CruiseEntire fleet expected to be back in business by end of March.

NCL is back with its eyes on Asia, says president & CEO

Harry Sommer: “Fingers crossed” for Asia
Harry Sommer: “Fingers crossed” for Asia Photo Credit: Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line President & CEO Harry Sommer has plenty of reasons to be optimistic as the company returns its ships to active service.

“We’re on our way back,” he said, a reference to NCL’s achievement in operating 10 of its 17-strong fleet across dozens of destinations.

NCL hopes to have the entire fleet back by March 30 and Sommer says he has his “fingers crossed” for Asia.

“We hope to operate the Norwegian Sun in Japan at the end of March and are awaiting the go-ahead from Japanese authorities,” he said.

Sommer said NCL’s smaller vessels have been very successful in Asia, and it was possible that bigger ships could be utilised depending on demand. “Everything’s on the table,” he said.

Speaking to Travel Weekly’s Arnie Weissmann via video link at CruiseWorld Asia 2021, Sommer said cruising is “the safest vacation on earth”.

After recently cruising on Norwegian Encore, Sommer said he much preferred being on a ship to land.

“On land, you visit places where there are unvaccinated people. On our ships 100% of the passengers and crew are vaccinated. And 30%-40% of our passengers have had their booster shots.

“I’m extraordinarily comfortable with what we’re doing [keeping passengers safe onboard] and the results speak for themselves,” he said.

Sommer said that the line was very happy with ships at 50% to 60% capacity and said Norwegian easily fills them "week in and week out around the world”, mostly with "enthusiastic past guests”.

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