Saga Cruises Becomes First Cruise Operator To Be Awarded New Covid-19 Safety Accreditation

The new Shield+ Covid-19 safety accreditation has been awarded by Lloyd's Register

Saga Cruises has moved one step closer to being able to resume operations, becoming the first cruise operator to be awarded a new Covid-19 safety accreditation.

The cruise line has been awarded the new Covid-19 health assurance accreditation by Lloyd's Register, the maritime safety experts.

The move is a big step towards Saga being able to return to operations, as planned, in spring 2021.

Lloyd's Register has awarded Saga the Shield+ accreditation, the highest category of health assurance on offer from the experts.

The new framework has been created to reduce the risk of infection, transmission and a subsequent coronavirus outbreak on board its ships.

The safety accreditation is assessed against six key categories covering every aspect of ship safety where health risks are elevated: medical, policy, food, ventilation, accommodation and water.

Being awarded the accreditation took months of planning and designing procedures, with both of Saga's boutique cruise shipsSpirit of Discovery and Spirit of Adventure – inspected in all key areas.

The accreditation is set to provide greater confidence from the public and passengers in the safety procedures of operations against the introduction of infectious diseases on board cruise ships, including Covid-19 but also norovirus and the common flu.

With its new accreditation, Saga, along with the cruise industry, is working with the UK government to restart the cruise industry, one that employs 88,000 people and is worth £10bn to the British economy each year.

'We are delighted to have been awarded the highest health and safety accreditation from Lloyd’s Register for our two ships – the newest on the seas,' said Nick Stace, Saga's CEO of travel.

'We have been working with the government, all the relevant authorities and our peers in the cruise industry to put in place all the measures needed to ensure a safe return to cruising. At Saga we believe that our ships offer one of the safest places in the world to see the world.

'This important step removes one of the last barriers to a safe return for cruising. We know there is considerable pent up demand from our customers for cruising.

'In our most recent round of cancellations, more than 80% of guests immediately rolled their booking over to a new cruise and our guests tell us they are ready to sail.

'Being the first cruise operator to achieve Lloyd’s Register’s Shield+ accreditation is testament to the work done by all our Saga colleagues and brings us one step closer to welcoming our guests back on board our ships in the safest capacity possible.'

'We are delighted to award our first ever Shield+ certification to Saga,' added Joep Bollerman, Lloyd’s Register’s global passenger ship manager.

'Our new standards are based on medical science from the global health industry, including guidance from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in line with the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

'Shield+ provides a detailed survey and inspection regime of the key areas where health risks are elevated, which helps operators like Saga maintain the highest health standards at sea.'