BV supports PONANT fleet re-activation

2020-06-27T05:59:59+00:00 June 27th, 2020|Safety|

Class society Bureau Veritas (BV) is working with cruise ship operator PONANT to help implement effective infection prevention measures.

With a fleet of small expedition style ships, PONANT will benefit from the ‘Restart your Business with BV’ suite of solutions developed for passenger ship clients (see ICSI website 30th May), the class society claimed.

‘Restart your Business with BV’ for passenger ships meets the specific requirements by addressing biological risks, posed by COVID-19 and other infections and provides procedures and measures to protect passengers, company personnel, and other stakeholders, as operations resume, helping ensure that appropriate health and safety standards are put in place.

Matthieu de Tugny, Executive Vice President, Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore, commented: “Bureau Veritas has been working across many industries to help develop new standards both with and for clients, in order to provide assurance to stakeholders and regulators that the risks of infection are being mitigated effectively.

“This service developed for passenger ships includes a framework of standards and best practices. Compliance with which is demonstrated by our new Bureau Veritas label, SafeGuard. The intention is that the label is visible and helps provide confidence to all on board and in related operations ashore,” he said.

The SafeGuard label is awarded when it can be satisfactorily proven that the operator has addressed health, safety and hygiene requirements, has properly implemented necessary procedures, has trained the crew and all employees on board and has, as well, agreed procedures with ports and terminals for port operations.

PONANT COO, Frédéric Gallois, said: “The small size of our vessels, the medical infrastructure, and teams on board, our protocols and the professionalism of our crews ensured that there were no cases of COVID-19 contamination throughout the PONANT fleet.

“To prepare for the resumption of our activity, we are pleased to collaborate with Bureau Veritas to deploy this SafeGuard label, highlighting the excellence of our protocols,” he said.

de Tugny added: “‘Restart your Business with BV’ is a service helping our clients to protect people and perfectly reflects our specific role and mission as a classification society. We know PONANT and their ships very well and are very pleased to help them with their fleet reactivation.”

Ponant aims to be back in service on the French coast next month and has announced extensive new protocols to complement the already existing hygiene and sanitary measures in place.

The strategy will include strict measures for guests, crew members and goods entering the ships and enhanced on board safety protocols, the company said.

Ponant said it is collaborating with the IHU (Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire) Méditerranée Infection of Marseille, one of the world’s leading centres in the field of infectious diseases, as well as with the Battalion of Marine Firemen of Marseille.

In addition to strict cleaning procedures advised by the US Centres for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organisation (WHO), implementation of social distancing requirements and enhanced employee training.

The new measures include:

• Prior to boarding, all guests and crew members will have to present a signed doctor’s medical form, complete a health questionnaire and undergo a health check and screening by the ship’s medical staff.
• All luggage will pass through a disinfecting zone by sanitising mist or UV lamps.
• Surgical and cloth masks, disinfecting wipes and hand sanitiser bottles will be provided to passengers.

On board Experience
• 100% fresh air in staterooms, through non-recirculating air conditioning systems. Ventilated air will be renewed in the common areas at least five times per hour.
• Restaurant layouts have been redesigned and will only offer contactless a la carte dining options.
• Public spaces, such as the fitness room and theatre will be capped at 50% occupancy.
• Hourly disinfecting of high-touch points, such as door handles and handrails, with peroxide, which eliminates 100% of germs and bacteria
• Crew members are required to wear a mask or protective visor when in contact with guests. Guests will be asked to wear a mask in hallway corridors and will be recommended in public spaces.
• Thanks to large investments over several years, each vessel is equipped with advanced hospital equipment, including mobile laboratory terminals that enable testing on site for infectious or tropical diseases. Advanced diagnostic equipment, such as ultrasound, radiology and blood biological analysis is available fleet-wide, while a doctor and a nurse are present on every sailing.
• All ships will have five vacant staterooms should guests need to isolate.

Shore Excursions
• Zodiacs will be thoroughly disinfected after each stopover.
• Re-boarding after shore excursions will only be permitted after temperature checks and disinfection procedures (individuals and personal belongings).