In response to the CDC announcements, Frank Del Rio (pictured) head of Norwegian Cruise Lines Holdings (NCLH) said that the chances of cruises from the US restarting in July are unlikely.
He was speaking a day after the announcement at NCLH’s quarterly earnings call in which he told Wall Street analysts that a US July restart was not possible.
“The July U.S. launch, at least for our company, is just not possible,” Del Rio admitted. “It was possible back in early April when we proposed to the CDC 100% vaccination, so from 5th April, 90 days would be early July so that was possible. But today we’re in early May, and we’re looking past that.”
He indicated that NCLH needed about 90 days to get a ship ready for a restart.
“Our team is working through the new guidance, but at first glance, however, it appears the path forward is a bit rockier and a bit steeper than originally expected,” he said.
Del Rio also said he was disappointed in the new CDC rules for test sailings in the US “at first read” and found them onerous and in part “preposterous.”
“I’m disappointed, at first read. I’m going to give the CDC the opportunity to explain and clarify, and we have a call with them this afternoon,” he said.
According to Del Rio, NCLH plans to start off with a 100% vaccination mandate for cruise ship passengers.
In response to a question about how the CDC has treated the cruise industry, Del Rio responded, “We’re perplexed. We’re flabbergasted. We’re outraged.”
“We’re willing to vaccinate every single person on board a cruise ship. There isn’t another venue on earth – not a school, a factory, your office – that can make that claim,” he stressed.