The UK Chamber of Shipping, the trade association for the UK shipping industry, has released details of a new Framework designed to pave the way for a return to cruising.

The association has worked closely with the cruise industry for over six months developing new Framework documents for cruise ship operators to implement new measures with enhanced public health protection.

The Framework, which has been shared with the UK government, and was produced in collaboration with the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), is the culmination of months of collaborative work between cruise operators, industry partners, and health experts.

It will help inform the restart of the cruise industry when the time is right and public health conditions allow. There is currently no restart date for the industry but the UK Chamber of Shipping, CLIA and operators continue to work with the government on future plans.

The health and wellbeing of passengers and crew has always been the top priority for the cruise industry, which already implements some of the most stringent safety and hygiene standards. The cruise sector in the UK is worth £10 billion to the economy and supports more than 88,000 jobs.

Launching the Framework, UK Chamber of Shipping Chief Executive Bob Sanguinetti said:

“The cruise sector is a vital part of the UK economy. This new UK Chamber of Shipping Framework gives the government, passengers, crew and operators the confidence that the very latest science and medical advice has been included in the industry’s planning process. A huge amount of time and effort has gone into this work and the new documents, which are fully supported by the sector, is a testament to the commitment of all concerned to protect the health and well-being of cruisers, seafarers and the public. We are not talking about restarting the sector tomorrow, but it is a vital first step in the process to get cruises sailing again when conditions allow and government guidance changes.”

Maritime Minister Robert Courts welcomed the launch of the new guidance saying:

“Our cruise industry has been hit hard by COVID-19 and the government has worked alongside the sector to prepare for a safe and successful restart.

“This industry framework puts passengers and workers at its heart and is an important step forward to allow cruises to prepare to set sail when safe to do so.”

Andy Harmer, Director, CLIA UK and Ireland, said:

“This is the culmination of extensive dialogue and collaboration by representatives from across the maritime sector working together with government and national health authorities. The rigour and detailed planning that has gone into these Framework documents demonstrates the commitment of the cruise industry to caring for public health and upholding a robust and uniform set of safety measures. This is an industry that supports more than 88,000 jobs and generates £10 billion to the economy each year and the industry is taking the necessary steps to be ready to restart in the UK when the time is right.”

The Framework documents for cruise operators and crew advises on what measures should be considered and implemented on board for the safety of crew and passengers. It also details how cruise lines should communicate with passengers from the time of booking, traveling from their home, to a port, embarkation and throughout the voyage. Similar information is laid out in detail for the safety of seafarers. The passenger guidance provides passengers advice on necessary considerations to be aware of before booking, and information of what to expect, including measures they will need to adhere to throughout the cruise.