A Look at a Number of Cruise Line Restart Plans

Cruise lines are planning restarts in various phases in 2021.

Here are the latest plans from a number of regional, smaller, luxury or niche brands:

American Cruise Lines
First sailing: In service
Ship: Independence
Region: Domestic Waters

American Cruise Lines is back in action in the United States. The small-ship cruise line resumed service on March 13, becoming the first company to offer domestic U. S. cruising since the pandemic started.

With reduced capacity and following industry-standard health and safety protocols, the 114-passenger Independence is currently sailing an eight-day Historic South & Golden Isles itinerary.

A second vessel, the 190-guest American Jazz will be added into service later this month. The new riverboat will cruise in the Mississippi from March 21.

P&O Cruises
First sailing: June 27, 2021
Ship: Britannia
Region: United Kingdom

P&O Cruises will relaunch service in June, with domestic cruises in the United Kingdom. Two ships are set to offer a series of short breaks and week-long cruises sailing around the UK coast.

Sailing from Southampton, the trips will be exclusive to fully vaccinated UK guests.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Line
First sailing: July 5, 2021
Ship: Borealis
Region: United Kingdom

As other local cruise lines, Fred. Olsen recently announced plans to sail domestic itineraries around the British Islands this summer.  

The Borealis will be the first ship to resume service, sailing a three-night ‘Maiden Voyage’ from Liverpool on July 5. The Bolette follows a month later, with a three-night ‘Maiden Voyage’ from Dover on August 16.

Aurora Expeditions
First sailing: June 1, 2021
Ship: Greg Mortimer
Region: Australia

Aurora Expeditions recently replaced its Arctic 2021 season with a full Australia program. The Australia-based cruise line plans to start the domestic operation on June 1.

The company’s only ship, Greg Mortimer will offer voyages around Australia, Commonwealth Bay and Ross Sea (East Antarctica). Destinations include Tasmania, Kangaroo Island, the Kimberley, the Coral Coast, South West Edge, Ningaloo Reef and more.

Cunard Line
First sailing: Summer 2021
Ship: Queen Elizabeth
Region: United Kingdom

After cancelling its entire summer schedule, Cunard Line announced it will soon be offering domestic United Kingdom sailings.

To be operated by the Queen Elizabeth, the voyages will be aimed at British guests and will start in the summer. Additional details will be announced at a later date.

Sea Cloud
First sailing: May 7, 2021
Ship: Sea Cloud
Region: Greek Islands  

After delaying the introduction of its newbuild, Sea Cloud Cruises now plans to resume service on May 7. On that date, the Sea Cloud will sail from Piraeus on a Greek Islands itinerary. 

The new Sea Cloud Spirit, meanwhile, now has its inaugural cruise scheduled for June 2, in the Mediterranean.  

Celestyal Cruises
First sailing: May 29, 2021
Ship: Celestyal Crystal 
Region: Aegean

Celestyal Cruises recently announced that it will resume service on May 29 from Piraeus, Greece. The company is planning to commence operations with the Celestyal Crystal, sailing the Idyllic Aegean itinerary.

The 2021 deployment of the remaining of the fleet will be announced in due course.

P&O Australia
First sailing: June 19, 2021
Ship: Pacific Encounter
Region: Australia

P&O Cruises Australia is currently targeting a June restart. The brand’s first cruise is scheduled to June 19, with the new Pacific Encounter sailing from Brisbane.

On a February statement, the company said to be “maintaining its optimism for the ultimate restart of cruising while, in the meantime, again taking a practical approach in extending its current operational pause to departures on or before June 18, 2021″.

Viking Cruises
First sailing: May 29, 2021
Ship: Viking Venus 
Region: United Kingdom

Another cruise line planning an operation resumption in the United Kingdom, Viking Cruises will launch service from Portsmouth on May 29.  

The luxury cruise line will offer new eight-day ocean sailings on the Viking Venus – its newest vessel.

First sailing: September 25, 2021
Ship: Ventus Australis
Region: South America

After cancelling its entire 2020-2021 season, Cruceros Australis is planning to restart service on September 25, with the Ventus Australis.

The Stella Australis follows nearly a month later, on October 23.

Scenic Cruises
First sailing: June 5, 2021
Ship: Scenic Eclipse
Region: Australia

Scenic Cruises has recently announced that it will operate a domestic season in Australia, with cruises in the Kimberly region.

Starting in June, the luxury brand will offer two 11-day itineraries between Darwin and Broome. The last sailing is currently scheduled to August 8.

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