Thinking of setting sail? Cruising health and safety 101


Well over 2000 passengers board the sleek Nieuw Statendam bound for the Arctic.
Well over 2000 passengers board the sleek Nieuw Statendam bound for the Arctic.
From robots that sanitise to full-scale on-board testing laboratories – these are just some of the innovative new health and safety measures being implemented by cruise lines.

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Managing Director Australasia, Joel Katz says cruise lines globally have committed to extensive new health protocols in response to COVID-19. The protocols have been developed with the assistance of leading medical experts internationally and are in constant development.

“These measures are among the most comprehensive to be found anywhere in the travel industry and are designed to uphold health and safety as the highest priority,” says Katz.

“They include 100 per cent testing of all passengers and crew – with a negative result required prior to boarding – as well as extensive protocols covering crew quarantine, distancing, sanitation, health monitoring and response procedures,” he adds.

Katz says these measures are already operating successfully in countries where cruising has resumed, including parts of Europe and the US.

Crews are trained in COVID-19 health protocols, and medical centres will have both outpatient and inpatient facilities including critical care capabilities.

Cruise lines will also work with government health authorities for onshore excursions.

Stringent protocols including masks, social distancing and daily health checks are mandatory on many cruises as the industry works to provide the safest environment for passengers and crew.

Other cruising health initiatives include:

  • Most cruise lines are opting for fully vaccinated passengers as well as crew for the safety of all.
  • Some new-build ships are including purpose-built laboratories equipped with testing facilities.
  • Sanitisation robots that utilise UV-C light to treat surfaces in guest and crew public areas are now an industry first for Viking Cruises.
  • New air purification technology is being rolled out to ensure air purification.
  • Wearable contact tracers for all guests will enable easy identification for points of contact throughout a journey.


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