Windstar Cruises will retrofit its fleet with HEPA filters and UV-C light
Windstar Cruises is to introduce a new ‘Beyond Ordinary Care’ programme, which will see the cruise line retrofit its fleet of six yachts with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters and UV-C light.
Current guidelines from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend HEPA filtration for recirculated air from patient isolation rooms in hospitals. The filters will be installed in the HVAC systems on all Windstar yachts. Then once air has moved through the system, UV-C light will be used to destroy any remaining bacteria and viruses, a solution which has been proven to kill coronaviruses.
In addition, the cruise line will use EvaClean’s PurTab sanitiser to disinfect all types of hard and soft surfaces throughout the ship. A dedicated crew who have been trained to clean the ship with the new sanitation product will regularly sanitise guest rooms, public spaces, crew quarters and the medical clinic.
“We are taking extensive measures and making multimillion-dollar investments to operate our yachts more safely in this new environment,” said Andrew Todd, Windstar Cruises CEO. “Building upon Windstar’s ‘180 degrees from ordinary’ service, the ‘Beyond Ordinary Care’ program implements a layered system of science-led best practices aimed at keeping everyone aboard healthy.”
New pre-trip protocols for guests will include a questionnaire and a request to wear masks when travelling to and from ships. Each guest will receive a health screening before embarkation, while staggered arrival and departure times at check-in and disembarkation will help enforce social distancing between guests.
Onboard, main dining venues will operate at 65 per cent capacity, while speciality venues will operate at 60 per cent. Crew will also be tested before joining the ship and have their temperatures measured twice a day.
Windstar has partnered with the epidemiology department at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Centre for additional guidance on preventing illnesses. The collaboration aims to implement appropriate layers of protection to create a safe experience for guests on Windstar’s yachts.
"Windstar’s holistic approach has multiple layers of safety at hospital grade standards, and when combined with responsible hygiene practices from guests, it’s the safest environment achievable with technology and science as we know it today,” said Michelle Barron, medical director of infection prevention at University of Colorado Hospital, and professor of Medicine in the division of infectious diseases at University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Centre. “When you're sailing on a Windstar yacht, your biggest worry should be how to avoid a sunburn, not getting Covid-19."
The 148-guest Wind Spirit will be the first Windstar yacht to resume sailing on 10 September in Tahiti. The rest of the fleet will resume operations in 2021 following scheduled renovations.
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