Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) president and CEO Harry Sommer has offered Australian and Kiwi cruisers hope promising it would return by February 2022.

Mr Sommer has made this estimate off the back of Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealing that he expects travel to return to normality at an 80% vaccination threshold. 

Speaking in Seattle ahead of the Norwegian Encore’s first cruise to Alaska, Mr Sommer said: “We hope we can start cruising again in the Australia and New Zealand bubble in early February of next year.”

If you’ve been waiting for a show of confidence before you get to booking, NCL currently has two Australian itineraries lined up for February, with bookings available on both.

The first is a 12-day, $11,161pp cruise starting in Sydney that goes through Australia and New Zealand, with stops at 10 different ports including Eden, Burnie, Tauranga and others. Inside, oceanview and suites are already sold out but balcony bookings remain, with an offer for 50% off for a second guess.

The other option still has some cheaper options available, with available bookings starting from $2552 for an oceanview room on a 10-day cruise out of Auckland, where highlights including sailing past the beautiful Dusky Fjord and stops at Tauranga and Milford Sound on the way to the final destination of Sydney. 

Both cruises are aboard the Norwegian Spirit and we’ll be the first to update you if any new itineraries are added. 

But Mr Sommer said there was no final date for Asia due to the ongoing COVID-19.

“Asia is a little more challenging because they are in different phases of vaccinations. We are hoping we can cruise in that region at the end of January or February as well.”