As some travellers head out on their first cruises in Europe, they will face many new health protocols and enhanced cleaning procedures to make their journeys safer.

While vaccinations, temperature checks, social distancing and wearing of face masks may be compulsory for some cruise lines, COVID-19 has also changed the way cabins are sanitised.

Cabins will undergo much tougher cleaning and sanitising procedures than before the pandemic occurred in March 2020.

Today, cabin floors are more likely to have antimicrobial carpets and bathroom showers fitted with glass dividers instead of curtains.

For some lines, there will be more frequent changes of bed sheets and the use of stronger disinfecting products at higher cleaning temperatures.

French luxury line, Ponant says that its staterooms are now cleaned twice a day with Ecolab peroxide which Ponant claims eliminates 100 per cent of germs and frequently used objects such as door handles and hand rails are cleaned every hour.

There will be more touch-free gadgets inside the cabins and television monitors will be encased in strong plastic for easier cleaning.

There will be fewer inside cabins in use. Inside cabins, long considered the entry-level choice for first time cruisers looking for the cheapest cabin price, are likely to be kept vacant in case of emergency. Booking inside cabins are also unlikely to be a popular choice among passengers because of COVID-19.

It is likely that booking of cabins with balconies will be more popular as they are more spacious and passengers are able to open the balcony doors to enjoy the fresh ocean air.

There will also more interconnecting cabins to attract large family groups travelling together. For instance, Carnival’s recently launched Mardi Gras, has 300 pairs of inter-connecting rooms called “family cabins.”

Cruise lines have also been considering creating more storage space inside the cabins. For instance, Mardi Gras has added a pull-out shoe rack to closets and pull-out metal bins for small items like socks and undergarments.

But if money is not a problem, booking of suites will become more popular among well-heeled travellers.