Virgin Voyages released its comprehensive ‘Voyage Well’ plan for its cruse ships. This program delivers innovative health and wellbeing standards to give sailors and crew confidence in the future of cruise travel.
With plans to ‘‘soft open'’ for sailing the brand new Scarlet Lady ship in Oct. 2020, Virgin Voyages has worked with leading experts to elevate its existing standard of excellence by creating an environment built to tackle today’s global health crisis. As one of the newest ships at sea that has not yet sailed with passengers, Scarlet Lady will welcome future Sailors into an environment designed to meet health expert recommendations and sailor expectations before, during, and after a voyage. The Oct. “soft open” plans are reliant on the lift of travel restrictions and Virgin Voyages is staying close to these developments.
The Voyage Well plan was created in partnership with expert advisors consisting of scientists, doctors and clinicians. Referred to as the Voyage Well Expert Advisory Group, this team is composed of partners at AtmosAir Solutions, EcoLab, Dr. Heymann with Vikand, Global Public Health Services, and close collaboration with the CDC as well as frequent reviews of WHO best practices and guidelines.
“The health and wellbeing of our sailors is our number one priority, so we rolled up our sleeves with leading experts to further innovate and create an even healthier way to travel and still have an incredible vacation,” says Tom McAlpin, CEO of Virgin Voyages. “We appreciate some people will be apprehensive about traveling, so we are committed to being led by science and creating ways to give people confidence to explore the world while feeling safer, more relaxed and free to enjoy themselves.”
Bow to Stern Purification
On top of a uniquely designed HVAC system that pumps fresh air through the new ship's public spaces and cabins to effectively remove recirculated air, Virgin Voyages will be among the first in the industry to invest in the installation of a 100% fresh air, ‘bow to stern’ air purification system. In partnership with AtmosAir Solutions, Scarlet Lady and her sister ships will be equipped with an air purification system that also disinfects air on board by leveraging bi-polar ionization technology that has been shown to kill 99.9% of viruses. In addition, recent tests performed by Microchem Laboratory, one of the world’s preeminent laboratories for testing EPA- and FDA-registered sanitizing products, has reported that this HVAC device is more than 99.9% effective in neutralizing Coronavirus.
In addition, Virgin Voyages has developed a comprehensive plan, with key points that work to address all safety standards before, during, and after a voyage.
Key pillars of the Voyage Well plan include:
- Rapid and effective COVID-19 testing for all Sailors and Crew prior to embarking
- Post-voyage notification process through which Sailors and Crew can report on becoming unwell within 14 days of leaving the ship* (through an ethical health tracking app)
- Advanced pre-boarding health checks and screenings for both our Crew and Sailors
- Thermal Camera technology in terminals and on board to monitor our Crew and Sailors’ temperatures
- Fair and flexible booking policies — from moving the final payment dates to 60 days (from 120 days) before sailing, ability to cancel up to 48 hours before and receive a 100% Future Voyage Credit for sailings through December 16
- Implementing best practices around sanitation, physical distancing, limited occupancy, and health checks for everyone on board
- Installing the latest technology from AtmosAir Solutions — an air purification system that disinfects air on board. Leveraging bi-polar ionization technology that has been shown to kill 99.9% of viruses
- Leveraging digital onboard technology to limit contact; The Band (for contactless payment), Service Chat (for assistance digitally) and Virtual Queues (for getting in lines for onboard experiences without actually getting in physical lines)