Norwegian Cruise Line Chief Executive Officer Frank Del Rio said Monday he is confident the cruise line operator will be able to sail safely this summer for the first time in more than a year.
Hours earlier, the company submitted a proposal to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how Norwegian cruises could travel once again in July. Proposed measures include requiring passengers and workers on board their ships to be fully vaccinated weeks before disembarking and limiting onboard capacity to 60%. Subsequently, the capacity would increase by 20% every 30 days.
“I challenge you to tell me of another place anywhere that has these kinds of armored health and safety protocols … cruise ships will de facto become the safest place in the world,” Del Rio told CNBC’s Jim Cramer. in a “Mad Money” interview. “We want to start as safely as possible and that is … everyone on board has to be vaccinated.”
The company’s proposal and Del Rio’s comments come more than a year after the CDC placed an order not to sail on cruise ships due to Covid-19 outbreaks on various ships around the world.
Norwegian saw its revenue drop by 80% in 2020 as the response to the pandemic revolutionized the travel and vacation industry. Executives hope to resume operations and gradually welcome more and more guests over time.
“It’s time to get back on the water,” Del Rio said. “I don’t want to say I’m challenging the CDC to do something, but I want to hear any comments that suggest this isn’t the best way to go back and sail again.”
Norwegian shares jumped 7% on Monday to close at $ 29.71 a share.