Cruises start again in the Canary Islands from November 5th
The Canary Islands Government has authorized several cruise companies to operate trips around the Islands between the ports of the archipelago as of November 5th, once the companies have committed to comply with the strict sanitary protocols agreed by the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Health, to guarantee the safety of both tourists and residents.
As reported by the Canary Islands Government, this brings to an end negotiations that began last summer when several cruise companies approached the Regional Executive as they were interested in activating the autumn-winter season of their cruises, all be it, just around the Canary Islands.
TUI Cruises and Hapag Lloyd have been the first to obtain this authorization, after both complying with all the health protocols established by the regional authorities. Among these conditions is that of providing an insurance policy to attend to possible incidents related to Covid-19 among the passengers, while they operate in the Canary Islands.
They have also been required to enter into agreements with hospitals and hotels on each of the islands, in case it is necessary to activate quarantine, in addition to a special hygiene plan for ships and the hiring of embarked health personnel.
Both ministries agree that it is essential to recover this type of tourism due to the economic activity it generates in the archipelago, have established a protocol that would guarantee all the health requirements related to the crisis generated by Covid-19.
After agreeing protocols in September, the Minister of Transport, Sebastián Franquis, and the Minister of Health, Blas Trujillo, communicated the conditions that the cruise companies have to adopt, to the presidents of the two port authorities of the islands. Finally, the cruise companies have activated these conditions and that is why the Canary Islands Health Service has authorized the reactivation of cruises between the islands.
The Canary Islands Government will only authorize this tourist activity to European companies, since the health protocols that the EU has established are among the most demanding in the world. In this sense, some five European cruise tourism companies have already shown interest in the Canarian winter circuit. In addition, cruise companies will be required to ensure that their ships do not exceed 60 or 70% of their capacity.
Another of the control measures set by the Government is to require cruise companies to test all travellers before arriving in the Canary Islands, with either a PCR or serological test, that shows that they are negative for coronavirus.
In addition, cruise passengers must fill out a form that includes all their movements in the last 15 days before arriving in the Islands to monitor them in case of an incident, and confirm if they have had any contact with people positive for coronavirus, or if they themselves have tested positive in a previous diagnostic test.
The first ships to cruise between the islands will be the Mein Schiff II, from TUI, based in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and the Europa II, from Hapag Lloyd, based in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.