On September 28, 2021, the port of Odessa solemnly welcomed the mooring of the passenger ship SeaDream II at the marine station located in the very heart of the center of Odessa. The vessel was welcomed by the Port management and City Council representatives.
The route of the liner includes the ports of the Mediterranean and the Black Seas, starting in Athens, Greece. The previous port of call was Constanta, Romania and the next one according to the schedule, is Varna, Bulgaria. Currently, about 60 tourists travel on board the SeaDream II, mostly citizens of the United States and Canada.
To properly accept and service cruise ships and passengers since the beginning of the pandemic, the Odesa Sea Port Authority together with the State Institution “Laboratory Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine on Water Transport” developed and implemented an operational “Port’s Contingency Plan for the primary anti-pandemic measures” that consists of a number of health and safety actions as well as the operating procedures to be done to prevent COVID-19 spreading while accepting cruise vessels. This document takes into account the recommendations of the WHO, IMO and is in line with EU Healthy Gateways recommendations to ensure the safety of passengers and crew from Covid-19.
The passengers went ashore and boarded the tour buses through the corridor, arranged with the restrictive stands, signs installed on the berth literally at every step remind guests of the need to observe the mask mode, safe distance and hand disinfection.
Thus a relatively small number of tourists made it easier for Odesa Sea port to work out the algorithm of measures related to the implementation of the Port’s protocol and allowed to receive the corresponding experience for safe reception of the cruise fleet next year.
By the moment, the port authority has received 31 requests from cruise lines to visit Odesa in the 2022 season.
Despite the negative political, economic and epidemic factors that have virtually stopped cruising in the Black Sea basin in recent years, the Black Sea ports didn’t stop to join forces in order to resume cruise activities in the region and we truly hope to restart welcoming cruise passengers as soon as possible because Black Sea ports have everything required for that.