Aqua Expeditions, the global leader in luxury small ship expeditions, will begin welcoming back travelers aboard its ocean explorer yacht Aqua Blu. Local Indonesian residents will be able to set sail beginning August 2020, while international travelers can expect to depart from September 12, 2020 with enhanced health and safety protocols. These strict measures will be implemented across the company’s vessels in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
At the onset of the recent global pandemic, Aqua Expeditions took early, swift and decisive action to maintain strict antiviral hygiene standards on all three vessels in operation. As a result, the company experienced no cases of COVID-19 onboard any of its vessels.
“Today, more than ever, our employees, customers and partners need reassurance of our ability to offer them the safest experience possible,” says Francesco Galli Zugaro, CEO and founder of Aqua Expeditions. “It is our duty to anticipate needs and respond to health and safety requirements by adhering to the highest standards.”
Aqua Expeditions river vessels and ocean explorer yacht accommodate a maximum of 30 to 40 guests, allowing for the tailor-made experience it is known for. Its small ship capacity provides ample personal space and constant safe physical distancing among passengers and crew.
All vessels comply with the health and safety standards of the International Safety Management (ISM), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
Out of an abundance of caution and as part of its uncompromising commitment to the health, safety and wellbeing of the crew, staff and guests, Aqua Expeditions has adopted additional measures to address guests’ concerns about travel, including:
- Conducting health screenings and pre-boarding medical evaluations for all crew and staff.
- Introducing a pre-embarkation Health and Safety assessment to be completed by all guests before embarkation.
- Eliminating crew changes during the entire duration of each itinerary, reducing the risk of potential outside exposure.
- Conducting daily crew health checks to ensure all health concerns are actively addressed and monitored.
- Intensifying disinfection standards by developing a combination of manual and contactless disinfection procedures.
- Cleaning and sanitizing cabins three times a day, ensuring the highest level of hygiene standards.
- Providing face masks, latex gloves and hand sanitizer to all crew and guests as required in accordance with each destination’s regulations and guest preference.
- Introducing a Health and Safety Officer aboard each ship whose responsibility is the wellbeing of each crew and guest, as well as the proper compliance and implementation of safety standards.
The dining rooms aboard each vessel already take into account physical distancing but have been reconfigured to further create a dining environment where guests can enjoy their experience without worrying about health risks. This includes greater flexibility and options for table seating and spacing, as well as two sittings for each meal in the dining room.
Aqua Expeditions has implemented a global food safety policy via an internal auditing system, following HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) principles for cold chain supply protocols, supervised by a qualified food safety officer. Production kitchens around the world are staffed by highly trained personnel who utilize international best practices in sanitation and quality control, as well as usage of products to secure food safety such as antimicrobial fruit and vegetable treatments.
Aqua Expeditions’ small group shore excursions are an integral part of the brand’s ethos. With no more than 10 guests per group, the excursions offer personalized, engaging experiences. The Aqua Expeditions team cleans and disinfects all excursion equipment, prior to and after use. On the Aqua Blu, which sails around East Indonesia, scuba and snorkel gear is distributed to guests to keep for their exclusive use throughout their voyage.
Lastly, each Aqua Expeditions ship is flagged in the country in which it operates, reassuring guests that they are always allowed to disembark in any port or anchorage location on an itinerary.
A recognized global leader in luxury small-ship expeditions, Aqua Expeditions explores the worldߣs most wildlife- and culture-rich destinations aboard best-in-class vessels of stylish contemporary design. Venturing into unspoiled sanctuaries to witness the beauty of nature and wildlife, Aqua Expeditions sails to remote destinations with minimized human interaction, secluded from crowds. Expect tailored five-star itineraries, a highly exclusive 1:1 crew-to-guest ratio with personalized service, a cuisine experience crafted by acclaimed chefs, and flexible, expert-guided adventure activities and excursions for all ages, with a maximum of 30-40 guests per ship. Aqua Expeditions currently operate river explorations on the Amazon (Peru), the Mekong (Cambodia and Vietnam), and coastal yacht voyages to Komodo National Park, Ambon and the Spice Islands, as well as Raja Ampat (East Indonesia). Its fourth vessel, the Aqua Nera, makes its maiden voyage this fall in the Peruvian Amazon.