SeaDream done sailing for 2020, back to drawing board on COVID safety
SeaDream docked in Bridgetown Port on November 12. (FILE)
Barbados health authorities tested and found seven guests and two crew members on the SeaDream II positive for COVID-19.
This triggered not just a halt to the yachting experience for the over 110 people onboard - crew and guests including travel journalists, but it brought yachting by SeaDream to a complete end for this year.
VIDEO: SeaDream docked in Barbados' Port before passengers were transferred by coach to the airport and repatriated.
In a press release this week, SeaDream said that it has decided "to cancel sailing for the remainder of 2020 after positive COVID-19 test results.
"Multiple negative PCR tests were required before the guests boarded, but this was not sufficient to prevent COVID-19 onboard. SeaDream successfully operated more than 20 sailings during the pandemic without any cases and further improvements were made to protocols before the Barbados season."
Once the first passenger complained of COVID-19 symptoms, SeaDream updated their protocols from one of masks not being mandatory on board to enforcing the wearing of masks.
Originally, just when the SeaDream II had departed from Barbados for its first Caribbean journey since the CDC no-sail order post-COVID-19, Andreas Brynestad, Executive Vice President for SeaDream Yacht Club had stated: "Onboard you are inside a safe bubble (to the extent possible). Guests are PCR tested twice before boarding, including at the pier. We do wear facemasks outside of the “bubble”, including at the pier and during the initial checkin/boarding process. Everything is done in cooperation with local authorities. We have facemasks for everyone onboard and we continuously monitor and adjust as needed."
He had shared this on LinkedIn, but then days later when a rapid test result showed a possible positive result, he amended the stance and said: "We have decided to update our policies: Masks are required onboard the yacht if you are unable to socially distance. The policy will be implemented onboard today." He commented on his original LinkedIn post with the update.
Going forward, as it plans for its 2021 resail date, SeaDream insisted: "The company will now spend time to evaluate and see if it is possible to operate and have a high degree of certainty of not getting COVID."