By Priti Naik
Despite the Omicron surge and cancelling cruises, the Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings CEO Del Rio stated that the cruise liner will operate full-fledged before summer. Del Rio asserted that the industry has been unfairly targeted by the media, stating that its taking advantage of the fact that the industry is offering strong testing, they track cases and diligently report it to CDC and other public health administrations.
Speaking in a virtual meeting, Del Rio said, “While these near-term cancellations and other disruptions that omicron is causing is disappointing and frustrating, I firmly believe that it will not impact our cruise industry and our three brands’ ability to have our full fleet operating by late spring.”
Del Rio said that protecting the health and safety of guests, crew and the communities it visits is not just “a tagline” but “the core of what we do and will always be our number one priority.” Despite having to cancel sailings due to omicron, he said that given how quickly the variant spreads but also “seems to disappear,” he is confident that all of NCLH’s three brands (Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises) will be in the water in a few months.
Gottlieb said that the media drew a negative attention towards the cruise industry when it came to cases and he believed that the cruise is a safe environment, given the high quality testing and protocol levied on ships. Consumers who are thoughtful about these things, who understand risks know that going into an environment where these things are being measured and steps are being taken to reduce the chance of spread “can give people a higher degree of assurance rather than being perceived in a negative way.”