NCLH crew on Norwegian Joy to be repatriated on charter flights, Norwegian Encore plan is to sail crew home

Feb 25, 2021

The long journey back home for the NCLH crew who were scheduled to be repatriated on Norwegian Joy is canceled. Instead, the company decided to repatriate the non-essential crew using charter flights. The latest update was announced via the ship's PA system informing the crew that the company arranged flights from Aruba which are scheduled for 4th and 6th of March. There are 1053 crew members onboard Norwegian Joy who will be sent via charter flights to the Philippines and Indonesia. Norwegian Joy has completed ship-to-ship transfers of the non-essential crew from Norwegian Sun, Norwegian Pearl and Oceania Insignia, which were docked alongside in Oranjestad, Aruba. The crew transfer was scheduled to be completed on February 12, with the boarding of the crew from the Norwegian Gem. At this moment NCLH will stick to the original plan set for Norwegian Encore and will sail the crew from Europe back to Asia.

According to the previous plan the repatriation process needed to take place on two appointed ships, Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Encore. Norwegian Joy needed to gather non-essential crew from the NCLH ships in the Caribbean and set sail to Asia. 

The Norwegian Encore, which at the time was in Southampton, will proceed with the NCLH original repatriation plan and will sail the crew back home. The ship has already made a few stops along to pick up crew from other NCLH ships in the Mediterranean before sailing back to Asia. The repatriation plan will be similar to the one that took place last year with crew transfers to the appropriate vessel, before the crew finally sails to their homes in India, Indonesia and the Philippines. Norwegian Encore anticipated arrival to the final destinations is late March or early April 2021.

In January Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings informed the shipboard employees about the difficult decision the company has made to repatriate crew members in non-essential roles. Norwegian Cruise Line boarded thousands of crew members to prepare several cruise ships for a possible restart. However with the latest announcement and further suspension of operations the company realized they are not going to be starting anytime soon.