• Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Log In
You may also like
Dismiss
SeaDream to Run Caribbean Season From Barbados Starting in November, October Transatlantic
SeaDream I (Photo: SeaDream Yacht Club Cruises)

SeaDream to Run Caribbean Season From Barbados Starting in November, October Transatlantic

SeaDream to Run Caribbean Season From Barbados Starting in November, October Transatlantic
SeaDream I (Photo: SeaDream Yacht Club Cruises)

September 15, 2020

Chris Gray Faust
Managing Editor
By Chris Gray Faust
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
(4:35 p.m. EDT) -- SeaDream Yacht Club will run 22 cruises in the Caribbean beginning in November on at least one ship, as well as an October transatlantic from Europe.
The announcement, made in a webinar with the line's executives, is good news for luxury cruisers seeking sun in the colder months. Several luxury lines, such as Seabourn Cruise Line and Crystal Cruises, have canceled cruises though the end of 2020.
As previewed two weeks ago, the cruises will run round-trip from Barbados and visit St. Vincent and several islands in the Grenadines such as Union Island and Bequia, as well as Grenada. A day of snorkeling will take place in Tobago Cays, and the line's signature Champagne splash will be held in Mayreau.
The first voyage will begin November 7 in Bridgetown, and subsequent cruises will be either seven or eight days long. The last cruise will take place in April, so the ship can reposition and do its previously scheduled sailings in Europe and the Mediterranean.
Voyages are only being planned on SeaDream I, although the line will add SeaDream II if the demand is there, SeaDream president Bob Lepisto said. Both ships carry 100 passengers, and both are coming off successful summer seasons in Norway. SeaDream was the first luxury line to return to cruising after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down sailing worldwide in mid-March.
Cruisers who want to do a transatlantic can book the ship on a 21-day voyage sailing October 15 from Oslo to Bridgetown. Stops on that trip include Skagen, Denmark, and Southampton, U.K., where Europeans will be allowed to board, Lepisto said. The ship will stop in Funchal, Portugal, before arriving to the Caribbean.

New Health Protocols and Purchases, COVID Tests Dockside

SeaDream I
To sail in the Caribbean, SeaDream has enhanced the health and safety protocols that it developed for its summer season in Norway.
For one, COVID-19 tests will be required to board. Passengers coming from the United States will have to take several tests to cruise, said Emilio Freeman, VP Destinations -- one at home at least 72 hours before arriving in Barbados and possibly a second one at the airport.
The line has purchased an Abbott ID Now rapid testing machine that gives COVID-19 results in 15 minutes, said Sudesh Kishore, senior vice president of hotel operations. This machine will be at the dock and all passengers will be tested again before embarkation. Embarkation itself will be staggered between noon and 6 p.m. so there are no crowds.
In addition, the line has added thermal scanners that record temperatures, which will be kept in a daily log. Passengers will look into the scanner when they re-embark the ship after being onshore, he said.
The line has also bought another new machine, a hospital-grade Altapure AP-4 disinfectant fogger that the crew will use to clean the ship before people board, Kishore said. Ultraviolet lights will be used for daily cabin sanitation, and hand sanitizers will be placed around the ship. Special mats that sanitize shoes are another new addition.
While the ship will be asking people to practice social distancing, masks will not be required, Kishore said. "We do not want people to wear masks onboard," he said. "That's why we want people to be tested prior to embarkation."
But SeaDream Executive Vice President Andreas Brynestad noted that requirements would be dependent on local government regulations, as well as guest comfort level and feedback. "We will have masks for everyone onboard," he said.  "If our guests feel like wearing masks is the right thing to do, we are more than happy to listen."

