Important Update For All Cruise Ship Crew Members Regarding COVID-19
We hope that this message finds you and your loved ones safe and well during these times of unpredictability and uncertainty. In light of the current global climate we want to inform you on the current situation around the Coronavirus pandemic, which was recently declared by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The companies in the cruise industry have made the difficult decision to suspend their operations for at least 30 days due to the travel restrictions, the critical situation in Europe and the national emergency that has been declared in the United States since continuing operations in the cruise sector has increased the risk of quarantines and medical detentions.
The health and safety of crew members is the most important thing at the moment thus the majority of team member assignments have been postponed.
What does this mean for you as a crew member?
For crew still at home / on their way to the ship:
- As ships are not sailing there is no need for you to travel
- Stay at home until further notice since cruises have been cancelled for the next 3-4 weeks and embarkations have been postponed
- In case you have made any travel arrangements and have your tickets already please clarify:
- with your booking department / HR office
- transportation companies on the current cancelling policies (due to the current situation the majority of the transportation companies have updated their policy in favor of single travelers)
For crew on board in winter harbour operation:
- At the moment winter harbour continues to run - your HR and office operators will update you
For crew currently on board for ship openings in the rivers
- Your HR / Travel Offices will organize travel home as per the current situation unless you have made the arrangements yourself
- In case you need support with return tickets please approach your hotel manager or contact crewing managers for additional instructions
You are probably wondering what this means for current crew members and new hires with future embarkation dates.
Bellow is what we know at this moment:
- Many cruise companies have announced that crew members who already have contracts will continue to receive their wages
- Most companies have decided to keep crew who are currently on board ships throughout their contract
- Some companies’ operation teams are also working on the message points for the crew members who are at home on vacation regarding pay - those impacted will receive specific information
- Selected new hires who already have a contract in hand and an upcoming embarkation date will be informed for their new schedule according to the new embarkation plan soon. Compensation for those who are impacted is also going to be considered.
- All new hires who are scheduled to join between now and end of the month will be contacted soon with updated information
- Most companies have suspended crew embarkations throughout March
SAPKO-C.E. will continue to provide you with updates on how the situation develops in the upcoming weeks as we learn more about it. Changes are expected for people who are currently on board, returning crew or those who have been given an offer recently so please make sure you stay informed.
It is of paramount importance that you as crew members understand that your contracts are not cancelled. In the next few days we will be back with further information and more details regarding specific procedures and new schedule plan, value remuneration and with answers for any other individual questions.
Do not panic and make sure you put your health and safety as absolute priority
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub to kill viruses that may be on your hands
- Maintain social distancing, especially from people who are coughing and / or sneezing
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth since hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses
- Practice respiratory hygiene by covering your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze and by disposing of used tissues immediately
- If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek early medical attention
- Make sure you take vitamins, eat a balanced diet and get enough sleep
- Avoid travelling and attending events with large crowds of people.
Please take things seriously and if you feel any of the symptoms of the coronavirus:
- Self-isolate for at least 14 days and make sure you have everything you need during that period
- Do not go to your GP since you are putting everyone at risk of contracting the virus
- Do not interact with eldery people or people who have weak immune systems or underlying health problems
We want to be clear that there is not a hiring freeze in the cruise sector and we even have more opportunities at the moment for individuals who want to work on board, but the health and safety of people should not be put at risk by conducting large face-to-face assessment centres.
We understand the severity of the situation and that there will be complications for those who are on board or at home waiting for their contract to start the journey on board. However, we want to ensure you that the situation is temporary until the virus is contained and we start seeing a decrease in the number of infected people. Until then please stay healthy and be ready to return back to work as soon as travel resumes.
We believe that together we can overcome these difficult times and in a few months you can apply for the many attractive jobs on board 5+ star luxury ocean / river cruise ships, luxury mega charter yachts, and various special off-shore projects with accommodation ships and luxury 6 star floating hotels.
Thank you for your patience and understanding, and please do not hesitate to reach out to SAPKO-C.E. for any questions you might have on this subject or if you require any other assistance.