A ‘Safe to Sail’ campaign has been launched by the parent of Norwegian Cruise Line as pressure months on health officials to overturn a ban on sailings from US ports.
The grassroots initiative by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings hopes to urge lawmakers to allow cruising to resume in the US in July.
The company recently submitted a plan to recommence cruising with mandatory vaccinations for passengers and crew.
The SailSAFE health and safety protocols were detailed and NCLH is awaiting further discussion with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“The plan is consistent with the CDC’s updated guidance that international travel is safe for fully vaccinated individuals and that COVID-19 vaccination efforts will be critical in the safe resumption of cruise ship travel,” the group said.
President and chief executive Fran del Rio said: “The suspension of cruises operating from US ports is having a devastating impact on the entire cruise ecosystem consisting of American ports, labour, transport, the travel agency community, commerce, small business and other related industries, resulting in an estimated loss of several hundred thousand American jobs and billions of dollars to the US economy.
“We need to get everyone in our cruise ecosystem back to work including our longshoremen.
“We believe we can provide a uniquely safe and healthy vacation experience with our robust and comprehensive SailSAFE health and safety programme, including mandatory vaccinations combined with multiple additional layers of protection.
“We look forward to joining the rest of the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors in participating in this next phase of our country’s recovery not only by reinstating thousands of American jobs, but also re-contributing to the U.S. economy.”
He indicated in an interview with Fox News that the company was prepared to reposition ships outside the US if necessary but was anxious to see the CDC rescind its year-old no sail order due to the increased level of the vaccination rollout across America.
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