Safe Air will first be added to MSC Seashore, the cruise line’s newest and most technologically advanced cruise ship that will debut next year. The ship is currently under construction at one of Fincantieri’s shipyards in Italy and is scheduled to be delivered in July 2021.
The Safe Air next-generation sanitation system is based on the technology of UV-C lamps which are type C ultraviolet rays applied in combination with the cruise ship’s air conditioning system, whereby air flow is radiated at source with a short wavelength light that hits organic particles and prevents the circulation of air pollutants such as viruses, bacteria and mold.
The Safe Air sanitation system was developed by Fincantieri’s designers and technicians and the virology laboratory of the International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, a leading global research institute headquartered in Trieste, Italy.
The announcement is another step forward in MSC Cruises’ ongoing commitment to health and safety that was most recently demonstrated in August when it became the first major cruise line in the world to return to sea with a new and comprehensive health and safety protocol approved by a range of national and regional authorities in Europe following the temporary halt of the global industry in March as a result of the pandemic ashore.
The new health and safety protocol, in fact, went beyond the guidance from the relevant authorities in the countries where the ships sail to set a new standard for the cruise industry, as well as other aspects of travel, tourism, leisure and hospitality, particularly with respect to universal testing.
All guests go through universal health screening before boarding a ship which comprises three comprehensive steps – a temperature check, a review of a personal health questionnaire and a COVID-19 antigen swab test. Crew are tested up to three times before being permitted to start their work.
Other aspects of the health and safety protocol cover elevated sanitation and cleaning, protected ‘bubble’ shore excursions, facemasks and maintaining social distancing, enhanced onboard medical facilities, daily health monitoring and a robust contingency plan.
The protocol was designed by MSC Cruises’ in-house specialists in medical services, public health and sanitation, hotel services, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, other shipboard engineering systems, information technology and logistics.