NCLH Allowed to Sail From Florida with 100 Percent Vaccinations

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH), which operates the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, has reported that on Sunday a U.S. District Judge ruled in its favor, granting a preliminary injunction that paves the way for the company’s three brands to require documentation confirming a guest’s vaccination status prior to boarding. In July, the company sued the State of Florida, which had prohibited from requiring proof of vaccinations.

This order, according to NCLH, now allows the company to operate in the safest way possible with 100 percent vaccination of all guests and crew when sailing from Florida ports. NCLH’s first sailing from Florida is scheduled for August 15, 2021, on Norwegian Gem, departing from Miami.

“The health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we visit is our No. 1 priority, today, tomorrow and forever. It’s not a slogan or a tagline; we fiercely mean it and our commitment to these principles is demonstrated by the lengths our company has gone through to provide the safest possible cruise experience from Florida,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of NCLH in a written statement. “The public health environment continues to evolve around the globe and our robust, science-backed health and safety protocols, with vaccines at its cornerstone, allow us to provide what we believe is the safest vacation experience for people who long to get back to their everyday lives and explore the world once again.”

Daniel S. Farkas, EVP and general counsel of NCLH, added, “While litigation is a strategic tool of last resort, our company has fought to do what we believe is right and in the best interest of the welfare of our guests, crew and communities we visit in an effort to do our part as responsible corporate citizens to minimize, to the greatest extent possible, further spread of COVID-19 as we gradually relaunch our vessels.”

The swift deployment of vaccines has been the primary vehicle for people to safely get back to their everyday lives while containing the spread of the virus, the company said in a press release. To that extent, it invested heavily in its “SailSAFE” health and safety program with science-backed protocols developed in conjunction with the nation’s top scientific and public health experts. The company’s policy of 100 percent vaccination of guests and crew is in place without issue in every port it sails from around the world except for Florida. Despite the ongoing global pandemic and the accelerating spread of the Delta variant, Florida prohibited NCLH from requiring vaccine documentation.

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