The Healthy Sail Panel created by Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings hopes to have its initial recommendations back to each company by the end of August, according to Vicki Freed, senior vice president of sales and trade support and service, Royal Caribbean International.
Suggestions will then be vetted by each company and presented to the CDC.
Working together with a rival cruise corporation, Freed said: “When it comes to safety and security, there is no competition. We need to work collaborative as a team, as an industry.”
The 11-person panel is already hard at work and is looking at everything from reduced capacity to staggered embarkation.
Of note, Dondra Ritzenthaler, senior vice president of sales and trade support and service, Celebrity Cruises, said the CDC has been invited to participate in an observatory role.
Added Carol Cabezas, vice president and COO, Azamara: “The work of the panel will be open-sourced … available to anyone that needs it at no cost.”
She added the panel’s work may be helpful to land-based entities from spas to hotels and restaurants.
“We have to think about the destinations as well, we are working very closely with governments and ports we visit all over the globe to establish plans and protocols for the safe resumption of cruising,” said Cabezas, adding that extends to tour operator partners to make sure a safe experience continues from ship to shore.
“The goal is to create an environment that mitigates risk to the greatest extent possible while the virus is (still) a threat.”