Another major cruise line to restart departures in June

2d ago

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Silversea is the latest cruise line to announce plans for a summer restart.

The Miami-based luxury line on Thursday said it had gotten a green light to resume operations in the Greek islands in June from the government of Greece.

Silversea said it planned a series of Eastern Mediterranean sailings out of Piraeus, Greece (the port for Athens), starting on June 18, which would mark its first return to cruising after a 15-month hiatus.

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Silversea said it would resume sailings with just one of its nine vessels at first, the 596-passenger Silver Moon. The ship will sail a series of 10-night Eastern Mediterranean trips out of Piraeus that bring calls at the Greek islands of Santorini, Paros, Mykonos and Crete.

The trips also will include a stop at Haifa, Israel, and at the island nation of Cyprus. 

The voyages will open for bookings on April 15.

Silversea’s newest ship, Silver Moon. (Photo courtesy of Silversea)

As part of the announcement, Silversea said it would require all passengers on the ship to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccine before boarding. All crew will be required to be vaccinated, too.

Silversea said the requirement would apply to all Silversea voyages globally, with the exclusion of sailings departing from Australia. The line said it still was evaluating health protocols for future Australia sailings.

“Vaccinations will play a critical role in ensuring the health and safety of our guests, crew, and the communities we visit, which we prioritize above all else,” Silversea president and CEO Roberto Martinoli said in a statement accompanying the announcement.

In addition to a COVID-19 vaccine requirement, Silversea will implement a wide range of other health protocols on its ships, including new sanitation procedures. The line also has increased air filtration on ships and expanded shipboard medical teams.

Silversea is owned by Royal Caribbean Group, which has been working for months on a plan for new health protocols for all of its brands in partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.

Royal Caribbean Group also owns Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises.

Silversea is just the latest line to announce a comeback plan that starts with sailings out of Greece — a country that has been more open than most to a near-term resumption of cruising. Indeed, Greece is quickly becoming something of a hub for a rapidly evolving comeback of cruising.

Just 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.

Luxury line Seabourn on Tuesday also announced it would resume sailings in July with voyages to the Greek islands out of Piraeus.

The announcements from Norwegian and Seabourn 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.

Just completed in October, Silver Moon is Silversea’s newest ship. It’s a sister vessel to the line’s three-year-old Silver Muse and 11-year-old Silver Spirit.

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Featured image of courtesy of Silversea

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