With the tragic sinking of the cruise ship Costa Concordia near the Tuscan island of Giglio this past week, its understandable that prospective cruisers might have some reservations about spending time at sea.
Its important to look at the facts about cruise ship safety and specifically safety while at sea in Alaska.
On board safety is a top priority-
Safety cross checks begin at the moment that you book your cruise. Passport numbers given at the time of booking are verified ahead of time for each individual.
On your day of sailing, all cruise guests and luggage must go through a security screening. Security screenings continue throughout the cruise whenever guests step off of the ship in Alaska’s beautiful ports of call and wish to re-board the ship.
Cruise ships leaving from the United States are also required to participate in mandatory lifeboat drills before setting sail. This means that all Royal Caribbean and Celebrity passengers will at some point be asked to take their life vest and gather on deck at a designated life boat station. Passengers are then taught how to operate the life vests and detailed emergency procedures are reviewed.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s senior vice president of marine operations, Captain Bill Wright, recently pointed out that travel by cruise ship continues to be extremely safe. At a question and answer session last week he stated that there were just 21 fatalities resulting from incidents at sea out of 117 million passengers carried worldwide between 2005 and 2011. Many of these fatalities were alcohol related and were preventable.
Captain Bill Wright speaks from experience. He earned his Master Mariner license in Norway in 1991 and received a Master’s degree in Marine Engineering from Vestfold College in Norway in 1992.
We, at John Hall’s Alaska, would like you to know that cruise lines across the globe have a tremendous record of safety. Alaska cruise guests should feel confident that whether they choose Celebrity or Royal Caribbean, their on board captain and supporting staff have years of experience behind them and have sailed the Inside Passage, in most cases, hundreds of times. Just one summer of Alaska cruising will put 50-75 Inside Passage sailings under a captains belt.
If you have any additional concerns about cruising, please feel free to give us a call at 800.325.2270. We will do our best to address your specific concerns.