Healthy Sail Panel Created to Tackle COVID-19 at Sea

Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings together launched the “Healthy Sail Panel,” a task force charged with uncovering solutions to the cruise industry’s approach to keeping ship passengers and crew safe from the coronavirus. The panel will examine safety measures ranging from the use of ultraviolet lights to safe meal service, and everything in-between. The panel is also forecasting costs that may result from their suggestions, such as modifying ships to encourage social distancing.

But the learnings and enhancements may mean more to the cruise lines than just addressing COVID-19. Long term adjustments to ships and regulations could aid in the overall prevention of diseases, including any that might pop up in the future, and the dreaded Norovirus.

The panel has held two sessions to date. The panel’s short-term recommendations could take two months to develop and release, and ideas for longer-term implementations could take up to a year. For now, cruise ship fleets around the world remain docked. Major operators have extended the cruising suspensions into September.

Yes, COVID-19 has sickened and even killed passengers and crew earlier this year, yet ships have the advantage of a more controlled environment. Operators can regulate the flow of passengers through hallways, launch technology to best find or kill the virus and establish rules about congregating faster and more targeted than cities and states.

If you are preparing for a cruise, or have questions about an upcoming voyage, AAA Travel Agents are here to help. Speak to a AAA Travel Counselor now, call 1-800-222-7448.