Windstar Cruises retrofits its fleet for health and safety

   July 19, 2020 ,   Cruise Industry

In order to address health concerns brought on by the pandemic, the premium travel brand Windstar Cruises committed to a holistic Beyond Ordinary Care program. 

The cruise company will retrofit its fleet of 6 yachts with ultraviolet germicidal irradiation and hospital-grade HEPA filters. Windstar will also employ a safe sanitization formula that is used in health care settings.

Ongoing guidance is provided via a new partnership with the epidemiology department at the Anschutz Medical Center of the University of Colorado. The collaboration aims to create a safe experience for passengers on Windstar’s yachts.

The company is making major operational adjustments and significant investments to meet the requirements of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and global governmental and public health guidance. Windstar's enhanced cleaning protocols include crew dedicated to frequent cleaning with attention to high touch points and public areas.

The Beyond Ordinary Care program employs the highest-standard cleaning methods in combination with each other:

  • Install high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters to filter the air onboard. 
  • Add yet another layer to sanitize/disinfect the HEPA-filtered air with UV-C light for germicidal irradiation. 
  • Use EvaClean with PurTab for disinfecting surfaces via sprayers.

New pre-cruise protocols for passengers include a pre-departure questionnaire, as well as a request to wear masks when traveling to/from the ships. Each vacationer will receive a health screening before embarkation. Staggered arrival/departure times at check-in/disembarkation in ports will provide proper social distancing.

Onboard, passengers will find personalized service in all venues, seating arranged to provide more space between diners, and expanded dining times. The popular outdoor BBQ will be held with crew on hand to serve passengers. Additional alfresco venues and complimentary room service increase dining options. MDRs (main dining rooms) will operate at 65% capacity, while specialty restaurants will operate at 60%. Crew, who will be COVID-19 (PCR) tested before joining assignment. Temperature measurements will be required twice per day for the crew.

The 148-passenger Wind Spirit will be Windstar's first yacht to resume voyages - on September 10 - in Tahiti. The company's other ships will begin cruising in the Mediterranean in October and the Caribbean in November. Other vessels will restart operations in 2021 following scheduled drydock renovations.