Cruises are back at the Port of Baltimore
Carnival Pride sailed Sunday from Baltimore, become the first cruise ship back at the port since the industrywide shutdown.
Carnival Cruise Line held a 'Back to Fun' event in the terminal at embarkation, with President Christine Duffy, Carnival Pride Capt. Maurizio Ruggiero and Port of Baltimore Executive Director William Doyle at a ribbon-cutting to officially welcomed the first guests on board.
'Baltimore has been a wonderful partner for more than a decade and we are delighted to get back to fun in this key market which serves hundreds of thousands of guests in the Northeast and along the Atlantic Coast,' Duffy said. Carnival launched Baltimore's first year-round cruise program in 2009 and since then has carried more than 1m passengers, making it the leading cruise operator at the port.
Doyle called it a 'great day,' adding: 'Baltimore's Cruise Maryland is terrific. Our cruise terminal is directly off Interstate 95 and BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport is only 15 minutes away. The cruise terminal sits alongside Baltimore's world famous Inner Harbor, as well as Federal Hill, Fort McHenry and Fells Point. There's plenty of sightseeing, dining and shopping options.'
Carnival Pride is on a weeklong Bahamas cruise to Nassau, Freeport and private island Half Moon Cay. In November a newer ship, Carnival Legend, will replace Pride when it redeploys to Tampa. The line serves varied destinations from Baltimore including Bermuda and the Bahamas, Canada/New England and the Panama Canal and southern Caribbean on a 14-day 'Carnival Journeys' cruise.
Two NCL ships sailing from Barcelona and Civitavecchia
Norwegian Epic and Norwegian Getaway are now carrying passengers in the Mediterranean, making one-third of Norwegian Cruise Line's ships in operation.
Norwegian Epic completed its first voyage from Barcelona, a weeklong cruise to Livorno, Civitavecchia (Rome), Naples, Cagliari and Palma de Mallorca.
The ship debuted an all-new The Haven by Norwegian following an extensive refurbishment in Marseille at the end of 2020. This resulted in 75 reimagined and upgraded suites and redesigned experiences, including The Haven Restaurant and The Haven Courtyard Pool and Sun Deck. Norwegian Epic now features one of the largest Haven spaces in the fleet.
'During the past 18 months, we’ve worked diligently with the NCL team to ensure a safe resumption of cruising from Barcelona for guests, crew and the citizens of our city. We are glad to finally celebrate the comeback of cruising together,' Port of Barcelona MD José Alberto Carbonell said.
Norwegian Getaway today embarks at Civitavecchia. Through Oct. 25, the ship will sail 10- and 11-day Greek Isles itineraries, calling at Dubrovnik, Corfu, Katakolon, Santorini, Mykonos, Naples and Livorno.
'Reaffirming our longstanding partnership with NCL, we’re pleased to welcome Norwegian Epic and Norwegian Getaway back to the Port of Civitavecchia this month, and to see both ships embark on their first voyage from our shores in almost two years,' said Pino Musolino, president and chief executive officer of Port System Authority of the Central Northern Tyrrhenian Sea. 'The cruise industry is an important corner stone for our country and region, contributing more than €400m annually to the economy of the territory of Civitavecchia alone and providing for more than 1,800 jobs.'
Royal Caribbean's Northeast US comeback
Royal Caribbean International is back in the US Northeast, with Oasis of the Seas now the largest cruise ship sailing from the New York area.
Oasis returned on Sunday from its first in a series of seven-night cruises from Bayonne, New Jersey's Cape Liberty to Perfect Day at CocoCay in the Bahamas.
The ship's first season from the New York area stretches through October. It received a $165m amp-up in late 2019.
COVID-19 vaccination is mandatory for all Oasis crew, passengers 12 and older and all staff on Perfect Day at CocoCay. On cruises departing from Sept. 13, travelers 12 and older will need to submit a negative PCR or antigen test taken within two days before embarkation, and children 2-11 must show a negative PCR test (antigen not accepted) taken within three days before embarking.
Riviera on more rivers
After resuming service on Portugal’s Douro River in August, Riviera River Cruises is expanding to more destinations including France’s Seine and Rhône and an additional itinerary on Germany's Main and the Main-Danube Canal.
Travelers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or present a negative test prior to travel.
'After 18 months of uncertainty in the travel industry, we’re excited to finally be restarting our river cruises in Portugal, France and Germany,' said Marilyn Conroy, EVP sales and marketing North America, Riviera River Cruises. 'As our ships get underway, we’re committed to the health and safety of all guests and crew aboard them by requiring COVID-19 vaccinations or negative tests, as well as taking other precautions. And if a guest isn’t happy by the second day of their cruise, we’ll bring them home with a refund.'
Itineraries through Nov. 22 include 'The Douro, Porto and Salamanca'; 'The Seine, Paris and Normandy'; 'Burgundy, the River Rhône and Provence'; and 'Medieval Germany.'