The journey goes on, on our domestic routes (to/from Heraklion, Piraeus, Chania). From 18/5 travel with hygiene safety on board Minoan Lines’ ultra-modern and ecological cruise ferries and enjoy a unique travel experience.
In response to the latest developments regarding the COVID-19 outbreak around the world, the management of Minoan Lines is taking extra steps and follows the policy set out below, respecting the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy, the National Public Health Organization (NPHO) and competent Authorities Health and Safety Guidelines to make sure everything we do meets or exceeds their guidelines.
Our goal is to ensure the safety and the wellbeing of our onshore and offshore personnel, the protection of our passengers and associates, and the proper services provided, both at our points of sale (port offices) and on board (our ships) to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
HYGIENE AND PREVENTION MEASURES ON BOARD OUR FLEET
As the safety of our passengers and partners as well as our crewmembers is our top priority, a series of precautionary measures has been adopted on health and safety precautions related to COVID-19 in order to help our customers have a healthy travelling experience. Here below you may be informed for the process and measures taken, valid from 18/5 to 15/6/2020 on our domestic routes. Specifically:
- Before boarding, touchless temperature screening is implemented to all passengers by the officers and the crew to identify passengers with symptoms of COVID-19 (coronavirus). In addition, all passengers are kindly advised to fill out the Questionnaire Pre-boarding form and submit it to the ship’s Chief Purse along with their ticket before the vessel’s departure. You may download the document here
- During the trip, passengers have to keep wearing mask at the common areas of the vessel, either indoor or outdoor/deck areas.
- Officers and crewmembers are provided with sanitized equipment and it is mandatory during the trip and while engage with passengers (during embarkation / disembarkation and on common areas) to wear gloves and masks.
- Social distancing measures of 1.5 meters are applied between passengers on board.
- Regarding the distribution of passengers in cabins, we have taken precautionary measures to accommodate only one passenger per cabin per journey, except if families of at least four members or passengers with special needs are travelling with their escorts, following the implementation of the Governmental Directive
- Seat allocation and seat blocking have been applied for Economy Air Type and VIP seats, creating more space by limiting the number of passengers on each trip and keeping seats empty so no one is sitting next to another person, as part of the physical distancing measures of 1.5 meters.
- We continuously review our processes for ensuring cabin cleanliness. We intensified the cleaning and disinfection activities of cabins and common areas in our vessels, in collaboration with specialized disinfection and cleaning companies, in addition to the regular daily hygiene and cleaning process.
- All our linen and blankets are washed, dried and ironed at temperatures to kill pathogenic bacteria and placed per trip in each cabin, by our crewmembers wearing gloves.
- Minoan Lines Cruise Ferries feature advanced air purification and filtration systems that filter the outside air, which is disinfected and purified on special filters and it is not circulated from one cabin to another.
- Minoan Lines holds ISO 22000:2005 Certificate, “Food Safety Management System for storage, processing and serving food on board” byTUV HELLAS (member of RWTUV Group). That reflects the principles of HACCP system (Hazardous Analysis Critical Control Point).
- We strictly adopt all precautionary measures for the operation of restaurants, bars and stores on board our vessels, in accordance with the latest instructions/provisions of the Greek Government.
- The operation of our a la carte restaurants and serving by the bars on board have been suspended. Self-service restaurants, bars, lounges and commercial stores will operate strictly by following precautionary actions and guidelines in regards to hygiene and prohibitive measures of physical distancing. Crewmembers and personnel on board have to wear masks and gloves and constantly clean and disinfect surfaces of common use. All meal service utensils, cutlery and glassware undergo separate sanitize process; they are washed at high temperatures that kill pathogenic bacteria, disinfected and cutlery is placed on separate kits of one use.
- We constantly inform our officers and crewmembers so that they can be fully compliant with the latest precautionary measures (applied for the health, hygiene and safety of themselves but also our passengers) and to be able to manage emergencies in case someone develops symptoms that can be attributed to COVID-19 coronavirus infection
- Passengers are regularly been informed with TV spots, digital and printed brochures and announcements on board during voyage.
- Hand Sanitizers are available at the common airs and toilets for passengers’ use.
- You may download the respective informative flyer of the Hellenic Public Health Organization for further information on precautionary measures and updates on staying safe and healthy. Passengers shall not travel if they have symptoms of COVID-19 infection (cough, runny nose, fever, sore throat, shortness of breath and other respiratory symptoms) or have had contact with a COVID-19 patient within 14 days prior to the trip.
HYGIENE AND PREVENTION MEASURES AT OUR OFFICES AND CENTRAL AGENCIES
- We adopted remote work for the majority of our executives as well as telecommuting and videoconferencing during lockdown. Now, we are still practicing these measures to some of our employees.
- We keep our employees informed for the latest updates of precautionary, safety measures, and personal hygiene.
