The luxury small-ship expedition cruise company Aqua Expeditions restarts passenger shipping operations with its Aqua Blu yacht sailing in Eastern Indonesia.
International travellers can expect to depart from September 12 with enhanced health and safety protocols.
In a press release, the company said that early in the pandemic, it "took early, swift and decisive action to maintain strict anti-viral hygiene standards on all three vessels in operation. As a result, the company experienced no cases of COVID-19 onboard any of its vessels."
Aqua Expeditions’ ocean ships and riverboats have max passenger capacity 30-40. The company said that small ship capacity provides "ample personal space and constant safe physical distancing among passengers and crew." The vessels comply with the health and safety standards of ISM (International Safety Management), WHO (World Health Organization) and IMO (International Maritime Organization).
The small cruise line has also adopted new measures and protocols to address passengers' concerns about travel, including:
- Conducting health screenings and pre-boarding medical evaluations for all crew and staff
- Introducing a pre-embarkation health and safety assessment to be completed by all guests
- Eliminating crew changes during the entire duration of each itinerary, reducing the risk of potential outside exposure
- Conducting daily crew health checks to ensure all health concerns are actively addressed and monitored
- Intensifying disinfection standards by developing a combination of manual and contactless disinfection procedures
- Cleaning and sanitizing cabins three times a day
- Providing face masks, latex gloves, and hand sanitizer to all crew and guests as required in accordance with each destination's regulations and guest preference
- Having a Health and Safety Officer for each ship; that officer's responsibility is the well being of crew and guests, as well as proper compliance and implementation of safety standards
In addition, Aqua Expeditions said that shipboard dining rooms fleetwide already take into account physical distancing but have been reconfigured to further create a dining environment where passengers can enjoy their experience without worrying about health risks.
The company has implemented a global food safety policy through an internal auditing system, following HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) principles for cold chain supply protocols, supervised by a qualified food safety officer.
The line's small group shore excursions have no more than 10 guests per group. The team will clean and disinfect all equipment, prior to and after use. On Aqua Blu, scuba and snorkel gear is distributed to passengers to keep for their exclusive use throughout the voyage.
Each Aqua Expeditions cruise ship is flagged in the country in which it operates, reassuring passengers that they are always allowed to disembark in any port or anchorage location on the itinerary.