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Why adaptability is key for itinerary planning

Guests will be able to visit eight ports while sailing aboard the Silver Shadow in Iceland

Silversi Cruises, leading the global reboot of a particularly prestigious cruise, is happy to be back in service with four ships in 2021: Silver Moon in Greece and a source of money in the Galapagos Islands in June, followed by Silver Muse in Alaska and Silver Shadow in Iceland. July.

“All return routes to the service have been specifically designed to adapt to the plague conditions and they do not follow the original routes published,” says Frederick Petrie, senior route planning director at Silversea Cruises.

“Just touching one country on each trip (two for Silver Moon, which also visits Cyprus) allowed us to concentrate our efforts on fewer national regulations and adapt our Covid-19 protocols to each country. It was very helpful in facilitating a restart of a cruise.”

The planning of these cruises has led to some interesting adjustments to the route. “Visiting just one country gives us the option to include new or less visited destinations and offer in-depth searches,” Petrie explains.

Silver Shadow visits a total of eight ports during its 10-day Icelandic cruises, while Silver Moon visits smaller ports like Amorgos and Paros in the Cyclades Islands. To accommodate the temporary waiver of the Alaska Passenger Service Act, Silvers has adapted the regular seven-day cruises in Seward / Vancouver to 10- and 11-day cruises outside of Seattle at the Silver Muse, allowing it to add more ports. Prolonged cruises also allow its guests to reach the glaciers of Alaska.

After the initial service return phase, Silversi plans to reconnect to published posts as soon as possible.

“However, planning will be affected because each state will act according to its own regulations, which can also vary by province within the same state,” Petrie says. “For example, in some countries cruise ships are still banned, some have banned passengers from some countries, others have limits on the number of people allowed in groups, and so on. And we must remember that the situation is always evolving – when we define a realistic route, we are never sure we can operate it. As such, with the start of the cruise. ”

Silversi usually works two or three years ahead to develop and sell its travels, but the plague has forced the company to work on an entirely new production for the next few weeks or months.

“It definitely forced us to be very flexible and responsive,” says Petrie. “Without a possible forecast of when the future will bring us all back to our previous normalcy, it is very challenging to make the right decision. That is why we need local authorities and partners to be very proactive and keep us updated on all specific regulations, even though they also depend on the rapid volatility of the situation.”

Meanwhile, Silversi monitors the situation daily and continues to develop new scenarios. “Given that our guests are mostly from the US and UK and that our regular itineraries touch many different countries, we find ourselves facing a huge jigsaw puzzle,” says Petrie.

For example, operating Silver Moon in Greece was relatively easy, but Silversea’s Mediterranean voyages this fall will include talks in several countries, each with its own regulations.

“Greece will not accept direct cruises from Turkey, and Malta will only accept a maximum of two people ashore for each group of trips,” says Petrie. “Portugal will require an inspection at least 12 hours before each call. Monaco is closed for the entire 2021. Season. Italy restricts entry into the territory to certain nationalities. Turkey is not recommended by the US and British governments. And when our guests in the UK return home, they may have to be quarantined depending on the countries they visited during the voyage. ”

Silversi is proud to be a luxury destination-focused cruise line, but the plague has introduced new and frustrating restrictions on its route portfolio in the past almost unlimited, says Petrie. “While the strength and resilience of our industry has been proven during this period, we had to stay diverse to adjust our plans if necessary. Last year, our challenge was to find a place where we could place the ships. Now, our challenge is to select the available ports to restart. Our activities and get our guests back on board. ”

This article was first published in the Fall / Winter issue of Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may have changed since then.

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