The Indian cruise line Cordelia Cruises has confirmed that it is on track to resume cruise itineraries out of Mumbai on January 29th this year aboard its cruise ship Empress.
Cordelia Cruises said that during the pause in operations it has doubled-down on crew training and the development of enhanced health and safety protocols to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
These measures include a vaccination mandate for guests and crew, mandatory pre-cruise PCR testing, hourly sanitizing of the vessel’s public areas, social distancing, and an upgraded medical centre to handle any emergencies.
“Cordelia Cruises, from its very inception, has been mindful of the security and health of its crew as well as guests onboard,” the cruise line said in a release.
“Given that safety is paramount and a non-negotiable factor, Cordelia Cruises has implemented practices for its crew members and guests,” it added.
In addition the measures outlined above, the cruise line will also be conducting daily health checks of crew, while the ship’s air filtration systems have been upgraded to prevent the spread of airborne viruses, including coronavirus.
Passengers will also be required to adhere to social distancing onboard, and the ship’s capacity will be reduced to facilitate this, while a special services team will ensure the safety and health of senior citizens and children.
Cordelia Cruises said that it is working “very closely” with the Indian government, shipping authorities, port authority and the entire travel industry, and will be offering contactless and online facilities for check in, boarding and during the cruise, such as QR code-enabled digital menus.
“The cruise management is ensuring high standards of safety. All COVID protocols and measures are in place for guests onboard,” the cruise line said.
“We can proudly say that Cordelia Cruises currently is the safest and most responsible holiday option for those who wish to give their family a perfect yet safe holiday,” it added.
Similar statements have been made by other cruise lines, some of which subsequently suffered major onboard COVID-19 outbreaks due a failure in the crews ability to enforce the health and safety protocols.
Overall, however, the cruise industry has kept COVID-19 outbreaks low when compared to the number of passengers carried.
Few ships have seen more than 1% of passengers become infected onboard, while the vast majority of cases have remained isolated to small groups of passengers thanks to the mitigation measures in place.