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NCL schedules US restart with Norwegian Bliss in Alaska

Norwegian Bliss would sail from Seattle with mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for all passengers and crew
Norwegian Cruise Line plans to return to service this summer in the US with Alaska cruises on Norwegian Bliss from Seattle beginning Aug. 7.

This is contingent on a conditional sailing certificate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is expected in the coming days. Voyages will operate with all passengers and crew required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Trial voyages not required

Because full vaccination is mandated, there should be no need for test voyages, according to CDC guidance.

'Moment we have all been waiting for'

'This is a moment we have all been waiting for and it would not have been possible without the strong support of the Alaska congressional delegation who worked tirelessly to pass legislation that temporarily waives certain requirements of the Passenger Vessel Services Act,' said Frank Del Rio, president and CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.

'Cruise travel is vital to Alaska’s extensive tourism economy and we collaboratively worked alongside local, state and national authorities to find a path forward to resume cruise operations and provide much needed relief to the families, communities and small businesses who rely on cruise tourism for their livelihoods.'

NCL's wish list

Earlier, NCL President and CEO Harry Sommer identified Alaska as a key place the line hoped to restart, along with Hawaii and Bermuda

In April, NCLH announced its phased cruise resumption for voyages embarking outside the US with seven ships across NCL, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. The company expects to continue a phased-in approach to reintroducing additional vessels across its three brands while taking into account the public health environment, global travel restrictions and port availability, among other considerations.

All voyages will operate NCLH's SailSAFE health and safety protocols.