Norwegian Cruise Line CEO talks vaccine clash with Florida government

Harry Sommer discusses his company's decision to possibly avoid all Florida ports over the state's refusal to allow vaccination checks and how it could affect future cruises.
5:22 | 05/12/21

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Transcript for Norwegian Cruise Line CEO talks vaccine clash with Florida government
Joining us is the president and CEO of Norwegian cruise line. Excuse me, Harry Sommer. It takes effect July 1st. 'S putting your cruise line in a tough spot as you require to have all crew and passengers to be vaccinated. Have you spoken to governor Desantis and how are you trying to resolve this. First off, Michael, I want to thank you for having us on this morning. Being able to talk to your listeners about the restart of the cruise industry this summer. You know, to address your question specifically we want to thank governor Desantis for his tremendous support of the cruise industry over its entire time as governor and specifically these last few months helping working with us to get cruising restarted. At the end of the day we have the same goal in mind, to restart cruising safely for our guests in an excellent way with a fantastic product and I think when people are aligned on the same goal they find a way to move forward. You say your goals are aligned but what does the compromise look like and if the state doesn't relent are you prepared to keep ships out of Florida? You know, I don't think it's a question of relenting. I think it's a question of us coming together with a common cause and a common goal to move forward, and I'm confident and optimistic we'll be able to do that. The CDC, they still call cruise ships high risk and recommend travelers avoid them. What is your response to that and when will cruises restart in the U.S.? You know, we have a goal of providing a safe and exceptional vacation for our guests. We're restarting cruising in Europe, out of the Greek isles, med and Italy on three of our beautiful ships and starting cruising on two ships out of the caribbean out of punta Cana and the Dominican Republic and look forward to welcoming guests back in an extraordinarily fun and safe manner. In terms of the CDC they've been working very closely with us, specifically over the last six or seven weeks now, we meet with them on a nearly daily basis and I'm optimistic as this continues we'll find a resolution to in that will allow us to restart. The CDC has gone on record they're supportive of the cruise industry restarting in mid to late summer and we hope to have a track to get there very soon. Walk us through the safety protocols you plan to have in place? Does that include testing? And what are your plans if there is an outbreak on board? Sure, a great question, Michael. So as Victor mentioned we're planning to restart with 100% of our passengers and crew vaccinated. But on top of that we set up a panel, co-chaired by Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the fda over last summer that came up with 74 recommendations that are on our website for people to view but they include things like improved sanitation, improved filters, you know, no self-service buffets and full testing of every passenger before they come on board and we think the combination of testing, the protocols and 100% vaccination is going to provide the absolutely safest vacation on the planet. That's our goal. Now, I can't guarantee this will never be a case of covid on boardut think these robust safety protocols will certainly allow us to have enjoyable vacations we won't have to have, you know, any over the top mandates that won't allow guests to enjoy things and safe vacations as well free of outbreak. And will they be required to wear masks even though you have all those present coles in place and everyone has been tested 100%? You know, we certainly hope not. We think in a world where 100% of the people on board are vaccinated that masks aren't going to be required but we're going to be guided gio by the science, right? We'll see where the CDC is. Even they've been saying that things are rapidly evolving as more and more Americans thankfully are getting vaccinated and huge fans of people getting vaccinated, of course, and we hope to be in a place where we restart in July and August that masks won't be required in such an environment, in such a safe environment. You haven't set sail in over a sail but beginning in Europe in July and have a brand-new ship to unveil. Yes, so that's our exciting news for this morning. You know, we have the Roh prima. She'll be starting next July. Our brand-new baby being built in in Italy. I was just there a couple of weeks ago to see the ship myself. She is simply spectacular. It's going to represent an elevated guest experience. We're going to have lots and lots of outdoor space, lots of activities, really a beautifully designed ship. We have a $2 million sculpture garden. We have an upscale food hall with 11 different dining venues. We have a Norwegian haven which is sort of our ship within a ship upscale concept that spans over seven decks in the back of our ship. This ship is going to be spectacular. All the people that have been waiting to come back, they are going to have an extraordinary A lot of people looking forward to getting back on the high seas. Mr. Sommer, thank you so much for joining us this morning. Thank you so much, Michael. Pleasure.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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