Norwegian Cruise Line Introduces New Health and Safety Protocol
Norwegian Cruise Line has announced updates to their health and safety protocols that will be implemented on the line’s ships when they resume sailing. Currently the line is scheduled to resume cruises on August 1, 2020.
The new Sail Safe Health and Safety Program was created with new partners and experts in public health, infectious disease, and sanitation. Today’s announcement is just the start of enhancements Norwegian will be rolling out, and the program will continually evolve as time goes on.
Here are the six key measures the cruise line will be taking:
1. Enhanced Screening Protocols
All passengers will undergo an enhanced pre-embarkation health screening, and those considered at-risk will undergo additional screening. All crew will also undergo extensive screening prior to embarkation and throughout the voyages. Touchless temperature checks and continuous monitoring of guests and crew throughout the cruise will also help identify potential health issues. Temperature checks will occur prior to embarkation, upon returning to the ship from a port of call, prior to all meals in dining venues, prior to all activities in public venues, and prior to disembarkation.
2. Increased Sanitation Measures
All ships are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to every voyage in accordance with company protocols, which have been developed with the CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program. Embarkation terminals will be continuously sanitized, and fogged before and after each embarkation and debarkation when possible. All staterooms and public areas will be cleaned and disinfected frequently, and include the use of Electrostatic Spray Technology as well as HOC1 fogging. Buffets and beverage stations will be full service, with staff available to serve guests. Hand sanitizer stations will be available to passengers throughout the ship.
3. New Air Filtration
Medical-grade H13 HEPA air filters will be installed fleetwide. These filters remove 99,95% of all particulates 0.1 microns or larger. For comparison purposes, COVID-19 is 0.125 microns, a blood cell is 10 microns, and a single human hair is 75 microns.
4. Responsible Social Distancing
To provide space for social distancing, guest capacity onboard will be reduced. Staggered embarkation and online check-in will be implemented, and the cruise line is working towards reducing capacity in public areas on the ships. All onboard activities will still be available, but operated at a reduced capacity. Some will be slightly modified to ensure safe social distancing.
5. Enhanced Medical Resources
Onboard medical centers will be fully equipped with the latest testing kits and medical supplies. The line is also increasing their medical team across the fleet and each ship will have dedicated isolation accommodations if the need arises. Testing kits and medical supplies include advanced on-site rapid diagnostic testing for COVID-19, increased inventory of medical oxygen equipment, increased inventory of vaccinations, and increased inventory of medication to treat COVID-19. Crew members will be receiving enhanced health and safety trainings. Norwegian Cruise Line has also created a new onboard position of Public Health Officer, who is responsible for the oversight of all sanitation and outbreak prevention initiatives. They will also monitor the day-to-day cleanliness of all public areas and accommodations, making sure they comply with the CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program.
6. Enhanced Ship to Shore Safety
Norwegian has partnered with local destinations and tour operators to ensure that their health and sanitation protocols extend to the shoreside experience. The line’s ships will only visit safe, open ports of call. This means that many current itineraries may be altered, and the cruise line will keep booked passengers up to date on any port changes.
For all cruises through November 30, 2020, you can cancel up to 48 hours before the sail date. If you choose a Future Cruise Credit instead of a refund, it can be used on sailings through December 2022. Cruises from December 1, 2020 and beyond may be canceled up to four months before the sail date and receive a full refund under Norwegian's regular cancelation policy. For more information on both this cancelation policy as well as the new health protocols, visit Norwegian Cruise Line’s Peace of Mind webpage.
Join the discussion
Do you think these six main measures are a good starting point for Norwegian? Do you agree with all of them?