Cruise the Great Lakes (CTGL) is a coalition of states and provinces, cruise lines, ports, convention and visitor bureaus, and others working together to promote cruising on the Great Lakes. Particularly in light of the unprecedented risk presented by COVID-19, CTGL members and partners are working together to promote a safe cruise experience in 2021 and beyond.
Effective prevention, surveillance, and response require sector-specific measures to mitigate, to the greatest extent possible, health and safety risks. Beyond governmental requirements for cruise ships, CTGL members and partners are dedicated to prioritizing the health and safety of passengers and crew. They commit to adhere to public health guidance, to work strategically and collaboratively, and to take proactive measures to mitigate risk.
Great Lakes cruises are fundamentally unique. The size of vessels that can enter the region is limited by the locks on the St. Lawrence Seaway. As a result, the largest Great Lakes cruise vessels can hold approximately 400 passengers, and average vessel size in 2019 was less than 200. This is significantly smaller than large oceangoing cruise ships. This difference gives the cruise operators a unique ability to reduce risk factors, monitor and control passenger movement, enforce social distancing, and take other safety precautions.
CTGL members and partners commit to working together to promote a safe cruising environment for all partners. They commit to implement proactive measures, as appropriate, including:
- Social distancing
- Isolation and quarantine protocols
- Health screening for passengers and crew
- Collaboration with local health authorities
- Crew PPE training and personal hygiene practices to protect passengers and crew
- Systems to streamline boarding and check-in
- Enhanced sanitation procedures
- Crew and staff training compliant with federal procedures
- Food and beverage services meeting or exceeding governmental guidelines
- Additional organizational measures
In addition to measures specific to cruise lines, ports of call can take similar proactive measures to reduce risk. State and provincial governments, convention and visitor bureaus, and other partners can also work collaboratively to promote a safe and seamless cruise experience for passengers.