Health & Safety

SailSafe

Our number one priority is the health and safety of our guests, crew and communities we visit and we have enhanced this commitment with our SailSAFETM health and safety program. We have developed a robust and comprehensive health and safety strategy with new and enhanced protocols to create multiple layers of protection against COVID-19. Initial voyages will operate with fully vaccinated guests and crew*, combined with preventative health and safety measures which we believe will provide a uniquely safe and healthy vacation experience. Our science-backed plan for a safe and healthy return to cruising was developed in conjunction with a diverse group of globally recognized experts and will be continuously evaluated and modified using the latest science and technology

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Top Public Health and Scientific Experts Are Guiding Our Path Forward

Healthy Sail Panel

In collaboration with fellow cruise industry leader Royal Caribbean Group we assembled the Healthy Sail Panel (HSP), a group of leading experts to help inform the industry in the development of new and enhanced cruise health and safety standards in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The HSP is co-chaired by Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Governor Mike Leavitt, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The HSP’s members are globally recognized experts from various disciplines, including public health, infectious disease, biosecurity, hospitality and maritime operations.

In September, the HSP provided its comprehensive recommendations in an over 65-page report including 74 detailed best practices across five areas of focus to improve health and safety for passengers and crew and reduce the risk of infection and spread of COVID-19 on cruise ships. The HSP’s recommendations have been used to inform our company specific SailSAFE health and safety program. For more details download the full report here and recommendation infographic here.

SailSAFE Global Health and Wellness Council

The SailSAFE Global Health and Wellness Council (The Council) was formed to provide expert advice on the implementation, compliance with and continuous improvement of the SailSAFE program. The Council will complement the work of the Healthy Sail Panel and continuously evaluate and identify ways to improve health and safety standards, utilizing the best technologies and information available.

The Council is cross-functional, diverse and extensively experienced, comprised of six experts at the forefront of their fields and led by Chairman of the Council, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

To learn more about the formation of the SailSAFE Global Health and Wellness Council and view the bios of our experts here


Meet our Team of Public Health and Scientific
Experts.

Scott Gottlieb, M.D., Co-Chair HSP, Chairman of the SailSAFE Council

Scott Gottlieb, M.D., Co-Chair HSP, Chairman of the SailSAFE Council

Dr. Scott Gottlieb was the Commissioner of the FDA from 2017-2019 and served as the agency’s Deputy Commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs from 2005-2007. He is a physician trained in internal medicine, a contributor at CNBC and is currently a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

Governor Mike Leavitt, Co-Chair HSP

Governor Mike Leavitt, Co-Chair HSP

Mike Leavitt was a three-term Governor of Utah and served as Administrator of the EPA and Secretary of HHS under President George W. Bush. He is the founder of Leavitt Partners, a firm that provides investment support, data and analytics, member-based alliances, and direct services to clients to support decision-making strategies in the value economy.

Helene Gayle, M.D., M.P.H., HSP Panelist

Helene Gayle, M.D., M.P.H., HSP Panelist

Dr. Helene Gayle is CEO of the Chicago Community Trust. Dr. Gayle spent 20 years with the Centers for Disease Control. She worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, directing programs pertaining to global health issues. Dr. Gayle serves on boards including The Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive Company, Brookings Institution, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and the Economic Club of Chicago. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Public Health Association, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Julie Gerberding, M.D., M.P.H., HSP Panelist

Julie Gerberding, M.D., M.P.H., HSP Panelist

Dr. Julie Gerberding is EVP/Chief Patient Officer for Merck and a world-renowned public health expert. Prior to joining Merck, she served as the Director of the CDC from 2002-2009. While at the agency, she led more than 40 emergency responses against crises such as anthrax, SARS, bird flu, food-borne outbreaks and natural disasters. Previously, Dr. Gerberding was a tenured faculty member in Infectious Diseases at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF). She continues as an Adjunct Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCSF.

