Introducing NCL’s SAIL SAFE Health and Safety Program

What will the cruising experience be like when it returns? How will COVID-19 affect how we sail and enjoy these amazing vacations? We’re starting to get a first glimpse, as today Norwegian Cruise Line introduced their policies for resuming operations. While we can’t guarantee that these exact procedures will be implemented by all cruise lines, we think it’s reasonable to expect their policies to be similar.



All guests will undergo an enhanced pre-embarkation health screening. Additionally, all crew will undergo extensive screening prior to embarkation and constant monitoring throughout the voyage. Once on board, touchless temperature checks and continuous monitoring of guests and crew throughout the voyage will help identify potential health issues, offering an additional layer of prevention and protection. Checks will occur: 

• Prior to embarkation and disembarkation 

• Upon returning to the ship while in a port of call 

• Prior to all activities in public venues 

• Prior to all meals in dining venues 

• A healthy crew helps ensure healthy guests. Constant monitoring of crew health includes temperature checks multiple times per day as well as rigid sanitation protocols. 

• We’re enhancing our existing Pre-Employment Medical Examination process, which already screens for a wide variety of infectious diseases, to ensure the health and safety of our crew. 

• We’re exploring on board testing capabilities that will allow crew members to undergo the latest, most advanced form of COVID-19 testing at any time throughout their employment contract. 


All ships are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to every voyage in accordance with company protocols, which are developed in partnership with CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program. Embarkation terminals will be sanitized continuously, and, where possible, fogged before and after each embarkation and debarkation. Further, all staterooms, suites and public areas will be cleaned, sanitized and disinfected at an increased frequency, using Electrostatic Spray Technology. Increased sanitation efforts include: 

• The disinfectant we use for fogging in staterooms and public areas is hypochlorous acid (HOCl). Hypochlorous acid is a non-toxic, powerful oxidant that effectively kills bacteria, spores, and viruses. It is natural and safe to use in open areas since it is comprised of natural elements such as water and salt, and electric charge. 

• Our 24/7 prevention schedule will feature continuous disinfection of public areas and high-traffic touch points. We will ensure that cleaning occurs continuously for all elevators and all public areas during on and off-peak hours. 

• Buffets and beverage stations will be full service with staff available to serve guests. 

• All guests will be strongly encouraged to engage in frequent handwashing, including when entering food and beverage venues, and hand sanitizer will be prominently placed and easily accessible throughout the ship. 


Installation of medical-grade air-filters, H13 HEPA, that remove 99.95% of airborne pathogens across our entire fleet to ensure the air you breathe is clean. 

• H13 HEPA is one of the highest grades of particulate air filter, removing 99.95% of all particulates 0.1 microns or larger. For comparison purposes, COVID-19 is 0.125 microns (25% larger), a single blood cell is 10 microns (10,000% larger) and a single human hair is 75 microns (75,000% larger). 


To provide even more space for responsible social distancing, guest capacity on board will be reduced. Staggered embarkation and advanced online check-in will be implemented for proper social distancing. In addition, we are committed to reducing capacity in all public areas throughout the voyage. 

• We continue to work with port and government authorities to determine procedures that are in accordance with CDC and global health agencies’ guidance, to implement protocols that allow for proper social distancing during the embarkation process, including staggered embarkation and advanced check-in procedures. 

• All onboard activities will still be available, although operated at a reduced capacity, and in some cases, slightly modified in order to ensure safe social distancing. We will take necessary precautions and follow applicable public health guidelines to ensure guest health and safety, which is our highest priority at all times. 


Onboard medical centers will be fully equipped with the latest testing kits and medical supplies. We are also increasing our medical team fleetwide. Additionally, each ship has dedicated isolation accommodations should the need arise. 

• Testing kits and medical supplies include: 

– Advanced onsite COVID-19 testing 

– Increased inventory of vaccinations 

– Increased inventory of medications to treat COVID-19 

• We will begin to introduce a newly created onboard position of Public Health Officer, responsible for the oversight of all sanitation and outbreak prevention initiatives. Additionally, they will monitor the day-to-day cleanliness of all public areas and accommodations, maintaining compliance with the CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program. 

• Enhanced health & safety trainings and continued education for crew members 

• Webinars developed by our various health partners 

• WHO and CDC materials are available to vessels and crew 

• All crew will have public health training when joining the ship 


We will only visit safe, open ports of call which may cause changes to your itinerary. Keeping our guests up-to-date with the latest confirmed changes impacting their itineraries is a top priority. 

• We’re partnering with our local destinations and tour operators to ensure our industry-leading health and sanitation protocols extend to the shoreside experience. 


Currently, Norwegian Cruise Line is planning a phased return to service beginning on August 1, 2020. New and modified policies may be announced between now and a return to service. Date of resumption of operations is subject to change and all ships and itineraries may not be available at the time of the re-launch. Be sure to monitor Premier Custom Travel’s website and our social media pages including this blog for updates.