Will all arriving passengers be already vaccinated?
It is not currently a mandatory requirement, but many cruise lines are insisting on this. Currently only domestic cruises, departing from and returning to UK ports, carrying UK passengers are allowed. International cruises are currently prohibited from docking or from taking UK passengers.
Will they have been tested on board the cruise ship?
The cruise industry has given a commitment to 100% testing of all passengers and crew, before and during various stages of their cruising itineraries. You can read more on this here.
Will they be tested when step ashore?
There is not a testing requirement onshore, but cruise lines are encouraged to coordinate routine testing prior to arrival at their destinations as part of their procedures.
Do they get tested on leaving Lerwick?
Most lines require testing to be carried out on re-embarkation.
Likewise, are crews allowed ashore?
Crew shore leave will be restricted in the early stages, but when reinstated they must comply with all local measures and local restrictions.
Will the passengers be allowed to go wherever they like?
In the early stages, the cruise industry will be supporting passengers to remain in ‘bubbles’ on shore excursions to minimise risk to communities. Cruise lines will have to follow all local guidance relating to their tours.
Will tour bubbles have a local guide in control?
Yes, their activities have been fully risk-assessed and measures put in place to ensure that the high standards of safety are maintained. Tour guides and drivers will be routinely tested.
What if someone wanders away from a bubble?
Cruise lines will be responsible for taking any action against anyone straying from pre-arranged tours. Such measures will vary depending on the individual cruise lines procedures.
Are there any restrictions on how many passengers can come ashore at the same time?
This will be limited to the capacity available on pre-arranged shore excursions according to local availability.
When do you expect large cruise ships to return?
There are a few larger cruise ship visits planned for later in July and August.
What’s the possible passenger numbers coming ashore?
There will be differences between each vessel, depending on ship size and capacity. Each cruise line will be responsible for risk-assessing passenger numbers, taking into account all health protocols on board and Scottish Government physical distancing requirements. It is not possible to predict accurately at this stage how many passengers will disembark.
What happens if a passenger becomes ill while onshore?
The individual involved is likely to be transferred back to the ship for isolation, unless the urgency of symptoms requires medical intervention.
Are tours limited to Lerwick, or is wider Shetland accessible?
Tours will mainly be focused around the areas that are most accessible to ships for their day visit, so likely to be predominantly to the south and west mainland areas. If longer tours are possible then north mainland areas will be visited.
What advice has been given to the local supply chain?
Lerwick Port Authority has kept in regular contact with various stakeholders through the pandemic, facilitating discussions on the requirements for handling cruise calls, and to ensure that respective plans and procedures have been developed and risk-assessed.
Will the meet-and-greet team be on the quayside?
Not for the early phases of the restart as there is a requirement to minimise contact, this will be reviewed as passenger numbers increase.
Do you expect more than one cruise ship in a day?
There will be a couple of occasions where there is more than one ship in a day.
If it is UK-only passengers meantime, when might that change?
There are various checkpoints in the UK roadmap out of lockdown when the measures for international travel are being reviewed. The next review will be at the end of July and again in October. You can read more on this here.
When do you expect to get back to “normal” activity?
There are very healthy bookings for 2022 and 2023 which gives us some confidence of ‘normality’ returning in future seasons.