Japan cruise ships resume domestic services

   October 26, 2020 ,   Cruise Industry

Japanese cruise ships are resuming domestic operations following long service suspensions caused by the pandemic.

The Nippon Maru ship operated by Mitsui OSK Passenger Lines departed out of Port Niihama (Ehime) on Sunday, October 25, and will arrive at Port Sasebo (Nagasaki) the next day.

It is the first time for a cruise vessel carrying passengers to go into service since February 2020. The operated by NYK Cruises ship MS Asuka II will also resume services from November.

Cruise operators are implementing infection prevention measures in order to ensure safe travel, while the transport ministry is now planning to financially support infection control efforts at ports.

After Nippon Maru arrives at Sasebo, guests will visit local tourist attractions like Huis Ten Bosch amusement park and Kujuku islands. The vessel is slated to sail back to Niihama Tuesday afternoon, October 27.

Although Nippon Maru has a capacity of 530 passengers, the number of guests is limited to around 200, while some 100 crew will be onboard.

The 4-day Asuka 2 voyage will commence at Port Yokohama on November 2. The vessel will head for the port of Shimizu, Shizuoka Prefecture.

Ahead of the sailing, the Asuka II crew conducted a 2-day drill through Wednesday to practice responding to a potential outbreak on the ship. The crew members checked the steps for isolating and transporting infected passengers.