- During their stay at the office, it is required for all our employees to wear mask and gloves and keep physical distancing measures.
- Masks and gloves have been distributed to our employees. Hand sanitizers and gloves are also available on common areas and toilets of our offices.
- We temporarily suspended the operation of our central agencies and retained the operation of our port offices to provide our services to our passengers and associates.
- We intensified the precautionary measures of safety and hygiene at our port offices and we provided every employee with antiseptics, masks and gloves.
- We are in constant communication with the official authorities to make sure we are always aligned with the latest official safety guidelines in order to inform our personnel accordingly.
- We have placed a special marking at least 1.5 meter away from the point of sale (agency counter), to strictly observe the physical safety distance between agency employees and/or the passenger public/transportation partners, during waiting service period. In addition, we posted informative material for every trading passenger or business partner to follow the security and safety measures while waiting at the agency.
- We keep our company’s executives up to date on preventive and protective measures, following the guidelines of the Hellenic National Public Health Organization.
ADRIATIC LINES ITINERARIES/ REBOOKING POLICY
Following the latest government order to help counter the outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus, a new order has been announced about the transportation of passengers and vehicles from/to Italy. Specifically, the embarkation of passengers and vehicles from/to Italy is strictly forbidden (except trucks and cargo). The prohibition is effective from 15/03/2020 at 15:00 till 31/05/2020.
For Adriatic Lines, we are giving you the flexibility to reschedule your trip and make your tickets open with no change fees.
Tickets for the Adriatic Lines (Ancona / Venice) can be converted to open date tickets with a validity of one year from the date of travel. For any bookings made including the Early Booking Offer, passengers retain the offer (20% discount) when they declare new travel dates without being asked to pay a fare difference (unless they wish to upgrade or the new travel dates fall into a different travel season compared to their prior booking and ticket prices vary (eg. from low to mid, from mid to high season).
For further information or any clarifications, we kindly advise passengers to contact Minoan Lines’ agencies and port offices, their travel agents or the points of sale where their tickets were issued (online sales pages).
Furthermore, our cargo associates for Adriatic Lines are kindly informed with the following:
- Regarding the distribution of cargo drivers in cabins, we have taken precautionary measures to accommodate only one driver per cabin per journey on the Adriatic routes, following the implementation of the above Government Directive. Given the current ban on passenger traffic, it is foreseen that the above precautionary measures will be adequately implemented.
- All cargo drivers should fill in the relevant form, with which they certify that they meet the conditions necessary to enable them to embark the vessel.
- If a driver has symptoms attributable to virus infection, he must not travel. If a case of COVID-19 is observed on a driver during the voyage, detailed instructions have been given to our crew members on how to prevent risks and manage any person with flu-like symptoms and/or symptoms attributable to the infection.
- Drivers are kindly requested to avoid cash and card payments (except "contactless" cards) if possible and to avoid contact when handing over travel documents to the check-in staff.
EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS
In force from the day the trips are allowed again until 15/07/2020
In order to ensure the utmost in health safety standards and guarantee the serenity of a safe journey to all passengers, the Company:
- will operate its ships at 50% of the maximum permitted passenger capacity;
- will provide a complementary kit of personal protective equipment, including gloves and masks, for all passengers at the time of boarding that shall be used during their stay on board;
- will take temperature readings before passengers board. Anyone with a temperature over 37.5 ° C will not be allowed to board;
- will arrange for all passengers to provide a self-certification form upon boarding declaring that they do not have any symptoms similar to those caused by the coronavirus and that they have not been in contact with people who have tested positive or are presumed to be so;
- will ensure that the ship’s doctor will be present, regardless of the number of passengers on board;
- has provided for the exclusive use of cabins (same family unit only);
- has introduced specific protocols for the careful sanitisation of cabins and on-board areas;
- has introduced specific health monitoring protocols for shipboard personnel;
- has provided the crews with tools and training aimed at limiting the risk of contagion;
- has paid particular attention to training its crews to ensure assistance to passengers and for compliance with prevention, containment and emergency management measures.
CHECK-IN AND BOARDING
In order to avoid people gathering in crowds and in compliance with safe social distancing, passengers must check in on time to ensure that all control and boarding activities can be completed. Passengers must check in wearing masks (including children 6 years old and up).
The Company has prepared a complementary kit (masks, gloves) for all passengers who do not have their own.
Those travelling with their car may preferably check-in while remaining in their vehicle and will receive from the control officer (checking documents and tickets) a sticker with the cabin number to bring with them and another to stick on the car; at the ramp, the driver parks the car in the garage.
Passengers will only need to go to the ticket office if they have to make changes or additions to the ticket.
The staff in charge of fast check-in will wear personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks, limiting contact with the documents to be checked as much as possible.
All passengers must arrive for boarding with a completed self-certification form provided by the Company. Before boarding all passengers will have their temperature taken. Anyone with a temperature over 37.5 ° C, will not be allowed to board.
