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Norwegian Cruise Line to Be Back at Full Strength in April

Norwegian Cruise Line's full fleet of 28 ships will be back and operating by April.
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Norwegian Cruise Line  (NCLH) - Get Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Report said that it would be ready to launch its full fleet by April, the first time it's been at full operation since the pandemic started.

Chief Executive Frank Del Rio told CNBC on Tuesday that Norwegian's full fleet of 28 ships will resume service by April 1, with 75% of its vessels returning to regular operations by year-end 2021. 

“If anything, the world is opening up; more people are getting vaccinated,” Del Rio told CNBC. “Pent-up demand continues to be very, very strong for the sailings we’ve operated thus far.”

Norwegian currently has eight ships in operation as it recovers for the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns. 

The Miami company requires all guests and crew to be vaccinated before boarding and will not allow unvaccinated children who aren't eligible for shots to board. 

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“Are we missing some customers? Possibly, but today we believe that our mandate is a competitive advantage,” Del Rio said. 

The company says Covid booster shots are not yet required for passengers and employees, but Del Rio says the company could mandate them if the pandemic worsens.

Norwegian could also loosen its existing vaccine guidelines as the pandemic wanes and more people are immunized against Covid-19. 

At the end of August, the company's culinary-and destination-focused affiliate, Oceania Cruises, resumed sailing for the first time in almost a year and a half. The cruise line’s Marina was the first ship to embark from the port of Copenhagen since 2019.

Shares of Norwegian at last check were down 2.3% to $27.12 on a broadly lower day in the stock market.