UPDATED 12 AUGUST 2021
We continue to monitor global developments regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and are fully focused on protecting the health, safety and welfare of our guests and crew.
The current situation poses many questions and therefore, we hope that the below answers any immediate queries you may have relating to your forthcoming cruise:
We are assessing developments constantly and will update these measures as needed.
Will my cruise go ahead as planned?
Currently, Hebridean is operating and intends to continue operating its schedule of cruises throughout the remainder of 2021.
Can I delay paying my final balance?
As Hebridean is operating its itineraries as scheduled, final balance payment dates are not being extended, and you should therefore arrange to pay your final balance by the due date shown on your invoice. By withholding your balance payment, your reservation may be cancelled, and your deposit forfeited.
If I decide to cancel my booking will I receive a refund?
Should you decide to cancel your booking, because of a disinclination to travel, it is with regret that no refund of monies will be made, and our normal cancellation charges will apply.
If I decide to cancel my booking can I transfer what I have paid to an alternative date?
Should you decide to cancel your booking, because of a disinclination to travel, it is with regret that a transfer of funds to an alternative date will not be available and our normal cancellation charges will apply.
What arrangements will Hebridean have in place to test passengers and crew for Covid-19?
Approximately 10 days prior to joining Hebridean Princess, we will send a Public Health Questionnaire and request you to take a Covid-19 Lateral Flow Test. Lateral Flow Tests can help identify people who have high levels of virus, but who do not display any symptoms.
These test kits are readily available from the NHS and most local pharmacies, should you have any difficulty obtaining a test kit please contact us and we will arrange to have one sent to you.
No more than seventy-two hours prior to the cruise, each guest should take a lateral flow test and await the result, which takes 15-20 minutes. The result should be recorded on the Public Health Questionnaire and the other questions, pertaining to recent travel history and health symptoms, answered honestly.
After testing, all guests are encouraged to isolate before commencing their journey to Hebridean Princess.
Should the Lateral Flow Test return a positive result, guests must seek immediate medical advice and should not commence their journey to join Hebridean Princess.
The completed Public Health Questionnaire should be returned to us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or guests should call us on 01756 704704 informing us of their test result and answers to the Public Health Questionnaire.
For extra peace of mind, all guests will be tested again, by a further Lateral Flow Test, upon arrival at Hebridean Princess.
Should the Lateral Flow Test return a positive result, guests will not be permitted to board, and the local health authority will be alerted by the Captain.
This same process will apply to all joining crew as well as guests. Crew and guests’ temperatures will also be taken and recorded daily throughout the cruise.
If deemed necessary, further Lateral Flow Tests will be carried out, for both guests and crew, during the cruise.
Will it be compulsory for all guests to have had a Covid-19 vaccination prior to boarding?
An analysis of our guest age profile suggests that all passengers, due to join Hebridean Princess in 2021, will have been offered both doses of Covid-19 vaccine. While Covid-19 vaccines are not compulsory, and there is no government legislation enforcing a ‘vaccine passport’, Hebridean’s current policy is that all guests should be fully vaccinated prior to boarding Hebridean Princess. This may change depending on industry and government guidelines.
What prevention measures are being taken by Hebridean to prevent cross contamination?
Hebridean already advocates the use of antibacterial gel and has introduced heightened measures to help prevent any potential cross contamination during food service. Increased sanitisation procedures are in place, especially in public areas on board the ship. We provide pocket tissues and hand sanitiser in all cabins which we encourage guests to use, both on board and ashore. All public areas and all cabins will be disinfected using an Electrostatic sprayer between cruises. In addition, only essential visitors will be allowed to board the ship and all will have to provide a negative test.
Will we have to wear a face covering?
Guests will be asked to wear a face covering when moving around the vessel, but not in the Tiree Lounge or Columba Restaurant, and when travelling to and from shore visits. Guest facing crew will be required to wear a face covering at all times.
Will the larger, hosted tables still be available?
The larger tables will be available and will seat a limited number of guests per table and will be hosted as normal.
Will the shore visits still happen?
As with all itineraries, even prior to the outbreak of Covid-19, we aim to make all visits to the planned places on each itinerary, however, in some locations, there may be restrictions. For example, some visits may be restricted by numbers, so will be operated in smaller groups. Guests will be expected to wear face coverings when travelling to and from visits and follow any local rules in place at the visit.
What happens if someone on board the ship has symptoms during the cruise?
Should anyone on board show symptoms of Covid-19, they will be isolated in their cabin. Anyone sharing the cabin will also be asked to isolate. The Captain will contact local public health authorities for instruction. Other guests will not have to isolate but will be offered a further rapid flow test.
We’re Good to Go Accreditation
Hebridean Island Cruises has been awarded the ‘We’re Good to Go’ accreditation. Visit Scotland awards a ‘We’re Good to Go’ certificate to all tourism businesses that have carried out a Covid-19 risk assessment to check that they have everything in place to reopen safely. This new UK wide industry standard and consumer mark provides confidence for our guests, as well as communities and tourism businesses alike.