HAMBURG — Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is set to resume operations for select guests at the end of the month with extensive hygiene measures in place and reduced.
Forced to halt operations for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the cruise company will sail eight new short cruises at the end of July for guests who reside only in Germany, Austria and Switzerland at this time. Cruises will depart Hamburg with the luxury ship, the EUROPA 2, and the expedition ship HANSEATIC inspiration with a reduced capacity of just 150-300 guests.
In preparation of its resumption, Hapag-Lloyd has unveiled a ten-point plan that includes hygiene and safety protocols based on guidelines from relevant authorities, health experts and CLIA Deutschland shipping companies. These include mandatory disclosure of health information for guests, the use of thermal imaging cameras during embarkation, a staggered and controlled boarding process, thorough health checks for crew, reduced seating and extended opening times in restaurants, and care kits for all guests. The view the full list of protocols 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. “We have taken our time because the safety of our guests and crew and the trust of those in charge of the German ports is very important to us.”
Pojer added that in the next phase of resumption, the cruise line will evaluate whether it is able to allow guests who reside in other countries onboard. This, he said, depends on the development of the infection rate in these countries.
Enhanced safety measures will include a “reset day” between each cruise, without guests onboard. This will allow for general cleaning and disinfection of the entire ship.
“Our relaunch will be carried out in a controlled fashion and we are going above and beyond the requirements set forth by the authorities,” said Pojer. “Our aim is to make our guest’s time onboard safe, carefree and enjoyable, by observing the necessary rules in regards to maintaining distance and providing personal and individual service. Our small ships offer ideal conditions for this.”