Norwegian Prima First Of The “Leonardo” Class – Other Cruise News: Carnival Cruise Line Holds Back On July Bookings – Costa Cruises Back In The Med

by Kevin Griffin

Norwegian Cruise Line’s next delivery, the first of a new class of six ships, is to be named Norwegian Prima when she enters service in August 2022. Meanwhile, Carnival has put a hold on bookings to most of its fleet while it works out its re-start plans. And Costa Cruises has returned to service in the Med.

THIS WEEK’S STORY

Norwegian Prima First Of The “Leonardo” Class

Norwegian Cruise Line has announced the name of its newest ship, arriving in summer 2022. Norwegian Prima will be the first of six “Prima” class ships. The ship will carry 3,215 passengers, fewer than the ‘Breakaway’ and ‘Breakaway-Plus’ class, the recent lead ships of Norwegian.

NCL has announced the name of its newest ship, arriving in summer 2022. Norwegian Prima will be the first of six Prima class ships. (Artist impression courtesy NCL)

NCL has announced the name of its newest ship, arriving in summer 2022. Norwegian Prima will be the first of six Prima class ships. (Artist impression courtesy NCL)

The development of this new class of ships had taken place under the name “Project Leonardo.”

The ships are being built by Fincantieri, a departure for the line which has had its more recent ships constructed by Meyer Werft in Germany.

The Norwegian Prima  will operate a string of inaugural cruises beginning in August 2022.  From August 17 to September 13, she will make 10-day voyages from Amsterdam and Copenhagen to Northern Europe, the Norwegian Fjords and Baltic region.

On September 23, Norwegian Prima will leave Southampton on a 12-day transatlantic, ending in New York. The ship will undertake an October 10 cruise to Bermuda, before leaving New York for the Caribbean.

Norwegian Joy departs Seattle, May 2019 (Courtesy Norwegian Cruise Line)

Norwegian Joy departs Seattle, May 2019 (Courtesy Norwegian Cruise Line)

She will then sail a series of voyages from Galveston in October before beginning a short interlude of Miami sailings from November 19 to December 3, 2022.

From December 11 to March 19, 2023, Norwegian Prima will operate from Port Canaveral, sailing the Western Caribbean. In March 2023, it will be back to New York to make Bermuda sailings through May 7.

From there, she will make an 11-day transatlantic journey from New York to Iceland, where she will operate an immersive Icelandic itinerary.
In summer 2023, Norwegian Prima will offer a mix of 10- and 11-day sailings of Norway and Iceland, using Reykjavik and Southampton as base ports.

The summer will then conclude with a 14-day round trip sailing from Southampton on September 17, calling on Ireland, Iceland and Norway.

OTHER CRUISE NEWS

Carnival Cruise Line Holds Back On July Bookings

Carnival Cruise Line has paused new bookings on all but three ships for July, the exceptions being  the Carnival Breeze and Carnival Vista from Galveston and the Carnival Horizon from Miami.

The 3,954-passenger Carnival Vista (Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

The 3,954-passenger Carnival Vista (Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

The first two ships have already arrived at Galveston, where their crew received Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines.

Carnival  has not cancelled any July sailings. Carnival told “Cruise Critic” that “while we evaluate the CDC’s new guidance on the resumption of cruising from the US, we have closed for sale all July voyages except for Carnival Horizon, Carnival Vista and Carnival Breeze. We have taken no other actions on these cruises, and will update guests and travel agents once we finalize plans for the resumption of guest operations under the new CDC guidelines.”

Carnival Horizon

Carnival Horizon

Post-pandemic, the line has so far stuck with a plan to sail only from its 14 North American home ports. Nor  has Carnival committed to requiring guests to be vaccinated, which the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicated would be the faster pathway toward resumption, allowing ships to re-enter service as soon as mid-July.

Carnival Horizon  is scheduled to sail from Miami on 6-day Western Caribbean itineraries. Only two are still available (July 4 and July 18) as the others are sold out. Port calls are made at Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. The Cayman Islands currently has a cruise ship ban in effect until 2022 and a Carnival spokesman says itineraries will be adjusted if necessary.

Carnival Breeze is set for 4- and 5-day sailings from Galveston to Cozumel, the 5-day cruises also stopping in Progreso, Mexico. Sailings begin on July 1.

Carnival Vista  is scheduled for 7-day itineraries from Galveston visiting Roatan, Honduras; Belize City; and Cozumel. These cruises are to begin on July 3.

Costa Cruises Back In The Med

Italian operator Costa Cruises took to the seas this weekend for the first time in more than four months, aiding an industry buffeted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Costa Smeralda in Savona (December 2019, Costa Cruises)

Costa Smeralda in Savona (December 2019, Costa Cruises)

Flag ship Costa Smeralda set off from Savona at 6 pm on Saturday after being tied up since December 20, when the Italian government banned cruises during the holiday season due to a further coronavirus crisis.

She set off with around 1,500 passengers on board – a quarter of her usual capacity. All passengers and crew have been tested for coronavirus and mask-wearing is mandatory throughout the trip.
The crew of 1,300 had first observed a 14-day quarantine before reporting for duty.

The latest Mediterranean cruises will last from 3 to 7 days, depending on where it stops on the Italian coast. Ports  served will include La Spezia, Civitavecchia, Naples, Messina and Cagliari.

(Kevin Griffin is managing director of The Cruise People Ltd in London, England. For further information concerning cruises mentioned in this article readers can visit his blog)

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