Hapag-Lloyd Cruises plans to resume operations in late July 2020, with extensive hygiene and preventive measures and 40 percent fewer passengers.
The cruise company will restart cruises from Hamburg with the luxury ship Europa 2 and the expedition ship Hanseatic inspiration. With the reduced capacity, numbers will be 150 to 300 guests onboard.
In accordance with German authorities, Hapag-Lloyd will only carry guests who reside in Germany, Austria and Switzerland at this time. “Thanks to the positive developments with regard to containing COVID-19 in these countries and the comparatively short distances to the departure point, it is assumed that the risk of infection from people resident in these countries is similarly low,” the company said in a press release.
In coordination with CLIA Deutschland and health experts, the company will operate under a 10-point plan. For more details, click here.
“We have taken extraordinary measures in preparation for this relaunch and are faced with a new travel reality with significantly stricter prevention and hygiene standards,” said Karl J. Pojer, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. “In the next phase, we will evaluate whether we are able to allow guests who are residents in other countries to travel with us, depending on the development of the infection rate in those countries.”
Between cruises, Hapag-Lloyd will spend one day without guests onboard. “Our reset day is for general cleaning and disinfection of the entire ship and will help to establish the new procedure,” Pojer said. “Our aim is to make our guests’ time onboard safe, carefree and enjoyable, by observing the necessary rules in regard to maintaining distance and providing personal and individual service. Our small ships offer ideal conditions for this.”
The health protocols include the use of thermal imaging cameras at embarkation amid a staggered and controlled boarding process, so distance is maintained.
The small ships offer plenty of space and satisfy the rules regarding social distancing, with a minimum distance of five feet in public areas. For areas where this is not possible – such as during embarkation and disembarkation or in the elevators – guests on board will be given a care set which includes face masks. All cabins are spacious outside cabins, mainly with balconies.
The number of seats in the restaurants will be reduced, and the opening times will be extended. There will be no self-service in the restaurants, the buffets or in the bars. All meals can also be served in cabins, with 24-hour room service available.
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