Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) resumed service from Miami on Aug. 15 with the Norwegian Gem, which was able to depart the Florida port with a fully vaccinated passenger contingent.
The Gem departed from the recently opened NCL Terminal at PortMiami on a weeklong sailing to the Caribbean with calls in Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; Roatan, Honduras; and Harvest Caye, NCL’s private island in Belize.
The Gem is the third of NCL’s 17 ships to resume service, following the Norwegian Jade from Athens on July 25 and the Norwegian Encore from Seattle on Aug. 7.
NCL’s Florida restart was in jeopardy until a federal judge on Aug. 8 issued a preliminary injunction against a Florida law that prohibited businesses from asking for proof of vaccination because NCL’s restart has been predicated on 100% vaccination of all passengers and crew. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has said the state will appeal.
“It has been an exhilarating few weeks as we relaunch our fleet, reunite with our shipboard families and welcome our guests back for their long-awaited cruise vacations,” said Harry Sommer, CEO of NCL.
The Gem is scheduled to sail weeklong cruises to the Caribbean and four-day cruises to the Bahamas through Oct. 17 before repositioning to New York for five- to 11-day voyages to the Bahamas, Caribbean and Bermuda.
The new NCL Terminal at PortMiami, which can accommodate ships carrying up to 5,000 passengers, is LEED Gold-certified for meeting standards for optimizing energy, water efficiency, air quality and utilization of local materials and resources. Approximately 90% of all subcontractors, vendors and suppliers were local to the region, reducing the carbon footprint of the project and encouraging local economic growth, NCL said. Parent company Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has partnered with Miami-Dade County to make the new terminal “Shore-Power Ready” by fall 2023.
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