Norwegian, which despite its name is a US-based company, sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday, informing it of its proposal. It is the first major American cruise line to make plans for a resumption of American cruises.
So on Monday Norwegian basically said: Enough. The company said it plans to require vaccinations for everyone on a ship at least two weeks before departure.
“Vaccinations are the main way for Americans to resume their daily lives,” said Norwegian CEO Frank Del Rio. we can create a safe, bubble-like environment. “
CDC publishes return to sea plan
The CDC’s statement was not well received by the industry.
The Cruise Line International Association, the industry’s trade group, on Monday called the CDC’s statement “disappointing,” “too cumbersome” and “largely unworkable.” He said the health agency was demanding a zero-risk approach to cruises, rather than calling for efforts to mitigate the pandemic, which it said is the CDC’s guideline for “all other U.S. sectors to our society”.
The CDC did not comment immediately on Norwegian’s plans or on industry criticism of its statement.
But Norwegian said he shares the CDC’s view that vaccinations can help Americans get back to normal, and he believes his plan “shares the spirit and goes beyond the intent” of the CDC guidelines.
The company sails under the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands. The other two major US-based cruise lines, Carnival Corp. and Royal Caribbean, have yet to announce their own plans for resuming cruises to the United States.
“We are reviewing and studying all options to ensure the health and safety of our guests and our crew,” said Royal Caribbean.
The three companies all suffered massive losses last year, totaling $ 6.8 billion between them. All of them borrowed large sums of money and reduced their staff to get out of the crisis.
But US public health officials have not approved the resumption of cruises to the United States, the world’s largest cruise market. The trade group called on the CDC to announce a specific date for the resumption of US cruises in early July.
“The lack of any action by the CDC has effectively banned all cruises in the world’s largest cruise market,” the group said on March 24 in a statement. “Cruising is the only sector of the US economy that remains off-limits, even as most others have opened or have continued to operate throughout the pandemic.”
CDC advice blocking US cruises “does not reflect the industry’s proven progress and success in other parts of the world, or the advent of vaccines, and unfairly treats cruises differently,” he said. said Kelly Craighead, CEO of the group. “Cruise lines should be treated the same as other travel, tourism, hospitality and entertainment industries.”