Of 136 respondents to the Inchcape Shipping Services survey, made up of cruise Lines, port agents/operators and/or tour agents, 19.4% listed sanitisation their top priority, followed by social distancing (14.9%), shipboard capacity (14.8%), tours (13.4%), respirators (12.2%), F&B (12.2%) and insurance (10.2%).
On implementing effective health and hygiene measures, survey participants expressed a want for crew being positioned around lounges, entrances and stairwells, with continuous cleaning of surfaces carried out daily, and passengers encouraged to regularly use hand sanitizer.
Adaption of ventilation systems to ensure no re-circulation of air from on board the ship was another point raised.
Limiting boarding of aged people and those with chronic health conditions; pre-boarding COVID-19 tests; medical certificates; health checks on embarkation; rapid/instant virus testing kits and exclusion of those coming from countries with high levels of coronavirus were among the recommendations put forward by some survey participants.
Ports and excursions
A need for greater communication between port terminals and warehouses/storage locations was indicated, especially during the turnaround period.
Understanding between the port agent, ship team, terminal operators and port authorities to ensure all parties are aware of measures in place was another key view submitted, with paperwork and documentation for coming into port ‘going digital as much as possible’.
Reduced passenger numbers on ships and excursions, and time at sea being reduced between points comprised additional feedback from the survey.
The potential for a premium-priced minibus service was also considered.
Entertainment and F&B
A fresh look at entertainment in keeping with new regulations was suggested, as well as halting the use of on board gyms and communal pool access. Managing the flow of people visiting shops, casinos and spas was raised, with ‘managed’ buffets in restaurant areas.