THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE CRUISE INDUSTRY THIRD QUARTER 2020
Puerto Rico Moving Full Steam Ahead for FCCA Conference
Updates on America’s Cruise Tourism Task Force
Spotlights MSC’s Return
Celebrating Seafarers & Resilient Community New Policies, Guidelines & Phased Restarts by Cruise Lines Destinations Reopening & Preparing for Cruise’s Global Return Aquila Reimagines Guest Experiences
a vibe like no other The U.S. Virgin Islands is open and ready for your crew and passengers with several ports and berths across the Territory. Throughout today’s pandemic, we have been working tirelessly to COVID-proof our destination and ensure a safe and enjoyable visit to our shores. Across our islands, ships can find some of the Caribbean’s best port infrastructures while visitors immerse themselves in our culture, history, shopping options and delectable cuisine; stroll along our award-winning beaches; or enjoy exciting water sports activities. For more information visit: www.viport.com • www.wico-ltd.com • www.usviupdate.com ©2020 U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism
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ON THE COVER
12 Michael Bayley Updates FCCA Platinum Members on America’s Cruise Tourism Task Force 14 Richard Sasso Spotlights MSC’s Return in a Pair of FCCA Zoom Meetings 16 Celebrating Seafarers Everywhere 18 Resilient Community with Brighter Days Ahead
ON BOARD 21 Costa Cruises Is Back 21 AIDA Cruises to Resume Operations 22 Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line Plans to Return November 4 22 Royal Caribbean Group Reinvents the Safety Drill 23 MSC Cruises Celebrates Pair of Newbuild Milestones
El Puente Natural – Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico
16 25 Carnival Corporation Releases 2019 Annual Sustainability Report 24 Silver Spirit Sails with New CIP-M Certification, Silver Moon Undergoes Sea Trials 25 Holland America Line’s New Flagship 25 Carnival Cruise Line’s Next Excel-class Ship
07, 09 President’s Letter
Travel & Cruise Magazine © 2020. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part, in any form, electronic or otherwise, without written permission of the FCCA is prohibited. To subscribe or change your address, please send requests to email@example.com Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) 10390 USA Today Way Miramar, FL 33025 Phone: (954) 441-8881 Fax: (954) 441-3171 Published by:
In Partnership with:
The information in this publication is provided “as is.” FCCA, CLIA and its Member Lines disclaim all representations and warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to any information, services, products and materials contained herein. FCCA, CLIA and its Member Lines will in no event be liable for any damage or losses as a result of your use of this publication.
THIRD QUARTER 2020 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 3
28 ON LAND 30 Dining on Pure Grenada 32 St. Maarten Lands Major Enhancements 32 Saint Lucia Is Low-Risk, High-Reward 33 U.S. Virgin Islands Launches Online Portal 33 Barbados with a ‘New Destination Smell’
34 The Dominican Republic’s Tourism Recovery Plan 34 The Bahamas Prepares for Phase 3 of Tourism Readiness & Recovery Plan 35 St Kitts and Nevis Readies for Reopening with Focus on Training 36 Dominica Lifting Off 36 Curacao Assists Cruise Lines
37 Port Canaveral Urges Congressional Leaders to Support U.S. Seaports 38 Greek Ports Reopen for Cruise Activities 40 Fostering Cruise Industry Advocates
MEMBERS & TRAVEL AGENTS 44 Plans for FCCA Conference Moving Full Steam Ahead 46 How Will We Reimagine Our Guest Experiences? 48 Byoplanet International: A Brief History 50 FCCA Platinum Member Highlights
THIRD QUARTER 2020 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 5
Free to explore
PRESIDENT’S LETTER: FCCA
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Micky Arison FCCA CHAIRMAN CHAIRMAN CARNIVAL CORPORATION Michael Bayley PRESIDENT & CEO ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL Thomas Mazloum PRESIDENT DISNEY SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES Richard E. Sasso CHAIRMAN MSC CRUISES (USA) INC. Frank J. Del Rio PRESIDENT & CEO NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE HOLDINGS LTD.
FCCA STAFF Michele M. Paige PRESIDENT Adam Ceserano SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT Terri Cannici VICE PRESIDENT, OPERATIONS Omari Breakenridge DIRECTOR, DIGITAL STRATEGY & CREATIVE SERVICES Mario Aguirre DIRECTOR, MEMBERSHIP EVENTS & PROGRAMS Justin Paige DIRECTOR, CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS & STRATEGIC MARKETING PARTNERSHIPS Jessica Lalama EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Vanessa Gutierrez ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
We understand how devastating this historic pandemic has been, how it has taken not just the lives of so many – though fortunately most Caribbean destinations have kept infection rates low, with many entirely recovering – but also the livelihoods, especially for those that rely on tourism. This is all too apparent from constant discussions with our partners throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Mexico. Fortunately, a sign of cruise’s resilience and some normalcy – or at least a ‘new normal’ – is on the horizon, with cruise tourism celebrating a phased return in Europe and planning for other future operations around the world. This issue of Travel & Cruise features not only some of the news and information about the return, but also addresses how this has been done – through partnership and collaboration. That includes a transcript of Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, sharing with FCCA Platinum Members why the America’s Cruise Tourism Task Force was formed and how it along with Michele with Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International the 45 participating countries aim to establish guidelines that can serve as the foundation for a similar model and phased return as Europe’s for the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Mexico. Richard Sasso, Chairman of MSC Cruises USA, displayed that collaboration and shared lessons learned when taking the spotlight in back-to-back FCCA Zoom calls with the Task Force and then FCCA Platinum Members to discuss MSC’s return in Europe, along with ways that destinations, stakeholders and other cruise companies can implement some of the learnings. Those Zoom calls and other kinds of constant communication and collaboration with our partners continue to buoy confidence for all of us at FCCA and our Member Lines – as do all of the proactive ways destinations are operating in the ‘new normal,’ some of which also follow – as we know this will continue to propel us full steam ahead to success in both the short- and long-term. We thank all of our partners that have stayed with us through this journey, and we look forward to brighter skies and smoother seas ahead. Respectfully yours,
Michele M. Paige President FCCA THIRD QUARTER 2020 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 7
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PRESIDENT’S LETTER: CLIA
CLIA GLOBAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Adam Goldstein CLIA GLOBAL CHAIRMAN Arnold Donald PRESIDENT & CEO CARNIVAL CORPORATION & PLC Micky Arison CHAIRMAN CARNIVAL CORPORATION & PLC Pierfrancesco Vago EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN MSC CRUISES Frank Del Rio CEO NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE HOLDINGS Richard Fain CHAIRMAN & CEO ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES LTD. Manfredi Lefebvre CHAIRMAN SILVERSEA CRUISES, LTD.
CLIA STAFF Kelly Craighead PRESIDENT & CEO Mike McGarry SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, GLOBAL GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS AND NORTH AMERICAN SECRETARIAT Caroline Johnson SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, MEMBERSHIP OPERATIONS Brian Salerno SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, MARITIME POLICY Joshua S. Good SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, GLOBAL FINANCE AND OPERATIONS
Welcome to this issue of the Travel & Cruise. This has been a trying year for all of us not only in the travel and tourism industry, but for everyone around the world. CLIA has been hard at work here to continue to facilitate a safe return home for our crewmembers, who are the foundation of every memorable cruise vacation experience. This has been a complicated and coordinated effort between CLIA cruise lines, ports and governments all around the world. We are grateful to everyone that has allowed access and safe harbor for cruise ships so that our crewmembers could complete their journeys home. Due to continued barriers faced in the U.S., CLIA and our oceangoing member lines have made the decision to extend voluntary suspension of operations in U.S. waters through October 31. Meanwhile in Europe, the safe and gradual return to ocean-cruising with limited itinerary sailings and reduced capacity on board is being accomplished with support from governments, including guidance from EU Healthy Gateways and the European Maritime Safety Agency’s (EMSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in its COVID-19: EU Guidance for Cruise Ship Operations. You can expect that when cruising resumes in earnest, the cruise industry will continue its long tradition of leading the way with new and enhanced measures. While it is too soon to discuss specific protocols being developed, given the scientific knowledge about this virus is changing almost daily and much could change between now and the time we finalize the appropriate measures, one thing is clear: CLIA and its ocean-going cruise line members are fully committed to identifying viable technologies that help avoid the introduction of COVID-19 aboard ships and enable cruise lines to quickly detect and respond to risks and combat transmission. With so much change, it’s more important than ever to stay connected and remain informed of industry updates. This is why CLIA has decided to host our annual Ports and Destination Summit September 15-16 virtually this year. Additionally, please join us for all annual Executive Partner Summit November 18-19. As always, thank you for your continued support and unwavering dedication to the cruise industry. We continue to believe brighter days are ahead. Best,
Kelly Craighead President and CEO THIRD QUARTER 2020 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 9
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Michael Bayley Updates FCCA Platinum Members on America’s Cruise Tourism Task Force
ichael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, joined a Zoom gathering for FCCA Platinum Members – which has become a standing biweekly fixture for the group to discuss various issues during the ‘new normal’ – on September 2 to update on an initiative aiming to move cruise tourism’s North American return full steam ahead, America’s Cruise Tourism Task Force. A lightly edited transcript follows. First of all, I’d like to reinforce the importance of the FCCA, particularly during this very strange and difficult times – and also reinforce the importance of CLIA, CLIA Europe, CLIA Australia, China, Asia, etc. It’s times like this where coming together really does matter, and I’d also like to thank all the Platinum Members for continuing to be supportive. I think we’ve got a journey ahead of us as an industry, but we’re going to get through it faster and better if we work together. The Task Force came together of course out of necessity. What we experienced somewhat in Europe through CLIA Europe was a coming together, collaboration and creation of a foundation and mechanism that allowed the industry and various destinations to come together so we could start to collaborate to create what basically became the EU Healthy Gateways document, which basically provided broad guidelines for the resumption of cruising in Europe. At no point did it dictate the detailed protocols to cruise companies or destinations, but the guidelines became a foundation for meaningful discussion between cruise companies and governments either regionally or nationally within Europe. Subsequently, over the past few weeks, cruising has resumed in a small way within Europe. In discussion within the cruise industry, we thought it would be great if we could reach out to all of our destination partners across the Caribbean, Mexico, Central, South America and form this America’s Cruise Tourism Task Force, which we did in the beginning of July. On this Task Force, we have myself co-chairing along with the Hon. Mia Amor 12 THIRD QUARTER 2020 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, and we have several subcommittees: the Caribbean Chair and Subcommittees, which consist of the Dutch Caribbean, the Bahamas, the English Caribbean, the French Caribbean, Spanish Subcommittee, Mexican Subcommittee and Central/South America. We have in total 45 different countries participating in the Task Force, and from the cruise industry we have representatives and executives from most of the major companies operating in the United States. It’s a broad group, and the team has been meeting on a regular basis with a mission to create a platform where we can collaborate through a complicated, fast-moving, dynamic environment, and the team’s mission is to create a similar document to EU Healthy Gateways by September 14 – serving as a broad set of guidelines that we can all work on in a more detailed way to ensure that we can
“IT’S TIMES LIKE THIS WHERE COMING TOGETHER REALLY DOES MATTER…”
create a platform that allows us to operate with some consistency between destinations and cruise ships so that we can resume cruising sometime in the future and protect our guests along with the communities that we visit. The other element of this for most of the cruise companies is that the majority are either located in the United States or operating from U.S. ports, and therefore have an ongoing process and dialogue with the CDC and can provide input for the period of comment concluding at the end of September and submission of plans following that – which will hopefully allow for a phased return of cruising. I would also like to note that I think we all recognize and agree that this is a dynamic and fast-moving situation, and what we’re learning is our understanding of COVID is improving dramatically – and the platform the Task Force has created is not a fixed structure; it needs to stay in place over many months in the future. What has struck me about the Task Force to date is the remarkable collaboration and cooperation, from fellow competing companies to destinations – there’s just a desire to figure this out and get us all back on the right path.
