Virgin Voyages Introduces New Health Measures
Virgin Voyages has announced its new official plans for health and safety measures, called Voyage Well, prior to its first official sailing. These measures outline all the steps that Virgin is taking before allowing passengers on its ships, hygiene and sanitation initiatives to combat COVID, new air purification systems, the onboard experience, safety in ports, crew health, and post-sailing safety. Virgin Voyages’ first official sailing will take place on October 16, 2020.
Virgin Voyages describes Voyage Well this way: “We got into sea travel with the goal of redefining it, so even though the circumstances have changed, we’re committed to innovating and creating an even safer sailing experience.” To create these plans, Virgin says they have been following recommended CDC guidelines and have created the Voyage Well Expert Advisory Group in order to inform and update the line’s processes and procedures.
Cleanliness & Sanitization
Sanitization is one of the key parts of Voyage Well. Virgin will adopt the use of advanced cleaning tools like fogging and UV technology. Every single piece of luggage and delivery to the ship will be fogged down, and all cabins will be fogged prior to passengers stepping on board. Hygiene initiatives specifically for COVID-19 will be adopted, including sanitizing dispensers in every public space, touchless faucets, increased hygiene signage, and leveraging hospital grade EPA registered disinfectants from EcoLab.
Air Filtration Systems
Virgin ships will not use recycled air and will instead provide a continuous stream of 100% fresh air in all cabins, suites, and public spaces. Ships will also include the latest technology from AtmosAir Solutions, an air purification system that will disinfect air onboard. Leveraging bi-polar Ionization technology, this air filtration system has been shown to kill 99.9% of viruses — which Virgin says is an industry first.
Onboard, Virgin will significantly reduce its overall ship capacity for the start-up sailing period to allow for social distancing. They will also limit large groups at events via virtual ticketing and keeping empty seats between one another, and leaving tables empty between groups at each eatery. As for wearing masks while onboard, the line says “We follow the same guidelines as is recommended on land — so if people are advised to wear masks there, we will do so at sea, as well.”
On dining, Virgin Voyages ships do not have buffets nor large dining rooms, which will allow for limited crowds in eateries. There is no communal food sharing, and food is only prepared when it’s ordered and delivered directly to you. An onboard food delivery service will offer contactless drop-off and pick up.
Virgin Voyages crew will be subject to routine temperature checks as well as testing for the COVID-19 virus. Any crew members who come into contact with anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will isolate and participate in additional health checks. Crew will be required to wear gloves and frequently wash hands while in high-traffic areas on the ship.
The line has also incorporated post-sailing measures into Voyage Well. Virgin will be establishing a post-voyage notification process through which Sailors and Crew can inform the line if they become unwell within 14 days of leaving the ship. Virgin Voyages will also contact passengers/crew who may have come in close contact with anyone who became unwell while onboard.
To learn more about Voyage Well & Virgin Voyages visit: virginvoyages.com/ahoy/stories/voyage-well