What happened

Shares of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NYSE:NCLH) stock closed up 4.6% on Monday after the cruise ship operator announced its "great cruise comeback."

Today, said Norwegian Cruise Line, the vessel "Norwegian Jade set sail from Athens as the first ship in the Company's fleet to relaunch since cruises halted in March 2020."  

Map of Greece with Athens centered.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

It's been a long voyage through contagious waters for Norwegian. To ensure the success of its inaugural post-coronavirus cruise, the company has instituted "multiple layers of preventative protocols, including universal COVID-19 testing immediately prior to boarding" the Norwegian Jade. Also, every single soul aboard the ship has been "fully vaccinated."

In fact, Norwegian says it now has "a consistent 100% vaccination policy* for all voyages across its three brands." It explains the asterisk by observing that "limited exceptions may be made pursuant to valid medical or religious exemptions."

Now what

Even with the new restrictions, Norwegian sees "incredible pent-up demand for future cruise vacations." More and more of its ships will launch to meet this demand over the next nine months; by April 2022, it will have all 28 of its cruise ships sailing again.

And here in the United States, the first Norwegian ship to set sail will be the Norwegian Encore, departing Seattle bound for Alaska on August 7, 2021.

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