As Morski writes on the 4th of November, 2020, as announcements for the 2021 cruise season seem encouraging, a new home port in Dubrovnik has been agreed upon, which should be put into proper function at the beginning of the next tourist season, according to a report from local portal Dubrovacki Dnevnik.
It refers to a ship belonging to the Ritz Carlton Yacht Collection, as was confirmed the director of the Dubrovnik Port Authority, Blaz Pezo, explaining that it is a newly built ship which is 190 metres long and can accommodate up to 300 passengers, which will slot in excellently with the encouraging announcements for the 2021 cruise season.
”It’s a small luxury cruiser that would come to Dubrovnik for the first time in 2021 through the home port arrangement. So far, two ports of call have been agreed, and we expect additional announcements soon,” said Blaz Pezo, adding that in addition to this company, home port operations in Dubrovnik will be performed by ships that have previously used the Port of Dubrovnik (Gruz) as a home port such as Marella Explorer 2, La Belle de l’Adriatique, Crystal Esprit, Sea Dream I, Sea Dream II and Viking Star. The ship Evrima should arrive in Dubrovnik for the first time in mid-June 2021.
Home port as a strategic commitment
”It’s crucial for us to work on the preparations for next season and a lot of that is already well underway. We want everything to go smoothly, so we’re in intensive contact with companies. Home port operations are our strategic commitment and we want to develop this because these are the passengers who most often pass through our airport and stay in our hotels. These aren’t the one-day visitors upon whom the most blame was placed in terms of creating congestion on Dubrovnik’s roads during the summer months. In this context, we’re developing this story with the Ritz Carlton ship,” explained the director of the Dubrovnik Port Authority.
Since the beginning of the pandemic in the world of tourism, cruise companies have suffered the most, so maintaining people’s state of health on board is the most important topic that everyone in the sector is now engaged in discussing. The comprehensive health and safety protocol was first introduced by MSC Cruises this summer, whose cruise ships sail the Mediterranean. The new procedures included universal testing for COVID-19 for all guests and crew members before boarding, visits to the coast in each destination only in an organised excursion, as well as the introduction of a “COVID-19 protection plan”. Hygienic measures, social distancing, and the obligation of wearing masks have all been fully strengthened for the upcoming 2021 cruise season.
Monitoring the unfolding epidemiological situation
”All those companies have introduced strict controls and protocols. The level of protection and safety has been raised to the maximum, and they’ve introduced new ventilation systems, concluded contracts with various health institutions, and even provided spaces for self-isolation for those who are suspected of having contracted SARS-CoV-2. Measures and procedures were introduced on board ships to ensure the highest level of healthcare, and the possibility of spreading the COVID-19 infection was minimised. All this increases the expenses of shipping companies, so their salaries are lower, but the worst thing for them would be if nothing at all happens,” noted Pezo.
According to him, the Port of Dubrovnik will be informed in time about the regulations and details of each company separately. Pezo pointed out that the announcements for the 2021 cruise season are, as things currently stand, excellent.
”We have information from companies and associations that they’ll make maximum efforts to develop health/epidemiological measures. We’ll agree on the details with the local civil protection headquarters when we get closer to the time. It remains on us to monitor the epidemiological situation as that will be crucial when it comes to the making of any decisions,” concluded the director of the Dubrovnik Port Authority, Blaz Pezo, for the aforementioned Dubrovnik daily.