Message to our clients, contacts and colleagues:
What is it?
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness in the family of viruses similar to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory 23.92 Syndrome), however, unlike SARS, it has a much lower mortality rate.
What do we know about it?
It was first detected in Wuhan China, and the majority of confirmed cases remain confined to Asia. Patients have reportedly experienced symptoms similar to the flu, and those who are most susceptible to serious illness appear to have weakened immune systems, in particular diabetes, heart conditions (COPD), and the elderly.
What is the cruise industry doing about preventing the virus on ships?
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the leading voice of the global cruise industry has issued these guidelines which are being followed by their member lines – which make-up over 90% of ocean-going cruise capacity worldwide:
- CLIA Members are to deny boarding to all person who have traveled from, visited or transited via airports in China, including Hong Kong and Macau, and any municipality in Italy subject to lockdown (quarantine) measures by the Italian Government, as designated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, within 14 days prior to embarkation.
- CLIA Members are to deny boarding to all persons who within 14 Days pior to embarkation, have had close contact with, or helped care for, anyone suspected COVID-19, or who are currently subject to health monitoring for possible exposure to COVID-19.
- CLIA Members are to conduct preboarding screening necessary to effectuate these prevention measures. Enhanced screening and initial medical support are to be provided, as needed, to any persona exhibiting symptoms of suspected COVID-19.
What are the authorities saying about travel in general?
Neither the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control are advocating severe travel restrictions except to/from those countries that are most affected. This is a rapidly changing environment; for the latest travel advisories please visit COVID-2019 Information for Travel.
Cruise ships are operating on normal schedules, except in Asia, where ships have been diverted to other regions. Ports are being monitored continually, and we have seen some changes in itineraries such as to Italy and to some Caribbean nations.
We are contacting all of our clients individually who have upcoming programs to discuss on a one-on-one basis, in order of their departure. To contact us, please direct your communication to your program operations manager, or to Malena Ruiz, firstname.lastname@example.org; +1 305 661 1880 x115.
We have been in the industry for almost 40 years and have experienced similar outbreaks in the past (SARS, Norovirus, Legionnaires disease). The cruise industry has always responded quickly to world events and because of the nature of the onboard environment, has been able to isolate quickly and communicate effectively. For many years now, disinfecting has been a normal procedure for all guest (and crew) and the lines are hyper-sensitive, with enhanced crew training to identify issues immediately.
The cruise industry is unique in their requirement to report illness.
Cruise Lines are required by maritime law through the Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) to report when 2% of passengers are ill. No other sector of the travel industry is required to report – and that includes hotels, planes, convention centers, etc. For this reason, we feel that cruising is the safest form of travel during times like this.
According to CLIA, the cruise industry is one of the most well-equipped and experienced when it comes to managing and monitoring health conditions of those onboard, with outbreak prevention and response measures in place year-round. Furthermore, ships must be fitted with onboard medical care in the event of illness. Their security and screening systems can prevent the spread by denying boarding to anyone who they suspect is carrying a virus.
We at Landry & Kling have confidence in the cruise industry and are encouraging our clients to stay the course. Cruise travel remains at the top of travel choices where security, safety and health issues are a priority.
As circumstances alter, we will issue revisions to this statement.
President & CEO
Landry & Kling Global Cruise Events