In October of 2020, the CDC lifted its no-sail order, effectively allowing cruise operations to resume in North American waters. While European cruise lines have long been underway, albeit in a smaller capacity, U.S.-based cruise lines are only just beginning to announce reopening dates for this summer.
North American waters are open. However, many U.S.-based cruise lines must sail out of non-U.S.-based ports due to CDC regulations unless they comply with the CDC’s latest set of “technical instructions” issued earlier this month. These guidelines permit sailing from U.S. ports but with extensive caveats and careful emergency planning. Operators must present the CDC with specific plans and protocols covering all outlined regulations.
As cruise lines make a comeback, operators must swiftly approach these new guidelines while still delivering the best experience possible for guests as well as crew and staff?
Private aviation might just be the key.
Let’s explore two essential CDCs technical guidelines below and private aviation’s potential role in bringing the cruise industry back to life.
1. Emergency Evacuations Protocol
- What The CDC Says — Guidelines state that any emergency evacuation due to medical reasons must “minimize the burden to the greatest extent possible on federal, state and local government resources, including the U.S. Coast Guard.”
- Private Aviation’s Role — Private Aviation consultancies and charter companies can ensure that cruise lines have Emergency Response Plans (ERPs) in place and air charter options on standby at all times. A partnership of this nature gives cruise lines the means to act quickly should an emergency medical event take place. Cruisers and staff are assured and the impact on a trip remains minimal. Private Jet Services (PJS) also particularly works with first responders and medical teams to provide emergency evacuation and continuity of care in an emergency.
2. Vaccination & Spread Prevention Strategies
- What The CDC Says — The CDC suggests that all crew and staff receive vaccinations before boarding and that cruise lines must submit a proposal on how “to maximally protect passengers and crew from introduction, amplification and spread of COVID-19.”
- Private Aviation’s Role: Air charter teams can arrange for guests to fly together from their home airport directly to a port city. With limited lift and new homeports this year in more obscure locations, a chartered jet can move groups of any size to nearly any location with social distancing in mind. Staff and crew similarly benefit from a chartered jet solely for team members that can stop in multiple cities picking up already vaccinated crew members.
Private aviation is also linking arms with other industry verticals to support a post-COVID resurgence in travel, including NCAA sports and the MICE industry. Together we will navigate this new normal.