So said Harry Sommer, President & CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), at a press conference where he further elaborated on the strict health and safety protocols on board the company ships, set to renew cruises on July 25, with 100% of passengers and crew fully vaccinated.
Norwegian Cruise Line will resume operations on July 25, as we have reported on Passport.News on April 6, 2021.
NCL will set sail with three ships in the Caribbean and Mediterranean. Norwegian Jade will depart from Piraeus, Athens starting July 25, on 7-day cruises between the Greek Isles, while Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Gem will set sail in the Caribbean.
At a special news conference held with international press, NCL President and CEO Harry Sommer said: “We are very excited to resume our operations after our shutdown in March of last year.”
Sommer commented on the vaccination efforts, stimulating and encouraging the company’s comeback, and praised Israel and Britain for their impressive endeavors so far.
According to Sommer: “Our goal is to return to cruises in the safest way possible. Our protocols will be extremely strict. Our ships will offer the safest vacation in the world.”
All crews and passengers on board the company ships will be fully vaccinated. “Furthermore,” added Sommer, “we will check all passengers before boarding or disembarkation. We will also require them to wear masks and maintain social distancing. Everyone coming in contact with our guests, from our onboard crews to our drivers and tour guides, will be fully vaccinated.” Sommer concluded, “We will not have corona.”
Sommer highlighted two significant points in NCL’s response to the pandemic: Limited occupancy on the first voyages, and a thorough examination of the ships’ ports of call.
“We will start with 25% occupancy on our ships, and later move towards 50-60%,” said the CEO, promising: “We are also looking at the destinations where we plan to anchor, to make sure our guests are safe.”
Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now allows cruise ships to sail in the United States without requiring passengers to be vaccinated, Sommer stressed that NCL will enforce its decision to have 100% of passengers and crews fully vaccinated on all cruises from July 25 to the end of October.