Cruise line brand Royal Caribbean has revealed that it has received a lot of interest for its recently-launched ‘mock cruise’ programme. In fact, some 1,00,000 volunteers have already signed up for the same, president and CEO Michael Bayley wrote on Facebook.
“And just like that…100,000 people have volunteered. We can’t wait to start this next phase with you all! (sic)”
What are mock cruises?
Travelling around the world, and even within countries, was stopped for the longest time this year. But now, many countries have slowly started opening up, in order to revive their travel industry. The ‘mock cruise’ programme is essentially to test the efficacy of cruise ships. According to The Independent, these will be trial sailings with volunteer guests, which will demonstrate the effectiveness of COVID-19 health and safety measures on board ships.
In fact, mock cruise is a part of a series of steps mandated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to get the cruise industry running again in the US. At the moment, there’s no clear date for when cruises will resume. It was previously reported that CDC had relaxed some restrictions, letting its ‘no-sail’ order expire.
In its stead, it issued a ‘Framework for Conditional Sailing Order for Cruise Ships’ November 1 onward. It is not to be confused with full liberty for ships to sail out and in with passengers as if the pandemic is over, but that there are some conditions in place for their safe operation. The sailing had stopped following a no-sail order back in March 14, 2020.
In a public Facebook post, Bayley wrote about the mock cruise programme on November 12. “As many know from reading the CDC conditional sale order we will be operating trial sailings with volunteer guests. It has been so gratifying to receive literally thousands of emails and calls offering to volunteer. To make things easier and keep everyone up to speed, we’ve set up a Volunteers of the Seas group! Here you’ll find out all the next steps and can sign up to learn more.”
The Independent reports that volunteers for the mock cruise must be over the age of 18. And they would get to sail for free and could also travel with friends and family members. The first sail is likely to be ‘nowhere’, with the cruise ship departing and returning to the same port without passengers disembarking anywhere during the trip.
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