• 2021 February 10 18:00

    Odesa seaport ready to welcome cruise liners in navigation season 2021

    The authorities of the ports of Odesa, Constanta, Varna and Burgas have fully worked out the documents necessary for the reception and maintenance of cruise ships, taking into account the published European health standards introduced to ensure the safety of passengers and crew members from infection of Covid-19 coronavirus. This was announced by the representatives of the ports during the VII meeting of the Black Sea Working Group - an advisory body that deals with the coordination of the restoration of cruise traffic in the North-Western part of the Black Sea basin.

    The meeting took place the other day in a videoconference format. According to the information of its participants, the parties discussed and agreed on a unified concept of coastal services for the cruise fleet in the ports of Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria, including the requirements of the safety protocols on board the ship adopted by shipping companies. In the final minutes of the meeting, its participants separately emphasized that at the beginning of 2021, there are no ports represented in the Black Sea Working Group, that have any formal obstacles to receiving and servicing cruise ships, their passengers and crew members.

    “As for the Odesa port, we are ready to serve the cruise liners in the post-covid period on the new procedure,” comments the results of the VII meeting of the Black Sea working group Maxim LAPAY, General Manager of the Odesa branch of the State Enterprise “Ukrainian Seaports Authority”. - In short, the content of the innovation lies in the fact that before the ship enters the port, information is exchanged between the captain and our dispatcher about the presence and compatibility the of "Operational plans" of actions at the port of call in case of a patient with suspected infectious diseases is found on board. This allows organizing well-coordinated interaction between port services and ship crews in order to minimize the threat of the spread of coronavirus ...

    As M. Lapay further said, the “Operational plan” of the port authority for carrying out primary anti-epidemic measures in case of a patient with suspected infectious disease is detected on board a passenger ship, was developed taking into account the recommendations of the European Union project to restart cruise operations after the lifting of restrictive measures in connection with COVID-19. This document is the main one regulating the reception and maintenance of ships flying foreign flags in a pandemic. It was approved by the State Institution “Laboratory Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine on Water Transport” and agreed by the Odesa border detachment.

    At the same time, according to the General Manager’s words, the only normative act that restricts the free movement of foreigners on the territory of Ukraine during quarantine period is the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dated December 9, 2020 No. 1236 "On the establishment of quarantine and the introduction of restrictive anti-epidemic measures in order to prevent the spread of the acute respiratory disease COVID-19 caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus on the territory of Ukraine”.

    According to this Resolution, during the quarantine period, foreigners are prohibited from crossing the state border ... without an existing insurance policy (certificate,) issued by an insurance company registered in Ukraine, or a foreign insurance company that has a representative office in Ukraine or a contractual relationship with an insurance by a partner company on the territory of Ukraine (assistance *), and covers the costs associated with the treatment of COVID-19, observation, and is valid for the period of stay in Ukraine.

    As all passengers of cruise ships have appropriate insurance policies Odesa seaport authority does not see any obstacles for the reception and maintenance of cruise ships in the navigation of 2021, Lapai summed up.

    It should be reminded that in total for the season of 2021, 22 applications were accepted from cruise companies to call the Odesa port. The season is due to open on May 7, by the vessel «Azamara Quest» of the company Azamara Cruises. According to the preliminary information from the tour operator, the cruise company does plan to make the call on the announced date.

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