After more than a year without navigating the Caribe, the company Norwegian just announced their new cruise ships in the region, which will set sail in August. One of the routes will return to a destination Mexican: Cozumel.
On Destinations We will tell you how his return will be.
Cruises from Jamaica and Dominican
It is necessary to clarify that, at least initially, boat trips in the Caribbean They will not depart from ports in the United States as usual before the pandemic, as the regulations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the neighboring country still do not allow operations to be restarted.
Travels of Norwegian will resume on August 7 from Montego Bay, Jamaica, to visit Roatán (Honduras), Cozumel, Ocho Ríos (Jamaica) and the private island Harvest Caye, south of Belize.
As of August 15, another route will begin that will depart from Punta Cana, in Dominican Republic, towards Bridgetown (Barbados), Castries (Saint Lucia), Philipsburg (Sint Maarten) and Saint John (Antigua and Barbuda).
Both circuits will last seven days. So far the trip from Jamaica has scheduled 10 departures, while for the Dominican Republic there are nine. By the way, it’s the first time Norwegian reaches the latter country.
For the international industry of cruise ships, the region of Caribe is the biggest one. It is also important for mexicans not only because of the national ports, but the proximity for tourists: until the beginning of 2020, it was enough to take a plane to destinations such as Miami or Orlando to Travel by boat From there.
With vaccine in between
The requirement that the passengers and crew of each cruise must comply is that they have received the Covid-19 vaccine with a complete scheme, at least two weeks before the trip.
Before starting to serve travelers, they will be carried out cruise ships simulated at 25% capacity with partners and employees, explained Harry Sommer, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line, to EL UNIVERSAL in a press conference by videoconference. Later they will start formal operations at 60%.
All vaccines authorized by the World Health Organization, the United States Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency will be accepted for shipping, Sommer clarified at the same event.
The vaccine requirement will be in effect for travel before November 1, 2021; After that date, the measure could be renewed or changed, given the circumstances and security protocols at that time.
Even if they have the vaccine, all passengers must undergo an antigen test before boarding; This cost will be covered by the shipping company. However, some countries may require additional evidence to be in their territory, which will need to be reviewed prior to travel.
What will the experience be like
Of the boats will be used to carry out the routes through the Caribe: Norwegian Gem and Joy. In both, all services and attractions will be available, according to Harry Sommer. This includes shows, slides, pools, and virtual reality experiences.
Joy is a ship with a total capacity for 3,804 passengers and reaches 333 meters in length. Among its attractions are a racing circuit, virtual reality games, casino, water park, miniature golf and shows such as the musical Footlose. This is the cruise that will visit Cozumel.
For its part, Gem is a vessel with capacity for 2,394 passengers, and is 294 meters long. It has a spa with around 50 treatments, a casino, pools and shows.
Initially, all shore excursions must be provided by the same shipping company (there are travel packages that already include them). This is to ensure that all participating personnel are vaccinated, including drivers.
It should be remembered that one of the ports included in the routes is a private island, Harvest Caye, to which only the guests of the shipping company have access.
These are some measures that are contemplated:
1. Indoor medical grade air filtration, similar to the treatment that occurs in an airplane cabin today.
2. Use of face masks in closed places or where there cannot be a lot of distance.
3. Spaces in restaurants and theaters have been expanded.
4. There are additional staff and new medical facilities.
The company will launch a docuseries called Embark, where it will relate how the return to operations has been and all that it implies. It opens on April 15.
Read more: This is CocoCay, the private island with heart-stopping slides in the Caribbean
When will there be cruises from the United States?
Last October, the CDC initiated a phased system to establish standards that allow for the restart of operations of cruise ships in United States. They posted an update to their guide on April 2, but they still haven’t come up with a definitive date on which it can be navigated.
The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) called the CDC updates “disappointing.” “The new requirements are excessively burdensome, largely unfeasible, and appear to reflect a zero risk approach rather than mitigating Covid-19, which is the foundation of every other sector in the United States,” he added in a statement.
According to CLIA data, in 2019 about 12 million people toured the region of the Caribbean cruise. According to the same organization, Cozumel it is in third place among the most popular ports worldwide.
In 2019, 1,369 cruise ships and more than four million 569 thousand travelers arrived at the port of Cozumel, according to data from the government of Quintana Roo. By 2020, the figure was 374 ships and 1,131,600 passengers
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