MIAMI (WSVN) - Cruise line executives said they are willing to pull their ships from the United States if cruising does not resume soon.
Virgin Voyages has European cruises in the books, and Norwegian Cruise Line is moving ships to other countries.
“We’re going to start operations in August from the U.K. doing a series of six-night cruises,” Virgin Voyages CEO Tom McAlpin said.
Carnival is also keeping all options on the table.
“At this time, we have not made any announcements or decisions to move our ships from U.S. home ports, but we may have no choice,” Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy said.
For more than a year, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought cruising to a halt.
At a news conference on Friday, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava implored the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to allow ships to sail.
“We support the cruise lines getting back to work because we know that they can cruise safely,” Levine Cava said.
U.S. Rep. Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., said when he spoke to the CDC, they acknowledged they haven’t taken into consideration that tens of millions of Americans are vaccinated.
“They still haven’t taken into consideration that there is a vaccine, which, to me, is unconscionable,” Gimenez said.
Top cruise line executives said they have no other choice but to leave for other countries, taking their ships and the billions of dollars they generate for South Florida with them.
“This was the cruise capitol of the world,” McAlpin said. “We hope to regain that title once again, and we’re ready to do that.”
If the ships leave South Florida, executives said they will return as long as the CDC allows them to.
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