Richard Sasso Spotlights MSC’s Return in a Pair of FCCA Zoom Meetings
he cruise industry has experienced decades of extraordinary growth and success. Our current situation is an interruption of that success, but as an industry we are resilient and will come out on the other side of this smarter and stronger,” said MSC Cruises USA Chairman Richard Sasso before taking the spotlight in back-to-back FCCA Zoom meetings the week of August 17. On Tuesday, August 18, he along with MSC Cruises’ European relaunch – with MSC Grandiosa and MSC Magnifica resuming operations in the Mediterranean starting from August 16 and 29, respectively, offering guests full-experience cruise holidays with the opportunity to discover five different destinations during a 7-night cruise – took much of the focus in the America’s Cruise Tourism Task Force, as he shared vital lessons with Prime Ministers and Ministers of Tourism throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Mexico. In particular, some of the protocols interesting the participants included the self-imposed 70 percent maximum occupancy, rolling boarding in different ports and expanding its ‘bubble’ by only using
14 THIRD QUARTER 2020 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
local tour operators that are adapting to the brand’s protocols that go ‘above and beyond.’ Those more overarching protocols included close work with the different authorities in the countries where the Company’s ships will call. A dedicated task force, with the input and support of lead-
“…AS AN INDUSTRY WE ARE RESILIENT AND WILL COME OUT ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS SMARTER AND STRONGER.”
ing external medical experts, developed a robust protocol with new MSC Cruises specific operating procedures that go beyond the actual regional and national guidelines and effectively set a new standard. Additionally, RINA, the independent maritime certification corporation, verified that the protocol meets the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) Guidance, which incorporates additional health standards including those from the EU Healthy Gateways Joint Action. The new procedures include universal COVID-19 testing for all guests and crew prior to embarkation, protected ashore visits at each destination only with an MSC Cruises excursion as added level of protection for guests and the introduction of a COVID Protection Plan for further peace of mind for guests. Those teachings were used in a different curriculum on Thursday, August 20, as Sasso headlined the standing FCCA Zoom gathering for its Platinum Members, with numerous stakeholders also having the chance to not only listen to his presentation outlining MSC’s restart and new protocols, but also ask questions regarding their own businesses and operations in the ‘new normal.’
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Celebrating Seafarers Everywhere
n June 25, the world paid tribute to the dedicated and hard-working seafarers all around the world on the tenth anniversary of the International Day of the Seafarer. This year’s theme “Seafarers are Key Workers” acknowledges the many sacrifices and achievements of seafarers. Employing a truly global workforce, CLIA cruise lines are proud of the 225,000
outstanding crew members. This is why the industry is deeply appreciative of our seafarers, whose care for passengers was more critical than ever as CLIA ocean-going member cruise ships returned to port following the worldwide suspension of cruise operations. CLIA and our cruise line members continue to work around the clock to care for the well-being of crewmembers who
triate crew, bringing home an average of 2,000 crew per day from May through July while overcoming significant obstacles. Where commercial flights have not been an option due to travel restrictions, cruise lines have chartered flights and organized sailings using company ships – many traveling thousands of miles to bring crew home. The right of seafarers to be repatriated to their home country is a fundamental
seafarers who sail year after year. The cruise industry strives to provide a high-quality work environment for its seafarers, who regularly go above and beyond to provide cruise passengers with extraordinary vacations. Exceptional vacation experiences at sea would not be possible without
remain onboard. And, as of August 13, only 5,000 global crew members awaited their return to their home countries. This is much improved from the situation a few months ago. CLIA cruise lines have dedicated considerable resources and have gone to significant lengths to repa-
human right, and we continue to work with others across the maritime industry to bring awareness and garner support in this effort. We are grateful to the ports and governments that allowed access and safe harbor for cruise ships so they could complete their journeys home.
16 THIRD QUARTER 2020 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
Resilient Community with Brighter Days Ahead
he cruise industry has effectively taken responsibility for protecting public health on cruise ships for more than 50 years – and took immediate and aggressive action based on the information every step of the way, continuing to strengthen its response as new information became available. We believe this is one reason the number of cases linked to ships is a small fraction of the global total. Importantly, all decisions were made based on the guidance of or at the direction of prevailing health authorities. With that said, CLIA and our ocean-going cruise line members are working to identify COVID-19 protocols based on the advice and clearance
of governments, health authorities and medical experts around the world. We are taking a holistic approach to planning for COVID-19 safety, when sailing is allowed, which would ideally entail a door-to-door strategy beginning at the time of booking through the passengers’ return home. And, although a fully defined plan for resumption of cruising has not yet been finalized, cruise lines are working with ports and destinations so that future cruise itineraries are designed with public health considerations and pre-arranged contingency plans as a top priority. The cruise community remains actively engaged with our partners at the local, national, and 18 THIRD QUARTER 2020 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
international levels to facilitate alignment and inform cruise industry protocols as they advance through the planning process. This is all to say that this collective work will inform the establishment of a mandatory CLIA member policy regarding COVID-19. Once the final policy is established, it will be reflected in CLIA’s compendium of policies that all CLIA ocean-going cruise line members must agree to implement. You can expect that when cruising resumes in earnest, the cruise industry will continue its long tradition of leading the way with new and enhanced measures. While it is too soon to discuss specific protocols being developed, given the scientific
knowledge about this virus is changing almost daily and much could change between now and the time we finalize the appropriate measures, one thing is clear: CLIA and its ocean-going cruise line members are fully committed to identifying viable technologies that help avoid the introduction of COVID-19 aboard ships and enable cruise lines to quickly detect and respond to risks and combat transmission. To that end, the cruise industry is exploring more robust screening protocols that go beyond other travel sectors, including expanded cleaning and sanitation practices for ships and terminals, along with comprehensive shipboard prevention,
surveillance, and response measures that are effective in protecting the safety and health of passengers, crew, and the residents of the communities we visit. Some of these include: • Enhanced screening of passengers and crew. • Appropriate distancing measures as required and appropriate at the time of resumption of operations — across the spectrum for the entirety of the guest experience. • Buffets will be modified or eliminated as necessary. • We are identifying potential solutions to the challenges related to shoreside excursions, with the objective of finding ways to help prevent the unintentional spread of the virus. • Cruise lines are unique in having medical facilities and personnel onboard – and we are looking to go even further in those capabilities. • Care and training of the crew on all new and enhanced protocols as an integral part of the industry restart. • Pre-arranged options for medical evacuations with consideration of impacts on local healthcare systems. Travel and tourism have the power to transcend all types of barriers and unite people, places, and cultures with travel options and experiences that appeal to a broad range of budgets, interest, and abilities. Cruise also offers more choices in activities and destinations than any other type of holiday travel – attracting a diverse and increasingly younger range of travelers, while providing for personal growth and greater understanding of the world by connecting people and cultures. Whether you are a travel agency that helps with the process, a passenger on your first or one of many holidays, a crew member working onboard ship, or work shoreside in a port or destination, the passion for travel and the uniqueness of cruise unites us all. It is this passion and unwavering belief that cruising will once again be at the forefront of providing enhanced public health practices that keep this community going at an unprecedented time.
On Board Costa Cruises Is Back On Sunday, September 6, Costa
Deliziosa set sail on a 7-day cruise calling only at the Italian ports of Bari, Brindisi, Corigliano-Rossano, Siracusa and Catania, which was reserved for guests that are residents in Italy and marked Costa Cruises’ official return since the voluntary suspension of cruises as part of its response to COVID-19 – and part of a series of weekly cruises from Trieste until September 27. The comeback story quickly gained steam on September 19, when Costa Diadema also returned to service, departing from Genoa, calling at Italian ports in the western Mediterranean, including Civitavecchia/Rome, Naples, Palermo, Cagliari and La Spezia – and will continue with another two ships gradually due to resume operations from October. To make the return possible, the company has developed a health & safety protocol including COVID-19 swab testing for all guests and crew, temperature screening, tours of destinations on protected excursions, physical distancing thanks partly to a reduction in the number of passengers, new ways of enjoying shipboard amenities and services, enhanced sanitization and increased health care facilities.
AIDA CRUISES TO RESUME OPERATIONS A IDA Cruises is poised to follow Costa Cruises as the second of nine Carnival Corporation brands to resume operations with comprehensive set of health and hygiene protocols developed through work with global and national health authorities and medical experts.
