Crystal Cruises has announced its latest Crystal Clean+ protocols (Crystal Clean+ 3.0), which will enhance the health and safety standards on all upcoming Crystal Cruise voyages – now suspended until 7 January 2021.
The new protocols incorporate the current recommendations provided by the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Guests travelling with Crystal Cruises in the new year will be required to complete a Covid-19 test prior to departure, providing printed proof of their negative result at check-in; they will then take a second Covid-19 test upon arrival at the pier, and will only be allowed onboard with a negative test result.
For crewmembers, two separate negative Covid-19 tests prior to arriving at the port and before boarding are mandatory. They will also be required to quarantine for seven days upon arrival and take a test at the end of that seven-day period – again to receive a negative result – before beginning their duties. In addition, crew will be tested periodically during their rotations.
New sailings to encourage more travellers to purchase travel insurance
Guests will also be required to present valid travel insurance that covers Covid-related needs, purchased either through Crystal or a third-party; and undergo various temperature checks during their trip.
Social distancing of at least two metres to those outside an individual’s party will be enforced while onboard, and guests will only be able to disembark the ship if participating in Crystal’s shoreside activities or excursions – unless they are ending their trip. Those that fail to comply will not be permitted to re-board the ship.
Crystal Cruises also details that it will only visit ‘safe, open ports of call’. “This may cause changes to the itinerary. Keeping our guests up-to-date with the latest confirmed changes impacting their itineraries is a top priority,” the operator said. It’s a necessary procedure, but is it one that will prove unpopular with prospective guests? Comprehensive travel insurance policies, potentially even those with Cancel for any Reason cover, may well be a safeguard against disappointment for many cruise passengers.
Could local outbreaks disrupt sailings?
It’s good to see Crystal Cruises putting its best foot forward and integrating rigorous testing within its health and safety operations. Until a vaccine is found, tracking and tracing will be the best means to control the spread of Covid-19. However, following a bout of Covid cases on a CriosiEurope sailing in September, in which passengers were allowed to disembark before two guests and five crewmembers tested positive for the virus, is it possible that cruise lines should consider testing guests days before they are due to disembark to ensure maximum public safety at disembarkation ports? Perhaps Crystal Cruises’ various temperature checks will provide enough peace of mind in this instance.
Crystal Cruises will continue to review protocols before resuming its sailings
“With an eye towards a resumption of service, every protocol will be continually evaluated and will be updated as new information becomes available,” Crystal Cruises said on its website. “Crystal ships will return to sailing only when our expert team, as well as global health and government authorities, indicate that it is safe to do so.”