Stephen Ostroff, M.D., HSP Panelist and SailSAFE Council Member

Stephen Ostroff, M.D., HSP Panelist and SailSAFE Council Member

Dr. Stephen Ostrofff was Acting Commissioner of the FDA from 2015 to 2016, and before that served as the FDA’s chief scientist. He joined FDA in 2013 as Chief Medical Officer in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition and senior public health advisor to FDA’s Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine. Prior to that, he served as deputy director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases at the CDC. He retired from the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service at the rank of Rear Admiral (Asst. Surgeon General). He was also the director of the Bureau of Epidemiology and acting physician general of Pennsylvania.

Steven Hinrichs, M.D., HSP Panelist

Steven Hinrichs, M.D., HSP Panelist

Dr. Steven Hinrichs is Professor and Chair of the Department of Pathology and Microbiology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, former Director of the University of Nebraska Center for Biosecurity and the former Director of the Nebraska Public Health Laboratory (NPHL). He is the principal investigator of multiple national awards from the Association of Public Health Laboratories, CDC and DoD for the development of an outreach program to extend training and expertise in the early recognition of biological warfare agents. He has published greater than 180 papers in basic science and medical journals.

Michael Osterholm, M.D. Ph.D., HSP Panelist

Michael Osterholm, M.D. Ph.D., HSP Panelist

Dr. Michael Osterholm is one of the foremost experts in public health, infectious disease and biosecurity. As director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research at the University of Minnesota, he is an international leader on pandemics preparedness. He is a consultant to the WHO, NIH, FDA, DoD and CDC. From 2001 to 2005, he served as an advisor to the Secretary of U.S. Health and Human Services on issues related to bioterrorism and public health preparedness. From 2018 to 2019, he served as a Science Envoy for Health Security on behalf of the U.S. State Department. He has also been appointed to the National Science Advisory Board on Biosecurity and the World Economic Forum’s working group on pandemics.

William Rutala, M.D., M.S., M.P.H., HSP Panelist

William Rutala, M.D., M.S., M.P.H., HSP Panelist

Dr. William Rutala has extensive experience managing a variety of diseases and studying epidemiology and virology, particularly managing outbreaks and emerging pathogens. His research interests are the etiology and prevention of healthcare-associated infections with a focus on disinfection and sterilization of reusable medical and surgical devices. Other areas of research include the contribution of the hospital environment to disease transmission, hand hygiene, preventing transmission of infectious agents, including multiply-drug resistant organisms, prevention of healthcare-associated Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, investigation of healthcare-associated outbreaks, and new and emerging pathogens.

Kate Walsh, Ph.D., HSP Panelist and SailSAFE Council Member

Kate Walsh, Ph.D., HSP Panelist and SailSAFE Council Member

Dr. Kate Walsh is Dean and E.M. Statler Professor at the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, a leader in education for the global hospitality industry. A professor of management, Dr. Walsh’s primary research is in organizational service design, leadership, and the strategic investments of human capital. She has over twenty years of academic experience. In addition, Dr. Walsh has held several executive positions in hospitality human resources and is a former New York State certified public accountant. Dr. Walsh serves on the board of the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

John Y. Mason, SailSAFE Council Member

John Y. Mason, SailSAFE Council Member

John Mason is the founder, CTO, and Chairman of The Sabre Companies, a group of operating entities specializing in the generation and application of chlorine dioxide. In his 35+ year career, his core mission has been to minimize microbial contamination risk to both human and non-human health by developing value-adding technology for several industries. Since 2007, John and Sabre have worked extensively with several government agencies on various decontamination projects across Agricultural Production, Food Processing, Healthcare, and Defense, as well as continued work in the Oil and Gas Industry.

Phyllis Kozarsky, M.D., HSP Panelist and SailSAFE Council Member

Phyllis Kozarsky, M.D., HSP Panelist and SailSAFE Council Member

Dr. Phyllis Kozarsky is a Professor Emerita in infectious diseases at Emory University and has been a clinician, researcher, and teacher for over 35 years. She was the catalyst behind the building of Emory’s serious communicable disease unit that cares for patients with highly transmissible diseases such as the Ebola virus. Dr. Kozarsky has been a consultant to the CDC for over 20 years including in the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, where she was chief of travelers’ health and the long-time editor of Health Information for International Travel. She has received several honors and awards from U.S. Health and Human Services and the CDC for her involvement in responses to outbreaks such as anthrax, SARS, and H1N1. Dr. Kozarsky has also been a medical consultant for several Fortune 500 companies and the White House medical unit. Dr. Kozarsky was a founder of the International Society of Travel Medicine and the GeoSentinel Surveillance Network, where she is the senior advisor.

