Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is planning to set sail again starting at the end of July 2020, with extensive hygiene and preventive measures. The cruise company will restart cruises from Hamburg with their ship Europa 2, and their expedition ship, the Hanseatic inspiration.
Passenger numbers will be reduced by 40%, with a passenger count of 150-300 guests on board. The basis for the resumption of cruise operations are the guidelines of the relevant authorities, which have been produced in coordination with CLIA Deutschland shipping companies and in collaboration with experts. The Hapag-Lloyd Cruises prevention and safety concept onboard will be based on these new guidelines. The most important measures are summarised in a ten-point plan, which will enable a safe and comfortable cruise on board, and will also meet hygiene standards.
In accordance with the German authorities, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has agreed to only welcome guests who reside in Germany, Austria and Switzerland at this time. Thanks to the positive developments with regard to containing COVID-19 in these countries and the comparatively short distances to the departure point, it is assumed that the risk of infection from people resident in these countries is similarly low.
The Hapag-Lloyd Cruises ten-point plan
Before cruises begin the mandatory disclosure of health information will be provided to guests and will need to be signed. Also, the use of thermal imaging cameras will be used upon embarkation, and there will be a staggered and controlled boarding process that ensure comprehensive prevention measures will be taken, and distance will be maintained from the start.
The crew will also undergo a thorough health check. They will complete a period of quarantine before they start their duties and will be given a PCR test. Crew members will have their temperatures checked each day before they start their shift. There is a supervised medical team onboard, emergency and contingency plans in place, as well as a comprehensive training and safety program for the crew as part of the new health and safety concept. The medical team has been expanded and there is a Public Health Manager, responsible for the implementation of preventive and hygiene measures.
The ships from the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises fleet offer plenty of space, and therefore satisfy the rules regarding social distancing, with a minimum distance of five feet in public areas. For areas where this is not possible – such as during embarkation and disembarkation or in the elevators, guests on board will be given a care set which includes face masks. All cabins are spacious outside cabins, mainly with balconies, providing private places to retreat to on board.
All ships are equipped with thermal imaging cameras and a mobile laboratory to provide rapid detection of viral diseases, such as COVID-19. Cold fogging devices will be used for area-wide deep cleaning of suites, cabins and public areas. In addition, the number of disinfectant dispensers on board has been significantly increased.
The number of seats available in the restaurants will be reduced, and the opening times will be extended. There will be no self-service in the restaurants, the buffets, or in the bars. All meals can also be served in cabins, with 24-hour room service available. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises also guarantees a 100% fresh air supply in the cabins and all public areas.