Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Frank Del Rio said Monday he is confident a cruise line operator can safely sail this summer for the first time in more than a year.
Earlier in the day, the company sent a proposal to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how Norwegian cruise ships would travel back in July. Proposed measures include requiring passengers and workers on its ships to be fully vaccinated weeks before disembarkation and covering the capacity on board vessels of 60%. Capacity will increase by 20% every 30 days thereafter.
“I dare you to tell me about another place anywhere that has this kind of iron-clad health and safety protocol … Cruise ships will actually become the safest place on earth,” Del Rio told Jim Kramer of CNBCVMad money“Interview”. We want to start with the safest way and that is … everyone on board should be vaccinated.
The company’s proposal and Del Rio’s comments come more than a year after the CDC placed a no-sail order on cruises due to the Covid-19 outbreak on multiple ships around the world.
Norway saw an 80% decline in revenue in 2020 as the pandemic response turned the travel and vacation industry to the fore. The executives hope to gradually resume operations and welcome more and more guests over time.
“Time to get back to sailing,” said Del Rio. “I don’t want to say that I dare do anything from the CDC, but I do want to hear any feedback indicating that this is not the best way to get back and sail again.”
Norwegian shares rose 7% on Monday to close at $ 29.71 a share.