Three more major cruise lines resume departures as cruising comeback ramps up

Jul 25, 2021

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.

Add Holland America, Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line to the list of cruise brands that finally have restarted departures after a 16-month-long, COVID-19-related hiatus.

Holland America resumed operations on Saturday with a single ship sailing out of Seattle, and Princess and Norwegian are resuming operations today — also with single ships sailing out of Seattle and Piraeus, Greece, respectively.

The Holland America and Princess vessels restarting service — the 2,106-passenger Nieuw Amsterdam and 3,560-passenger Majestic Princess — are sailing to Alaska. The Norwegian ship resuming operations — the 2,400-passenger Norwegian Jade — is sailing to the Greek Islands.

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

For all three lines, these are the first departures from any port in the world since the COVID-19 outbreak was declared a pandemic in March of 2020.

Like all major cruise lines around the world, Holland America, Princess and Norwegian shutdown operations in March of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and stayed shut down as COVID-19 cases spiked around the world through 2020.

In restarting service, the three brands are joining a growing number of competitors including Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line that already have resumed limited departures. The restarts have been occurring as countries around the world including the United States and Greece loosen restrictions for cruise travel.

Both Holland America and Princess plan to operate 10 departures out of Seattle through September with Nieuw Amsterdam and Majestic Princess, respectively. Norwegian Jade will continue to operate Greek Islands sailings into the fall.

All of the sailings only will be open to passengers who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 — a policy that many (but not all) cruise lines have been implementing as they restart departures.

All three lines plan to add more vessels back into service slowly over the coming months. Holland America has 10 ships in its fleet in all, while Princess currently has a 14-ship fleet. Norwegian is the biggest of the three brands with 17 ships in its fleet.

In restarting sailings to Alaska, Holland America and Princess are following in the wake of Royal Caribbean, which on July 19 became the first big-ship cruise line to restart Alaska sailings since the end of the 2019 cruise season.

Related: Why visiting Alaska’s busiest cruise port, Juneau is a bit surreal right now

Royal Caribbean’s 2,143-passenger Serenade of the Seas is currently in the midst of operating the line’s first Alaska sailing, which also began in Seattle. The ship will return to Seattle on Monday after becoming the first big cruise ship to visit the Alaskan port of Sitka as well as the Alaskan ports of Icy Strait Point, Juneau and Ketchikan in nearly two years.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

Featured image of (from left to right) Carnival Corporation president and CEO Arnold Donald; Princess Cruises president Jan Swartz; and Holland America president Gus Antorcha in front of Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam at the Port of Seattle courtesy of Holland America. 

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.