Positive news from the cruise industry keeps coming as more and more lines announce restart dates and itineraries for 2021. Here's what you need to know:
In yet another step forward in the cruise industry's restart plans, Seabourn will begin cruising from Barbados on July 18, 2021. Seabourn Odyssey will operate those Caribbean cruises roundtrip from Bridgetown. Previously announced, Seabourn Ovation will begin sailing from Greece on July 3.
In a return to service from U.S. ports, American Cruise Lines announced that six of its small ships are operating East Coast and Mississippi River voyages. With all American flagged vessels, the small-ship line also plans to operate a "normal" Alaska season beginning in June, and is planning its return to other regions this year as well.
Separately, in a one-on-one interview, Travel Agent asked Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line, if the 2021 Alaska season "is over" for his line? Look for our robust interview with Antorcha's views on that and other topics early this afternoon on TravelAgentCentral.com.
Looking to the future, Princess Cruises introduced a robust West Coast lineup of voyages for 2022-2023 on six ships from Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego to Mexico and the California coast, as well as to Hawaii and Tahiti.
While the return-to-service "planning" is a top focus for the cruise industry this spring, cruise lines are also creating enticing new product offerings. For example, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises announced that Ellen Bettridge, its president and CEO, will host the line's first "Mystery Cruise" in summer 2022. Guests who book this fun, mysterious option won't know anything about where they're headed for a cruise vacation until they're en route to the airport.
Carnival Cruise Line's new Mardi Gras, the line's largest ship, is expected to begin service from Port Canaveral, FL, later this year. Most notably, this new ship will become the first LNG-powered (liquified natural gas) vessel to sail from the U.S. For travel advisors whose clients are asking about LNG and how it powers a ship, Carnival created a short new video for Earth Day last week.