Norwegian Cruise Line has reached a difficult decision to repatriate all crew members that have recently joined the fleet and are not part of its skeleton crew aboard the fleet.
Crew Center was the first to report that crew members received a letter from the cruise line detailing plans on repatriation. This announcement comes just two months after NCL boarded thousands of crew members to prepare its fleet for service, as new CDC regulations allowed for some conditional cruising. However, on Jan 19th, the company had to concede it has no choice but to extend “the suspension of cruises to include all cruises embarking through April 2021.”
Repatriation will be complete by April 2021, and will take place on two appointed ships. The Norwegian Joy, docked in Aruba, will gather non-essential crew from ships in the Caribbean and will proceed to the Philippines, while the Norwegian Encore, which is in Southampton, will make a few stops on her journey back to Asia.
This was not an easy decision to make, but NCL promised its repatriated crew will be prioritized for new assignments as much as possible. NCL cruise ships will maintain essential crews on board, to make sure the ships are ready for when cruises eventually resume.