The benefits of sailing the seas on a smaller and more manoeuvrable yacht charter cruise are quite evident in almost all respects. As long as you’re not seeking nightly cabaret shows, numerous restaurants and a casino, chartered yachts always come up trumps. You can explore further, enjoy blissful privacy and, basically, do as you please on a vessel that is chartered for you and your sailing party, alone.
But what about health risks, specifically? Do mega ships really equal mega problems?
Let’s take a look:
More people = faster rate of infections
The latest COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak which stranded many ships including the Diamond Princess megaliner has highlighted what many already know: enclosed vessels carrying thousands of passengers who live in proximity to one another have the potential of spreading infectious disease faster than anywhere else. Even planes. Yet infectious disease outbreaks on cruise ships are nothing new, with cases of respiratory, influenza-related and gastrointestinal illnesses making headline news relatively frequently.
A study carried out over the course of three years (2011-2013) and published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that the spread of infectious diseases is a real burden on the cruise industry and that surveillance and implementation of precautions are paramount to avoiding contagion.
It is easier to maintain the highest level of hygiene on smaller, private yachts
Yacht cruises have a priceless advantage over large ship cruising. It is simply easier to maintain a strict level of hygiene on a smaller vessel carrying just a handful of people. At the end of the day, when you’re cruising on a chartered yacht with your family with the addition of just a few crew members), you can easily maintain the same level of health as you would at home. This is particularly crucial when it comes to infectious diseases, which are passed on by way of close personal contact. As long as everyone is perfectly healthy when they board the yacht, everyone will be just fine if there’s no contact with anyone else.
Of course, yacht cruising includes a wealth of on-shore explorations – excursions that will likely place you in contact with locals in your chosen destination. However, you will likely not share an enclosed space for an extended period of time (like you would, on a cruise liner) so as long as you adopt some precautions (wash and disinfect your hands and try to avoid touching your face) there’ll be fewer chances of you bringing germs aboard your yacht. And you have the option of choosing to make your vacation more yacht-based.
On chartered yachts, you need not worry about other people’s hygiene levels
This is especially true when sailing with children. It is infinitely easier to keep tabs on the little one’s handwashing habits when said little one is yours. Moreover, you won’t be dealing with buffet meals potentially touched by hundreds of people or food that has been kept luke-warm for hours in a bain-marie. Fresh food, freshly prepared and served straight to your table: about the best way to avoid food contamination and stomach bugs.
It’s infinitely easier to change route, if need be
Has there been a sudden outbreak of an infectious disease on one of your intended destinations? The Captain of your chartered yacht can change your itinerary at a moment’s notice, something most megaliners simply can’t do because they need permissions to dock in certain places. They also can’t depart at a moment’s notice when they are docked somewhere, as they’ll first need to locate thousands of passengers who have landed onshore. On private yacht charters, however, it’s a matter of locating usually just a single group of guests, who may be onshore with their private guide.
It is important to keep things in perspective
Although large ship cruising has gathered plenty of detractors in recent years, it’s helpful to keep things in perspective. Yes, large liners do get struck down with infectious diseases and, when they do, involve thousands of people at once, yet they still affect a small percentage of the millions who cruise the world’s seas every year. The only major concern is that infections, such as the latest coronavirus strain, are increasing every year – which isn’t surprising given megaliners can swiftly become breeding grounds for unwelcomed germy guests.
Private yachts are undoubtedly the safest place to be in case of a health scare whilst travelling. We endeavour to uphold the highest health and safety standards of all our guests and yacht crews at all times, not just when a problem arises. With safe flight routes and private transfers, you can further minimize your exposure to any infectious diseases, keeping you and your family safe. Private yacht charters are also a wonderful alternative to a cancelled cruise – contact us if you’d like to know more about private yacht charters.