Portsmouth welcomes first international cruise call post pandemic

Published on : Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Portsmouth recently welcomed their first international cruise calls since the suspension of its sailings back in March during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe. SeaDream 1, operated by SeaDream Yacht Club, stopped by the south of England port to pick up passengers for a transatlantic voyage to the Caribbean.

Around 19 passengers joined the 112-capacity ship, following strict health protocols that consisted of coronavirus testing 72 hours in advance and immediately before boarding the ship, alongside extensive cleaning and sanitation regimes. In addition, all crew members have been certified for the World Health Organisation’s Infection Prevention & Control (IPC) for novel coronavirus course and COVID-19 contact tracing course from Johns Hopkins University.

SeaDream 1 had previously called at Oslo and Rotterdam, en route to the UK, part of a 21-day trip to Bridgetown, Barbados. Since the onset of the pandemic the port has implemented enhanced protocols, including a reconfigured terminal layout to maximise social distancing, and a temperature camera to check passengers, staff and crew. Operations also followed the government’s recent Cruise Framework Agreement and the whole cruise call was overseen by port health and Portsmouth International Port staff. No passengers left the ship, and only 19 guests went on board.

Ian Diaper, Head of Operations, Portsmouth International Port said in a statement that  it is a testament to everyone’s hard work that SeaDream Yacht Club was confident to use Portsmouth as the first U.K. port to manage a turnaround call since sailings were suspended. He mentioned that it was great to see a cruise ship in the port once more and shared that he was pleased to see operations go to plan.

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