Supported by a panel of independent scientific experts in Public Health coordinated by V.I.H.T.A.L.I. (Value in Health Technology and Academy for Leadership and Innovation), Costa Cruises worked in line with several global and national health guidelines to develop the “Costa Safety Protocol,” a comprehensive set of measures and procedures, including the safety of crew members as they return to work on board, the booking process, embarking and disembarking operations in port, life and medical care on board and shore excursions. The protocols were also acknowledged by Costa Cruises becoming the first cruise company to earn the Biosafety Trust Certification from RINA, the over 150-year-old testing, inspection, certification and ship classification company that developed the innovative management system certification program – and a certification process that examines all aspects of life on board and ashore, from the embarkation procedures to hotel services, catering, fitness, relaxation areas and shore excursions, and assesses the compliance of the system with the scheme procedures aimed at the prevention and control of infections.
AIDA Cruises will resume its cruise operations with two of its ships, sailing from the Canary Islands in November 2020, followed by an additional two ships departing from the western Mediterranean and United Arab Emirates beginning in December 2020. The first of the brand’s cruises is set to begin November 1, with seven-day voyages to and departures from Las
Palmas, Gran Canaria, with AIDAmar, followed by sailings from Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife with AIDAperla on November 7. In December, AIDA Cruises will resume sailing operations in the Western Mediterranean with AIDAstella departing on seven-day cruises from Palma, Mallorca, beginning December 12. Additionally, AIDAprima will offer seven-day cruises from Dubai starting December 11 and from Abu Dhabi beginning December 15.
In working with global and national health authorities and medical experts, Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises have developed a comprehensive set of health and hygiene protocols to help facilitate a safe, healthy return to cruise vacations. Both brands are providing guests with detailed information about enhanced restart protocols, which will continue to be modeled after shoreside health and mitigation guidelines as defined by each brand’s respective county, and approved by the flag state, Italy. Protocols will be updated based on evolving scientific and medical knowledge related to mitigation strategies. “Our highest responsibilities and top priorities are always compliance, protecting the environment, and the health, safety and well-being of our guests, the communities we visit and our crew,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. “We are engaged with a large number of medical experts and scientists around the world, and they are providing us with extremely valuable insight that we are using to develop new and enhanced protocols that are in the best interest of our guests, crew and overall public health. In areas of the world where community spread is largely mitigated and authorities are supportive of a gradual return to service over time, we look forward to again welcoming guests on board.” More broadly, as the understanding of COVID-19 continues to evolve, THIRD QUARTER 2020 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 21
On Board Carnival Corporation has been working with a number of world-leading public health, epidemiological and policy experts to support its ongoing efforts for developing enhanced protocols and procedures for the return of cruise vacations. Among the experts are: •
Dr. Simon Clarke, associate pro-
fessor in cellular microbiology, University of Reading School of Biological Sciences (UK) •
Michael S. Diamond, MD, PhD,
Herbert S. Gasser professor of medicine, molecular microbiology, pathology & immunology; and associate director, Center for Human Immunology and Immunotherapy Programs, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
Michael Z. Lin, MD, PhD, associate professor of neurobiology, bioengineering, and chemical and systems biology; and principal investigator, The Lin Lab, Stanford University School of Medicine
Dr. Jewel Mullen, MD, MPH, associate dean for health equity, University of Texas at Austin, Dell Medical School
Emil C. Reisinger, MD, full professor
of internal medicine, infectious diseases and tropical medicine and director of the Division of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Rostock, Germany
Dr. Stefano Vella, MD, former director, National Center for Global Health, Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Italian National Institute of Health); and adjunct professor of global health, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Catholic University of the Sacred Heart) in Rome
T hese advisors and others have been
working with the company and its brands to review existing and enhanced procedures and provide supplemental advice based on the latest scientific evidence and best practices for protection and mitigation. 22 THIRD QUARTER 2020 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line Plans to Return November 4 Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line now
plans to resume its sailing operations November 4 onboard Grand Celebration and March 3 onboard Grand Classica, following further monitoring of COVID-19 and work with the Bahamian government, per CEO Oneil Khosa, “ We have been planning our anticipated return to sea for October; however, as we continue to monitor the situation surrounding COVID-19 and communicate with the Bahamian government on their plans to allow leisure guests to return, we have determined that a further extension is in the best interest of our guests and crew,” said Khosa.
ROYAL CARIBBEAN GROUP REINVENTS THE SAFETY DRILL Royal Caribbean Group is replacing one of the least-loved but most important parts of a cruise vacation – the safety drill – with Muster 2.0™, an entirely new approach to delivering safety information to guests. The innovative program, the first of its kind, reimagines a process originally designed for large groups of people into a faster, more personal approach that encourages higher levels of safety. With Muster 2.0, the key elements of the safety drill will be accessible to guests on an individual basis instead of a group approach that has been followed historically. New technology, eMuster™, will be used to help provide the information to guests via their mobile devices and interactive stateroom TVs. Travelers will be able to review the information at their own time prior to setting sail, eliminating the need for the traditional large group assemblies. The new approach also enables everyone on board to maintain better spacing as guests move about the ship, and it allows guests to enjoy more of their vacation with no interruption.
K hosa also outlined some of the safety protocols and close work with CDC and the World Health Organization. “We have…followed all guidelines, including adhering to strict requirements for onboard crew members, and installed the highest safety protocols in the industry across our fleet. “We will continue to work closely with the CDC, as well as the World Health Organization, as we prepare to return to Grand Bahama Island and Nassau. We appreciate the patience of our partners and crew, and we look forward to welcoming guests back onboard soon.”
A fter reviewing safety information individually, guests will complete the drill by visiting their assigned assembly station,
where a crew member will verify that all steps have been completed and answer questions. Each of the steps will need to be completed prior to the ship’s departure, as required by international maritime law. “The health and safety of our guests and crew are our number one priority, and the development of this new muster process is an elegant solution to an outdated, unpopular process,” said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group. “The fact that this will also save guests time and allow the ship to operate without pause means that we can increase health, safety and guest satisfaction simultaneously.” “Muster 2.0 represents a natural extension of our mission to improve our guests’ vacation experiences by removing points of friction,” said Jay Schneider, Royal Caribbean Group’s senior vice president of digital. “In this instance, what’s most convenient for our guests is also the safest option in light of needing to reimagine social spaces in the wake of COVID-19.” More than a year in the making, Muster 2.0 is also an initiative that will be part of the comprehensive set of protocols and procedures Royal Caribbean Group is developing along with the Healthy Sail Panel that was recently assembled in collaboration with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “ This new process represents the kind of innovation that the Healthy Sail Panel is focusing on as part of its mission to enhance the health and safety of cruising,” said former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, co-chair of the Healthy Sail Panel. “It shows that we can accomplish a lot if we try to think outside the box on safety.” “I’d like to extend my congratulations to Royal Caribbean Group on this innovative milestone. It’s exactly what our industry needs during these unprecedented times and we appreciate the generous offer to participate in this innovation,” said Frank Del Rio, President and CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “In this industry, we all work cooperatively to enhance health and safety, and this is an example of that.” The distributed muster for ocean-going vessels concept is patented in the United States and is patent-pending in major markets around the world, including the various cruise industry flag states. The company has also worked with international regulators, the U.S. Coast Guard and other mar-
itime and government authorities to ensure it meets all safety requirements. In addition to introducing the new process on the ships of its own cruise lines, Royal Caribbean Group is offering to license the patented technology to interested cruise operators and will waive patent license fees during the time the world and industry battle the global pandemic. Patent licenses have already been granted to the
company’s joint venture, TUI Cruises GmbH, as well as Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Muster 2.0 was first tested on Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas in January 2020. Guests who took part in the mock process indicated a strong preference for the new approach and also reported better comprehension and retention of the safety information.
MSC Cruises Celebrates Pair of Newbuild Milestones In addition to its return to cruising, MSC
Cruises also returned to their fleet expansion plans, with a clear sign of that seen during the quarter through the float out of MSC Seashore and the maritime coin ceremony tradition for MSC World Europa. The float out of MSC Seashore took place on August 19 at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. MSC Seashore, which will be the Company’s longest ship at 339 meters and the largest and most innovative ever built in Italy, is now in wet dock until her delivery in July 2021 to allow for work on her interior. MSC Seashore will become the third of a total of four vessels in MSC Cruises’ innovative and ground-breaking Seaside class of ships, following MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview, which launched in 2017 and 2018 respectively, and the first of two enriched Seaside Evo ships with newly designed public spaces, more cabins and the highest ratio of outdoor space per guest of any ship in the Company’s fleet. More than 65 percent of the ship has been enhanced to make MSC Seashore a significant further evolution of her sister ships.
Additionally, A maritime coin ceremony tradition took place on June 29 at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France when the keel was laid for MSC Cruises’ first liquified natural gas (LNG)-powered ship, MSC World Europa. The 200,000-plus GT ship is scheduled to enter service in 2022 and be one of most technologically- and environmentally-advanced LNGpowered cruise vessels in its class, and the first ever to be built in France. “MSC World Europa is further proof of our commitment to environmental stewardship as she is set to reduce carbon emissions even further than many other existing cruise ships powered by LNG, which is currently the most environmentally-friendly fuel for commercial maritime operations,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises. “With this vessel, we also reconfirm our belief in investing in advanced environmental technology to meet our long-term goal of zero emissions from operations.”
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On Board possible conditions for our healthy return to sailing, when the time is right to do so.” S ilver Spirit’s new three-year certification is tailored to the ship and was awarded following a close audit of all aspects of operations. After an initial company audit that concluded on August 5, a comprehensive onboard survey was completed on August 14. Focus areas of the audits included:
Silver Spirit Sails with New CIP-M Certification, Silver Moon Undergoes Sea Trials On August 24, Silversea’s ultra-luxury Silver Spirit became the first ultra-luxury cruise ship to sail with a certification in infection prevention for maritime (CIP-M) from DNV GL, the world’s leading classification society. The certification of Silversea demonstrates the cruise line’s commitment to enhancing its onboard sanitation protocols to further protect the health, safety and wellbeing of its guests and crew. The CIP-M program is built on DNV GL Healthcare’s expertise in infection risk management. Using the experience from over 4,000 audits in more than 640 hospitals worldwide, experts from DNV GL Maritime’s Cruise Center in Miami and leading medical professionals, tailored the existing infection prevention program for hospitals to meet the needs of shipowners and operators. The certification is built on
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a unique combination of technical maritime knowledge and infection prevention expertise and is the most comprehensive infection prevention certification available in the maritime industry. “We are proud to become the first ultra-luxury cruise line to gain the certification in infection prevention for maritime, demonstrating our unwavering commitment to protecting the health, safety and wellbeing of our guests, crew and the destinations we visit,” said Roberto Martinoli, Silversea’s President and CEO. “Informed by the work of the Royal Caribbean Group’s Healthy Sail Panel, we are working hard to enhance our already exceptional sanitation procedures on board. Beginning with Silver Spirit, we will continue to work with DNV GL to gain certification across the rest of our fleet to provide the safest
The cruise line’s COVID-19 outbreak prevention and response plan,
infection prevention leadership and communication flow,
medical equipment management,
and infection risk management processes.
