The first cruise ship to port in the UK since the pandemic began stopped in Portsmouth on October 19th to pick up passengers.
The SeaDream Yacht Club’s vessel, SeaDream 1 picked up 19 passengers and will sail a transatlantic voyage to the Caribbean.
The SeaDream 1 will also become the first cruise ship to resume operations in the Caribbean when it arrives in Barbados.
The 110 passenger yacht has been sailing successfully under strict health and safety protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Prevention measures include all passengers being tested for COVID-19 with a PCR swab test 72 hours before boarding.
The passengers are also given a second swab test right before boarding the SeaDream 1.
“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 the Head of Operations at Portsmouth International Port, Ian Diaper, 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,” he added.
“It was great to see a cruise ship in the port once more and pleased to see operations go to plan.
“This video shows some of the measures taken this summer as a result of Covid. Our health protocols always comply with the various requirements of the local governments and may be different from what is outlined in this video,” SeaDream stated on their official blog.
Extensive cleaning and sanitation regimes are in force on the vessel, according to the press release by the Port Portsmouth.
In addition, all crew members are certified for the WHO’s Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) for novel coronavirus course and CoVid-19 Contact tracing course from Johns Hopkins University.
SeaDream 1 had previously called at Oslo and Rotterdam, en route to the UK, part of a 21-day trip to Bridgetown, Barbados.
The cruise call in Portsmouth was overseen by port health and Portsmouth International Port staff. No passengers left the ship, and only 19 guests boarded
Portsmouth International Port was the UK’s first port to install a thermal imaging camera to scan for passengers with potential symptoms of COVID-19.
SeaDream 1 experienced a covid-free summer in the Norwegian Fjords and is now headed to Barbados to feature a week long itinerary including Bequia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada starting from USD $2985 a week plus port fees
Large ship cruising also has returned to Europe. MSC has has lead the way with large ship cruising calling on multiple international ports with two cruise ships. They have yet to report a single case of COVID-19 on board after 7 successful cruises.
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