Clia is striving to develop post-Covid health and hygiene policies to be adopted by all cruise line members, according to global chair Adam Goldstein.
Speaking during a media update on Tuesday (21 July), Goldstein said the association’s “endgame” during its pause of operations amid the coronavirus crisis was to create “a unified set of processes” for its brands to use to restart sailings.
New Covid-related rules will be written into Clia’s compendium of industry policies, which each member’s boss agrees annually to follow on operational issues such as safety, security and public health protocols.
“We expect, and are optimistic, that eventually policies will emerge related to the pandemic that will be included going forward in the compendium,” Goldstein explained. “We expect they will be global in nature.”
Despite sharing Clia’s overall vision, Goldstein, former vice-chair of Royal Caribbean, stressed he was not yet able to give a more concrete timeline, saying: “we have a way to go yet before we can emerge in that unified policy we have in mind.”
Clia member lines extended their voluntary suspension of operations to 15 September, to coincide with the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) No Sail Order – which is now in place until at least 30 September.
“That’s a marker that governs all of us,” said Goldstein, describing how, as well as working with Clia, lines were focused on creating new policies and enhancements through their own health and hygiene panels - such as the partnership announced by Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.
“These processes are underway and taking a tremendous amount of time and attention of many of our members,” he said.
After ocean sailings recently recommenced in Norway and German and river lines have restarted itineraries elsewhere in Europe, Goldstein said he was “optimistic” more countries would allow for operations to resume in the near future and predicted a “more sequential manner” within different regions.
He said guest feedback from passengers returning from those initial sailings would boost consumer confidence and help the industry.
“Since a couple of cruises have come back, what you’ve seen is guests saying yeah it was different but everybody I saw quoted said we had a great time. Maybe it was a little bit weird the first day, but then it was sort of normal and we enjoyed it.
“So now that we know a million times more [about Covid] than we did in March, am I confident this industry can make the necessary adjustments, work with the regulators in the right way and deliver an experience that brings people together but in a healthy manner? Yes I am,” added Goldstein.
“But there’s a lot of execution that needs to be done between now and then to get us to the point we need to be and that’s when we should begin cruising in earnest.”