Norwegian Cruise Line announced Monday it will mandate all crew members and passengers on board its ships to be fully vaccinated.
The parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruise and Oceania Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., said it would require everyone on board its ships to have been 100% vaccinated at least two weeks before scheduled departure, according to its CEO Frank Del Rio, who issued a letter to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention on Monday outlining its plan to resume sailings.
In it, the cruise company detailed its safety plan to resume cruises out of the U.S. this July 4 at 60% capacity. It plans to ease into 80% capacity in August and be at 100% capacity by September with health and safety protocols in place.
“We believe that through a combination of 100% mandatory vaccinations for guests and crew and science-backed public health measures … we can create a safe, ‘bubble-like’ environment for guests and crew,” Del Rio said in the letter.
NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE EXTENDS SUSPENSION UNTIL JUNE AMID CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
Cruise ships have been barred from sailing out of U.S. ports since March when the CDC issued a no-sail order after a number of ships suffered coronavirus outbreaks globally. Norwegian in February extended its suspension into June, canceling all trips slated to leave through May 31.
“With vaccine mandates and strict health and safety protocols in place, we are confident of our ability to provide a uniquely safe and healthy vacation environment,” Del Rio continued in the letter. “These mitigation protocols will minimize, to the greatest extent possible, further infection and spread of COVID-19. With our vessels back in operation, we will not only reinstate tens of thousands of American jobs and meet the significant American consumer’s demand for cruising, but also re-contribute hundreds of billions of dollars to the U.S. economy as the industry resumes cruise operations.”
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The letter comes after CDC on Friday updated its guidance stating fully vaccinated individuals would be safe to travel without having to get tested for COVID-19 or quarantine. The guidance, however, did not specify when cruise ships could start sailing again.