Cruise line CEOs is the US called last week for a return to service of cruise ships.
The arguments were put forward during a meeting of the Miami-Dade County Tourism and the Ports Committee, reported Cruise Industry News.
Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corp said that the company had been working non-stop with governments, health authorities, medical and scientific experts and stakeholders across the globe to develop science-based Covid-19 protocols. He pointed to Costa Cruises, the company’s Italian brand, which returned to service last week in Italy. Donald noted that the return to service would see the cruise industry manage risk without impact to communities.
“We want no one to experience a greater risk on a cruise ship than they would in shoreside activities,” he said.
Rick Sasso, chairman of MSC Cruises USA, said that the company’s protocols put in place in Europe had thus far been working successfully aboard the Grandiosa, which was now on its fourth cruise since restarting in July.
Frank Del Rio, CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, said forcefully that it was safe to cruise in America and the industry had been too quiet.
“All we are asking for is the opportunity to demonstrate we take this very, very seriously. Health and safety are buzz words we hear every day but that has been the backbone of our industry forever. Enough is enough”.
Del Rio said the company’s Healthy Sail Panel, in collaboration with Royal Caribbean Group was a week to 10 days away from submitting its plan. Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, said the Caribbean was also being highly impacted, with more than 40 countries highly dependent on cruise calls for economic impact, originating on ships leaving from Miami.