The Cruise Industry Plans Changes for Healthier, Safer Voyages

The Grand Princess, pictured in a file image, is being held offshore near San Francisco due to coronavirus concerns onboard.
Photo credit Robert Cross/Chicago Tribune/TNS/Sipa USA

The cruise industry continues to make dramatic changes to show it can be a safe and viable option for travel post-coronavirus pandemic. 

Some cruise guests are getting refunds, and some are booking cruises in the months to come. Rockford Weitz is a professor and Director of the Maritime Studies program at The Fletcher School at Tufts University, and he told KCBS Radio that cruise ships are being fitted for the COVID-19 world with enhanced sanitation and safety measures. 

“I think there is a way forward,” Weitz said. “It’s going to require investment and forward thinking by the cruise industry.”

As cruises hit the seas in the coming months, he added that enhanced sanitation and safety measures will take place, including health checks of passengers when they come aboard and multiple health checks per day of crew members (who would be required to wear masks).

“Companies are looking to enhance their air filtration,” he said.

Weitz also said some are replacing the standard door knobs with copper door knobs, as copper is known to have anti-microbial properties. Meals may have to be more staggered and popular areas monitored, similar to grocery stories for population limits. 

Many cruise ships derive revenue from gambling.

“They are going to have to think about creative ways of maybe having copper gambling chips or electronic betting that doesn’t involve any touching,” he added.

Additionally, cruise ships are looking to set aside extra rooms to serve as an isolation area if passengers tested positive during cruise.