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Norwegian Cruise Line CEO on how the company’s cruise ships can safely set sail once again

Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Frank Del Rio said Monday he is confident the cruise line operator can safely set sail this summer for the first time in more than a year.

Earlier in the day, the company sent a proposal to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how Norwegian Cruise ships could travel once again in July. The proposed measures include requiring passengers and workers on board its ships to be fully vaccinated weeks in advance of disembarking and capping on-board capacity at 60%. Capacity would be increased by 20% every 30 days afterward.

“I challenge you to tell me of another venue anywhere that has this kind of iron-clad health and safety protocols in place … cruise ships will de facto become the safest place on earth,” Del Rio told CNBC’s Jim Cramer in a “Mad Money” interview. “We want to start in the safest manner possible and that is … everybody on board has to be vaccinated.”

The company’s proposal and Del Rio’s comments come more than a year after the CDC placed a no-sail order on cruises due to Covid-19 outbreaks on multiple ships around the world.

Norwegian saw revenues plunge by 80% in 2020 as the pandemic response upended the travel and vacation industry. Executives hope to resume operations and gradually welcome more and more guests over time.

“It’s time to get back to cruising,” Del Rio said. “I don’t want to say that I’m daring the CDC to do anything, but I want to hear any feedback that suggests that this is not the best way to come back and cruise again.”

Shares of Norwegian shot up 7% on Monday to close at $29.71 per share.

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