As the COVID-19 pandemic continues its global impact, it seems the entire world has put been on hold. 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 COVID-19 world will look like.
During an unprecedented pause of passenger operations, cruise lines have not been idle. Rest assured, they’ve been busy exploring innovative concepts and onboard technology. Working with scientists and public health officials, cruise lines are developing advanced health protocols to meet new standards due to the pandemic. Following this reset, both passengers and crew will enjoy an even safer and healthier cruise experience.
Cruising During COVID-19 – How Will It Be?
Several cruise lines have announced their new health measures, while others are continuing to develop comprehensive health & safety plans to restart their operations.
A few of the new measures being rolled out include:
- Ships operating with reduced capacity to manage social/physical distancing
- Pre-boarding health & temperature checks, rapid COVID-19 testing for passengers and crew
- Staggered arrival/departure times at check-in and in ports
- Limited capacity in dining rooms, lounges, and other onboard venues
- “Best policies” guidelines for social distancing, sanitation, and use of face masks on board and during excursions
- Tour buses thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between each trip
- 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
- A dedicated Health and Safety Office on board
When Will Cruise Ships Sail Again?
The CDC’s “No Sail” order applies to cruise ships carrying more than 250 passengers from U.S.ports; this suspension is currently in effect through September 30. European river vessels and cruise ships sailing from international ports are following the guidelines issued by the governments and health agencies in those countries.
According to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), “Ocean-going CLIA-member cruise lines will sail again when the time is right. That timing will be based on a number of factors – most importantly, input from scientists and medical experts.”
While no one can predict what the future holds, it’s not too early to start dreaming of your next reimagined cruise adventure. To learn more about new cruise health and safety protocols and when ships will sail again, give us a call at +1.305.661.1880, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.