(7:35 p.m. BST) -- Portsmouth port has welcomed its first cruise ship in the COVID-19 era, as SeaDream Yacht Club's 112-passenger SeaDream I called on the city on Monday as part of its transatlantic crossing to Barbados.
A total of 19 passengers embarked in Portsmouth after adhering to strict health and safety protocols, including obtaining a COVID-19 PCR test no less than 72 hours in advance going through rapid COVID testing again before embarking the vessel. SeaDream has also rolled out extensive cleaning and sanitization measures, as well as physical distancing practices
In a statement provided by Portsmouth City Council, the Port notes that no passengers already onboard were allowed ashore in Portsmouth, and only the 19 ticketed passengers were embarked.
All port operations followed the UK's recent Cruise Framework Agreement for vessels and the entire call was overseen by local health authorities and Portsmouth International Port staff.
Portsmouth International Port is the first port in the UK to install a thermal imaging camera, and the first to have received independent verification for COVID-19 health and safety measures by international auditor and classification society DNV-GL. DNV-GL also provides COVID-19 certification for cruise ships.
SeaDream I is in the midst of a 21-day crossing to Bridgetown, Barbados to start the line's newly-announced Caribbean cruises. The ship had previously embarked passengers in both Oslo, Norway and Rotterdam, Netherlands.
SeaDream I is scheduled to make one additional stop, in Funchal, Madeira, on October 24 before proceeding to Bridgetown. The ship's first Caribbean voyage departs roundtrip Bridgetown on November 7, 2020.
The sailing is the first transatlantic crossing to resume since the global COVID-19 pandemic shut down cruises in March.