May 6, 2020 – Hornblower Cruises and Events, the leading on-water hospitality operator, has expanded its industry-defining SafeCruise by Hornblower program to deliver even higher standards of cleanliness on board its vessels in the US, Canada and the UK. The enhancements build on already stringent sanitation processes, while introducing increased measures to address concerns and provide reassurance in the current pandemic environment.
“At Hornblower, we have always prioritized health and safety above all else, and our SafeCruise program ensures we deliver on that promise each, and every day,“ said Terry MacRae, CEO Hornblower Group. “We want our guests and crew members to know that when we resume operations, we will be ready to welcome them back to a safe and clean environment.”
Established cleaning processes already address a broad spectrum of viruses and includes everything from hand-washing hygiene, thorough disinfection of food preparation surfaces, alongside ongoing sanitization of all areas before, during and after service. Added to this, SafeCruise by Hornblower follows the most up to date FDA, CDC and PHAC guidelines and introduces more health-driven measures at every touch point.
To prepare for restarting its portfolio of amazing experiences, Hornblower has unpacked every aspect of the guest journey and incorporated decades-long operational know-how to ensure it meets, and exceeds, anticipated requirements for physical distancing and sanitation. Specific focus areas include:
High touch, high focus sanitization: Increasing cleaning frequency pre, during and after sailings, as well as extra disinfection of the most frequently touched areas like handrails and doorknobs, tables, bars, wait stations, galley and equipment using products approved by the EPA to specifically guard against COVID-19 and other viruses.
Contactless check in: Revising boarding and ticketing procedures to allow for social distancing and touchless entry, including electronic delivery of tickets whenever possible. Boarding times will also be extended to enable arriving guests to maintain social distance.
Pre-boarding health checks: Taking everyone’s temperature before boarding, alongside mandatory health screening of all on board team members each day.
Ample space inside and outside: Reducing capacity on all vessels, while making changes to the layout of dining and seating spaces – removing tables and restricting usage of certain booths and seats – to ensure a minimum 6-foot distance between guests / parties as required.
Guest-accessible anti-bacterial hand sanitizer: Providing stations at primary entrances and key high traffic areas for all to use. Team members will also be required to wash their hands every 30 minutes.
Adapting on board service delivery: Dishes served will be covered with lids – removed at the table, and buffet stations will feature a protective shield, while a buffet attendant will assist and serve each guest. Single-use menus will be provided on every cruise and discarded (recycled) afterwards.
Adjusting frequencies on transportation services: Reducing offerings and departures to allow for additional vessel sanitization between water taxi and ferry departures.
Equipping team members with the tools they need: In addition to providing appropriate personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves, on board team members are also undergoing enhanced training programs on hygiene education, including disinfection and sanitation practices.
While guests can expect the same high standards and welcoming service, team members will be mindful of unnecessary person-to-person contact, including shaking hands, and wear appropriate PPE when interacting with guests.
With guest spaces spread over several levels, the Hornblower fleet is flexible in a way that many restaurants, bars or venues are not. In addition to expansive inside decks, most vessels feature open upper decks, providing plentiful outdoor space and fresh air. And there is enough room for everyone to stay safely apart.
Hornblower expects to keep these measures in place for the foreseeable future, continuously evaluating how best to proceed given the fluidity of the current situation.
About SafeCruise by Hornblower
Established over 25 years ago, SafeCruise by Hornblower delivers industry-defining standards for health, safety and security across the Hornblower Group of companies. Continuously improving, the program follows the most up to date government and industry guidelines and applies decades-long operational expertise to ensure a safe environment for guests and crew members, while maintaining Hornblower’s excellent record of safety. www.hornblower.com/safecruise
About Hornblower Cruises and Events
Hornblower Cruises and Events is North America’s largest and leading provider of water-based dining, sightseeing, private charter and transportation experiences. 22 coveted destinations are offered in the US, Canada and the UK, where the company employs over 4,300 shipmates who operate a fleet of 157 vessels serving upwards of 9.8 million guests each year. Hornblower Cruises and Events is a division of Hornblower Group which operates the official ferry boat service to Alcatraz Island, the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island Memorial Museum on behalf of the National Park Service as well as the New York NYC Ferry, American Queen Steamboat Company, Hornblower Niagara Cruises, Victory Cruises Lines and HMS Global Maritime. The expansive portfolio reflects almost a century of sector expertise and innovation – from pioneering the earliest river sightseeing tours and dining cruises to developing the revolutionary Hornblower Hybrid, a vessel powered by wind, solar and battery electricity. For more information visit www.hornblower.com