Cruise ship Paul Gauguin making a stop in Rarotonga in 2016. MS Paul Gauguin of PONANT Cruises will call at Rarotonga on June 28 2016. Photo: FILE/16091323
The removal of travel restrictions won’t have an immediate impact for the cruise ship tourism in the Cook Islands.
month, the Cook Islands government removed all vaccine requirements for
travelling throughout the islands for both sea and air access.
Cruise Cook Islands general manager Stuart Henry said: “Certainly the relaxing of vaccination status may
make travel to the Cooks more attractive, but for the cruise ship industry they
remain strict with regards to their Covid-19 policy where all crew and guests
are fully vaccinated.”
“When we clear the ship,
our officials must provide RAT tests. When Akirata Dance Troup entertained the MS Paul Gauguin in June and
August visits all the team are to send in vaccination status and RAT tests are
carried out on the pier prior to boarding,” Henry said.
Henry said most cruise
ships had their schedule booked more than a year in advance.
“They’re going to places which
are generally safe or have low Covid-19 numbers,” he said.
“Vaccination status is
still important on those ships, they’re like a floating village, all ships have robust ways to contain and isolate should a
crew or guest test positive. By all being vaccinated, it lowers the risk of an
Henry said it
was dealing with several ship visits for the remainder of 2022. This included
the Paul Gauguin, the Silver Explorer, the Noordam, the Zuiderdam, the AIDAsol and
the Silver Whisper.
Cook Islands Tourism
Corporation director for destination and development Christian Mani said it
would take a while before the effects of the relaxation of vaccination status
will be noticed on the cruise ship market.
generally booked out about a year or even two years in advance, so removing the
restrictions won’t have an immediate impact in the schedule,” Mani said.
does make it easier for ships already coming here, and hopefully it will make
it more appealing going forward.”