It takes about four weeks to prepare a cruise ship for sailing again, said President and CEO of CMI, Jim Barreiro de León.
“We are on a schedule of four weeks prior to the actual activation and moving of the vessel at the moment because of the quarantine periods for the crew before coming onboard,” de León told Cruise Industry News.
“There’s a difference between the reactivation itself and the repositioning – the vessel has to go somewhere else to pick up (passengers). So, there could be another two weeks in between there, but we’re looking at four weeks average across the fleet on our side,” he added.
According to de León, the layup procedures on the ships that CMI manages depend on whether the vessel is owned by CMI or managed on behalf of third-party clients.
“Every single client has different requirements,” de León said. “But generally, we’re making sure that our vessels are maintained in class, that we keep up with all the regulatory requirements, while, of course, laying up the vessel as
To ensure minimum work when getting the vessel ready for a resumption of operations, CMI checks and tests them regularly, de León said.
We are checking and testing equipment on a weekly basis, so we don’t see any major technical surprises in that aspect … We’re following closely what everybody else is doing, and we’re in close contact with various organizations to make sure that we stay up to date with the requirements, whether it is changing our focus, changing the air conditioning, and other equipment that is needed to make sure we comply,” he said.
And when we have clarity on the reactivation date of the vessel, we do minor maintenance with a skeleton crew that we have onboard the ship,” he added.
He expects that the work that preparing the vessels will entail, on CMI’s part, will mostly be on the hotel service side.
“We’re probably going to have to do a lot of sanitation on each of the vessels before they restart,” he said. “The biggest challenge is going to be making sure that we have the cleaning done right, we have enough PPE equipment onboard, and everybody is trained on the new protocols.”
According to de León, the big challenge includes logistical issues of getting certain parts and the travel restrictions that affect CMI’s service technicians.
But the biggest challenge, he said, is getting the crew vaccinated and on ships in time.
We established new protocols together with BV (Bureau Veritas). And all the vessels will be safeguard labeled by BV. All the crew gets training materials before they come out to the vessel, so they can prepare for the new requirements at home. That is really the focus, getting the crew ready. Pre-employment medicals have to be done and then, of course, the vaccinations as well,” de León explained.