CANCELLED: COVID hits first cruise line to return to Carib’n waters
It’s the tale of a beautiful dream that suddenly became a nightmare. The Norwegian-based SeaDream Yacht Club - the first cruise line to sail in Caribbean waters since the global lockdown of the cruise industry in March - announced this week that it will be cancelling its remaining trips for 2020.
The cancellations are due to a COVID-19 outbreak on one of SeaDream’s vessels. Seven guests and two staff members returned positive COVID-19 results last week after being tested by Barbados health officials.
In a statement, SeaDream said it would be taking some time to “evaluate” future travel plans to see if it is possible to operate and have a high degree of certainty of not getting COVID.”
SeaDream had strict COVID-19 protocols for travellers. Coupled with the negative COVID-19 test results that are required by Barbadian officials, all arriving passengers had to do another test before they boarded the cruise ship. The onboarding process is also marked by regular sanitisation of both hands and luggage.
Passengers are also subjected to daily temperature checks for the duration of the cruise and will even have to do another test after four days on board.
But once passengers passed the initial tests and were cleared to board the SeaDream cruise vessel in Barbados, they were longer required to wear masks.
In announcing the 2020 cancellations, SeaDream said it’s strict protocols for travellers, “was not sufficient to prevent COVID-19 onboard”.