Our cruise line partners have spent much of the past year updating their health and safety procedures to maximize guest safety while on-board. Several new innovations have come out of this process, including pre-boarding screening, capacity controls and social distancing, careful cleaning of public spaces, and fresh-air ventilation systems.
The biggest development came from Victory Cruise Lines, who has announced that they will require COVID-19 vaccinations for 100% of guests and crew, once sailing begins again. This will help ensure that everyone aboard is as safe as possible, but also allows us to make a commitment to the communities we visit that our presence there does not represent an elevated risk.
Even with the confidence of having a fully-vaccinated ship, Victory has gone the extra step of mandating mask usage. Their SAFECRUISE™ protocol specifies that, "Masks will be required in all venues and in situations where recommended social distancing is not possible, including entertainment venues, elevators, shoreside terminals and shore excursion motorcoaches." Since the CDC has left open the possibility that even vaccinated people could carry virus in their nasal passages, the mask requirement helps ensure that we are not a risk to others.
We appreciate the lengths our Great Lakes cruise partners are going to, in order to ensure the health and safety of everyone associated with Great Lakes cruising.