Separately, Silver Moon became one step
closer to welcoming the cruise line’s guests after successfully carrying out her sea trials between August 8 - 20. With a reduced crew of approximately 320 due to precautionary health protocols, the ship journeyed between Fincantieri’s shipyards in Ancona and Trieste, Italy, undergoing a week-long dry-dock period. On the delivery date set for October 30, Silver Moon will become the second ship to join Silversea’s ultra-luxury fleet in 2020, following the delivery of Silver Origin on June 3. The sister ship of Silver Muse, Silver Moon represents the latest accomplishment in the cruise line’s long-standing partnership with the illustrious shipbuilder Fincantieri. “Silver Moon will be an innovative addition to our expanding fleet of ultra-luxury ships,” said Martinoli. “Building on the success of our beloved flagship Silver Muse, Silver Moon will push boundaries in travel to unlock meaningful experiences for our guests around the world.”
Holland America Line’s New Flagship Photo by Visit Cayman Islands
CARNIVAL CORPORATION RELEASES 2019 ANNUAL SUSTAINABILITY REPORT Carnival Corporation released its 10th annual sustainability report, developed in accordance to the high standards of the Global Reporting Initiative. Titled “Sustainability from Ship to Shore,” the report shows that in 2019 Carnival Corporation, achieved the remaining targets within its 2020 sustainability goals and established new goals as part of its initial 2030 sustainability goals, including a commitment to reduce the rate of carbon emissions by 40%, which aligns with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) requirements in alignment with the Paris Agreement and in support of the United Nations Agenda 2030. “At the core of our company-wide sustainability efforts are our top priorities as a corporation, which are compliance, environmental protection, and the health, safety and well-being of our guests, the communities we visit and our crew,” said Bill Burke, chief maritime officer for Carnival Corporation. “The annual sustainability report is critical to providing our stakeholders with a transparent view of our progress against key metrics and demonstrating our commitment to protecting the environment, supporting communities and being compliant everywhere we operate in the world. As we look toward the future, we will continue to innovate and invest in sustainable initiatives to support compliance and sustainable tourism.” The report is available on the company’s newly redesigned sustainability website at www.CarnivalSustainability.com.
In honor of some of the most memorable ships in Holland America Line’s nearly 150-year history, the cruise line is changing the name of its newbuild from Ryndam to Rotterdam and designating it the new flagship of the fleet. The seventh ship to bear this historic name, Rotterdam will be delivered on July 30, 2021 – and will spend the summer exploring Northern Europe and the Baltic on roundtrip cruises from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. T he third in the Pinnacle Class series, Rotterdam will carry 2,668 guests, measure 99,500 tons and feature highly successful amenities and innovations introduced with her sister ships, including the 270-degree surround screen World Stage, Rudi’s Sel de Mer and Grand Dutch Café.
Photo of BOLT on Mardi Gras
CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE’S NEXT EXCEL-CLASS SHIP TO BE NAMED CARNIVAL CELEBRATION With the help of celebrity partners past and present, Carnival Cruise Line announced that its next Excel-class ship arriving in 2022 to coincide with its 50th birthday celebration will be named Carnival Celebration. Carnival Celebration will debut from PortMiami in November 2022, and will
Delivering the best of everything, Rotterdam celebrates live music with an exclusive collection of world-class performances each night - from Lincoln Center Stage and B.B. King’s Blues Club to Rolling Stone Rock Room and Billboard Onboard. Throughout the ship, Rotterdam also will showcase Holland America Line hallmarks that drive one of the highest guest repeat rates in the industry: exquisite cuisine guided by eight of the world’s leading chefs; gracious, award-winning service; and superbly appointed staterooms and suites, including family and single accommodations. Rotterdam is the 17th ship constructed for Holland America Line by Italian shipyard Fincantieri, which most recently built Nieuw Statendam. be a sister ship to Mardi Gras, the first in the Excel series scheduled to enter service on February 6, 2021 from Port Canaveral, Fla. The addition of Carnival Celebration to Miami will maintain PortMiami’s position as the top embarkation port for Carnival Cruise Line. Carnival Celebration will include many of the features that have made Mardi Gras one of the most anticipated ships in cruising, including BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea, along with some unique design features created specifically for this vessel. Carnival’s 50th Birthday celebration kicks off in March 2022 – the company’s birthday month – with a series of commemorative sailings that will feature special entertainment and itineraries then continue all year long, culminating with the arrival of Carnival Celebration to Miami in November 2022. THIRD QUARTER 2020 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 25
Dining on Pure Grenada CASUAL DINING For a real taste of the islands’ traditional dishes, dining at one of the casual eateries is not to be missed. Grenada’s national dish, oil-down—a one-pot stew made with salted meat, breadfruit, dumplings, turmeric, and callaloo all steamed in coconut milk, can be found at most of the restaurants. Tasty vegan “Oil-down” is also enjoyed as a part of authentic Grenadian culinary experiences. Other favorites such as cou cou, a pudding-like dish made of corn meal mixed with a variety of vegetables served as a side with stewed meats and lambi, or conch cooked in various herbs and spices are some of the many home-grown delights to be enjoyed. Traditional foodie celebrations like the annual River Sallee Saraka held the first Friday following Good Friday, is considered the best and biggest with local foods, dances and drumming, all stemming from and connected to Grenada’s African roots.
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Seafood lovers also can enjoy fresh catch-of-the-day meals infused with local ingredients set against magical sunsets at any one of the islands’ water-front restaurants. One such locale, Dodgy Dock Restaurant and Lounge Bar hosts one of the destination’s ultimate casual dining experiences, Street Food Wednesdays, a themed night dedicated to showcasing a wide selection of traditional and international cuisine prepared by local vendors in an energetic atmosphere fueled by live music. The island’s signature spices are ever present in the diverse offerings. Additional hot-spots to visit while on island include BB’s Crabback, Belmont Estate, Coconut Beach, Umbrellas Beach Bar, 61 West Grenada and Beach Cabana. All of these restaurants will be Pure Safe Travel Approved as they would have been inspected by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation. FINE DINING With Caribbean food rapidly growing in global popularity, one of the islands’ most exciting movements is the emergence of haute cuisine – where traditional Grenadian dishes are prepared in a trendy
gourmet style. In Grenada’s bourgeoning restaurant scene, patrons will find a variety of fine dining restaurants from international to local cuisine. The Spice Island Beach Resort’s Oliver’s Restaurant in particular has given traditional dishes a gourmet makeover by serving local favorites in an epicurean tasting style. Other fine dining favorites include: Rhode’s at Calabash, The Aquarium Restaurant, La Belle Creole Restaurant, Bogles Roundhouse, Petit Anse Restaurant and Savvy’s at Mount Cinnamon. Check the reopening date for these establishments as they may vary from place to place. Recently opened restaurants on the destination, such as Sails, Spice Affair Grenada, Island Fever Tropical Tavern and Secret Harbour Restaurant are also ideal for those looking to mingle with Grenadians while indulging in a taste of Grenada. Bespoke dining at Dexter’s Restaurant offers one of the most special meals on the island at the home of Dexter Burris, a former chef at the Calabash Luxury resort. On arrival guests are led upstairs to an intimate, open-air room
fitted with a few tables, where his sons play host for the evening. The chef will run through the evening’s five-course menu tailored to each guest’s dietary restrictions. (Reservations are required, and the prixfixe menu includes wine.)
SWEET TREATS Make the dining experience even more special with nutmeg ice cream, a popular and must-have dessert option. Additionally, with cocoa production playing an integral part of Grenadian culture and culinary lifestyle, the island’s organic dark chocolate is a can’t-miss treat. Visitors with a sweet tooth will have the chance to savor and enjoy bean-tobar tours and sample decadent chocolatey treats from any one of the island’s five chocolate factories, with some offering infused options with the island’s nutmeg, ginger and cocoa.
HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS To build consumer confidence and in readiness for welcoming visitors to the destination, the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation and the Grenada Tourism Authority created a new way of doing business. Together they have developed and implemented standardized hygiene and health protocols across Pure Grenada’s six key tourism sub sectors that include food and beverage (F&B), accommodation, transportation, attractions, watersports and tourism services. As part of this process, more than 1,800 tourism industry stakeholders have been trained and certified in these procedures and can be easily identified by the prominently displayed Grenada Tourism Authority’s ‘Pure. Safe. Travel’ Seal of Approval. For a complete list of health and safety procedures, visit https://covid19.gov.gd/ and for general destination information and advisories, www.puregrenada.com.
