Latest Update: When the Major Cruise Lines Plan to Sail Again

The major cruise lines are planning restarts in various phases in 2021 with news changing constantly.

Here’s the latest:

Carnival Cruise Line

First sailing: June 1, 2021
Ships: Carnival Liberty and Carnival Miracle
Region: Bahamas and West Coast

Carnival Cruise Line currently plans a service resumption on June 1, with its pause in operations in the U.S. extended through May 31.

In January, the brand also announced major deployment and schedule changes for a few ships..

Royal Caribbean International

First sailing: In service
Ship: Quantum of the Seas
Region: Asia

While the Quantum of the Seas is already back in service in Asia, Royal Caribbean now plans to offer cruises from Haifa with the new Odyssey of the Seas. Starting in June, the vessel will offer two- to seven-night itineraries to Greece and Cyprus from Haifa. The cruises are exclusive to Israeli guests and are scheduled until October. 

Globally, the pause in operations was recently extended to include all cruises until May 31.

Crystal Cruises

First sailing: July 3, 2021
Ship: Crystal Serenity 
Region: Bahamas

Crystal Cruises is set to become the first major cruise line to restart service in North America. The luxury brand recently announced plans to operate the Crystal Serenity from Nassau and Bimini, with an all-Bahamian itinerary.

The new program of seven-night cruises starts in July and should extend until, at least, October.

MSC Cruises

First sailing: In service
Ship: MSC Grandiosa
Region: Mediterranean

One of the first major cruise lines to welcome guests back, MSC Cruises is operating in the Mediterranean with the MSC Grandiosa. Offering an itinerary with visits to Italy and Malta, the vessel should be joined by the MSC Seaside starting on May 1.

Meanwhile, the temporary pause of U.S.-based sailings was further extended, cancelling all cruises until May 31. 

Norwegian Cruise Line

First sailing: June 4, 2021
Ship: Norwegian Epic
Region: Mediterranean

In February, Norwegian Cruise Line announced another extension of its pause of service, now affecting all sailings scheduled until through May 31. Now, the brand’s first scheduled cruise is set to depart on June 4, with the Norwegian Epic. The vessel sails from Civitavecchia (Italy) to five destinations in the Western Mediterranean.

While extending the pause, the company also affirmed it remains working on a return to service plan to meet the requirements of the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Costa Cruises

First sailing: March 27, 2021
Ship: Costa Smeralda
Region: Western Italy

Costa Cruises is poised to return to service on March 27, with a new program in the Mediterranean. The Costa Smeralda will be the first ship to welcome guests back, with three-, four-, and seven-night cruises to Italian ports to start.

From May, the Costa Luminosa is set to start sailing to Italy and Croatia, while Smeralda should add calls in France and Spain to its itineraries.

In the past year, Costa reactivated a total of three ships but ended up forced to pause all operations again in December.

Disney Cruise Line

First sailing: June 4, 2021
Ship: Disney Dream
Region: Bahamas

In line with other U.S. operators, Disney Cruise Line has cancelled all its operation until May 31. Now, the Disney Dream could welcome guests back on June 4, for a three-night cruise to the Bahamas from Port Canaveral.

After bringing its ships back to the U.S. in November, the brand also cancelled additional cruises on the Disney Wonder and the Disney Magic, which were set to operate in Alaska and Europe.

Princess Cruises

First sailings: July 1, 2021
Ships: Diamond Princess and Ruby Princess
Region: Japan and West Coast

Princess Cruises has recently extended its global operational pause to include all sailings through June 30. With the change, the first sailings scheduled for the brand’s fleet are set to sail on July 1, in Asia and West Coast.

While cruises were cancelled further out in some destinations, Princess is also planning to offer new domestic sailings in the UK. Exclusive to local residents, the sailings are set to start in late summer on Regal Princess and Sky Princess.

Genting Cruise Lines

First sailings: In service
Ships: World Dream and Explorer Dream
Region: Asia – Singapore and Taiwan

In February, Dream Cruises extended its program of short cruises in Singapore until June 27. Onboard the World Dream, the sailings are geared to the local public and have been operating since November.

The Explorer Dream, meanwhile, is sailing island-hopping itineraries in Taiwan since July.

AIDA Cruises

First sailing: March 20
Ship: AIDAperla
Region: Canaries

While cruises in other destinations were cancelled until mid-May, AIDA Cruises plans to resume service in the Canaries later this month.

On March 20, the AIDAperla is set to start offering a week-long itinerary on the Spanish archipelago.

Celebrity Cruises

First sailing: June 1
Ship: Celebrity Infinity
Region: Eastern Mediterranean

In line with other Royal Caribbean Group brands, Celebrity Cruises extended the suspension of sailing for its global fleet this month. Now, all sailings through May 31 are cancelled.

The first cruise currently scheduled for the company’s fleet sets sail in June. On that date, the Celebrity Infinity is set to sail from Venice to Turkey and the Greek Islands.

Holland America Line

First sailing: July 1
Ship: Volendam  
Region: Mediterranean

After trimming Mediterranean sailings until June, Holland America Line could return to service on July 1 with the Volendam.

Other summer itineraries to Alaska and Canada/New England are in doubt after Canada’s extended ban on cruise ships.

TUI Cruises

First sailing: In service
Ships: Mein Schiff 1 and Mein Schiff 2
Region: Canaries

With a program in Northern Europe, TUI Cruises was one of the first cruise lines to start sailing, on July 23. Currently, the German brand is operating in the Canaries, with the Mein Schiff 2 as well as the Mein Schiff 1.

Celestyal Cruises

First sailing: May 29
Ship: Celestyal Crystal
Region: Mediterranean 

Celestyal Cruises announced that it will resume operations on May 29 from Piraeus, Athens with its seven-night Idyllic Aegean itinerary aboard the Celestyal Crystal. 

Windstar Cruises

First sailing: June 10
Ship: Wind Spirit
Region: Tahiti

In February, Windstar Cruises outlined a new return-to-service plan to its fleet. Now, the company plans to welcome guests back on June 10, with a Tahiti cruise onboard the Wind Spirit.


First sailing: July 10
Ship: Azamara Pursuit
Region: Eastern Mediterranean

Now an independent brand, Azamara has recently extended its pause in operations to include all sailings until June 30. With the change, the company might restart operations on July 10, with the Azamara Pursuit in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Azamara’s new ship, the current Pacific Princess, however, should be in service in 2022.

Silversea Cruises

First sailing: May 28
Ship: Silver Explorer
Region: Kimberley, Australia

Silversea Cruises cancelled all its cruises until May 27. Royal Caribbean’s luxury brand now intends to return to service on May 28 with the Silver Explorer. On that day, the expedition ship is set to sail on a nine-night cruise in Australia’s Kimberly region.  

Virgin Voyages

First sailing: July 1
Ship: Scarlet Lady
Region: Caribbean

Virgin’s inaugural cruise is currently scheduled on July 1, with the 2,770-guest Scarlet Lady sailing from Miami to the Caribbean.

The brand’s second ship also had its introduction delayed. The Valiant Lady had its Mediterranean season postponed until 2022 and is now scheduled to debut on November 14 in the Caribbean.

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