‘The calls have been handled just like any other regular call with a whole series of risk-mitigating measures based on social distancing and with a particular focus on hygiene’, comments Martin Eskelinen, cruise operation manager, Gothenburg Port Authority. ‘The first calls were with a relatively low number of guests which gave us a good chance to test and develop our protective measures further in consultation with the vessels.’
Receiving cruise passengers amid coronavirus
Gothenburg was one of the first ports in Northern Europe to receive cruise ships during the pandemic where passengers and crew went ashore. Passengers had the chance to explore Gothenburg independently guided by tourist staff wherever necessary.
From America Cruise Terminal, guests and crew were able to enter the city on foot and by means of guided walking tours. Cruise vessels have also used their own Zodiacs to explore the city from the waterside.
‘The same guidelines apply to cruise passengers as they do to tourists in general when it comes to permission to enter Sweden,’ commented Eskelinen.
Health and safety
Ahead of cruise ships arriving, visiting cruise lines and the Port of Gothenburg exchange plans for handling passengers and protective measures. Ships are required to submit a Maritime Declaration of Health before arrival - a routine which has been applied by the Port since the beginning of February and is required for all vessels that call.