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ST. MAARTEN LANDS MAJOR ENHANCEMENTS St. Maarten was anything but grounded during the quarter, launching a number of initiatives and enhancements to both foster its current touristic activity and plan for the future. Both in the short- and long-term, that future should be bright. In fact, a tourism survey conducted in June showed that St. Maarten had lost none of its appeal to visitors, with 81 percent of respondents keen to return to the island. Close to 10,000 respondents completed the survey, which was disseminated by various businesses including Port St. Maarten. With cruise operations voluntarily ceased, the destination laid the runway through a number of measures for Princess Juliana International Airport, beginning with ensuring the facilities were thoroughly sanitized prior to the reopening of the commercial flights. The cleaning and disinfecting protocols were implemented to combat the outbreak of COVID-19, whereby a repetitive disinfecting procedure is in place for both the interior and exterior surfaces of the public buildings. Both the Terminal and the Fixed Based Operations (FBO) buildings were meticulously sanitized. Multiple layers of protection were also added to further safeguard passengers throughout their journey: requiring obligatory facial coverings, restricting access to non-passengers, installation of the infrared thermal scanner, employee and stakeholder training programs and the enhancement of the cleaning protocols. Furthermore, the air in the building is routinely purified and disinfects the Terminal via the AC cooling system. Disinfectant tablets are used to decontaminate the air through the ventilation system. The cleaning program is run periodically throughout the day. Additionally, Princess Juliana International Airport Operating Company N.V. (PJIAE) installed a mass fever screening equipment with artificial intelligence 32 THIRD QUARTER 2020 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
(AI) and algorithms which measure a high accuracy rate on temperature recognition in connection with COVID-19. The mass fever screening equipment setup includes a camera detection device in conjunction with a computer operating system. The technology is stationed at the entrance of the Arrivals section of the Terminal Building and manned by the Airport’s personnel. During the discreet surveillance, passengers are screened before entering the Immigration line. One of St. Maarten’s key ports of entry has adopted best global practices and will continue to improve mechanisms to protect staff, stakeholders, and valuable passengers that visit the ‘Friendly Island’ destination. Other destination projects during the quarter included the beautification of the Philipsburg Boardwalk Boulevard (known as the duty-free mecca of the Caribbean) and Great Bay Beach preparing for the traditional tourist high season through an assessment carried out by the Government – with new benches, more garbage collection bins and the clean-up of the area planned to improve the tourism experience of the area when stay-over and cruise passengers return in large numbers to the ‘Friendly Island.’ And a new building permit was approved for Planet Hollywood Resort, a planned 14-story hotel to be built at Great Bay Beach in Philipsburg. The planned resort will have 452 rooms, a casino and a beach club falling under the Canada-based Sunwing Travel Group. Government and tourism officials welcomed the new planned resort, as it will boost the economy and overall tourism sector of the country generating jobs and additional economic activity. P lus, the St. Maarten Nature Foundation successfully out planted several Acropora coral fragments on the dive site Coralita in the Man of War Shoal Marine Protected Area. These coral fragments have been growing in the Nature Foundation’s coral nursery for several years – some of these fragments were even Hurricane Irma survivors and are now able to flourish on the local coral reefs. As part of the Coral Restoration Project, the Nature Foundation established a coral nursery to increase growth of coral fragments. Eventually these fragments are transplanted to coral restoration sites to improve the local reefs. Small colonies are specifically selected for characteristics such as robustness and fast growth to create resil-
ient populations of new corals. The project was made possible with the assistance of the Coral Restoration Foundation, NOAA, the Coral Reef Restoration Consortium and the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance. And despite cruise voluntarily pausing operations, the destination has still partnered with the industry to assist other operations. Within a one-week period, St. Maarten assisted two cruise lines with the repatriation of crew who are returning to their home countries. On July 11, Carnival Pride was in port for the repatriation of crew to Europe, and Independence of the Seas followed on July 15 for crew repatriations – all of which were carried out according to Port St. Maarten’s “Sterile Port Protocol” that ensures public health safety and security at the Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise & Cargo Facilities for all incoming vessels. Port St. Maarten has played a key role in this repatriation process under humanitarian grounds, and for the overall welfare of the crew. Chosen due to its strategic location in the Northeastern Caribbean and international connections with airports in Europe, St. Maarten also boasts infrastructure that caters to homeporting services, therefore making the island an ideal location for international crew changes. Other plus points for the destination include fuel bunkering and food provisioning services. For more information about the destination, visit www.vacationstmaarten.com, www.facebook.com/portstmaarten or www.portstmaarten.com. Until then, Stay Inspired, Stay Safe.
SAINT LUCIA IS LOW-RISK, HIGH-REWARD The rewards of Saint Lucia’s idyllic paradise, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites like the Pitons and a drive-in volcano complete with sulfur springs, have never been questioned. But with uncertainty erupting, visitors can be eased to know that Saint Lucia was upgraded by Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to Level 1 (Low COVID-19 Risk) – a credit to the protocols that were put
in place to address the pandemic, the leadership of the Prime Minister, the Cabinet of Ministers, the Ministry of Health, the Chief Medical Officer and all Saint Lucians who continue to adhere to the protocols. In fact, as of September 3, Saint Lucia officially had zero COVID-19 cases, with all of its only 26 confirmed cases fully recovered. While Saint Lucia continues to open new sectors, it remains steadfast to its protocols. The Ministry of Health continues to increase surveillance to reduce risks such as illegal entry at borders, breaches to home quarantine, and non- adherence to measures including the use of face masks in public, maintaining safe physical distance from others and avoiding mass crowd gatherings. Private entities and stakeholders have also done their part by adapting stringent measures with more Saint Lucia attractions opening. Marigot Bay Marina, the destination’s leading marina and an official port of entry, opened with 100 new operational and hygienic protocols. This all bodes well for the destination’s full reopening, as Saint Lucia’s first phase of reopening the tourism sector was extended – with the new date set for September 30. The Ministries of Tourism and Health are working collaboratively to ensure strict health and safety measures exist and are followed, and the Ministry of Tourism is also exploring options to add additional attractions and restaurants. For Saint Lucia’s latest COVID-19 statistics, please visit www.covid19response.lc.
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS LAUNCHES ONLINE PORTAL TO PRESCREEN ALL TRAVELERS T he U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism launched a new online portal that will prescreen and assist with the certification process of all travelers prior to their arrival in the Territory. The U.S. Virgin Islands Travel Screening
Portal facilitates pre-arrival processing, thereby improving efficiency, reducing delays, and providing a more seamless traveler experience. The secure portal – a result of the coordinated efforts of the Office of the Governor, the Virgin Islands Department of Health, the
Photo by Visit Barbados
Barbados with a ‘New Destination Smell’ Following Barbados’ July 12 tourism relaunch and travel protocols to protect both locals and visitors while on island, including an online Immigration and Customs Form, the destination is on a renewed course with a new minister of tourism, new planned hotel and operations as a new airline hub. “ This is an interesting and perhaps the most challenging time to take up the portfolio of tourism, but it is perhaps also the most exciting time to be able to do that,” said newly appointed Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator Lisa Cummins. Minister Cummins noted that at a time when tourism had “pretty much ground to a halt” as a result of COVID19, it was very clear that Barbados had reinvigorate the tourism sector – and told that during this time, the Ministry would take the “opportunity to retool, retrain, refashion, upskill, and reposition.” She continued that one of her first initiatives would be to review all of the research previously done on tourism, including sports, heritage and cultural tourism, and see how they could contribute to the overall economic development of Barbados – and added she would also focus on helping locals understand their role in the sector. That role should eventually be expanded if the new developments
Virgin Islands Port Authority, the Ports of the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Department of Tourism – can be found at www.usviupdate.com/travelportal. For more information, including a toolkit for travelers and the latest travel advisory, visit www.usviupdate.com.
during the quarter were any indicator, with a new luxury all-inclusive beach resort as part of the Ocean Hotels collection slated to open in June 2021. Set along 1,000 feet of beach, the new 130-room O2 Beach Club will join the existing Ocean Two hotel in the destination’s popular St Lawrence Gap – and include three pools (two adults-only, complementing the resort’s separate adults-only wing), six dining options, seven bars, spa, gym, teen lounge, rooftop terrace and more. Additionally, the Government of Barbados also officially welcomed interCaribbean Airways, which has setup a Southern Caribbean hub in Barbados. Initially two Embraer 120 30-seat aircraft were based in Barbados, with two more aircraft arriving at the end of August. interCaribbean Airways will offer double daily air service from St. Lucia to Barbados, as well as a once daily service from Dominica, and 10 weekly flights from Grenada, with St. Vincent to be added soon. Discussions are also underway for the addition of services from Barbados’ top source markets in the region, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana, by the end of 2020.
New Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator Lisa Cummins with Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and International Transport, Nicole Taylor (C.Pitt/BGIS)
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On Land The Dominican Republic’s Tourism Recovery Plan
On August 26, The President of the
Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader Corona, announced a set of initiatives to address the tourism industry’s challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to ensure that the country is a safe travel destination. The Plan for the Responsible Recovery of Tourism in response to COVID-19, which will be led by President Abinader, will protect the health, welfare and safety of tourists as well as promote a sustainable recovery of the tourism sector. “Our goal is to minimize the effects of the pandemic and facilitate a responsible recovery that prioritizes health, maximizes the potential for job creation and economic growth, and promotes the further sustainable development of the sector,” said President Abinader. The measures include:
Starting at the end of September,
rapid tests will be performed on randomly selected travelers upon arrival, such as the diagnostic breath test for COVID-19. Once this measure is in place, the requirement for a negative COVID-19 test prior to arrival will be eliminated.
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Social distancing and the use of
masks will be mandatory for the duration of a visitor’s stay. A ll tourists visiting a hotel will be granted, on a temporary basis, a travel assistance plan that will include coverage for emergencies, telemedicine, lodging for prolonged stays and costs for changing flights in the event of an infection. This insurance will be provided at no cost to the visitor until December 2020 and will be 100% paid for by the Dominican State. A Sanitary Bubble will be implemented to ensure that hotel employees stay as long as possible within the facilities. Properties will implement effective health management with suppliers, contractors and employees. The latter will be regularly tested and will follow a specific protocol to come in and out of the facilities. Labor regulations will be adapted to minimize and mitigate risks for employees.
A new Tourism Cabinet, led by the President of the Republic, and under the executive direction of the Minister of Tourism will manage the plan. Institutions that directly affect the industry’s value chain will make up the Cabinet, which will constantly monitor the impact and effectiveness of each initiative implemented and adjust as necessary.
THE BAHAMAS PREPARES FOR PHASE 3 OF TOURISM READINESS & RECOVERY PLAN In a national address on September 7, Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar announced additional details of the forward-looking recovery and reopening plan for The Islands of The Bahamas. Beginning October 15, The Bahamas will enter Phase 3 of the Tourism Readiness & Recovery Plan ahead of the busy holiday season, which will include the reopening of beaches and major hotels. As part of Phase 3, beaches and major hotels will reopen on all islands. Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar announced that all hotel guests must “Vacation in Place” (VIP) for 14 days or the length of their stay, whichever is shorter. During their Vacation in Place period, guests will have access to all amenities, including hotel spas, gyms, bars and more. Additionally, Phase 3 will also see the reopening of attractions, excursions and tours on November 1. A head of the reopening, The Ministry of Tourism is working with airline partners to secure direct airlift from key markets where the curve has been flattened. Additionally, the Ministry’s communication team is prepared to commence an agile marketing campaign, complete with authentic storytelling and aggressive PR and sales strategies, leaning into current travel trends, such as the preference for vacations closer to home, as well as options that afford seclusion and outdoor pursuits. Following the safe move into Phase 3, the Ministry of Tourism along with
the Ministry of Health and other government agencies will recommend an appropriate date to enter Phase 4, which pertains to the reopening of vendors, select attractions, casinos, cruises and ferries. Since 1950, tourism has played an integral role in The Bahamas’ economy, accounting for more than 50% of the country’s GDP and 60% of national employment. The country’s in-depth Tourism Readiness and Recovery Plan outlines a strategic, phased reopening strategy to ensure a comfort level that The Bahamas is a safe and healthy destination for both visitors and residents to enjoy. It is recommended that all travelers interested in visiting The Bahamas review requirements applicable to each member of their party at Bahamas.com/travelupdates before booking a trip, to determine what steps need to be taken to be granted entry. More details on the Minister’s address and the Tourism Readiness & Recovery Plan may also be found at Bahamas.com/travelupdates.
