Quick updates: Don’t miss the boat

Wintergaden Suite aboard Seabourn Ovation

With most international cruise lines announcing their return to sailing over the summer, there is no better time to book cruises.

Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas is ready to set sail from Cyprus this July 10 on 7-night itineraries covering the gorgeous Greek Isles, including port of calls in Rhodes, Mykonos, Piraeus (Athens), Santorini (Thira), and Souda Bay.

Beginning this July 3, Seabourn Ovation will operate a series of seven-day cruises exploring beautiful and historic ports throughout the Greek Isles.

Norwegian Cruise Line recently announced its return to service, with three new itineraries sailing Europe and The Caribbean beginning July 25 and Alaska starting August 7. The Cruise Line will restart operations with Norwegian Jade, Joy and Gem as the first of its 17-ship fleet to welcome guests back on board.

The company will also resume cruise operations from the US beginning 7 August 2021 with week-long voyages from Seattle, Washington.

Holland America Line has received approval to restart cruising from Piraeus (Athens) in August with four departures aboard Eurodam.

Princess Cruises plans to resume cruising in United States with Alaska Sailings departing Seattle starting July 25.

Closer to home, PIF-owned Cruise Saudi announced a winter 2021/22 season partnership that will see MSC Magnifica in the Red Sea from November 13, 2021 to March 26, 2022. The itinerary includes a visit to a number of ports including Al-Wajh Port, the gateway to Unesco site Al Ula, over seven-day sailings. MSC Virtuosa, as a part of its winter programme in the Arabian Gulf, will also make trips to Dammam Port weekly from December 2, 2021, to March 24, 2021, visiting Al-Ahsa oasis, another Unesco World Heritage site.

Most of the above cruise lines have specified that only fully vaccinated guests will be welcome onboard. There may be age restrictions on the guests, with some brands like NCL opting to not allow kids under 12 onboard for safety reasons, while others asking for proof of negative PCR for under-18s.