RECEPTION ON BOARD
In order to speed up boarding – carried out strictly in compliance with safe social distancing and wearing masks – all the information that can be sent by the Company to the passenger and vice versa before departure is exchanged electronically at the time of booking. Cabins are assigned in advance.
Passengers are frequently reminded to comply with behaviour and social distancing rules through the use of public announcements, informative flyers, posted in the public areas of the ship, and through a memo in the cabin.
In corridors, at reception and in all common areas, including lifts, it is always mandatory to respect safe social distancing of at least one meter between passengers. To facilitate compliance with this rule, barriers (Tendiflex) and signs will be used. All reception staff on board will wear personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks. Disinfectant gel dispensers have been positioned at various points on the ship.
CLEANING AND SANITISATION OF CABINS AND COMMON AREAS
All areas of the ship, public or for private use, will be subject to regular sanitisation specifically to contrast bacterial and viral agents. All activities will be carried out by operators equipped with appropriate personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks.
Access to and the use of tables in restaurants and bars is limited to avoid gatherings and allowing safe social distancing of at least one meter between each customer, except in cases of families or relatives. The crew on board will ensure people do not gather in groups.
The opening hours of the catering services will be adequate to the number of passengers and to ensure compliance with the criteria of social distancing.
Room Service has been enhanced and the offer extended to include all the ship's food services, including those on the external decks, to facilitate the purchase and consumption of meals.
The kitchen and service staff at the self service areas and those serving at the tables wear personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks and regularly sanitise the surfaces.
For the purchase of extra services on board, the use of contactless credit cards is encouraged to minimize contacts and the circulation of money.
PAX-OUT AND DISEMBARKATION
Pax-out and disembarkation are organised in such a way as to avoid people gathering in crowds and in compliance with safe social distancing. On-board staff will be present to assist with operations to regulate the flow of people.
The Company has introduced health protocols to monitor crew health on board, in order to minimise any health risks to passengers and staff. Our crew will comply with safe social distancing, the obligation to wear disposable masks and gloves, use disinfectant gels, and with follow scrupulous cleaning and personal hygiene protocols.
DOMESTIC ITINERARIES / OPEN TICKETS POLICY
MANDATORY "PRE-BOARDING HEALTH DECLARATION" FORM (COVID-19) ON MINOAN LINES’ DOMESTIC ROUTES
Further to the latest COVID-19 guidelines announced by the Greek Authorities for the prevention of the new coronavirus transmission and spread, it is mandatory for all passengers to complete the “Pre-boarding Health Declaration Form”(download here) and submit it to the vessel's Chief Purser along with their ticket, when boarding, prior to the vessel's departure. Boarding will not be allowed if the form hasn’t been completed and submitted.
OPEN TICKETS POLICY
For trips within the period from 25/02/2020 up to 31/10/2020 the following apply:
- In case of requests concerning issued tickets within the above mentioned period due to travel restrictions or passengers requests not to travel due to uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic or cannot travel due to cancellation – under Greek or EU law – of scheduled routes.. Minoan Lines can reimburse customers with 18-month vouchers (OPEN TICKETS) valid for 18months from the initial trip date. In a period of 18 months, customers may at any time use their vouchers for any destination of Minoan Lines’ domestic routes. All vouchers will be equal to the price of tickets that were originally booked. In case the OPEN tickets are not used passengers can request their money back after the 18months pass.
- Passengers or/and cargo associates are kindly requested to restrict the use of cash and prefer payment with contactless debit or credit cards during ticket and/or bill of lading issue, and to avoid contact when handing over identification, travel and cargo documents at the port agency or to the check-in staff during embarkation.
- In the framework of the precautionary measures and the instructions of the competent authorities for the avoidance of social crowding, all passengers are kindly advised to be at the company's port offices on the day of their trip, at least two hours prior to the scheduled departure time, in case they need to change their tickets or issue new ones.
Specifically, from 25/4 to 30/5, the embarkation hours are as follows:
Souda Port: Boarding time starts at 17:45, Heraklion Port: Boarding time starts at 21:45, Piraeus Port: Boarding time starts at 19:00
INFORMATION / RESERVATIONS
For bookings or further information with regards to the current critical situation, our itineraries and policies you are kindly advised to:
- Contact Minoan Lines central agencies or port offices via e-mail or by telephone as well as your travel agent.
- Visit our official page www.minoan.gr
Kindly note that the aforementioned procedures and precautionary measures onboard and ashore are some of the necessary actions taken according to the instructions and guidelines provided by Health and Competent Authorities for the prevention of the epidemic virus and the protection of our customers, associates and our staff from the effects of COVID-19. Information is more important than ever. We pledge to share updates with you as quickly as possible, with full transparency and, as always, with your safety foremost in mind.