Portsmouth International Port has become the first British port to welcome a cruise since the start of the coronavirus quarantine, according to a statement.
SeaDream Yacht Club’s vessel, SeaDream 1, stopped in Portsmouth on Oct. 19 to pick up 19 passengers for a transatlantic voyage to the Caribbean.
The yacht, which can normally hold 110 guests, is running its voyage based on the most recent strict health and safety protocols, according to a press release.
All the passengers had to test negative for the coronavirus no more than 72 hours in advance, as well as immediately before boarding.
Extensive cleaning and sanitation regimes are in force on the vessel, according to the press release by Portsmouth.
“We’re experienced at managing passengers in a COVID secure way, with ferry sailings taking place regularly since July following strict protocols,” the Head of Operations at Portsmouth International Port, Ian Diaper, said. “This had given us insight for what’s required and we’re ready to help the industry recover when cruise returns to its full capacity.”
“It’s testament to everyone’s hard work that SeaDream Yacht Club was confident to use Portsmouth as the first UK port to manage a turnaround call since sailings were suspended,” he added.
In addition to welcoming the first cruise since the start of the pandemic, Portsmouth has also become the first UK port to install a thermal imaging camera. The port received DNV-GL’s independent verification for its coronavirus prevention measures.
All crew members at SeaDream 1 have completed the WHO's Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) for COVID-19 course, as well as Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 Contact Tracing course.
The SeaDream 1 is performing a 21-day trip from Norway to Barbados. After she arrives in the Bajan capital of Bridgetown on Nov. 5, the yacht will be operating 7-day round trips from and to the city – calling at Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada.