Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Sea cruise ship berths in Port Miami on March 2, 2021 in Miami, Florida.
Joe Raedle | Getty Images
In a meeting with the White House Covid Response Team and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CEOs of carnival, Norwegian cruise line and royal caribbean have spoken out in favor of replacing the government’s phased approach to US ports and creating a clear roadmap that will allow voyages to resume this summer, area sources told CNBC.
Earlier this month, the CDC updated their conditional sail order framework. However, the agency has not yet set a date on which operators can resume voyages from American ports.
The CEOs of the virtual meeting on Monday made it clear to U.S. health officials that passengers could sail safely if they demand vaccinations and negative Covid tests for everyone on board. One participant who did not wish to be identified described the meeting as “encouraging”.
A spokesman for the Cruise Lines International Association trade group told CNBC, “For the first time, industry leaders have been able to highlight the cruise community’s unique ability to implement and accurately manage health protocols that incorporate rigorous reviews, tests, prevention, detection, and monitoring and response procedures all in one controlled environment throughout the cruise experience. ”
The time for the meeting this week has come as communication between the cruise lines and the U.S. health authorities has been tense and politicians on both sides have also exerted pressure.
On Thursday afternoon, Norwegian Cruise Line reiterated its request to the CDC to allow the company to resume cruising from US ports on July 4th. “I continue to await further discussions with the CDC and respectfully request an immediate response to my written proposal to resume cruising in July so we can join America’s national reopening,” CEO Frank Del Rio said in the statement .
On Tuesday, Florida GOP Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick scottand Senator Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, announced a bill aimed at overriding the CDC’s current framework for cruise ship return to sea. The economies in Florida and Alaska are feeling the effects after more than a year without cruising. cruise was discussed later on Tuesday at the first hearing of a new Senate Travel and Tourism subcommittee.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced the state last week will file a lawsuit Demanding cruise ships are allowed to sail again immediately against the CDC.