Statement as of 7/2/20
Cruise industry leaders Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. and Royal Caribbean Group announced a collaboration to develop enhanced cruise health and safety standards to address the challenges of the current public health environment posed by the COVID-19 global pandemic. While the cruise industry has always had rigorous health standards exceeding those mandated by authorities for land-based venues, the unique challenges posed by COVID-19 provide an opportunity to raise the bar even higher and strengthen all health and safety standards.
The newly established “Healthy Sail Panel” is comprised of 11 globally recognized experts with deep knowledge in areas of science and public health with varied backgrounds in medical practice and research, public health, infectious disease, biosecurity, hospitality and maritime operations. The panel will be co-chaired by Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and Governor Mike Leavitt, former Secretary of the U.S. Department Health and Human Services. In addition, several experts will also serve as senior advisors to the panel. Bringing aboard these respected experts to help inform the companies of best practices demonstrates the cruise lines commitment to protecting its guests, crews and the communities visited.
The panel is tasked with collaboratively developing recommendations for cruise lines to advance their public health response to COVID-19, improve safety, and achieve readiness for the safe resumption of operations. The panel’s efforts could also produce public health innovations and perhaps generate new scientific standards for addressing existing public health concerns that will not only benefit the cruise industry but may also assist related industries that are facing similar challenges. The expert panel has already been working for over a month and plans to offer its initial recommendations to the cruise lines by the end of August. The panel’s work is expected to be “open source,” and could be freely adopted by any cruise line or company that would benefit from the group’s scientific and medical insights.
-Spokesperson for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., parent company of Oceania Cruises