ST KITTS AND NEVIS READIES FOR REOPENING WITH FOCUS ON TRAINING The Federation of St Kitts and Nevis plans to reopen its borders for international tourism in October. According to Dr the Hon. Prime Minister Timothy Harris, the reopening will allow for the continuation of air and commercial sea traffic carrying international passengers into the Federation’s ports – and the phased reopening is being implemented in partnership with St Kitts and Nevis Chief Medical Officer and other medical experts.
In preparation for the reopening, much of the focus – outside of initial regulations including that all passengers must take a RT-PCR test 72 hours before arriving in the country – has been on COVID-19 safety protocol training sessions for tourism stakeholders like taxi operators, attractions, hotels, stores, tour companies, vendors, watersports operators and beach bars. “ The St Kitts Tourism Authority, the Nevis Tourism Authority, and the Ministry of Tourism, in conjunction with the ministries of health and civil aviation, is conducting […] training exercises for over 5,000 tourism industry stakeholders, including hotels at no cost to them,” said Lindsay Grant, the Federation’s Minister of Tourism. The training aims to educate stakeholders on the health and safety protocols and standards that must be met to obtain the “Travel Approved” certification and seal from the respective Tourism Authority that will be required for them to operate.
St Kitts and Nevis has the lowest confirmed cases among CARICOM states, and there are currently no active cases. Zero deaths have also been recorded deaths due to the virus. In recent years, tourism in St Kitts and Nevis has been on the rise. The country hit the 1-million-cruise passenger milestone for two consecutive years. The sector is expected to continue at this trajectory, especially after the inauguration of a second cruise pier at Port Zante. GUATEMALA IMPLEMENTS GOOD PRACTICES GUIDE The Guatemalan Tourism Board – INGUAT – has set forth a Good Practices Guide program for the prevention of COVID-19 and other infections endorsed by the Guatemalan Ministry of Health, which is being implemented throughout all tourist destinations for the safety and well-being of all visitors.
Belize Planning October Tourism Reopening Belize is planning to reopen for tour-
ism on October 1, which will mark the beginning of a five-phase strategy with initial measures including “Safe Corridors” for visitors and travelers only permitted to stay in approved hotels and experience excursions subject to the “Gold Standard”
health and safety protocols. Travelers must also download the new Belize Health App, show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of arrival, and upon arrival undergo a health and temperature screening that may include a random secondary COVID test. THIRD QUARTER 2020 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 35
DOMINICA LIFTING OFF Following reopening its borders to nationals on July 15, after successful restrictions to curtail the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, and then welcoming foreign visitors from August 7 with new protocols, including a negative COVID-19, online questionnaire and a series of checks, Dominica is lifting off. Several airlines are already providing services – and more are on the radar, signaling that the destination is COVID-19 safe. On August 12 it was announced that Silver Airways will operate in the country on Thursday and Saturday from San Juan, and Air Antilles will fly daily from Barbados with a connection from St Lucia to Dominica. Air Antilles will also serve from Point-a-Pitre to Dominica. Additionally, the Commonwealth of Dominica will spend $13m to improve and upgrade the border management system, with part of the budget to be spent on the servicing of biometric passports in this fiscal year. The initiative would help cultivate a watch list for persons of interest before they arrive in Dominica. It will also inform officials of passenger information, as well as cargo coming into the country – and e-passports will enable the garnering of incomers’ fingerprints at the border and allow for the inspection of secondary information.
COSTA RICA OBTAINED THE SAFE TRAVELS STAMP T he WTTC recognized the ICT’s effort, alongside the private sector, in the design of 16 health protocols by grant36 THIRD QUARTER 2020 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
ing the country the Safe Travels stamp, assuring a safe experience for tourists. The protocols address accommodations, restaurants, tours, tour guides, transportation, among others. Air borders opened on August 1.
investment projects for the cruise industry were discussed. The destination has designed biosafety protocols for tourism, making sure visitors stay safe while enjoying their stay
EL SALVADOR VISITS CRUISE COMPANIES A delegation including El Salvador’s Port Authorities, the Ministry of Tourism and key private sector entities conducted a visit to cruise companies in the US, where new
CURACAO ASSISTS CRUISE LINES In Curacao, numerous private and public stakeholders have helped cruise lines prepare for the return of service. Maduro shipping in cooperation with local and government authorities offered the cruise lines a solution
Nicaragua Prepares Security Protocols to Mitigate COVID-19 T he Nicaragua Government, through the National Cruise Commission, has finalized the hygiene-security protocols, as well as biosafety protocols
for the attention of the cruise market in the ports of San Juan del Sur and Corinto. Both protocols have been approved by the Ministry of Health.
for the problems they were facing with repatriating crewmembers. A little over 6,000 crew members were able to return home with regular flights and charters. Additionally, the Curacao Ports Authority (CPA) has focused on facilitating cruise lines with berthing for lay-up, repatriation and other services. CPA has welcomed vessels from among others Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line.
PortMiami Continues to Move Forward with Major Expansion Projects “Miami-Dade County is committed to
PORT CANAVERAL URGES CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS TO SUPPORT U.S. SEAPORTS On July 24, Port Canaveral joined with 69 port leaders representing a broad coalition of U.S. ports, state port authorities, and port associations to urge Members of Congress to provide emergency relief for America’s ports which have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In a series of letters sent to U.S. House, Senate and Administration leadership, the port directors and CEOs outlined their urgent concerns for the economic crisis U.S. ports are facing and the increasing challenges of maintaining their state of readiness. The port signatories represent a broad cross-section of transportation economic powerhouses operating on the U.S. East Coast and West Coast, along the entire Gulf Coast region, and the U.S Territories of Guam and U.S. Virgin Islands. Port leaders issued an appeal to federal policymakers that while America’s seaports have been vitally important in supporting the nation’s response to the COVID pandemic keeping fuel, food and critical supplies moving throughout the country, these same ports are crucial to ensuring the United States is able to quickly recover from the current economic crisis. “Ports are struggling to manage the impact this pandemic is having on our ability to continue our critical mission as
growing the business at PortMiami,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez after Miami-Dade County officials authorized the issuance of $335 million for revenue generating capital projects with Carnival
gateways of commerce,” said Port CEO Capt. John Murray. “Seaports, like airports, need emergency relief to maintain our state of readiness and to ensure we can sustain our role in the nation’s economic recovery.” Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the loss of cruise operations at Port Canaveral due to the Centers for Disease Control’s No-Sail Order for cruise lines has had a profound impact on the port and the local and extended tourism community, particularly the many small businesses including, local hotels, restaurants, and transportation companies. T he projected negative economic implications for the entire Central Florida region and the State of Florida overall are profound. An economic downturn study recently completed by Business Research and Economic Advisors (BREA) revealed in worst-case projections, Port Canaveral will have 79 percent loss of revenue passengers resulting in over $1.7 billion loss of total expenditures across Florida; 16,000 annualized jobs loss with over $560 million in lost wages; and, $46 million loss in state and local tax revenues.
Corporation, Disney Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line (Bahamas), Terminal Link Miami, and Virgin Cruise Intermediate Limited, as well as other infrastructure projects allowing the Port to continue expanding business opportunities.
Based on a 2018 port economic impacts study, the COVID-19 pandemic could result in a direct loss of 130,000 jobs at U.S. seaports.
Photo by Global Ports Holding, which operates Valletta Cruise Port, of a previous call by MSC Grandiosa
VALLETTA CRUISE PORT RECEIVES ‘FIRST INTERNATIONAL CRUISE SHIP SAILING’ August 21 marked the first docking of an international sailing since the voluntary cessation of cruising in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. MSC Grandiosa was received by Valletta Cruise Port, with a host of new strict and comprehensive health and safety protocol that applied equally both on land and at sea. THIRD QUARTER 2020 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 37
Greek Ports Reopen for Cruise Activities
ecognizing that cruise business is a very important sector of tourism for Greece, the Minister of Tourism Harry Theocharis announced the official reopening of Greek ports for cruise activity as of August 1. This news, first mentioned in a Joint Ministerial decision adopted on July 26, made Greece the first big destination market in Europe to allow the restart of cruise activities for cruise ships of all sizes, permitting transit port calls and shore activities. The Greek government designated six ports which can be used as home ports and entry ports into the country for cruise ships arriving from abroad: Piraeus, Corfu, Katakolon, Herakleion, Rhodes and Volos. All other Greek ports can only be included in cruise itineraries as transit port calls. I mportantly, on July 24, the Greek government published a guidance for the preparation and management of
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Covid-19 cases onboard cruise ships. A vital aspect of the protocol requires that all crew members be tested for SARVCoV-2 prior to boarding a ship. It also recommends that the test be repeated every two weeks. Additionally, in accordance with EU Healthy Gateways, the government highly recommends that passengers be tested for SARS-CoV-2 prior to boarding a ship. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also important to note that this protocol simply establishes a welcome baseline. There is still so much unknown about the virus, and the scientific and medical understanding constantly change. This is why CLIA and its oceangoing cruise lines continue to actively engage with partners at the local, national and international levels to facilitate alignment while working towards establishing an industry-wide policy that continues to put people first.
Over the course of this pandemic, CLIA has been working in close cooperation with the Greek government as we all continue to face unprecedented challenges. This relationship has not only facilitated technical calls, which has allowed idle cruise ships to refuel and get essential supplies, but also allowed for crewmembers to be repatriated home safely. The cruise industry generates close to 1 billion euros annually for the Greek economy and supports over 11,000 jobs. As we move towards the resumption of operations, CLIA continues to be engaged in dialogue with the Ministries of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy, Tourism, Health and Civil Protection/Crisis Management. The entire cruise community is grateful for the support shown by the Greek government, and we look forward to our industry making a positive contribution to Greeceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economic recovery in the months to come.
