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SailSAFE Frequently Asked Questions

14 August 2020

1. We have arranged land tours and will be travelling in the weeks leading up to our cruise. SailSafe states that we need to visit our GP 1 week prior to departure but this will not be possible. Will we be able to board?

In order to minimise health risk, we advise against touring prior to joining a Coral Expeditions voyage. In order to prevent any infection onboard and to protect guests and crew, we strongly recommend minimal public interactions in the week following the GP visit and prior to embarkation. In the event you have unavoidable pre-cruise travel plans, it is very important that these plans incorporate your medical screening obligations in order to travel with Coral Expeditions. Guests could see a GP at any available destination possible during their pre travel – it does not have to be your home-based GP. On prior application, Coral Expeditions may consider an allowance that this GP visit occurs in the period of 72 hours prior to travel. Guests who have not completed a PCR test and obtained a negative result within 72 hours of travel will not be permitted to board and travel under any circumstance.

2. We are flying from Singapore to Darwin and then have 5 days holidaying in Darwin before the cruise so will be unable to self-isolate for a 7-day period before the cruise. What are the consequences of this?

Our SailSAFE plan recommends a period of self-isolation which lessens the risks associated with virus contact pre cruise. This will be self-monitored by guests and we encourage guests to use great care and common sense by following the local / regional recommendations at the time and relative to the location. In this example, the GP visits and PCR testing can be done in Darwin and guests should follow local Darwin health advice regarding COVID management practices. Guests should avoid known virus hotspots and should avoid mass gatherings or high-risk activities whilst also using hygiene equipment such as masks and practicing hand washing, sanitisation and social distancing.

3. Exactly how far in advance will we need to be at the port beforehand because we are organising flights now using flight credit before it expires?

Guests should plan to arrive in the destination of embarkation no later than 12 noon on the day prior to scheduled cruise departure. Our company check in and final health and travel risk screening will occur between 3pm and 5pm on the day prior and is mandatory for guest travel.

4. As our cruise is travelling across state and territory borders, can you please advise should the Government restrictions still apply to these states, will the cruise be bypassing these locations?

At this stage, only our Australian Circumnavigation and Sydney to Hobart voyages call on ports in known domestic hotspots. Coral Expeditions will be monitoring the local and regional health and travel advice on a daily basis and we will avoid any shore interactions at destinations that are not allowed and/or pose a recognised risk. This may indeed include changing planned shore itinerary to avoid risk. As always, alternate expedition experiences will be offered. We will comply with all applicable Federal and State regulatory advice and rules at all times.

5. Do you recommend my clients arrange a Covid test prior to departure and if so do you require a copy of the test results, prior to arrival?

All Guests MUST undertake a PCR test in the period between 72 and 24 hours before the published embarkation time of travel and they must receive and be able to prove a negative result to this test in order to travel. Coral Expeditions will not accept antigen tests or others with low reliability. Failure to undertake this test will result in a refusal to travel with no exceptions in any circumstance. It is unlikely that a PCR test result can reliably be obtained within 24 hours so we recommend that this is not left until the last day. As an example, a test taken 78 hours prior to boarding time will not be accepted.

6. Further to the conversation I had with you can you please check whether passengers could take Covid test in Brisbane prior to departure as they arrive in Darwin just one day before the cruise?

The Covid 19 PCR swab test can be undertaken in any location prior to travel as long as the timing of that test is between 72 and 24 hours of the published embarkation time. Coral Expeditions will have recommended partners in key embarkation ports who can assist with PCR testing and can book appointments for guests with prior notice. Costs associated with this are the guest responsibility. It is unlikely that a result will be turned around in port of embarkation in under 24 hours, so we strongly recommend this be done with sufficient notice.

7. Details of procedure should Covid 19 be found on ship after embarkation requested. Would they return to port, take affected passengers off and continue or is there other protocol?

Any guests or crew showing any symptoms will be immediately isolated on board and monitored and by the shipboard medical specialist. We will follow existing medical protocol to minimise risk to passengers and crew. Our onboard medical staff and crew will liaise with regional health authorities and follow their direction and protocols. This may involve further testing, approved passenger / crew offload or a return to port for the ship dependant on the situation.

8. How often are the crew tested and are they checked prior to each departure?

Crew are required to undertake a PCR test between 72 and 24 hours prior to embarkation for each voyage they undertake. We note that crew will often be at sea for multiple voyages back to back ( a roster swing ) and their testing requirements will mean that they are tested prior to joining each swing. Crew are always required to follow all elements of the SailSAFE plan.

9. You mentioned that each cruise will now have a doctor on board, are they available for other medical services?

All voyages will carry a medical specialist on board. Initially this will be either a medical doctor or a registered nurse. They will be on hand to attend to any illness or issue experienced on the voyage. They will not be available for general or non-voyage specific health consultations. They will be supported by our medically trained crew.

10. How often is your plan reviewed and will we be advised of any changes?

As the science, situation and health issues are constantly evolving, our SailSAFE plan is monitored weekly and adjusted to represent best practice. We have an ongoing engagement with our health specialist RESPOND GLOBAL who meet with us weekly with key advice and updates. We encourage all guests to monitor our website for the most up to date travel advice and to be attentive to updates sent by Coral Expeditions to ensure that they are complying with the most recent versions as we evolve and improve operations.

11. What happens to my cruise fare and travel expenses if I am not permitted to board the voyage because I have tested positive or have failed to be able to undertake my GP screening and my PCR test.

In these instances, Coral Expeditions will assess the circumstances and will provide a future cruise credit to the value of 100% of the cruise fare paid. Guests will be responsible for their own travel and incidentals incurred in getting to and from departure ports and for this reason we implore guests and travel agents to plan.

12. What happens if we have a Covid 19 case on board and the cruise is required to return to port? Will we be permitted to return to port by authorities and quarantined?

In the unlikely event of this occurring, Coral Expeditions will work directly with regional authorities to manage the situation in line with our safety plan and health protocols. As an Australian flagged vessel with local crew and guests, we will be permitted to return to port. It is likely that all guests and crew would then be required to follow local rules regarding a place and period of quarantine. Any associated costs will be at the guest expense as is standard industry practice. The vessel would undergo deep sanitisation and clearance before any further travel. Guests would be issued with future cruise travel credits.

Can’t find your question above? Contact our friendly reservations team who will be happy to help.

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