Norwegian Cruise Line (NASDAQ: NCLH) announced today that it is the first major cruise line to be certified in and in compliance with the requirements of the International Labor Organization’s Maritime Labor Convention (MLC), 2006 that provides comprehensive rights and protection at work for the world’s more than 1.2 million seafarers, including Norwegian’s more than 17,000 crew members working onboard its 11 international vessels.
“We value our hard working crew and consider them our most important and greatest asset,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s president and chief executive officer. “We employ more than 17,000 Seafarers from almost 100 different countries around the globe; respecting each individual for the unique talents they bring into our organization. We offer a career path to reach the highest levels in our shipboard organization to each person without distinction. Being the first major cruise line to successfully implement the new labor standards demonstrates that Norwegian also leads the industry when it comes to taking care of its crew members.”
The convention sets out seafarers’ rights to decent conditions of work on a wide range of subjects, and aims to be globally applicable, easily understandable, readily updatable and uniformly enforced. It has been designed to become a global instrument known as the “fourth pillar” of the international regulatory regime for quality shipping, complementing the key Conventions of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). It consolidates and updates more than 68 international labor standards related to the Maritime sector adopted over the last 80 years.
Lloyd’s Register Group Limited, the company that inspected and audited Norwegian’s international fleet for compliance, stated: “MLC, 2006 is a comprehensive convention which fundamentally improves the living and working conditions of seafarers. Norwegian Cruise Line’s full compliance with MLC, 2006, well in advance of the mandatory compliance date, is indicative of visionary leadership and a commitment to excellence. The Norwegian Cruise Line team embraced the spirit and intent of the convention while embedding continuous compliance practices into their management process. This marks a significant achievement by Norwegian.”
Lloyd’s Register assisted Norwegian Cruise Line with their preliminary preparations through a formal gap analysis, review of the Declaration of Labor Compliance and subsequently carrying out vessel certification inspections of their fleet.
In order to celebrate this milestone event, Norwegian has donated $10,000 USD to the Virlanie Foundation in Manila, the Philippines. The Virlanie Foundation is dedicated to rescuing street children in Manila, by providing shelter, food, education, and most importantly, a home. The organization relies on donations from around the world and currently operates 12 homes and outreach programs in the Philippines.
“One of the most important aspects of the Maritime Labor Convention is the Seafarer’s social welfare,” added Sheehan. “As a socially responsible company, we give back to the community. A majority of our shipboard employees hail from the Philippines, so we are proud to continue to support the important work that the Virlanie Foundation does on an ongoing basis.”
About Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 46-year history of breaking the boundaries of traditional cruising, most notably with the introduction of Freestyle Cruising which revolutionized the industry by giving guests more freedom and flexibility. Today, Norwegian invites guests to “Cruise Like a Norwegian” on one of 12 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed, resort style cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea. Recently, the line was named “Europe’s Leading Cruise Line” by the World Travel Awards for the fifth consecutive year.
The Company took delivery of its most innovative ship to date, the 4,000-passenger Norwegian Breakaway on April 25, 2013. Known as New York’s ship, Norwegian Breakaway is the largest vessel to homeport year-round in the city, sailing to Bermuda for the summer. Norwegian Breakaway’s features include hull art by legendary artist Peter Max, seafood restaurant Ocean Blue by famed New York Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, bakery by Buddy Valastro, star of the TLC series “Cake Boss,” and fitness classes and a retrospective display from the ship’s iconic godmothers, the Rockettes®. The entertainment lineup includes three Broadway shows: Rock of Ages, Burn the Floor and Cirque Dreams? & Dinner: Jungle Fantasy. Sister ship Norwegian Getaway, currently under construction at Meyer Werft, will be the largest ship to homeport year-round in Miami and will sail Eastern Caribbean voyages beginning in February 2014. The Company also has two larger “Breakaway Plus” vessels on order for delivery in the fall of 2015 and spring of 2017.