Richard Fain tells advisors he’s confident U.S. cruising will start this summer

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Richard Fain tells advisors he’s confident U.S. cruising will start this summer

Royal Caribbean Group chairman Richard Fain expressed confidence that the CDC will grant the industry permission to cruise by midsummer, and called

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Royal Caribbean Group chairman Richard Fain expressed confidence that
the CDC will grant the industry permission to cruise by midsummer, and
called the dialogue between the agency and cruise lines “constructive.”

In a video message
to travel advisors today, Fain said that the industry’s experience
operating cruises since last summer — Royal’s brands alone have carried
more than 100,000 guests
on more than 150 cruises during the pandemic — gives the industry “not
only comfort but data to discuss with the CDC and other health
authorities.”

“Based on that data, over 30 countries have already granted
permission for cruising,” Fain said. “And we’re optimistic that the CDC
will too.”

He pointed to the CDC’s public statement that cruising could resume as early as mid-July.

“We agree with that assessment, and we’re more optimistic than ever
that a realistic path forward can be achieved in that timeframe,” Fain
said. “That would enable a summer season in Alaska and elsewhere.”

He added that, “the final decisions are up to the CDC as they should be. I caution you we can’t prejudge their decisions.”

He also said that the CDC’s “new leadership seems ready to have the
kind of dialogue that could lead to  a constructive outcome.”

Fain’s video expressed a far more conciliatory tone toward the CDC
than a string of recent statements from travel associations and
politicians, from Florida to Alaska, who have chastised the CDC for its
unfair treatment of the cruise industry compared to other travel sector.

Florida sued the agency to drop its cruise ban, while a statement from CLIA cast doubt on the CDC’s assertion around a midsummer restart, saying its words do not “track” with its actions.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings CEO Frank Del Rio last week expressed frustration with the CDC for not answering his company’s request to resume sailing on July 4, and about its discussion with the cruise industry being unproductive. 

“Going forward, we understand the industry may be having regular
meetings with your office but remain concerned that such meetings
produce the nonexistent results they have had since last year,” Del Rio
said.

In the video, Fain also urged advisors to help get the industry going again.

“There is a lot you can do,” he said. “Getting the word out is
important. Letting your clients know cruising is restarting already
outside the U.S.  and hopefully soon here as well. Letting Washington
know you care is important, too. we need them to know that this matters.
That small businesses across the country are hurting and need the
economic driver that cruising represents.”

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