June 3, 2020 - Norwegian Cruise Line has temporarily suspended cruises until July 31, 2020 in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is currently not clear whether ship operations will resume in August 9, 2020. Independently of this, the cruise line has developed various security measures for cruises.
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) emphasizes the close cooperation with the CDC, the US center for disease control and prevention. The following security measures apply across the fleet with immediate effect. Further steps are in preparation. The conditions for protection against COVID-19 on board the NCL ships include technical and organizational components.
Introduction of completely new air filters
In the future, air filters (standard H13 HEPA) for medical use will be used on ships. These air filters are said to filter out 99,95 percent of airborne pathogens.
Improved screening protocols for ship guests and crew
In the future, passengers will undergo an improved health check before embarkation. All guests classified as endangered go through another check.
All crew members are thoroughly checked before embarkation. The health of the crew is continuously monitored during the cruise.
To identify possible illnesses, NCL takes contactless temperature measurements of passengers and crew during the cruise.
Stricter hygiene measures
All ships are carefully cleaned and disinfected before each voyage. NCL relies on CDC's Vessel Sanitation Program. In addition, the handling areas of the terminals are cleaned regularly and, if possible, disinfected with a disinfectant spray after each embarkation and disembarkation. Cabins, suites and the public areas are intensively cleaned and sterilized using electrostatic spray technology.
Distance rules are to be implemented consistently
To implement distance rules, the number of guests is limited and online check-ins are encouraged before embarkation. Access to the public areas of the ships is regulated.
Service in the buffet area and at beverage stations
Crew members provide guests with food and drinks in self-service buffets and at beverage stations.
Advanced medical resources
A public health officer is assigned to each ship and the medical department is reinforced. A special isolation area is created on each ship. The latest test sets and medical equipment are brought on board.
Safety when going ashore
NCL guarantees to only call at open and safe ports. This may have an impact on destination planning in the future. We work closely with local tour service providers to enforce the company's hygiene standards.
The measures presented are effective and create trust. It remains to be seen how the rules on board the ships are followed by the crew and guests. And it would be interesting to know to what extent the promotions affect the future price structure of the trips.