Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has noted that the lifting of COVID-19 protocols, for both the cruise industry and countries globally, has helped remove barriers to booking a cruise.
President and CEO Frank Del Rio said the COVID-19 related rules were the number one reason customers were not booking cruises.
“These developments have paved the way for us to relax our own COVID-19 protocols, allowing us to reach a wider cruising population as well as adding greater variety to high-yielding itineraries as more ports around the world become accessible to cruising,” he said.
“With the public health environment improving, in September, our three brands removed mandatory vaccination requirements,” he said.
“And just last month, Norwegian Cruise Line took another significant step forward with the elimination of all COVID-19-related guest protocols. That means no more vaccination, testing or masking requirements on any of the line’s ships, except in the very few areas around the world that still have specific COVID rules,” Del Rio added, speaking on the company’s third quarter earnings call.
“This is a long-awaited alignment of protocols to the rest of the travel lesion hospitality industries, which reduces friction, eliminates the number one reason for not booking a cruise and meaningfully enhances the cruise experience for our guests. “
Since September 6, Norwegian Cruise Line allowed guests who are above the age of 12 to board with a negative PCR test, even if they haven’t been vaccinated.
Lifting all COVID-related protocols resulted in an increase in travel spending, especially in higher-income categories. The company is already seeing record bookings that top even the pre-pandemic numbers.