(2:25 p.m. EDT) -- SeaDream Yacht Club's SeaDream I has set out on the first transatlantic crossing of the COVID-19 era, traveling to Barbados via several European ports to kick off its recently-announced series of Southern Caribbean voyages.
The 112-passenger SeaDream I called on the UK port of Portsmouth on Monday as part of its transatlantic crossing to Barbados.
A total of 19 passengers embarked in Portsmouth after adhering to strict health and safety protocols, including obtaining a COVID-19 PCR test no less than 72 hours in advance and then going through rapid COVID testing again before embarking the vessel. SeaDream has also rolled out extensive cleaning and sanitization measures, as well as physical distancing practices onboard.
SeaDream I is in the midst of a 21-day crossing to Bridgetown, Barbados to start the line's newly-announced Caribbean cruises. The ship had previously embarked passengers in both Oslo, Norway and Rotterdam, Netherlands. Guests can also board when the ship visits Funchal, Madeira on October 24.
The sailing is the first transatlantic crossing to resume since the global COVID-19 pandemic shut down cruises in March. SeaDream will operate a winter season of Caribbean cruises sailing from Bridgetown, Barbados, beginning in November.
In a statement provided by Portsmouth City Council, the Port notes that no passengers already onboard were allowed ashore in Portsmouth, and only the 19 ticketed passengers were embarked.
All port operations followed the UK's recent Cruise Framework Agreement for vessels and the entire call was overseen by local health authorities and Portsmouth International Port staff.
Portsmouth International Port is the first port in the UK to install a thermal imaging camera, and the first to have received independent verification for COVID-19 health and safety measures by international auditor and classification society DNV-GL. DNV-GL also provides COVID-19 certification for cruise ships.
The ship's first Caribbean voyage departs roundtrip Bridgetown on November 7, 2020.