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Norwegian Cruise Lines Threatens To Skip Florida Ports Over New Law


CEO Frank Del Rio made the threat during an earnings call Thursday, just days after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bill that forbids so-called vaccine "passports."

Norwegian Cruise Lines is threatening to skip Florida ports because of the governor's order and a new state law banning businesses from requiring that customers be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The company says Gov. Ron DeSantis' order conflicts with guidelines from federal health authorities that would let cruise ships sail in U.S. waters if passengers and crew members are vaccinated.

The CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Frank Del Rio, says lawyers think federal law tops state law. The CEO says if Norwegian can't operate in Florida, it can go to other states or the Caribbean. Norwegian and other companies hope to resume sailing in the U.S. this summer.

According to Health News Florida coverage partner Miami Herald, Del Rio made the threat during an earnings call Thursday, just days after DeSantis issued the order and signed a bill passed by the Legislature that bans businesses, schools and government entities from asking anyone to provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccination. The law takes effect July 1.

The cruise line is scheduled to sail out of Port Tampa Bay on the Norwegian Dawn beginning in December. Norwegian also sails out of Port Canaveral and Miami.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is the world’s third largest cruise company, parent to cruise brands Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas.

Miami-Dade County spent $263 million building a terminal for Norwegian at PortMiami that finished construction last year.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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