What a difference a couple of weeks make. On the heels of one of the worst periods in company history, in which the company's leadership seriously doubted that it would be able to survive financially, Norwegian Cruise Lines is not plotting a full comeback.
Though NCL has not announced exactly when it will return to sailing, the company's CEO Frank Del Rio has indicated that it is planning to come back in phases. According to USAToday.com, Del Rio thinks that within the next six months the company could have its 28 ship fleet back at work, including vessels which sail under the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands.
"Nothing will be more critical to resuming sustained and profitable long term operations than making cruising the safest option in (the) travel and leisure space and providing cruisers with peace of mind," said Del Rio on an earnings call, echoing the sentiment of cautious cruisers who are ready to get back to sea.
For the time being, Norwegian and all other cruise companies are under a no-sail order by the Centers for Disease Control. The order is set to last through July 24, but officials could lift it sooner cruise companies meet certain conditions.
Del Rio predicts that when NCL's cruise ships begin to sail again, the company may have to feel its way through the process for a bit. "There will be fits and starts and it will require the implementation of new protocols as we learn what works," he said.