NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — When the Norwegian Getaway arrives at Nauticus on Sunday morning, it will kick off the busiest cruise season at Virginia’s only cruise terminal.

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“After two years of overall cruise industry uncertainty, this first ship call is really significant,” said Nauticus executive director, Stephen E. Kirkland. “It’s surreal to go from a relatively empty pier throughout 2020 and 2021 to our busiest season ever in 2022.”

The 1,000-foot-long Norwegian Getaway will arrive in Norfolk around 11 a.m. on Sunday to pick up an estimated 2,000 passengers. That is about half of what the ship normally accommodates. The changes are part of Norwegian’s COVID-19 protocols.

“Our Great Cruise Comeback not only celebrates the return of our vessels and resilience of our team members worldwide, but also underscores the revival of our destination partners,” said Norwegian Cruise Line President and Chief Executive Officer, Harry Sommer. “The kick-off of cruise season for the Port of Norfolk is another important milestone for the U.S. cruise industry and we’re honored that Norwegian Getaway will once again bring thousands of visitors to this historic destination.”

During the 2022 cruise season, Nauticus expects 25 total visits from the Norwegian Cruise Line. Those ships, along with ships from Carnival Cruise Line will bring more than 150,000 total passengers and 62,000 crew members through Nauticus in 2022.

On average, each cruise guest spends $125 while in port.