A new partner on board brings more choices on shore. Two paths coming together with a steady goal can broaden horizons for all. Through a shared vision and passion for the cruise industry, Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) and ExcursionInsurance.com have joined paths. As the new administrator of the FCCA Global Tour Operator Insurance Program, ExcursionInsurance.com provides tour operators with the coverage they need to grow their businessâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and enhance the destination experience.
To learn more about how this partnership can benefit you, contact our experts today. Ken Furlow Global Development Officer M: 786.351.3408 firstname.lastname@example.org
Fostering Cruise Industry Advocates
aising the voice of the cruise sector has become a key focus in Australia, New Zealand, and Asia, where Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has boosted its backing for advocates of the global industry. New resources, education opportunities and a series of industry webinars have all been launched in recent months, with the aim of supporting those who champion cruising. A key initiative has been the release of a new online course for travel agents, helping them to gain a greater understanding of the cruise industry and address common misperceptions. Called Cruise Champion, the course is an interactive program that takes agents deeper into the workings of the global cruise sector and gives them the knowledge to act as ambassadors for cruising. A fter an initial rollout among CLIA’s member travel agents, the course is now available to non-members and to other cruise industry stakeholders, helping to further amplify the voice of cruising. CLIA’s Sydney-based Head of International Training Peter Kollar said Cruise Champion allowed cruise specialists to respond to many of the common issues that potential passengers and other community members bring up. “ There are a lot of myths and misperceptions that circle the cruise industry, and they can affect a travel agent’s ability to cater to their clients,” he said. “This
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course is designed to help them respond confidently to some of the issues that customers may raise.” Some of the topics Cruise Champion covers include Regulations, Safety, Health, Security, Environmental Protection and Corporate Social Responsibility. “By knowing more about cruise line practices and the strict regulations that govern cruise operations, participants will be able to join the growing network of voices who help advocate for cruising globally,” he continued. More education resources will be developed in the near future to help inform travel agents on the measures CLIA and cruise lines are developing in response to COVID-19. In the meantime, Mr Kollar said the Cruise Champion course would provide the best insight into existing regulations that govern cruise
“I BELIEVE IT IS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE CRUISING IN ASIA WILL BOUNCE BACK” —JIALI WONG, CLIA ASIA REGIONAL MANAGER
operations worldwide and the lengths the industry has gone to in upholding the health and safety of passengers and crew. A fter a launch in Australia and New Zealand, Cruise Champion has also been offered in Asia, backed by a recent online webinar that provided further information for cruise advocates. Hosted by CLIA Asia Regional Manager Jiali Wong, the webinar involved over 600 Asia trade and industry partners and aimed to rally participants around a common voice. “The attendees came from 12 different Asian markets, and were eager to hear what they can do during this period while waiting for the resumption of cruise,” said Ms Wong. “Of those who responded to the feedback survey, 75% indicated that they were or intend to do cruise training during this period. It was not surprising then that most were pleased that CLIA has provided open access to our latest Cruise Champion module which will equip them with the knowledge to respond confidently to their customers.” Before COVID, most of the source markets in Asia saw year-on-year gains in the past few years, with many markets seeing double-digit growth. The region is well-poised to capture the future growing demand with its geographical location and good infrastructure. “Once things start improving, I believe it is only a matter of time before cruising in Asia will bounce back,” continued Ms. Wong.
For fly-in convenience, culture, non-stop entertainment, or simply relaxing in For fly-in convenience, culture, non-stop entertainment, or simply relaxing in the warm Southern California sunshine, nothing beats a cruise vacation out the warm Southern California sunshine, nothing beats a cruise vacation out of the Port of Los Angeles. Our world-renowned home-ported cruise lines offer of the Port of Los Angeles. Our world-renowned home-ported cruise lines offer exceptional accommodations and itineraries to suit any passenger preference. exceptional accommodations and itineraries to suit any passenger preference. And when your clients are back on land, there’s no limit to the fun they can And when your clients are back on land, there’s no limit to the fun they can have in greater LA – one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations. So have in greater LA – one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations. So book them on a one-of-a-kind experience that they’ll truly love. book them on a one-of-a-kind experience that they’ll truly love. For more information, visit www.portoflosangeles.org or www.lawaterfront.org For more information, visit www.portoflosangeles.org or www.lawaterfront.org
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ONE ISLAND, ENDLESS REASONS TO STAY Maybe you’re an adventurer — someone who lives for the thrill of a rigorous hike. Maybe you’re a history buff — an enthusiast who loves investigating the holdovers of bygone eras. Maybe you’re a beachgoer, a marine explorer, a souvenir shopper, or an inquisitive traveler. Whatever you are, St. Kitts welcomes you. And we’ll show you the time of your life.
Visit StKittsTourism.kn to learn more
Members & Travel Agents
Plans for FCCA Conference Moving Full Steam Ahead
lans are moving full steam ahead for the 27th annual FCCA Conference, the largest and only official cruise conference representing the Caribbean, Mexico and Central and South America. Taking place live in San Juan, Puerto Rico from January 18-21, 2021, the event will feature a new, streamlined schedule adaptable for any developments with COVID-19 – while still having the regular recipe of meetings, workshops and networking opportunities with high-level executives from FCCA Member Lines, which represent more than 90 percent of global ocean cruising capacity. “We are beyond grateful for the efforts of all to ensure the show will go on, especially considering how crucial it will be to gather following the rebirth of cruise tourism,” said Michele Paige, President, FCCA. “The event will not only have added significance for so many throughout our partner destinations who rely on cruise tourism’s economic contribution,
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but also for anyone who has an interest in doing business with cruise lines – and last year’s record attendance of Member Lines’ presidents and above, as well as the most
“…DISPLAYED THE CRUISE INDUSTRY’S COMMITMENT TO THE EVENT AND ITS PLATFORM FOR WORKING DIRECTLY WITH DESTINATIONS AND STAKEHOLDERS…” —MICHELE PAIGE, PRESIDENT, FCCA
meetings ever, again displayed the cruise industry’s commitment to the event and its platform for working directly with destinations and stakeholders, along with listening to their needs and understanding how to develop long-term mutual success.” While featuring a new, streamlined schedule that will be adaptable to any developments with COVID-19, all Conference participants will have access to workshops led by cruise executives and successful stakeholders concentrated on topics focused on everything from navigating the ‘new normal’ to developing all-encompassing and far-reaching plans – and participants’ needs will take center stage, with most workshops encouraging audience input. A ll participants will also have opportunities to meet with cruise executives during specialized functions throughout the event, which will also showcase some of the best to see, hear and eat in Puerto Rico.
Members & Travel Agents
How Will We Reimagine Our Guest Experiences? By Beth Kelly Hatt, President of Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence, FCCA’s Official Training Partner
an any of us predict what will change in the coming months when it comes to guest experiences on tours and experiences in your destination? As there continue to be plenty questions around cruising, we see cruise lines reinventing the onboard experience, and those of us offering experiences on land need to do the same. We are in a new environment – our guests’ needs are different; our operations will need to be different. Adapting to new protocols and procedures will require changes to our products and guest experiences, and although this is a challenge, it is also a remarkable opportunity. This is a time to reimagine our current experiences and develop new ones. It is a chance to breathe new life into our tour programs, and to create new and exciting options for the changing needs of cruise lines and their guests.
“THIS IS WHEN WE ALL NEED TO TAKE THE TIME TO THINK THROUGH THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE AND HOW ALL OF THESE NEW PROTOCOLS WILL IMPACT OUR VENUES, VEHICLES, SHOPS ETC.” We expect the first guests will be avid cruisers, with more family and friend ‘bubbles’ traveling together and wanting private tour experiences. Cruise lines may even create a ‘bubble’ of their own, allowing for only guests on prescheduled tours—with preapproved operators following specific 46 THIRD QUARTER 2020 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
protocols—to disembark in a port, creating for more control over the experience. P lus, even despite this control, guests may seek more outdoor experiences to prevent from congregating in confined spaces. What will all of this mean for shore experiences? How can an operator or destination take advantage of this change and offer experiences to meet these needs? One positive thing about the voluntary cessation of cruising is that it gives us time to look at our offerings and think outside the box to reimagine products and experiences that meet the needs of the ‘new normal’ and beyond.
“RESEARCH TELLS US THAT GUESTS WILL PREFER OUTDOOR EXPERIENCES, FAMILY AND FRIENDS TOGETHER IN SMALLER GROUPS, FEWER CROWDS, MORE INTIMATE EXPERIENCES…” Do we want to offer more intimate and unique tours that speak to the groups that no longer want to share vehicles and indoor experiences with strangers? Can we charge more for those exclusive experiences? Will this make up for the lack of volume? How much will group size be affected by distancing? What will be required of our tour guides? Are there ways to divide groups up so visits can be less crowded in small venues like museums, markets or restaurants? How will your vehicle capacities be impacted? T his is when we all need to take the time to think through the whole experience and how all of these new protocols will impact our venues, vehicles, shops etc. There could be a need
for additional handwashing stations and washrooms stops. We need to consider what new experiences may be opportunities. Is there a market you could visit in a small town instead of going to the bigger one in a more crowded city? Ask yourself what it is that today’s guests may be looking for and if there are there gaps in what you offer. Research tells us that guests will prefer outdoor experiences, family and friends together in smaller groups, fewer crowds, more intimate experiences…so how can you provide these to make guests feel safe and comfortable? ‘How to Reimagine Product Development and Guest Experiences’ was the subject of a one-hour Aquila Zoom workshop last month – and the interest was so great that we are offering it again this fall. Aquila is also going to offer an in-depth workshop series around product development, so watch for the FCCA notices. This workshop series is also made available to destinations who prefer an exclusive series aimed at the stakeholders in their destination via Zoom. We hope you can join us and share your challenges and best practices around new and refreshed tour experiences ashore. One key thing you can do to reinvent your destination’s experiences is to walk through the whole experience, walking from gangway through to the terminal, the pier, the vendors and into town – or walking through your attraction or tour and really looking at it from a guest’s eyes. And then ask yourself: What do we need to change about this experience to meet today’s needs? What do we need to reimagine about this experience to make it better? How does it feel to be a guest moving through this experience? What can we do to make it more comfortable and safer? More fun? More memorable? I challenge you to do this exercise and really think about it as though you were a guest in your own space… what does it feel like? Building a good customer experience does not happen by accident. It happens through careful planning and design! Beth Kelly Hatt is the President of Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence, FCCA’s official training partner. Contact Beth for more information at Beth@CruiseExcellence.com.
