“Healthy Sail Panel” comprises top experts in public health, infectious disease, biosecurity, hospitality and maritime operations
MIAMI, July 6, 2020 – Cruise industry leaders Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL) and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: NCLH) announced a collaboration to develop enhanced cruise health and safety standards in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The companies have asked Governor Mike Leavitt and Dr. Scott Gottlieb to serve as co-chairs of a newly formed group of experts called the “Healthy Sail Panel.” 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 expert panel has been working for nearly a month and will offer its initial recommendations by the end of August. The cruise lines said its work will be “open source,” and could be freely adopted by any company or industry that would benefit from the group’s scientific and medical insights.
“This unprecedented disease requires us to develop unprecedented standards in health and safety,” said Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group. “Bringing aboard these respected experts to guide us forward demonstrates our commitment to protecting our guests, our crews and the communities we visit.”
“We compete for the vacationing consumer’s business every day, but we never compete on health and safety standards,” said Frank Del Rio, president and CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “While the cruise industry has always had rigorous health standards, the unique challenges posed by COVID-19 provide an opportunity to raise the bar even higher.”
“Health and safety are the highest priority for all CLIA cruise line members as demonstrated by this initiative on the part of two of our largest members. We commend this and parallel efforts of all of our members, large and small, who are working tirelessly to develop appropriate protocols based on input from health authorities and medical experts in the U.S. and abroad,” said Kelly Craighead, president and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
Fain and Del Rio said they initiated the panel to assure the plans they will submit to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other regulators apply the best available public health, science and engineering insights. The work of the panel will be shared with the entire industry and regulators.
“In convening the Healthy Sail Panel, we sought the participation of a diverse group of leading experts in areas of science and public health that are directly relevant to the considerations listed by the No Sail Order,” said Governor Leavitt. “We view our work as a profoundly important public health effort. The health and safety of passengers, crew and the communities that cruise ships visit will be the principal focus of this project.”
Dr. Gottlieb said, “We know that the public health issues that must be addressed are complex, and in some areas, tackling them will require novel approaches. Our goal in assembling this team of leading experts was to develop best practices that can improve safety and provide a roadmap for reducing the risks of COVID-19.”
The panel is co-chaired by Governor Leavitt, former Secretary of the U.S. Department Health and Human Services (HHS), and Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The panel’s members are globally recognized experts from various disciplines, including public health, infectious disease, biosecurity, hospitality and maritime operations.
About Royal Caribbean Group
Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL) is a global cruise vacation company that controls and operates four global brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara and Silversea Cruises. The Company is also a 50% joint venture owner of the German brand TUI Cruises and a 49% shareholder of the Spanish brand Pullmantur. Together these brands operate a combined total of 62 ships with an additional 16 on order as of March 31, 2020. They operate diverse itineraries around the world that call on allseven continents. Additional information can be found on www.royalcaribbean.com, www.celebritycruises.com, www.azamara.com, www.silversea.com, www.tuicruises.com, www.pullmantur.es, www.rclcorporate.comor www.rclinvestor.com.
About Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: NCLH) is a leading global cruise company which operates the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands. With a combined fleet of 28 ships with approximately 59,150 berths, these brands offer itineraries to more than 490 destinations worldwide. The Company will introduce nine additional ships through 2027.
Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
Some of the statements contained in this release are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the U.S. federal securities laws intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this release, including, without limitation, those regarding business strategies, plans, and objectives for future operations (including those regarding efforts made by the panel and future health and safety protocols) are forward-looking statements. Many, but not all, of these statements can be found by looking for words like “expect,” “plan,” “will,” “may,” and similar words. Forward-lookingstatements do not guarantee future performance and may involve risks, uncertainties and other factors which could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from the future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied in those forward-looking statements. Examples of these risks, uncertainties and other factors include, but are not limited to the impact of: the spread of epidemics, pandemics and viral outbreaks and specifically, the COVID-19 outbreak, including its effect on the ability or desire of people to travel (including on cruises); the ability to develop strategies to enhance health and safety protocols to adapt to the current pandemic environment’s unique challenges once operations resume and to otherwise safely resume operations when conditions allow; coordination and cooperation with the CDC, the federal government and global public health authorities to take precautions to protect the health, safety and security of guests, crew and the communities visited and the implementation of any such precautions; and other factors set forth under “Risk Factors” in each respective company’s most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It is not possible to predict or identify all such risks. There may be additional risks that are considered immaterial or which are unknown. The above examples are not exhaustive and new risks emerge from time to time. Such forward-looking statements are based on current beliefs, assumptions, expectations, estimates and projections regarding present and future business strategies and the environment in which we expect to operate in the future. These forward-looking statements speak only as ofthe date made. We expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statement to reflect any change in our expectations with regard thereto or any change of events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement was based
Royal Caribbean Group
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.
Healthy Sail Panel