Organized Shore Visits Required, Barbados Pre-Visit Discouraged

Barbados (Photo:Filip Fuxa/Shutterstock)
One change from the previous announcement is that passengers will likely not be able to do their own thing while on shore. The line is working to create organized excursions that get at the heart of the islands, Freeman said.
"They will allow us to come on shore but in an organized fashion to pre-determined places," he said. "You probably will not be allowed to go out and explore on your own."
The line is talking to the island governments to see if they can run their usual biking and hiking excursions. The ship will have its water platform and toys available for use as much as possible.
Another logistical challenge is that guests from the U.S. will be encouraged to fly to Barbados the day of embarkation, rather than a day or two in advance, Freeman said. That way, the Barbados government will likely classify passengers as "in transit" and able to bypass the island's current 14-day quarantine for people arriving from the U.S.
People shouldn't worry about missing the ship, as it will be able to stay at the dock longer since the next island, St. Vincent, is not that far from Barbados, Freeman said. "Anyone who might be thinking at a stay in Barbados should think about doing it as a post as opposed to a pre."
Passengers who are booked on current voyages will be contacted to discuss transferring to the new itineraries, Brynestad said. The company won't reimburse passengers for airplane change fees.
Brynestad also commiserated with passengers who had hoped to visit the U.S or British Virgin Islands, a staple of SeaDream's Caribbean season.
"It's tricky with U.S. ports," he said. "We hope that things will change. I believe that come November, I think there is going to be a big change with the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). I hope there is an opportunity. We are working on it, but it's quite uncertain. We're not going to know anything for quite some time."
The CDC currently has all ships under a "no sail" order from U.S. ports. That order is set to expire at the end of September, but many cruise lines have already put themselves on a voluntary pause through October 31. The CDC order does not apply to SeaDream, as its Caribbean cruises do not visit the U.S.
All of the executives cautioned that things were in flux and might adjust, depending on COVID-19 infection levels. Brynestad is moving to Barbados for the season so he can facilitate getting the cruises up and running.
Still the general mood was optimistic. "We had incredible rainbows and good fortune in Norway," Lepisto said. "We plan to have the same incredible fortune when we come over to the Caribbean."
How was this article?
Popular with cruisers like you
Just Back From the Bubble: Cruising In Maine, On the Only Ship Sailing in the U.S.

(6:15 p.m. EDT) -- Out on the deck of Stephen Taber, a 149-year-old schooner that is one of only two overnight passenger ships currently sailing in the United States, the wind picks up. I shiver, despite the numerous layers donned to protect against the chilly Maine night. The galley below deck, heated by a massive wood-burning stove, seems warm and inviting.

I begin the mental gymnastics that have become second nature during the pandemic, with conflicting feelings cartwheeling through my head. Everyone onboard, both crew and passengers, has been COVID tested (in some cases, twice, thanks to entrance requirements from both the state of Maine and Taber's

P&O Australia Transfers Pacific Dawn from Its Cruise Fleet

(7:05 p.m. BST) -- P&O Cruises Australia announced it has sold its 1,546-passenger Pacific Dawn ahead of its planned removal from the P&O fleet in February.

The 70,000-ton ship was originally scheduled to transfer to Cruise & Maritime Voyages in 2021. Following the collapse of CMV in July, the ship's future was placed in doubt.

A specific buyer has not been named. It is not immediately apparent if the ship will be placed in further service with another line or sold for scrap.

The ship, which entered service in 1991 as Princess Cruises' Regal Princess, has made more than 610 voyages for P&O Cruises Australia since joining the fleet in 2007. P&O notes the ship has carri

Carnival Cruise Line's Mardi Gras Sets Out on Sea Trials

(1:45 p.m. EDT) -- Carnival has sent its hotly-anticipated cruise ship Mardi Gras out on its first sea trials.

The trials, which test a ship's technical and marine handling capabilities, began today from the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland. They are expected to last for a period of 10 days,

Once completed, Mardi Gras will return to the shipyard for final fitting-out of the vessel's interior spaces before setting sail for the United States.

Carnival's Mardi Gras is the first Carnival vessel to be built on the Excellence platform that also includes P&O's new Iona and AIDA's AIDAnova. Mardi Gras will be the first Carnival ship of

CLIA Australasia Launches Advisory Group to Support Australian Return to Cruise

(10:30 a.m. EDT) -- CLIA Australasia has created a new Cruise Suppliers Advisory Group in response to Australia's current ban on cruises, which is scheduled to run through until at least December 17, 2020.

The Advisory Group will include representatives from Australia's transport companies, food and beverage providers, local farmers and wholesalers who provide provisions, services and goods for the Australian cruise industry.

The goal of the Advisory Group is to support a phased return to cruise operations in Australia. CLIA Australasia managing director Joel Katz had said the Advisory Group would meet regularly and would play a part in the

Swan Hellenic Reveals Name of New Cruise Ship at Keel-Laying Ceremony

(9:31 a.m. EDT) -- The keel laying ceremony for the first of Swan Hellenic's two new ice-class expedition cruise ships took place in Helsinki today.

The first 347-ton block of the ship was set on the keel over coins to bring good luck in accordance with ancient maritime custom.

Swan Hellenic announced at the ceremony that the ship would be christened SH Minerva, a nod to the name of the sole vessel operated by the original Swan Hellenic -- one of the U.K.'s best-known cruise lines, which went bust in 2017.

“We’re excited and honoured to take Swan Hellenic into this next chapter and look forward to meeting you on board when we head to Antarctica in Novembe

Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
Cookie Consent