NCL-Norwegian Cruise Line announced it will return all crew who joined recently and were not part of the skeleton crew back home.
In hopes it will return to service, Norwegian boarded thousands of crew back in November-December 2020, to prepare the ships for a possible resumption of operations and compliance with the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) regulations.
However, with the more NCL cruise cancellations (through April 30), the company realized they were not going to be starting soon.
Two months ago nearly 1000 crew boarded Norwegian Escape in Mumbai India. Norwegian Joy departed from Manila Philippines with a total of 1216 crew. NCL was also working on a crew deployment plan for Norwegian Spirit in Europe and assigning them to Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Encore.
NCL's crew repatriation will take place on 2 ships. Norwegian Joy (currently docked in Oranjestad Aruba) will gather crew from the NCL vessels in the Caribbean, then sails to The Philippines. Norwegian Encore (currently docked in Southampton England) will make port stops along a voyage (through Suez Canal) to Asia.
The crew repatriation will be similar to the one conducted in 2020, with transfers to the appropriate ship, before the crew finally sail to their home countries (Indonesia, India, Philippines). The operation is planned for completion in late-March/early-April 2021.