Norwegian Plans Florida Sailings, Stands By Vaccinated Passengers Rule – CBS Miami

MIAMI (CBSMiami / AP) – Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is poised to set sail with fully vaccinated passengers from two Florida ports, despite a new state law prohibiting companies from requesting proof.

On Monday, the Miami-based cruise company announced departures from PortMiami and Port Canaveral, as well as New York and Los Angeles.

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The crossings are contingent on certification from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and it remains unclear how the plans can be reconciled with Florida law. Norwegian said in a statement that it is in contact with the office of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis regarding the requirements.

“We are currently in contact with his staff and legal counsel to ensure we can provide the safest cruise experience to our passengers departing from the cruise capital of the world,” said Norwegian’s CEO Frank Del Rio.

The Centers for Disease Control announced in an update to their conditional sailing regulations that cruises could resume operations once 98% of the crew and 95% of the passengers are vaccinated and ships take other measures to limit the risk of transmitting the virus. If these conditions are not met, cruise lines must demonstrate the effectiveness of their COVID-19 safety protocols on test cruises.

In April, DeSantis signed an ordinance banning companies from requiring customers to provide proof of vaccination and prohibiting government agencies from issuing vaccination records that document COVID-19 vaccinations and test results. The governor argues that the legislation was designed to protect individual freedom and medical privacy.

Carnival Cruise Line, also based in Miami, announced departures from the port of Galveston, Texas with vaccinated guests and said it was working with state officials to get a ship to depart from PortMiami.

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Royal Caribbean International announced on Friday that eight of its ships will resume US voyages in July and August, with voyages from the ports of Florida, Texas and Washington. The company said that passengers are “strongly advised” to get vaccinated, adding that unvaccinated passengers must be tested for the virus and follow other measures.

MSC Cruises has been approved by the CDC for simulated sailing on board the MSC Meraviglia.

The MSC Meraviglia will sail from PortMiami to Ocean Cay, MSC Cruises’ new private island in the Bahamas, on July 17th.

MSC operates a total of four ships of all classes and experiences in North America, including the new MSC Seashore, which will arrive at a new terminal in PortMiami in November.

Disney Cruise Line said last week that the CDC approved an application to run a two-day simulation cruise later this month departing Port Canaveral.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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