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Norwegian Plans Florida Sailings, Stands By Vaccine Rule

Norwegian says it is in talks with Gov. Ron DeSantis' staff and attorneys “to ensure that we can offer the safest cruise experience for our passengers.”

Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line announced plans Monday to sail from Port Canaveral and PortMiami this summer while requiring guests be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, despite state law banning businesses from asking for proof.

Norwegian says it is in talks with Gov. Ron DeSantis' staff and attorneys “to ensure that we can offer the safest cruise experience for our passengers.”

Meantime, Carnival Cruise Line, also based in Miami, announced sailings from Galveston, Texas, with vaccinated guests and that it also was working with Florida officials for a ship to leave from PortMiami.

The trips are contingent on obtaining approval from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under the agency’s conditional sail order. Conditions include requiring 95 percent of passengers to be fully vaccinated or perfmorming test cruises to ensure COVID protocols are working.

The CDC shut down cruises because of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. The industry makes up a huge chuck of the state's tourism economy, and DeSantis has contested the CDC's restrictions in federal court.

Last week, Royal Caribbean International announced six cruises out of Florida and said its passengers are “strongly recommended” to get vaccinated, adding that unvaccinated passengers must be tested for the virus and follow other measures.

Disney Cruise Line said last week that the CDC approved a request to conduct a two-night test cruise this month from Port Canaveral.

Information from Health News Florida archives was used in this report.

Copyright 2021 Health News Florida

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