The Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations in tandem with the Belize Tourism Board welcomed a Return to Service announcement made by the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL). The announcement by the NCL officially signals the safe reopening of the cruise tourism sector in Belize.
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced last week that it will resume port calls to Harvest Caye in Southern Belize, on August 9, 2021. Norwegian Joy will depart from its homeport in Montego Bay, Jamaica on August 7, and will include Belize as a part of its week-long Western Caribbean itinerary.
NCL’s President and Chief Executive Officer Harry Sommer said, “Over a year after we initially suspended sailings, the time has finally come when we can provide our loyal guests with the news of our great cruise comeback. We have been working diligently towards our resumption of operations, focusing on the guest experience with health and safety at the forefront. The growing availability of the COVID-19 vaccine has been a game changer. The vaccine, combined with our science-backed health and safety protocols, will help us provide our guests with what we believe will be the healthiest and safest vacation at sea.”
Cruise tourism in Belize has been suspended for more than a year and the thousands of Belizeans who rely on the tourism sector for their daily survival eagerly await the opportunity to welcome cruise visitors to Belize once again.
It is pertinent to note that all guests arriving on cruises through October 31, 2021 will be required to be fully vaccinated and tested prior to boarding any Norwegian cruise line. Norwegian plans to use its SailSAFE Health and Safety Program to ensure the safety of guests while aboard and onshore. As a part of these measures, NCL will require mandatory vaccination of all active crew members and guests. Each destination on the itinerary will also be operating with enhanced protocols. The ships have undergone extensive renovations such as upgraded medical-grade air filtration systems onboard, upgraded medical facilities, revamped layout of activity areas to meet social distancing and enhanced sanitizing stations, to name a few.
With the collaboration of the private sector and relevant government agencies, Belize has also developed health and safety protocols that support the safe restart of cruise tourism in Belize. As the sector continues to prioritize the health and safety of both guests and locals, Belize is committed to the ongoing monitoring and preparation required to welcome additional cruise calls in the coming months.