When Saga cruises restart

By | Category: Travel news

Saga has announced that when its cruises start again in May this year only passengers who have had their full dosage of vaccinations (I take that to mean both) will be allowed to sail.

Saga’s newest ship – Spirit of Adventure. Image – Saga

It is yet another confirmation that vaccinations will the way for the travel industry to return and follows on the steps of the announcements made by Qantas, Air Asia and Qatar Airlines that they would require passengers to be vaccinated.

TUI, on the other hand, says it will not require vaccinations. Now if you were in a vulnerable group or if you were concerned with your family’s health which type of company would you probably prefer to travel with?

I take the Saga announcement to also mean that all of its ship’s crews will have been vaccinated so that passengers and crew will feel as safe as it is possible to be.

It is also reducing the number of passengers, increasing the number of crew to be able to sanitise the ships and generally follow the measures that other cruise companies have introduced.

Saga which caters to the over fifties is likely to be one of the first travel companies to be able to capitalise on the return to travel because its customer base will be vaccinated before younger age groups. Therefore how it handles health and safety will be watched by others.

I would imagine that now the company will be considering what safety precautions it will be introducing when the ship docks in ports. Will guides have to be vaccinated along with the coach drivers that will take passengers on tours?

And what of the places that passengers will visit? Will there be temperature checks back on board? Will the hospitals on board ships be able to deal with passengers if they pick up the virus?

At present the vaccines that have been approved seem to have between about 85 and 95% efficacy meaning that between five and fifteen people still could come down with the virus. We are assuming the vaccination will last for a period of time but what period?

If I have a jab in May 2021 will I still be accepted as a passenger in May 2022? Or will I require another a full dose before being allowed to cruise again?

Cruise companies, and indeed all travel companies, need to plan now for what they intend to do down the line. And as been the case throughout the pandemic they can only follow the science and there is no science at the moment to prove how long a vaccination will last. So they will have to plan based on nothing more than current thinking rather than fact.

But it is important that they do so because there more they do, the more confidence that will give passengers.   

Saga already has a very loyal customer base. Thinking ahead will only increase that loyalty.

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