health & safety

Health And Safety

Here at Windstar Cruises, the health and safety of everyone on board is a top priority. We are connected to industry experts and following guidelines by the regulatory authorities in every area of the world. Our team is implementing additional technologies that go beyond these requirements as part of our new Beyond Ordinary Care program.

We are making a multi-million dollar investment in our fleet to provide a healthy environment while sailing on a Windstar yacht. Hospital grade high-efficiency particulate (HEPA) filters along with a UV-C air zapping process (ultraviolet germicidal irradiation) are being installed on board all Windstar yachts.

This is a double whammy for extra protection.

The hospital grade UV-C process has been previously proven to kill coronaviruses, along with other microbes like mold, bacteria and fungi. After moving through the HEPA filter, the air is zapped by the light and any microbes not caught in the filter are destroyed. Hospitals use this same process to ensure clean air in their rooms. All yachts will have these significant upgrades completed to their HVAC system prior to sailing. Going the extra measure to add in the UV-C light is another example of our commitment to safety and providing a 180 degree from ordinary experience.

The Beyond Ordinary Care program is a multi-layered strategy with key hospital-grade elements: HEPA filters and UV-C ultraviolet germicidal irradiation to filter and disinfect the air, plus EvaClean with PurTab to sanitize all surfaces throughout the yacht. Additionally, Windstar has consulted with the epidemiology department at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Center to investigate appropriate layers of protection to create a safer experience for guests on Windstar’s yachts. Read more about our Beyond Ordinary Care program in our FAQs.

"Windstar’s holistic approach has multiple layers of safety at hospital grade standards, and when combined with responsible hygiene practices from guests, it’s the safest environment achievable with tech and science as we know it today,” said Dr. Michelle Barron, Medical Director of Infection Prevention at University of Colorado Hospital and Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, at University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Center. “When you're sailing on a Windstar yacht, your biggest worry should be how to avoid a sunburn, not getting COVID-19."

Here’s what we’re doing to keep you and our crew safe and healthy:

Pre-Departure

A healthy environment is a collaboration. Guests are asked to wear masks when traveling to the ship. Guests will receive a health screening prior to embarkation, and must present a negative COVID-19 test in order to board. Embarkation times will be staggered in order to ensure social distancing.

On Board

A layered approach to cleaning and sanitizing includes an increased frequency of cleaning public spaces and high touch points, hospital grade HEPA filters and UV-C light to disinfect the air, and electrostatic sprayers using a hospital-grade, EPA-approved sanitizing solution on surfaces and in public spaces.

Upgrades to the HVAC systems on board the ships include two different components. The first is the installation of HEPA filters proven to filter out illness and allergy causing components. The second component is the UV-C light which is proven to kill many different types of bacteria and viruses, including norovirus and coronavirus. Together, the components filter and sanitize the air for a high level of disinfection of the air supply. Learn more about these HVAC components and the electrostatic sprayers on the blog.

Additional medical staff will be on board, and crew will wear masks and receive daily health screenings. Onboard functions will be conducted without handshakes by our officers and crew, but do look out for our new “Windstar Wave.” We expect our guests to participate by adopting best hygiene practices while on board to keep themselves and the larger community protected.

Flexible Dining

Restaurant operations will be further personalized by our crew during every meal and expanded dining times will assist in reducing the number of guests seated at any one time. A variety of restaurant choices include outdoor dining on deck at Candles, Veranda, and new aboard the Star Plus Class yachts, Star Grill by Steven Raichlen.

Shore Excursions

Shore excursions will operate at a reduced capacity and masks should be worn. Tenders, motor coaches and smaller boats will operate at 50 percent capacity and be cleaned between each use. Staggered departures in port aid in social distancing.

Windstar's Multi-Layered Beyond Ordinary Care Program

Summary of Key Points

Pre-boarding

  • Wear masks during travel to ship
  • Health screening at terminal prior to embarkation
  • Present a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding
  • Staggered arrivals and embarkation


On board
  • HEPA filters and UV-C lights in HVAC system are a double whammy to clean the air of microbes on board ships
  • Electrostatic sprayers sanitize spaces and surfaces with a powerful, EPA-approved, hospital-grade sanitizing solution
  • Ultraviolet-C light emitting wands will be used to disinfect public items
  • Increase frequency of cleaning public spaces and high-touch points
  • Dining venues operate at reduced capacity with tables spaced apart
  • Additional medical staff on board
  • Masks must be worn indoors in public spaces and on deck
  • Sail with reduced capacity
  • Crew wear masks and undergo COVID-19 specific training
  • Ability to test all guests and crew


Shore excursions
  • Excursions will be reviewed and offered only if they meet appropriate standards
  • Tenders, motor coaches, and smaller boats will operate at 50 percent capacity and will be cleaned between each use
  • Shore excursions to operate at reduced capacity; guests should anticipate masks will be required
  • Staggered arrivals and departures in ports

FAQs

About Covid-19

WHAT ARE CORONAVIRUSES?
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?
HOW IS THE VIRUS TRANSMITTED?
HOW DO I KNOW IF I'M WELL FOR TRAVEL?
HOW CAN I MINIMIZE THE RISK OF CATCHING OR SPREADING A RESPIRATORY ILLNESS?
ARE YOU SAILING NOW?
WHEN WILL YOU BEGIN SAILING AGAIN?
HOW DO YOU PLAN TO OPERATE YOUR YACHTS SAFELY?
WHAT ABOUT VARIOUS GOVERNMENT AND INDUSTRY STANDARDS?
SO WHAT, SPECIFICALLY, IS NOTABLE ABOUT YOUR APPROACH?
WHAT WILL BE DIFFERENT PRE-TRIP/BEFORE I ARRIVE?
WHAT WILL BE DIFFERENT ON BOARD?
WILL THERE BE SHORE EXCURSIONS?
WHAT ELSE WILL BE DIFFERENT ON BOARD?
HOW WILL YOU HANDLE TESTING FOR THE VIRUS?
HOW ARE YOU HANDLING STAFFING?