View (from industry)-Cruising with COVID…

This is written from cruise industry perspective, but is pretty close to what’s going on. We are on a “long-haul” ship of itineraries lasting months instead of a week, so things are a bit different, I guess. While some were refused initial boarding when tested at the pier, at least one has joined part-way and those infected aboard seem to have mild cases and are isolating for 10 days and then released. The ship is small enough (380 passengers on an 800 passenger ship) that there don’t seem to be the delays that some ships are reporting.

So far, the passengers are taking the CIVID risk well and many sort of assume that, sooner or later, most will have their turn.

Anyhow, a parallel perspective:

Golin-Blaugrund made the case that while there have been several recent reports of Covid outbreaks on board the world’s cruise ships, Covid cases are a “minority.”
She said cruise lines remain confident in their health and safety measures, adding that these measures “are proving successful to virtually eliminate severe outcomes,” as hospitalizations are minimal.

While fully vaccinated people are not immune to Omicron, Dr William Schaffner, an infectious diseases expert at Vanderbilt University, told CNN Travel that “booster shots improve the individual’s protection against getting severe disease.”
However Schaffner cast doubt on cruise lines’ ability to control the spread of the virus on board, even with fully vaccinated passengers and crew, and additional levels of protection in place such as mask wearing and regular testing.

“It’s not so clear how much boosting helps to diminish transmission, especially in such high potential transmission circumstances where people are so close together for such prolonged periods of time,” he said.

Schaffner suggested any traveler who chooses to go on a cruise at present is likely aware of the potential risk and uncertainty, and will have weighed this up before boarding.
“I think they must share a certain confidence in what it is that both the cruise line industry, as well as their fellow passengers are doing in order to mitigate the risk,” he said.


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