THERE’S no secret the cruise industry has a large job ahead of it to tempt travellers back onto ships, and many cruise lines have gotten out in front of the problem during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A multitude of lines have drawn new health & hygiene concepts, beginning with A-ROSA, with the German operator the first cruise line to resume sailing in June.
Created by the A-ROSA care team, the concept considers the pandemic regulations of the individual countries through which the ships pass, and includes enhanced cleaning procedures, the wearing of mouth and nose coverings in public spaces, pre-screening and temperature checks prior to embarkation, meals to be served at tables at set times, and the reduction of excursion numbers.
Other measures include a minimum social distance of 1.5m ship-wide; aisles as “one-way-streets”; the enhancement of hygiene logs; disinfectants at all entrances; and access to the ship by external persons to be kept to the necessary minimum.
Avalon Waterways has also unveiled its “path forward to welcome aboard”, developing a new Avalon Assurance program with seven major categories and protocols which span all guest experience touchpoints, including, “welcome aboard”, “fresh air”, “new technology to ensure cleanliness”, “touching hearts, not hands”, “blending cultural proximity with social distance”, “commitment to the cleanest ships”, and “focus on crew health and education”.
Hurtigruten, which has committed to phasing in its operations from the middle of June, has implemented a similar plan, with six points, divided into three under “what you do”, and three under “what we do”.
Hurtigruten’s passengers will be required to stay safe with health questionnaires, keep their distance around the ship, and wash their hands diligently.
The cruise line has committed to strict cleaning practices, high knowledge — with all crew members undergoing a health check and completing the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 course — and more food service seating sessions and individual plating.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection’s enhanced health and safety procedure come with the promise of every protocol of interaction having been checked by President and Chief Executive Officer Ellen Bettridge.
The Uniworld boss said common “welcoming” practices, such as candy jars in the lounge and coffee table books are now part of the everyday experiences that are being reimagined across the company.
“We have been scrupulous in our process to consider every moment that may present an unnecessary concern and why all coffee table books, magazines and brochures for example, have been removed from public use…instead, guests will be able to access these reading materials via our complimentary PressReader app on their personal devices,” said Bettridge.
Other companies to have implemented new health and hygiene concepts include Norwegian Cruise Line, which said its new protocols, focusing on six key areas of health and safety, could necessitate itinerary changes, with the line committing to “only visit sage, open ports of call”.
Celebrity Cruises and Genting have also added new hygiene and safety concepts, and Cruse Lines International Association in the process of developing an industry-wide standard.