Paul Gauguin Cruises will sail within French Polynesia and the South Pacific. They’re re-starting voyages July 11 with what they call a “COVID-Safe Protocol.”
Their first trip will be a 7 night “Tahiti & the Society Islands” trip July 11 – 18 for the local French Polynesia market. The country re-opens July 15. And their first trip with international passengers will launch July 29 from Papeete, the capital, to Huahine, Bora Bora, Motu Mahana, and Moorea, along with Rangiroa and Fakarava atolls. Their normal 7-to-14 night cruise schedule resumes in August.
They claim they can offer “no cases of COVID-19 contamination” through “100 percent monitoring of people and goods before boarding” and strict health protocols.
- Prior to boarding. Everyone presents a signed doctor’s note, completes a health screening, and undergoes a health check by the ship’s medical personnel. Luggage gets disinfected prior to being brought on board. Everyone is given both surgical and cloth masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes.
- On-board: 100% fresh air in cabins, air conditioning will not re-circulate air. Air in common areas will be replaced five times per hour. Restaurants are all contactless. Public spaces capped at 50% capacity. High touch points disinfected hourly. Crew are required to wear masks when in contact with guests, passengers are asked to wear masks in common spaces. Everyone gets a temperature screening and disinfected before re-boarding after a shore excursion.
Views From Bora Bora
Views From Bora Bora
These are all great protocols. However there are two problems as I see it.
- The cruise market skews older, which means greatest risk. Cruise customers are precisely the people who probably shouldn’t travel at all right now, or expose themselves to others beyond their immediate household.
- No cruise ship can guarantee when you’re returning home. It was just a week and a half ago when the last cruise ship at sea was finally permitted to dock and the last passengers released. When a ship has cases on board, everyone is stuck at sea.. perhaps indefinitely.