After careful consideration and reviews of health and safety protocols, Cayman Islands have decided to cancel Holland America’s next visit Nieuw Statendam cruise ship, which was scheduled to visit Grand Cayman on December 28, 2021.
This stopover had been planned as testing COVID-19 testing protocols of new visitors to the popular Caribbean island, as it was to be the first cruise ship to return to the island since the industry restarted.
Cayman Islands change travelers’ protocols
According to Cayman Hours, the canceled tour is due to the inability to adapt new health and safety protocols to ensure that all guests arriving in the Cayman Islands are tested negative for COVID-19 one day before disembarkation.
The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism and Transportation had worked with representatives from Holland America and its parent company, Carnival Corporation, to ensure passenger capacity was reduced to a maximum of 1,600 of occupancy capacity. double the ship of 2,666, and that Grand Cayman was the first port of call on the ship’s route.
These measures were aimed at minimizing the risk of introducing more cases of this highly transmissible disease to the Cayman Islands. In addition, all passengers and crew disembarking in Grand Cayman had to be fully vaccinated.
On December 17, 2021, however, the Cayman Islands changed their pre-arrival testing protocols. Previously, travelers had to demonstrate a negative test result within 72 hours of arriving in the country, but now the requirement has been stepped up to produce a negative test result within 24 hours. This change was implemented in response to the rapid spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant.
Nieuw Statendam Visit to Grand Cayman canceled
Due to the tightening of the policy, it is no longer possible for cruise ships such as Nieuw Statendam abide by these protocols, and his December 28 visit was canceled.
“The Cayman Islands government is not taking this decision lightly and the inconvenience to all concerned, including the cruise line, cruise lines and passengers is regretted,” he added. said Acting Tourism Minister Dwayne Seymour. “As uncertainties persist about the spread of the virus, taking a cautious approach is the right thing to do.”
Nieuw Statendam Currently sailing a 7 night itinerary for the Caribbean New Year. The ship departed Fort Lauderdale on December 26 and was slated to be the first cruise ship to return to Grand Cayman since the cruise industry began shutdown in March 2020. Since the industry restarted several months ago , no cruise ship has yet visited what has been one of the Caribbean’s most popular stopovers.
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The ship’s planned visit to Grand Cayman was a controversial decision early on with many island residents against the visit, despite the benefits of restarting cruise tourism on the island.
“Canceling this one cruise ship stopover will ensure the Cayman Islands are better able to protect our people and we look forward to welcoming cruise tourism companies in 2022 when it is safer to do so. “, he added. Seymour said.
To date, the Cayman Islands have recorded more than 8,300 cases of COVID-19, although the country’s population is just under 67,000. In recent weeks, as the Omicron variant has become widespread, cases of COVID-19 in the country have increased, as have its deaths attributed to the virus.
No more cancellations of ports of call
The news comes as more cruise ships are denied entry to various ports of call due to positive cases of COVID-19. Holland America Line Koningsdam was refused entry to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on December 23, while Royal Caribbean Odyssey of the seas canceled two stopovers – Curaçao and Aruba – last week, and Carnival Liberty was denied his scheduled calls to Bonaire and Aruba, also last week.
While all of these cancellations are troubling for impatient travelers, it’s best for passengers to remain flexible with their plans and expectations for cruise itineraries for the foreseeable future.
The various ports of call should make whatever adjustments they deem most appropriate to protect their populations, and cruise lines do their utmost to work with port authorities as well as to keep customers informed of changes in itinerary. last minute.