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Members & Travel Agents
Byoplanet International: A Brief History
yoplanet Founder and CEO Rick O’Shea began his career as a professional golfer spending 10 years on the PGA, Mexican, Canadian and Asian tours. After leaving the tour in 1999, he founded Elite Golf Cruises, one of the largest onboard golf academies in the world. It was during this time that Rick witnessed the challenge of cleaning and disinfecting ships quickly and effectively – a space ripe for innovation. I n 2010, he began working with Steve Cooper, the founder of Electrostatic Spraying Systems Inc. (ESSI), which was based on a technology he co-developed as part of a master’s degree project at the University of Georgia. ESSI developed the first commercially successful electrostatic sprayers for agricultural and ornamental crops, which are still used today in over 20 countries around the world. Together, Rick and Steve adapted the ESSI technology for the infection control industry, and ByoPlanet was born. The adoption of electrostatic sprayers quickly spread. It was a key tool used to eradicating the largest Norovirus outbreak in CDC history on one of world’s largest luxury cruise ships. Every square inch was decontaminated in an easy to use, cost-effective manner, returning it to service in a single turn around day. The Byoplanet sprayer continues to evolve and now serves a broad spectrum of industries looking to deploy superior infection control practices.
WHAT IS INDUCTION CHARGED ELECTROSTATICS? The nozzle of the Byoplanet ES sprayer is designed to first atomize the stream of liquid (break into droplets) and then induce an electric charge onto each droplet. Like a magnet drawn to the surface, the droplet is driven to the target, while also being repelled by all the other like-charged droplets in flight. These forces create the “wrap-around effect” that ensures even hidden surfaces are completely coated with disinfectant. THE IMPORTANCE OF THE RIGHT DISINFECTANT Even with the best delivery system in the world, it is only as a good as the disinfectant used. As Byoplanet evolved as an organization, it became apparent that promoting “any waterborne disinfectant” was leaving too much to chance. There are three primary factors when choosing a disinfectant for electrostatic spraying: EPA registered product: We are in the business of eliminating germs from surfaces, and using products that have been through the rigor of EPA registration is paramount to ensuring the product delivers on that promise. Safety: Whenever you atomize a chemistry, it is important to understand what steps and personal protective equipment are required to limit the operator’s respiratory exposure. It is also important to understand how long that chemistry remains in the air, so when people reenter the space, they too are not at risk.
The Manufacturer of the Patented, Air-Assisted, Induction-Charged Electrostatic Sprayer
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Surface Residue: At Byoplanet, we
promote the use of the sprayer as the “last step” in the process. Once the surfaces have been cleaned of all visible soils, the disinfecting step should be as simple as spraying and allowing the product to dry. The best product will leave little to no residue on the surface. TRAINING AND HOW TO ACHIEVE THE NEW STANDARD OF CLEAN T he pandemic has changed the way both customers and service providers approach cleaning and disinfecting. We must now clean for health with a much higher standard and a deeper understanding of tools and protocols necessary to deliver that standard. What became clear is that even within the cleaning industry, there is a significant lack of knowledge about how to approach environments that have likely been contaminated with COVID-19. To address this gap, Byoplanet has partnered with the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a division of ISSA (International Sanitary Supply Association), to provide training and accreditation to organizations that are committed to implementing the highest standard of clean and are prepared to welcome patrons back. At Byoplanet, the system we promote includes the sprayer, a well-vetted disinfectant or sanitizer and the proper training. With those three tools, the task of cleaning for health becomes a manageable operation that allows the safe return of staff and patrons.
WE FILL SHIPS CRUISE SHIPS ROCKET SHIPS THEME PARKS BEACHES
s 75 Million Annual Visitors, ’ o d n a l r O Port Canaveral is the Closest Port to . for Job Growth. S . U e h t City in and the Number One
Near fast-growing Orlando — the theme park capital of the world — and next door to Kennedy Space Center, with four international airports within an hour’s drive, Port Canaveral is well located to support future cruise passenger growth. GROWING IN 2020: Nearing completion is CT3—the new $163+ million Cruise Terminal called the Launch Pad—specially built for MARDI GRAS, Carnival Cruise Line’s largest and most innovative ship ever. In Nov. 2020, the MARDI GRAS will become the ﬁrst clean technology LNG-powered ship to be homeported in North America—at Port Canaveral.
Explore the business opportunities and secure your future cruise ship berth at Port Canaveral.
Get onBoa Board
CONNECT to our Business Development Team 321.783.7831, Ext 251 www.PortCanaveral.com
Members & Travel Agents Caribbean Sea. Explore a myriad of rainforest trails or visit our last French Great House for your moment back in time.
TAINO BAY UNDER WAY ITM Group’s newest destination, Taino Bay, is under way. Located in Puerto Plata, a growing coastal gem in northern part of the Dominican Republic, Taino Bay will be a world-class, multi-line, fully integrated destination, and the cruise industry’s newest acquisition for Caribbean itineraries. Coming 2021.
ROATÁN AWAITS Exquisite cuisine, white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, an amazing underwater world with countless identified species and the second largest coral reef in the world perfect for an unforgettable diving experience is waiting for you in this little paradise on earth called Roatán situated in Honduras.
COLONIAL ZONE OF SANTO DOMINGO CELEBRATES 522nd YEAR The Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo marked its 522nd year on August 5, but despite its deep history, it continues to adapt to times. All institutions involved in this touristic area are working with new COVID-19 protocols to make tourists feel safe.
ST. KITTS’ ‘HIDDEN GEMS’ Step off the beaten path and awake your sense of wander. St. Kitts’ “Hidden Gems” are yours to discover with a-ha moments where the Atlantic Ocean meets the 50 THIRD QUARTER 2020 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
CHUKKA LAUNCHES NEW APP CHUKKA is excited to announce our new innovative mobile app! Available for both Apple and Android devices, our App will improve the customer experience for all guests. Browse through our extensive menu to find your perfect Caribbean adventure, view photos, tour descriptions, check in digitally before you arrive and more!
DOLPHIN COVE JAMAICA A LEADER IN THE CARE OF MARINE MAMMALS Dolphin Cove Jamaica, proudly part of the Dolphin Company, is a leader in the care of marine mammals that for over 25 years has contributed to study and conservation by creating a bond of love and respect through the best interaction experience in unique habitats worldwide.
PORT OF PROGRESO, YUCATÁN, MÉXICO NEWSLETTER As part of the coordinated strategy of the Government of the State of Yucatán, México, the Yucatán Tourism Board presented the “Yucatan Cruise Newsletter,” available to inform the cruise lines and tour operators of updated and periodic information on actions, activities, statistics and projections on the topics related with the industry and the Port of Progreso. http://sefotur.yucatan.gob.mx/secciones/ dinamicas/29
patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also offer the full spectrum of COVID19 testing in every one of our locations (Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Cozumel). Please visit www.amerimedhospitals.com for more information.
ISLA PASÍON Isla Pasión is an exclusive and private island located in the center of the Cozumel Natural Protected Area, where three ecosystems coexist—mangrove, jungle and coral reefs—while providing services with the highest standards of quality and safety. Visiting Isla Pasión is a “must do” when visiting Cozumel.
REAL-TIME PCR TESTING IN THE MEXICAN CARIBBEAN We are all united during these hard times, which is why Costamed developed a real-time PCR testing laboratory in the Mexican Caribbean for the detection of the SARS-CoV2 virus, being able to send the results the same or next day. For information, send an e-mail to crewmember. email@example.com AMBASSATOURS OPENS 2020 SEASON Ambassatours Gray Line, Halifax, NS opened their doors for the 2020 season on July 1, Canada Day. As a direct result of COVID-19 and unable to offer shore excursions, it was a welcome site when retail operations began with a bang! Locals eagerly masked up to experience the Harbour Hopper splash into Halifax Harbour.
AVIOMAR IMPLEMENTS NEW STRATEGIES As part of our constant preparation, Aviomar Adventours has executed different strategies this July, such as elaborating our Protocol Video to communicate all our safety procedures and carefully placing preventive signage throughout our venues. Scan the QR code to find out our POSI protocol video.
AMERIMED INJECTS COVID-19 MEASURES At Amerimed Hospitals, we have implemented extraordinary sanitary measures to ensure a safe healthcare experience for our
BETTY MACMILLAN RETIRES FROM PORT SAINT JOHN Betty MacMillan has retired as Cruise Development Manager at Port Saint John (Canada) after 36 years! She is the visionary leader that established Saint John and
Bay of Fundy region as a stand-out port on the Canada New England itinerary. Natalie Allaby has moved into the role, effective July 13.
SEATRADE CRUISE VIRTUAL Seatrade Cruise Virtual, October 5-8, provides a digital forum for members of the cruise community to find partners, network with peers both new and known, and hear insights from top industry players. Learn more at https://www.seatradecruiseevents. com/virtual/en/home.html
STARBOARD CRUISE SERVICES CONTINUES TO ELEVATE RETAIL AT SEA In its most recent award-winning launches for new ships and revitalizations with its global cruise partners, Starboard Cruise Services continues to elevate retail at sea with innovative merchandising concepts, exclusive designer collections and technology enhancements. The global cruise retailer is now expanding digital touchpoints, along with reimagined onboard events and luxury brand activations, to create the next era cruise shopping experience. THIRD QUARTER 2020 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 51
The French Caribbean Port of Call
Balata gardens, Schœlcher
This Caribbean island boasts modern cruise terminals only a stone’s throw from safe and vibrant urban centers, local gourmet cuisine, unspoiled nature, and exciting excursions for everyone. A warm Creole welcome awaits you in Martinique!
Habitation Clément, Le François
A colorful parade during Carnival
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Pointe Simon Terminal, Fort-de-France
PARADISE AWAITS. ALL IN GOOD TIME. Soon enough youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll feel the embrace of our sun on your face, our historic cobblestone streets under your feet, and our endless white sand between your toes. All in good time. Find out more at DiscoverPuertoRico.com.