NCL President Harry Sommer

When Will Norwegian Cruise Line Sail Again?

We’ve been waiting for a few months now as the Centers for Disease Control continue to push back their no-sail order for cruises from US ports. Even when the CDC gives cruise lines the green light to sail once more, many are skeptical that ships will be ready to sail right away due to issues like travel restrictions still in place across the globe. According to Norwegian Cruise Line President Harry Sommer, it won’t take long for his cruise line to get back up and running. 

Can NCL Jump Start Operations?

President Sommer joined Porthole Cruise Magazine founder and Editor-in-Chief Bill Panoff earlier this week and the discussion turned to the cruise line’s timeline for a return. Sommer was asked when the CDC allows for cruising once more, how long it would take Norwegian Cruise Line to get back up and running? His answer was overwhelmingly positive. 


“Once we get to the other side of this and when travel restrictions aren’t quite what they are today, we don’t think it will take more than three or four weeks to get a ship staffed and trained,” Sommer said. “which, in the overall scheme of things is not a tremendous amount of time. But also remember, we’ve gone on record as saying that when we return to sailing, we don’t think that all 17 ships are going to start on day one. The logistical challenges aren’t quite as extreme if you stagger the starting of cruising over a period of time.” 

Not jumping right back in with all ships operating is the smart decision and one which many cruise lines are planning. A gradual comeback allows cruise executives to focus their efforts on a smaller number of guests and perhaps can even help prove to oversight entities like the CDC and other global health organizations that cruising, and travel in general, can be done safely in the era of COVID-19.

We don’t think it will take more than three or four weeks to get a ship staffed and trained

We’ve already seen some ships across Europe return to operation with strict social distancing and other precautions in place, but the COVID-19 situation in other parts of the world is under much better control than in the United States. If the U.S. doesn’t get things under control by September, then it’s likely the CDC will once again push back their no-sail order past the current date of October 1st. 

What do you think about Norwegian Cruise Line’s ability to get back up and running quickly? Will you be on board NCL ships when they return? Let us know!