Norwegian To Have Trial Cruises as Early as January

Norwegian Gem

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings may have trial sailings of cruises as early as January, according to President and CEO Frank Del Rio, speaking on the company's third quarter earnings call.

"But if you just read literally the order and the sequence (from the CDC) that we need to get a vessel ready to start the sailings, we think those sailings could start as early as early January," said Del Rio. 

He noted it was not a race.

"We want to get this 100 percent right. We're stressing flawless execution," Del Rio continued. "There's still a lot to learn about the order and the nuances of how to execute those orders, how to implement the 74 recommendations seamlessly along with the framework that the CDC has laid out. And those are complex issues, what kind of testing, how often do we test, et cetera."

Del Rio added that he thought some companies may start trial cruises as soon as December. 

"We don't forecast that we will be wanting to do so until probably sometime in January. And then there's another series of sequence that the CDC has called for in terms of giving notice and getting the ship certified on a ship-by-ship basis, the audits they'd have to go through," he said. "And so we're very reluctant to give you a date of when the first trial sailing begins because your next question is going to be, "Well then when is your first revenue sailing going to begin?" And we simply don't know at this early stage when that is."

Trial sailings will be independently audited by a third party, DNV-GL, and overseen by the CDC, according to the company.

Trial sailings will allow Norwegian to train crew and check the effectiveness of its enhanced health and safety protocols.

They will also allow the company to confirm their implementation and execution and comply with new CDC requirements including the necessary clearance on a ship-by-ship basis, certifying that the ship has complied with and passed all regulatory mandates," Del Rio said. 



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