Social distancing on a cruise ship? The very idea seems to contradict the concept of cruising itself. But if cruise ships are to return to the seas soon they may have to incorporate reduced capacity and increased distance between passengers.
Telegraph.co.uk reports that Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line has signaled that it will only book its cruise ships to 60% capacity when it returns to service on July 25. The cruise line will accomplish this by closing two passenger decks. The return is set to occur one day after the expiration of a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) no-sail order which is set to expire on July 24.
The major cruise lines, including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian, have yet to publicly announce the measures they will take in order to help prevent the spread of coronavirus aboard the ships. If the measures taken by Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line is any indication, the return to international cruising could look far different from how many imagined.
Since the coronavirus pandemic began, analysts have speculated that cruise companies would have to adopt enhanced health screening measures and hygiene and sanitation protocols, changes which would affect the experience of cruising but would likely not significantly alter the look and feel of a cruise. But if cruise ships were to limit capacity to just 60% this change could certainly affect the character of cruising.