Robin Lindsay, HSP Panelist

Robin Lindsay, HSP Panelist

Robin Lindsay is the EVP of Vessel Operations for NCLH. He was appointed to this position in January 2015. In this role, Lindsay is responsible for Marine & Technical Operations, Hotel Operations, Entertainment, Product Development, Port & Destination Services, Fleet Personnel, Out Islands and New Build & Ship Refurbishment. Lindsay served in a similar capacity as EVP of Vessel Operations at Prestige Cruise Holdings, the parent company of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Lindsay's history with the company goes back to the inception of Oceania Cruises in 2003, where he joined as SVP, Hotel Operations and Vessel Operations. Lindsay earned his B.S. degree from Louisiana Tech University.

Captain Patrik Dahlgren, HSP Panelist

Captain Patrik Dahlgren, HSP Panelist

Captain Patrik Dahlgren is the SVP of Global Marine Operations and Fleet Optimization for RCL. Patrik's seagoing experiences began as a bridge officer with tugboats, yachts and an array of cargo vessels and ferries. He rose through the ranks with over 15 years onboard Royal Caribbean International cruise ships, with his last seagoing command as Master of Oasis of the Seas and Quantum of the Seas. He was the lead contributor to the Quantum of the Seas development, which received the esteemed RINA (Royal Institute of Naval Architects) award for its innovation and largest contribution to maritime safety.

Multiple Layers of Protection to SailSAFE

Our robust science-backed SailSAFE health and safety protocols have mandatory vaccinations at its cornerstone* combined with dozens of additional preventative protocols. Our SailSAFE program is centered around three key pillars 1) Safety for our Guests and Crew 2) Safety Aboard Our Ships, 3) Safety Ashore. Underscoring these pillars are thorough and effective mobilization and response plans.

See How We’re Sailing Safely

Safeguarding Public Health Aboard Our Ships

Onboard Public Health and Sanitation

We take great effort to maintain a healthy, safe and clean environment and have a stringent 24/7/365 public health and safety program in place. Crew are trained in best practices and to comply with applicable regulations and each ship will have a dedicated Public Health Officer on board. We work closely with public health agencies and government officials around the world, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), to not only meet strict guidelines but aim to exceed them to protect our guests, crew and communities we visit. Our program is also validated through numerous unannounced public health inspections carried out on board our ships by multiple government agencies.

Outbreak Prevention and Response

Our Outbreak Prevention and Response Plan mitigates and helps prevent the spread of communicable diseases like the coronavirus, norovirus and influenza-like illness. We consistently update our procedures to successfully meet new challenges in our rapidly changing health environment. More importantly, our strategies are designed to be proactive to prevent communicable diseases from entering the ship environment.

Onboard Medical Services

Each of our ships has a state-of-the-art onboard medical center, staffed with highly qualified doctors and nurses, to provide care for both guests and crew while at sea. We follow guidelines for our medical facilities provided by CLIA in conjunction with the American College of Emergency Physicians. All ships have defibrillators, cardiac monitors, X-ray machines and lab equipment. Our onboard medical teams work closely with our shoreside team including our Chief Medical Officer.

Continual Public Health Training Culture

We created an interactive public health training platform for crew members to learn how to maintain a strong public health culture. We also continually provide health training, including summits featuring public health experts.

Safety at Sea

We operate all of our ships to meet and exceed the requirements of Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and International Safety Management (ISM) Code for the Safe Operation of Ships – the international safety standards which govern the cruise industry. Our ships are audited by a recognized organization to verify compliance. Our ships are flagged/registered in the Marshall Islands, United States and The Bahamas, so each ship also has a flag state inspection by their respective flag state. Every ship has a resident Safety Officer, with experience ranging between 10 and 20 years in various roles at sea.

*Limited exceptions may be made pursuant to valid medical or religious exemptions.