Cruise industry institutes sterilization protocols

The Victory I on its inaugural 2019 stop in Little Current. Expositor file photo

KINGSTON – The cruise industry is facing a near perfect storm in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, with all cruise vessels capable of carrying more than 500 passengers being banned from the nation’s ports until at least July.

“We are not privy to the economic situation of each cruise line,” said Great Lakes Cruising Coalition executive director Stephen Burnett, “so I can’t really comment on what they are doing internally.”

But Mr. Burnett went on to say that all of their industry partners “treat the health and safety of clients as our utmost priority.”

He noted that cruise lines are instructing their crews to redouble their efforts in the cleaning of all surfaces and have instituted protocols to test passengers before they are allowed to board vessels.

“We are entering a new reality in the world these days,” said Mr. Burnett, “and the cruise industry is determined to stay ahead of the curve.”

There is currently no update on the fate of those smaller cruise ships that tend to ply Great Lakes ports or how the ban will impact their activities.