Victory Cruise Lines (VCL), operated by American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC), a Hornblower Family Company, has created enhanced health and safety protocols to keep guests, crew and the communities the vessels visit safe in the face of COVID-19. New steps being implemented include pre-cruise screening, crew screening, updated boarding processes and increased sanitation measures. These new policies are in place and ready to be implemented when VCL resumes operations in 2021.
Victory Cruise Lines sails on the Great Lakes, Canadian Maritimes, New England coast and Southeastern Seaboard with twin 202-passenger ships the Victory I and Victory II. The policies implemented on board the VCL vessels can also be found across American Queen Steamboat Company’s entire fleet.
“From each guest touchpoint, embarkation, on-board activities, shore excursion and disembarkation, we have elevated our health and safety protocols,” shares John Waggoner, founder and CEO of American Queen Steamboat Company, in a statement. “With these new measures in place, we are optimistic about the future and have a great deal to be excited about, from new itineraries on the Great Lakes and Southeastern Seaboard to the Ocean Victory’s inaugural season in Alaska.”
To ensure the safety and comfort of both guests and crew, VCL is staying current with guidance, mandates and public health advancements communicated by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), United States Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), United States Coast Guard (USGC), Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the municipalities each vessel visits.
New enhanced health and safety protocols include pre-cruise screening, embarkation that includes thermal cameras that will take the temperature of each guest and crew member boarding the vessel in addition to manual temperature checks. The onboard medical representative will conduct the gangway screening, complete the health and safety survey and provide reports to the Master and each Hotel Director.
Increased sanitation of all contact services such as handrails, tables, chairs, desks, work surfaces, door handles, telephones and elevator controls in both the front and back of house will be conducted hourly. All public and crew spaces will be fogged twice daily and multi-purpose disinfecting wipes will be made available in staterooms for all guests.
All self-service buffets will remain suspended and wait staff will be stationed at buffet stations to serve food to guests. Crew will minimize guest touch points by manually entering cabin numbers rather than using guest swipe cards, replacing all communal items such as salt/pepper pots, sugar bowls and butter bowls with single serve packets. All tables, chairs and countertops will be sanitized on the hour or when vacated by the guest and menus will now be printed on single-use paper and discarded after each use.
All deck rails, public swimming pools, the gangway and other external hardpoints will be thoroughly sanitized at least every hour when in use, with the gangway sanitation occurring every half-hour.
A reduced number of guests will be transported on each motorcoach, targeting 52% capacity, to allow for adequate space between individuals. All bus seats, windows and handrails will be sanitized with an EPA-approved solution each day before the first guests arrive and high-touch areas, including the restroom, will be sanitized every hour and after each service. Liquid hand sanitation dispensers will be available at the door for all guests.
Cabin staff will clean all surfaces of staterooms with EPA-approved solutions. Additionally, each stateroom will receive a follow-up electrostatic fogging after each guest departure.
For more information, go to victorycruiselines.com. As the situation is fluid, VCL is prepared to adjust its operations and protocols in order to ensure the wellbeing of everyone involved. For an overview of the new health and safety protocols, go to victorycruiselines.com/health-and-safety/.