NEXT CEO Martin Salzedo and CMO JD Schwartz were working on a cruise line start-up when the pandemic hit. They were catalyzed to 'help the industry that we love get sailing and protect the health and safety of passengers and crew,' Salzedo said.
Salzedo is president and CEO of Five Star International Shipping, a consultancy. He is a past president of Celebration Cruise Line, Imperial Majesty Cruise Line and Discovery Cruise Line, and held operations roles at Paquet and Carnival Cruise Line.
'We are a dedicated group of uniquely qualified professionals in the cruise, science and manufacturing sectors, combining the best available resources for cruise lines to overcome barriers to re-entry,' added Schwartz, an entrepreneur, marketing and branding expert.
'All our solutions are science-driven. We have an arsenal of products that can disinfect the whole ship.' Their efficacy, he noted, goes beyond COVID-19, to protect from a variety of disease-causing pathogens.
NEXT has teamed with manufacturing partners in the United States and Italy on industrial-grade UV-C appliances for every area on board. Products range from high-powered appliances for large spaces such as casinos, theaters, dining venues and spa/fitness centers to compact HVAC units with filtration for back offices, crew areas, staterooms, elevators and restrooms.
The Miami-based company said it identifies the efficacy of each product by the dosage required to irradiate bacteria, viruses, molds and other pathogens. It analyzes the source of contaminants by the flow of people and their activities in various environments then deploys the products and protocols that maximize the combined effects of surface and air UV-C irradiation. Training and support will be provided to help lines manage risk.
From plug and play units to towers and handheld devices
NEXT products include self-contained plug and play UV-C units that pull air down from breathing levels to the floor, eradicating particles and decontaminating the air. Units of varied size, capacity and cost can be deployed in guest relations areas, passenger and crew accommodations, back offices, public restrooms and elevators.
For large spaces, UV-C towers seek and destroy microorganisms in the air and on hard surfaces. These portable towers can decontaminate areas of 400 square feet to 8,000 square feet using two, four or eight bulbs. Large open spaces such as dining, fitness/spa and entertainment venues would be treated when closed for sanitizing/decontamination.
Handheld UV-C units can disinfect hard-to-clean surfaces and inaccessible areas that require frequent wipe-downs. These would be used for high touch point areas including buffets, bars, casinos, stairwells, landings, corridors, restrooms, spas and fitness centers.
HVAC duct inserts would incorporate UV-C technology into existing air conditioning and filtration systems.
Salzedo and Schwartz said NEXT's scientific, technical and advisory teams can oversee installations around the globe.
Estimated cost for full ship coverage
According to a case study of a large, new, mainstream cruise ship, NEXT projected the one-time cost to deploy a full arsenal of products and solutions, including in crew areas, as $2m. That works out to less than $2 per passenger, per day, based on 50 weeks of operation and 180,000 total passengers.
In addition to the UV-C products, NEXT can offer cruise terminals mass temperature screening as well as scanners to use on board and at destinations to continuously monitor temperatures.