The new plan’s protocols include fresh air in all public spaces, industry-leading virus-neutralizing air filters, virtual queues, reduced ship capacity, regular virus testing for crew, thermal monitoring cameras and leading partnerships with AtmosAir Solutions and EcoLab.
“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, Virgin Voyages. “We appreciate some people will be apprehensive about travelling, 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.”
The Voyage Well plan was created in partnership with expert advisors including scientists, doctors and clinicians. Referred to as the Voyage Well Expert Advisory Group, the team is composed of partners at AtmosAir Solutions, EcoLab, Dr. Bill Heymann with Vikand, Global Public Health Services, and close collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as well as frequent of World Health Organization (WHO) best practices and guidelines.
Highlights of the plan are:
- a uniquely designed HVAC system that pumps fresh air through the ship’s public spaces and cabins to effectively remove circulated air;
- a first-in-the-industry 100 percent fresh air, “bow to stern” air purification system;
- an air purification system from AtmosAir Solutions that disinfects air onboard by leveraging bi-polar ionization technology, which has been shown to kill 99.9 percent of viruses (recent tests performed by Microchem Laboratory reported that this HVAC device is more than 99.9 percent effective in neutralizing coronavirus);
- rapid and effective COVID-19 testing for all sailors and crew prior to embarking (Testing is paramount, says Virgin Voyages, and dependent on medical advancements and availability.);
- an ethical health-tracking app through which passengers and crews can report becoming unwell within 14 days of leaving the ship;
- advanced pre-boarding health checks and screenings for crew and passengers;
- thermal camera technology in terminals and on board to monitor crew and passengers’ temperatures;
- managing overall ship occupancy to appropriate physical distancing is possible across all public spaces;
- leveraging digital onboard technology to limit contact—The Band for contactless payment, Service Chat for assistance and Virtual Queues (for getting in lines for onboard experiences with actually getting in a physical line);
- and no communal food sharing, buffets or large dining halls, allowing for hygienic service of fresh food.
In addition, Virgin Voyages is offering flexible booking policies. These include moving the final payment dates from 120 days prior to sailing to 60 days before departure, and the ability to cancel up to 48 hours before sailing and receive a 100 percent Future Voyage Credit for sailings through December 16th, 2020.