(5:09 p.m. EST) -- The past weekend saw the return of several ships to service, with vessels from Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, and luxury small-ship operator SeaDream Yacht Club returning to service.
In Port Everglades, Holland America Line's Nieuw Statendam re-entered service for the first time since the global travel shutdown last March. The ship is the fifth vessel in the Holland America Line fleet to return to service and follows the first U.S. voyage of Holland America's newest vessel, Rotterdam, earlier this month.
Nieuw Statendam departed Sunday on a weeklong Western Caribbean itinerary calling on Nassau, Ocho Rios, Port Royal and Holland America's own private island, Half Moon Cay.
"Today is another milestone in our return to service, with Nieuw Statendam starting operation just in time for Thanksgiving, and we have a lot to be thankful for this year that we’re getting back in the water," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "Today is a great day for Holland America Line, and our team members can’t wait to welcome guests on board."
The next Holland America Line vessel scheduled to resume service is the 2002-built Zuiderdam, which sails from San Diego on December 23, 2021, bound for Mexico's Sea of Cortez.
On Saturday, Norwegian Cruise Line welcomed Norwegian Joy back into service from PortMiami. The ship is the ninth vessel in the line's fleet to re-enter passenger service, and will be one of four Norwegian Cruise Line vessels to call PortMiami home in December.
"The momentum of our Great Cruise Comeback continues as Norwegian Joy resumes voyages from our beloved hometown of Miami to join our other world-class vessels sailing from our brand-new terminal to continue delivering unforgettable guest experiences," said Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. "With the launch of our ninth ship, we now have more than two-thirds of our berths in operation, and we couldn't be more excited."
Norwegian Joy is currently sailing a series of weeklong Caribbean sailings offering port calls in Roatan, Costa Maya, Cozumel, and on Harvest Caye, -- Norwegian Cruise Line's private destination in Belize.
Luxury small-ship cruise operator SeaDream Yacht Club officially resumed its Caribbean season, with SeaDream II setting out on Saturday from San Juan, Puerto Rico and SeaDream I restarting on November 26 from Bridgetown, Barbados.
The company's fleet of two will sail to some of the Caribbean's most exclusive hideaways and less-visited spots, dropping anchor off places like Mayreau, Grenadines; Illes De Saintes, Guadeloupe; and St. Lucia's Rodney Bay.
Unlike many luxury lines, most voyages aboard SeaDream I and SeaDream II clock in at one week in length, allowing for shorter luxury getaways.
SeaDream had successfully resumed service in the Mediterranean this past summer. Like most lines, passengers over the age of 12 sailing aboard SeaDream's Caribbean voyages are required to present proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.