Norwegian Cruise Line shifts focus to Caribbean, European sailings as U.S. restrictions continue

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The Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Jewel, right, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises Inc. Splendor ships sit idle near the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach in Long Beach, California, U.S., on Monday, April 13, 2020.
Tim Rhue | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Norwegian Cruise Line announced Wednesday its plans to resume its summer sailings outside of the United States.

The company’s plans put a focus on voyages in parts of the Caribbean and Europe this summer, as sailings from the U.S. remain restricted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency has not yet released a set date when cruise lines can resume operations. It has said research shows Covid-19 can spread easily on cruise ships.

Norwegian, the smallest of the three major cruise ship lines, proposed plans in early April to resume voyages from its U.S. ports starting July 4, but is still waiting for approval.

The company plans to start sailing again in August with its Oceania Cruises traveling to Scandinavia and Western Europe, followed by its Regent Seven Seas Cruises departing from the United Kingdom in September.

It will begin to phase in trips to the Mediterranean in September. The brand previously announced plans to sail to the Caribbean and Europe in July and August. It is adding some ships to the Mediterranean and canceling other voyages.

“We are simultaneously planning for a potential resumption of cruising from U.S. ports while we await further discussion with the CDC regarding our proposal for a July 4th restart,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, in a press release.

Earlier this month, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the state will file a lawsuit against the CDC, demanding cruise ships be allowed to resume sailing from the U.S. immediately.

The company’s shares rose just below 1% in morning trading.

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