Hurtigruten, the world’s first expedition line to resume cruising in Norway last month, has unveiled new health and safety measures to protect against infections on board its fleet.
To ensure all voyages are safe for both guests and crew, Hurtigruten will only sail at 50 per cent capacity.
Before embarkation, guests must provide a self-declaration form that they are not showing any signs of COVID-19 and have not been in contact with anyone who has coronavirus in the last 14 days.
They will also be required to undergo a contactless fever scan before boarding the ship.
Passengers bound for voyages to Antarctica, South Georgia, Northeast coast of Greenland, Northwest Passage, Trans-Atlantic crossings, Labrador and Newfoundland, must have a medical certificate certifying they are fit to travel to remote destinations and will not be a hazard to other members of the expedition.
On board the ship, guests must practise social distancing and keep at least one metre from each other. They must also frequently wash their hands and be required to disinfect their hands or wash their hands at embarkation, disembarkation, outside all restaurants and on entering public areas.
Restaurants will no longer have self-serviced buffets and will provide more seating sessions with table service.
The number of passengers going on shore excursions will also be reduced to allow for social distancing and buses will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between each trip.
“Confidence in cruising will be key to the return of a sustainable cruising industry. Any guest watching our new Hurtigruten health and safety video will know that our protocols will keep them, and our crew and staff, as safe as possible. They can feel confident booking and travelling with us,” says Damian Perry, Managing Director Hurtigruten Asia Pacific.
Crew members will have to undergo a health check before reporting for duty. They will also have their temperatures taken daily. They have also completed the official WHO’s COVID-19 course for hygiene procedures, infection management and first-aid training.
Hurtigruten will adhere to strict daily cleaning of the ship and all cabins will be fully disinfected at changeover using strong disinfectants. There will also be electrostatic cleaning of all communal areas, storerooms and galleys with UV light testing to identify any harmful materials.
The line will also carry out regular checks of its heating, ventilation and air-conditioning ventilator filters and quality of its drinking water.