As COVID-19 continues its global impact, cruise lines are busy rolling out detailed health and safety protocols and preparing to safely set sail again. If you’re yearning to visit tropical islands or explore bucket-list-worthy destinations, you might be wondering when it will be safe to cruise again…and what cruising in a Post-COVID world will look like.
During an unprecedented pause of passenger operations, cruise lines have not been idle. They’ve been working with leading outside experts in health and science to develop measures to further strengthen public health protocols and mitigate the risk of COVID-19 for passengers, crews, and destinations. Following this reset, both passengers and crew will enjoy an even healthier cruise experience.
Cruising During COVID-19 – How Will It Be?
With enhanced measures in place, some ocean and river cruise lines have gradually resumed sailing in Europe and other parts of the world with success (including Amadeus River ships, pictured). Other cruise lines have announced their comprehensive health & safety plans to restart operations.
Cruising during the pandemic now requires enhanced health screenings for passengers and crew at embarkation and onboard, mask-wearing, physical-distancing of 6 feet (2 meters), stringent disinfection procedures, and more controlled shore excursions
New health & safety measures include:
- Ships operating with reduced capacity to manage social/physical distancing between passengers
- Negative COVID-19 tests required for passengers and crew prior to sailing
- Daily touchless temperature checks
- Staggered arrival/departure times at check-in and in ports
- Limited capacity in dining rooms, lounges, and other onboard venues
- Guidelines for hand sanitizing and use of face masks on board and during excursions
- Tour buses thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between each trip
- Smaller excursion group sizes to maintain social distancing
- Expanded dining times, more space between tables, additional “al fresco” full-service venues
- Elimination of “self-service” buffet stations
- Air purification systems that disinfect air onboard
- Fresh (not recirculated) air in cabins and public spaces
- More frequent “bow to stern” cleaning using hospital-grade disinfection and sanitation products
- Increased medical facilities, staff, and equipment on board
- Advanced crew training in cleaning practices, social distancing, and emergency response protocols
When Will Cruise Ships Sail Again?
While several ships are already cruising the rivers of Europe, Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas is currently offering short “cruises to nowhere” from Singapore.
Closer to home, yachts are available for charter in North America, the Caribbean Islands, and the Bahamas. With new health protocols in place, cruise lines expect to resume safe sailing in Spring 2021, so the time to start planning your long-awaited cruise adventure is now!
Will Cruising Be Safe?
Yes! In fact, traveling on a cruise ship will be safer than ever!
On October 30, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) replaced the previous No Sail Order with the “Framework for Conditional Sailing Order.”
Guided by world-class experts in medicine and science, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)CLIA and its ocean-going cruise line members have outlined a pathway to support a phased-in, highly controlled return to passenger service related to U.S. ports with protocols that support the health and safety of passengers, crew, and the communities visited. More information about the Healthy Sail panel’s recommendations is available here.
While no one can predict what the future holds, it’s not too early to start dreaming of your next reimagined cruise adventure. And for the ultimate worry-free voyage, yachts and small ships are now available to charter exclusively for your group.
To learn more about new cruise health and safety protocols and when ships will sail again, give us a call at 786-594-0732, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.