On 19 October, SeaDream 1, en route to the Caribbean, called at Portsmouth as part of its 21-night transatlantic sailing. This allowed 19 passengers to embark, before continuing its journey.
“How is this possible?” you might be asking yourself. Especially in light of the fact that there are no cruises scheduled to depart from the UK’s main departure point of Southampton for the rest of 2020. Well, for a start, Portsmouth International Port have invested heavily in new Covid prevention measures and protocols, and were the UK’s first port to install a thermal imaging camera and to also receive official independent verification for its Covid-19 health measures by international auditors, DNV-GL.
They’ve embraced the government’s Cruise Framework Agreement, and reconfigured the terminal for social distancing.
Ian Diaper, Portsmouth International Port’s head of operations said:
It’s testament to everyone’s hard work that SeaDream Yacht Club was confident to use Portsmouth as the first UK port to manage a turnaround call since sailings were suspended.
It was great to see a cruise ship in the port once more and pleased to see operations go to plan.
We’re experienced at managing passengers in a Covid secure way, with ferry sailings taking place regularly since July following strict protocols. This had given us insight for what’s required and we’re ready to help the industry recover when cruise returns to its full capacity.
And, of course, SeaDream Yacht Club played no small part in making all of this happen. Looking after the 112-capacity ship is a crew that are certified by the John Hopkins University for the WHO’s Covid IPC and Contact Tracing courses. In addition to that, there are additional (and extensive!) cleaning and sanitation protocols in place on the ship, and all guests must have completed a negative result Covid test 72hrs in advance of boarding the ship.
If you’re ready to start cruising again, then why not call us on 0800 810 8481 to help you plan. Alternatively, you can explore the website and send us an enquiry if you see something that catches your eye!