Since inception, and continuing throughout our long history, our crews have worked hard to ensure robust safety procedures. This allows you, our guests, to focus on enjoying your diving – and overall liveaboard experience – in the knowledge we have done our utmost to ensure your wellbeing. Our vision has always been to create inspirational experiences for all our guests, on all our vessels. Guest safety is at the heart of this vision.
As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold around the world, we acted swiftly to protect our guests and our staff. Since then, we have closely monitored the ever-changing situation. We’d like nothing more than to be able to welcome you back onboard our boats. For some weeks now, we have been working hard with our teams around the world in preparation for that day. Although every day seems to present a new norm, we have put together the following information for you. It explains what we are doing. It also explains that we need your help to ensure the safety of all our guests and crew. We will continue to closely follow current trends. And we will update our operating procedures and advice accordingly.
Your first steps...
The first stage of any holiday is, of course, the journey to get there. Something that was sometimes a chore, is likely to become all the more burdensome. You are likely to experience some form of health screening at one or more stops along the way. On the positive side, we anticipate this journey based screening will give us a reasonable degree of surety that inbound guests will arrive free of COVID-19.
Without a vaccine that provides 100% protection from COVID, or a sure-fire guarantee of good health, we will take steps to protect our guests and our staff. For example, depending on availability, and any testing required en route, it is possible that we may ask inbound guests to have a recent COVID-19 test in order to board our vessels. With the increasing availability of rapid testing kits, some airlines and destinations are starting to perform tests as part of their own operating procedure. Our local operations are striving to source and secure test kits to allow the testing of our crew before and after each trip.
Playing our part…
Whilst we believe our existing practices for hygiene and cleanliness are already industry leading, we have developed new operational protocols – with extra precautions against COVID-19 in mind. Our plans include:
- We may require guests to complete a pre-travel questionnaire, giving further confidence to fellow guests and crew that it is safe for you to travel to your vacation with us.
- Additional training for crew in appropriate sanitation and cleaning practices with viral infections in mind. Where possible, sourcing environmentally friendly cleaning chemicals.
- Enhanced, documented and inspected deep cleaning and sanitation of all areas of our vessels a minimum of three times a day, with special emphasis on high traffic, high contact areas. Where available, use of fogging and other devices.
- Social distancing will be encouraged wherever possible, while maintaining the high level of guest service that we are known for. These plans include possible staggered briefings, diving activities, and mealtimes – where this is operationally feasible. Guests will be asked to regularly wash their hands, especially before all activities.
- We hope to be able to source and provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves, to be worn as appropriate when onboard our vessels. This will apply to both our guests, and our crew. Additional hand sanitizer stations will be installed throughout our vessels.
- Diving practices such as rinse tanks for equipment, suits and masks have been reviewed, taking into account the possibility of cross-contamination. We have also taken into consideration the provision of a towel service and rental equipment may be less available depending on the availability of suitable sanitising agents/sterile storage options.
- We will be working hard with our suppliers and shore support agents to ensure logistical functions allow our vessels to operate. For example, provisioning and fuelling will be done in a manner consistent with social distancing principles.
We are helping to organise vaccinations for all crew members and in destinations that are currently operating, all crew are already fully vaccinated. This is the case also in many destinations that we are not yet operating, and we expect it to be the case when we are back on full operations.
We are not requiring customers to be vaccinated at this point. However, we are adhering to destination country requirements where we are operating.
It is possible some of the changes we are considering may temporarily affect certain areas. For example, perceived level of guest service, interaction with crew and indeed fellow vacationers, and general perceived enjoyability of your liveaboard experience with us. The adjustments mean that the precautionary measures taken will allow your holiday to go ahead. We ask you to work with us and remember the changes are for the benefit of the safety of both our guests and crew.
Operating in 10 countries worldwide, there will be some variation of procedures between vessels.
Rest assured we are working hard to ensure an enjoyable vacation with us, in a safe and responsible manner.
We look forward to diving with you again soon!
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