It might have been a while since we were able to relax on deck with a cocktail, or watch the sunset from our balcony, but it looks like we can start looking forward to those days again.
Cruise ships have always been one of the safest places to enjoy a holiday, these floating hotels are in continuous use and previously never closed their doors. On a cruise holiday you could always see the team working hard, from painting the hull to vacuuming the stairways to cleaning handrails and ensure holiday makers sanitise at all points. Cleaning and sanitising are protocols that have always taken place on a cruise ship, but now we see them back home in shops and hotels.
Back in June 2020, Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line came together to develop the Healthy Sail Panel, which has created recommendations for public health guidance and preventative measures aboard cruise ships.
With a focus on testing, screening and exposure reduction; sanitation and ventilation; response, contingency planning and execution; destination and excursion planning; and mitigating risks for crew members, it’s not a small task they have undertaken.
Working alongside the CDC and CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association), we hope the Healthy Sail Panel continue to create positive news, such as this from a CLIA Statement on October 6, 2020:
CLIA ocean cruise line members worldwide have agreed to conduct 100% testing of passengers and crew on all ships with a capacity to carry 250 or more persons—with a negative test required for any embarkation. This is a travel industry first and an example of the cruise industry leading the way. We see testing as an important initial step to a multi-layered approach that we believe validates the industry’s commitment to making health, safety, and the well-being of the passengers, the crew, and the communities we visit our top priority.
As cruises continue to gradually resume around the world, the cruise industry is the first in the travel and tourism sector to commit to 100% testing for passengers and crew worldwide.
For many months, cruise lines have worked tirelessly with experts worldwide, and in recognition of health authorities, to develop unprecedented public health protocols and are optimistic these measures will allow for gradual, phased resumption of cruising of cruising to continue in ever more markets.
In the UK, CLIA have shared with the government a Framework detailing how cruise ship operators can implement the new measures with enhanced public health protection.
Andy Harmer, Director, CLIA UK and Ireland, said:
This is the culmination of extensive dialogue and collaboration by representatives from across the maritime sector working together with government and national health authorities. The rigour and detailed planning that has gone into these Framework documents demonstrates the commitment of the cruise industry to caring for public health and upholding a robust and uniform set of safety measures. This is an industry that supports more than 88,000 jobs and generates £10 billion to the economy each year and the industry is taking the necessary steps to be ready to restart in the UK when the time is right.
The Framework sets out how cruise lines can plan for the return of passengers and how they can support them from the moment they book, to joining the cruise, to returning back home after their holiday.
It allows the cruise sector to plan with confidence on how to get their ships ready for when restarting in the UK. It is up to each cruise line to develop a suitable risk control strategy for each ship and voyage based on the range of ports, ships, voyages, and operations it provides.
CLIA cruise line members have dedicated their time during the voluntary suspension of operations to determine ways to go even further in their efforts to protect the health of passengers, crew, and the public.
The health and wellbeing of passengers and crew has always been the top priority for the cruise industry, which already implements some of the most robust safety and hygiene standards.
This is great news for the cruise industry, and we can’t wait to be back onboard to watch that sunset with a cocktail in hand on the balcony…