Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is resuming operations and introduces a ten-point health plan and new routes

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is planning to set sail again starting at the end of July 2020, with extensive hygiene and preventive measures. The cruise company will restart cruises from Hamburg with their luxury ship, the EUROPA 2, and their expedition ship, the HANSEATIC inspiration.

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has announced it is resuming operations at the end of July.

In accordance with the German authorities, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises will only welcome guests who are resident in Germany, Austria and Switzerland for its first voyages.

Thanks to the positive developments with regard to containing COVID-19 in these countries and the comparatively short distances to the departure point, it is assumed that the risk of infection from people resident in these countries is similarly low.

In the next phase, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises will evaluate whether they are able to allow guests who are resident in other countries to travel with them. Approval will depend on the development of the infection rate in those countries.

Further reading: SeaDream completes first voyage in Norway

Hapag-Lloyd cruises’ relaunch will be carried out in a controlled fashion. Passenger numbers will be reduced by 40%, with a passenger count of 150-300 guests on board.

The cruise line is going above and beyond the requirements set forth by the authorities. Between each cruise the company will have a reset day without guests on board. The reset day is for general cleaning and disinfection of the entire ship, and will help to establish the new procedure.

The Hapag-Lloyd Cruises ten-point plan

Before the cruises even begin, the mandatory disclosure of health information will be provided to guests and will need to be signed. Also, the use of thermal imaging cameras will be used upon embarkation. A staggered and controlled boarding process will ensure that comprehensive prevention measures can be taken and social distancing can be maintained from the start.

The crew will also undergo a thorough health check. They will complete a period of quarantine before they start their duties and will be given a PCR test. Crew members will have their temperatures checked each day before they start their shift. They will also receive a comprehensive training and safety programme as part of the new health and safety concept.

There is a supervised medical team onboard, and emergency and contingency plans are in place. The medical team has been expanded and there is a Public Health Manager, responsible for the implementation of preventive and hygiene measures.

The small luxury and expedition ships from the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises fleet offer plenty of space, and therefore comply with the rules regarding social distancing – a minimum distance of 1.5 metres (5 feet) in public areas. For areas where this is not possible – such as during embarkation and disembarkation or in the elevator – guests on board will be given a care set which includes face masks. All cabins onboard Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ fleet are spacious outside cabins, mainly with balconies, providing private places to retreat to on board.

All ships are equipped with thermal imaging cameras and a mobile laboratory to provide rapid detection of viral diseases, such as COVID-19. Cold fogging devices will be used for area-wide deep cleaning of suites, cabins and public areas. In addition, the number of disinfectant dispensers on board has been significantly increased.

The new standards will be seamlessly integrated into life on board, so that the enjoyment of guests is as unimpaired as possible. The crew-to-passenger ratio of 1:1 means individual and personal service is always guaranteed. The number of seats available in the restaurants will be reduced, and the opening times will be extended. There will be no self-service in the restaurants, the buffets, or in the bars. All meals can also be served in cabins, with 24-hour room service available. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises also guarantees a 100% fresh air supply in the cabins and all public areas.

More detailed information available on hl-cruises.com.

Further reading: Hapag-Lloyd Cruises sold to TUI Cruises

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