Portsmouth International Port has become the first British port to welcome a cruise since the Covid-19 pandemic caused a pause in operations across the industry.
SeaDream Yacht Club’s SeaDream 1 called in Portsmouth yesterday to collect 19 passengers for a transatlantic voyage to the Caribbean.
In line with strict health and safety protocols released by the luxury cruise line, all guests had to test negative for coronavirus no more than 72 hours in advance of departure, as well as immediately before boarding.
All crew members on SeaDream 1 completed the WHO’s Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) for COVID-19 course prior to the sailing, as well as Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 Contact Tracing course.
Speaking about the sailing, Ian Diaper, Head of Operations at Portsmouth International Port, said:
“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.”
“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,” he added.
Portsmouth recently became the first UK port to install a thermal imaging camera as part of its coronavirus prevention measures.
SeaDream 1 is sailing a 21-day itinerary from Norway to Barbados. Once in Bridgetown, the ship will operate 7-day roundtrips to Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada.