Gov. DeSantis: Florida will fill void if small cruise lines leave

Florida

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP/WFLA) — Saying Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings isn’t one of the bigger cruise lines, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said if smaller cruise lines want to leave the state, their void will be filled.

“Our state policy is our state policy,” DeSantis said during a news conference Thursday. “If one of the smaller ones says they somehow don’t want this, that niche will get filled in Florida.”

Miami-based Norwegian is the third largest cruise line in the world and has ports of departure in Miami, Port Canaveral, and Tampa. It also makes stops in Key West.

But Norwegian has said it might move departures elsewhere over a law that bans businesses from asking for proof of a coronavirus vaccination.

“Cruise lines have been operating in other parts of the world where there’s no access to vaccine much less the passengers required and in areas where COVID is more prevalent than it is in the United States right now,” he said. “Cruise lines are ready, willing, and able to sail from the state of Florida. We are the No. 1 destination for people who want to come and take cruises.”

In early April, DeSantis announced that the state was filing a lawsuit against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the federal government demanding the reopening of the cruise industry. The governor said since the COVID-19 vaccine is available to most people, there’s no reason cruise lines can’t be back up and running. That lawsuit was heard in front of a federal judge for the first time on Wednesday.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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