Norwegian Cruise Line has confirmed to crew members that they will need to be vaccinated to work aboard NCL vessels. This impacts all cruise lines owned by the company, including Norwegian Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas, and Oceania Cruises.
This comes as many cruise lines are pushing forward with plans to resume cruises safely. This could also be a hint of NCL introducing new vaccinated-only sailings in alternative markets to the U.S. A redeployment announcement is already expected very soon.
Letter to NCL Crew Members
The vaccination mandate for the crew was first reported by Crew Center which posted the text online. Apparently, a recent crew survey revealed that many crew members are already planning on being vaccinated in their home countries to prepare for a possible resumption of cruises in the summer.
So, as a result of the survey and expert guidance, all crew members and officers will have to be fully vaccinated before returning to any ship. Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) said:
“In order to provide the safest cruise experience possible and with guidance from our expert advisors, we will require all officers and crew to be fully vaccinated with an NCLH accepted COVID-19 vaccine in order to work on our vessels once we return to sailing. Vaccines in addition to multi-layered and robust preventive health and safety measures will help us provide a uniquely safe and healthy vacation environment that we believe exceeds all other vacation choices on land and at sea.”
NCLH advises that crew do get vaccinated by an approved brand as soon as possible. Those who can’t get vaccinated will need to wait until these vaccinations can occur onboard.
Crew Needed for Return of Operations
The letter sent to the crew extensively covers getting vaccinated in their home country. The cruise line is working hard behind the scenes on resuming cruise operations, and a major part of that is having enough crew members onboard.
The situation between the CDC and the cruise industry in the U.S. is not yet clear for when operations will resume. However, we already know that the Norwegian Cruise Line will soon announce new deployments for five cruise ships. NCL told Cruise Hive recently that it will “soon announce a revised deployment schedule.“
With the way things are going, we could see Norwegian Cruise Line jump on the UK domestic sailings or even alternative homeports outside the U.S. like rival Royal Caribbean is already doing.
Most of these cruise alternatives are for fully vaccinated guests and crew so making sure the crew are fully vaccinated is a win win for NCLH.