This Week in Cruise Recovery: Many Restarts, New Ships Set Sail and More

On the good news "restart" front, MSC Cruises received approval from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to begin voyages on MSC Divina from Port Canaveral, FL, a new home port for the line. This will be the 11th MSC ship to restart since the pandemic began early last year. 

More ships are sailing once again, both in North America and Europe. On Sunday, Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Pride restarted voyages from Baltimore, MD. In addition, Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Epic and Norwegian Getaway are now operating cruises in the Mediterranean, and Riviera River Cruises is returning to the Seine and Rhône rivers, plus adding a new itinerary on Germany's Main River/Main-Danube Canal.

Restart plans shifted a bit further out for three Holland America Line ships—Noordam, Oosterdam and Westerdam. Now, the line will restart cruises on those three ships by late spring 2022, thus canceling some previously scheduled voyages. That said, the line's entire fleet will be back sailing by spring. 

It was an exciting week for new ship launches, as Sea Cloud Cruise's third ship, its "new build," Sea Cloud Spirit, set sail in the Mediterranean. In addition, on the river cruise side, in Egypt, AmaWaterways' new AmaDahlia began cruising the Nile River, as reported by our sister publication Luxury Travel Advisor.

Navigating through pre-cruise COVID-19 testing requirements may be a bit easier for Carnival Corporation's guests. The company has partnered with Quest Diagnostics for convenient test access for Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Seabourn guests at 1,500 Quest Diagnostics patient service centers and select Walmart and other retail pharmacy testing locations across the U.S.

News Tidbits

Hurtigruten Expeditions named exploration and environmental experts, Sunniva Sorby of Canada and Hilde Falun Strøm of Norway, as godmothers of its new Fridtjof Nansen. The ship's September 14 christening in Longyearbyen, Svalbard will be streamed live across Hurtgruten's digital channels.

Expanding an earlier European tour and cruise policy, Tauck will require all travelers ages 12 and above on all tours and cruises worldwide to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination.

In a new "Journey Safe, Journey Wonderful" campaign, set to a remix of Louis Armstrong's ballad, "What a Wonderful World," Celebrity Cruises is showing what a cruise vacation truly means -- with people and places at the heart of the story and posing the question, "How many precious moments have we missed?"

"It took enduring a pandemic, where we were literally cut off from each other and the world, to recognize how powerful and meaningful travel is in our lives," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. "It's not just a vacation. Travel is a journey—where our hearts and minds are filled with new people, new experiences, new realizations about ourselves and the world around us." The new campaign also talks about health/safety aboard. 

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