coronavirus pandemic

Norwegian Cruise Line Plans to Resume US Voyages in August

Earlier in May, Norwegian threatened to keep its ships out of Florida after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation banning businesses from requiring that customers show proof of vaccination against COVID-19

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Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line has announced plans to resume cruise operations from the United States starting in August.

The cruise line says it plans to resume weeklong voyages from Seattle, Washington, to Alaska on Aug. 7, pending authorization from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Seattle has always been our second home, and we are beyond excited to return to this incredible homeport and to once again bring our guests to Alaska," NCL President Harry Sommer said in a statement. " We have been waiting for a very long time to announce a resumption of cruising from the U.S."

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Norwegian Cruise Line says it will launch 11 voyages and continue working with destination partners and health experts on plans to launch additional voyages.

Earlier in May, Norwegian threatened to keep its ships out of Florida after the governor signed legislation banning businesses from requiring that customers show proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

The company says the law signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis is at odds with guidelines from federal health authorities that would let cruise ships sail in U.S. waters if nearly all passengers and crew members are vaccinated.

“It is a classic state-versus-federal-government issue,” said Norwegian's CEO, Frank Del Rio. “Lawyers believe that federal law applies and not state law, but I’m not a lawyer. And we hope that this doesn’t become a legal football or a political football.”

In April, DeSantis signed an order banning businesses from requiring customers to show proof of vaccination and prohibiting state agencies from issuing so-called vaccine passports that document COVID-19 vaccinations and test results.

He later signed legislation that includes the provision about businesses and gives him power to overrule local measures related to the pandemic, such as mask mandates.

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