Two cruise operators join CLIA Europe

CLIA Europe, the European section of the world’s largest cruise industry trade association CLIA, recently welcomed two new members.

UK’s cultural expedition cruise line Swan Hellenic and Russian river cruise operator Vodohod joined the industry organisation on 5 October and 29 September, respectively.

As explained, 70-year-old Swan Hellenic has partnered with CLIA to build its profile and relationships with agents across Europe. The company joined CLIA under European Regional Cruise Lines.

The Swan Hellenic brand is relaunching with two new 152-berth expedition ships currently under construction. Named SH Minerva and provisionally Vega Class, the ships are being built at the Helsinki Shipyard and are expected to be launched in November 2021 and April 2022, respectively.

Similarly, Vodohod partnered with CLIA to build brand awareness across Europe, gaining access to CLIA Europe’s wider community of cruise lines, travel agents and executive partners.

With this membership, Vodohod wants to draw the attention of international river cruise travellers to Russian waterways and river cruising.

New COVID-19 Framework for cruise operators

Separately, CLIA said that it worked closely with the UK Chamber of Shipping, the trade association for the UK shipping industry, for over six months developing new framework documents for cruise ship operators to implement new measures with enhanced public health protection.

According to CLIA, the framework will help inform the restart of the cruise industry when the time is right and public health conditions allow. There is currently no restart date for the industry but the UK Chamber of Shipping, CLIA and operators will continue to work with the government on future plans.

“The cruise sector is a vital part of the UK economy. This new UK Chamber of Shipping Framework gives the government, passengers, crew and operators the confidence that the very latest science and medical advice has been included in the industry’s planning process,” Bob Sanguinetti, UK Chamber of Shipping Chief Executive, said launching the framework.

“We are not talking about restarting the sector tomorrow, but it is a vital first step in the process to get cruises sailing again when conditions allow and government guidance changes.”

“This is an industry that supports more than 88,000 jobs and generates £10 billion to the economy each year and the industry is taking the necessary steps to be ready to restart in the UK when the time is right,” Andy Harmer, Director, CLIA UK and Ireland, added.

The framework documents for cruise operators and crew advises on what measures should be considered and implemented on board for the safety of crew and passengers. It also details how cruise lines should communicate with passengers from the time of booking, traveling from their home, to a port, embarkation and throughout the voyage. Similar information is laid out in detail for the safety of seafarers. The passenger guidance provides passengers advice on necessary considerations to be aware of before booking, and information of what to expect, including measures they will need to adhere to throughout the cruise.