SA cruises cancelled: NCL calls off Cape Town season due to travel bans

Norwegian Jade was set to offer round-trip cruises from Cape Town in December and January

02 December 2021 - 11:40 By Elizabeth Sleith
The Norwegian Jade was set to sail for Cape Town from Dubai on December 3.
The Norwegian Jade was set to sail for Cape Town from Dubai on December 3.
Image: Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has cancelled its upcoming cruise season along the SA and Namibian coast due to concerns about the Omicron variant and the decision by several countries to impose travel bans on Southern Africa.

NCL, whose Norwegian Jade was meant to be sailing her first-ever SA cruise season this year, announced the postponement of its SA sailings for December and January in light of the global travel restrictions. 

In a statement, the company said: “The safety of our guests, crew and communities we visit remains our highest priority. Accordingly, we continue to closely monitor the evolving global public health environment and are ready to adapt as needed. Given the recent concerns surrounding the Omicron variant, we have made the decision to cancel the five voyages on Norwegian Jade scheduled to depart from or disembark in SA beginning December 3 2021 through and including January 26 2022.

“All affected guests and travel partners will be contacted directly.”

Norwegian Jade was set to sail from Dubai on December 3, taking 18 days to get to Cape Town, with stops in Oman, the Seychelles, Madagascar, Mauritius and Reunion along the way. Then, for the first time in the line's 55-year history, it was to offer round-trip cruises from the Mother City — three with an 11-night itinerary, sailing on December 21, January 2 and January 14.

The itinerary included stops in Mossel Bay, Gqeberha and Richards Bay, before it was to turn back to call at Durban, then Luderitz and Walvis Bay, Namibia, before returning to Cape Town. It was scheduled to leave Cape Town on January 26 for a 17-night cruise back to Dubai. 

The same itineraries remain open for booking in December 2022-January 2023. 

NCL's statement added: “We understand the inconvenience and frustration that this disruption may cause and we appreciate the continued understanding of our loyal guests and partners. They can rest assured that we continue to partner with global government and public health authorities as well as our SailSAFE™ Global Health and Wellness Council to take all necessary measures to protect our guests and crew. We will share additional information as appropriate.”

Countries that have banned travellers from SA include the UK, US, EU members, Seychelles, Japan, Turkey, Singapore, Israel, India, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, Australia Sri Lanka, Oman, Thailand, Brazil, Guatemala, the United Arab Emirates, the Philippines, Rwanda, Angola, Egypt and Mauritius.

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