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“This is the safest place on earth”: cruise line boss

“Health and safety is not a tag line for us,” said Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings president Frank Del Rio over the weekend.


“Given everything we’re doing on board a Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings ship [which includes Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises], this is the safest place on earth — certainly the safest vacation alternative. I can’t think of one that comes close.”


Speaking at a panel held before the Norwegian Encore set sail from Seattle for her inaugural season of Alaska voyages (the first of NCL’s 17 ships to return to cruising in the U.S.), Del Rio said that to ensure the safety of passengers, crew and the communities visited, the safest way to cruise is to have everyone 100% vaccinated and tested at the pier before boarding. Then, once on board, continuing that care with hospital-grade air filtration and high level testing technology.


Image from left: Frank Del Rio, President and CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, SailSAFE Council Chairman, Harry Sommer, brand president and CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line.


“[On a cruise ship, you] have an environment over which you can exert a lot of control,” added Dr Scott Gottlieb, former Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Chairman of the SailSAFE Global Health and Wellness Council.


“You can control who gets into that environment, how they get into that environment. You have control within that environment to decrease risk as well,” he said.


“These layers of protection…gave us the opportunity to create something that was a safer alternative than other things families might want to do. 


“Nothing’s 100% but I feel confident with what we’ve done.”


NCL brand chief executive Harry Sommer said that should Australia meet the 80% vaccination target set by its government by the end of the year, NCL will be cruising into our waters “in early February next year”.


“We currently have the Norwegian Spirit, our beautifully refurbished ship on sale for voyages from February 9 forward,” he said. 


Travellers seeking the latest details about NCL’s redeployment should click here.


For more information about the cruise line’s award-winning 17-ship fleet and worldwide itineraries, or to book a cruise, please contact a travel professional, call NCL in Australia on 1300 255 200 or in New Zealand on 0800 969 283 or visit


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Published: 9 August 2021

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