Norwegian Dawn Met by Protesters in Key West

The Norwegian Dawn was met by a group of protesters when it called in Key West, Florida on Dec. 9.

The protesters are part of the Safer, Cleaner Ships (SCS) movement, which aims to uphold the wishes of the Key West locals who voted in favor of limiting persons disembarking from cruise ships to 1,500 persons per day.

63.34 percent of voters indicated that desire during the 2020 election in the city, which also held a referendum on three cruise industry-related issues that day.

That was later essentially overturned by a Florida Senate transportation bill that declared “any local ballot initiative or referendum may not restrict maritime commerce.”

“Large cruise ships like Norwegian Dawn are just too big for our shallow channel and harbor. Every time one of these ships comes in, they drag the sea floor and leave a silt plume that runs from the reef to the harbor,” said Arlo Haskell, SCS treasurer.

“We have a lot of active boaters in Key West and everyone here knows this is way outside the bounds of responsible navigation. It is illegal propeller dredging and it violates water quality standards established under the US Clean Water Act and Florida law. Someone needs to step in and do something to stop these illegal acts. Until then, the protests will continue.”

The 2,200-passenger Norwegian Dawn is operating a 12-night round Caribbean itinerary from/to Tampa.

Photo: Norwegian Dawn is met by protestors in Key West (Credit: Mark Hedden)

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