Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings CEO Frank Del Rio said test sailings could begin in January for its cruise brands.
‘Simulated cruises’ are part of the comprehensive CDC conditional sailing order, with test sailings a requirement before resuming commercial operations.
Del Rio cited January as a possible timeline but doesn’t expect to be the first cruise operator to do so.
“We want to get this 100% right. We’re stressing flawless execution. There’s still a lot to learn about the nuances of how to execute those orders,” Del Rio said.
Others may start trials in December, but that is unlikely for NCLH brands.
“We don’t forecast that we will be wanting to do so until probably sometime in January. And then there’s another series of sequences that the CDC has called for in terms of giving notice and getting the ship certified on a ship-by-ship basis.”
Trial sailings will be assessed independently by a third party firm and overseen by CDC inspectors.
Del Rio also said 2021 will be a ‘transformational year’ for the business.
“I believe we will be able to have our entire fleet up and running in the latter half of 2021.”