MIAMI – Norwegian Cruise Line confirmed Tuesday that it intends to launch its full fleet in April 2022 for the first time since no-sail orders were mandated in March 2020 after COVID-19 cases ravaged vessels and ground the cruise industry to a halt.
CEO Frank Del Rio told CNBC’s “Closing Bell” that 75% of the company’s vessels are slated to return to regular operations by the close of 2021, and all 28 ships in the cruise line’s fleet will resume service by April 1.
“If anything, the world is opening up. More people are getting vaccinated,” Del Rio said, adding, “Pent-up demand continues to be very, very strong for the sailings we’ve operated thus far.”
To date, the company has restored eight ships across three brands to service, and all on board must provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination before setting sail, meaning children too young to be vaccinated are barred from sailing, the network reported.
“Are we missing some customers? Possibly. But today, we believe that our mandate is a competitive advantage,” Del Rio told “Closing Bell.”
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