feb. 9, 2022.

In addition, Norwegian pushed back the restart date for Norwegian Joy from Aug. 7 to Oct. 19. The ship no longer will sail Caribbean voyages out of Montego Bay, Jamaica, that were announced just seven weeks ago. The line said it was moving crew from the vessel to Norwegian Bliss to allow that ship to restart sailings to Alaska in August.

The announcement leaves just three Norwegian ships for which the line has yet to announce a restart plan -- Norwegian Sky, Norwegian Star and Norwegian Dawn.

The three ships included in Oceania's restart announcement on Wednesday are:

  • Riviera, which will resume its previously published voyage schedule beginning from Istanbul on Oct. 18.
  • Insignia, which will resume sailings on Dec. 21 with a Panama Canal voyage in advance of a long sold-out, 180-day around-the-world cruise from Los Angeles.
  • Sirena, which will resume sailings out of Miami on Jan. 22, 2022.

Oceania on Wednesday said restart dates for two additional ships, Regatta and Nautica, would be announced later.

Oceania added that specific itineraries for the ships for which it had announced restart dates "will continue to be evaluated for port availability and may be adjusted as required closer to the sailing dates."

The four ships included in Regent's announcement on Wednesday are:

  • Seven Seas Explorer, which will begin cruises from Venice, Italy, on Oct. 16.
  • Seven Seas Mariner, which will begin cruises from Miami on Dec. 18.
  • Seven Seas Navigator, which will restart cruises from Miami on Jan. 6, 2022.
  • Seven Seas Voyager, which will restart cruises from Barcelona on Feb. 15, 2022.

With Wednesday's announcement, Regent now has unveiled comeback plans for all five of its ships.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

Featured image by Kikor
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more