The resumption of the cruises of less than a day and trips to the whales, from the 1st July, was welcomed on Thursday but a certain vagueness persists regarding the safety instructions that will be effective.
Jean Roy, Cruises in the Bay of Gaspé, was unaware of still, by the end of the day, how many passengers he could get on his boat of 47 places. “I’m still missing a few settings. It is not yet clear, but I think I’m going to be able to operate in 2020!” he rejoiced. “We should have details tomorrow (Friday) because each boat has its own peculiarities.”
The final version of the guide to health, proposed by the industry, had not yet been formally approved Thursday. But the CEO of Croisières AML, Yan Hamel, who has worked on the development of the guide, believes that there will be no severe restrictions to the number of passengers. If the distance of two meters is impossible to adhere to, the cover face will be imposed to the passengers, as in the aircraft, he believes.
“It is the same principle that the public health vehicle all the time. When there are difficulties in achieving measures of distance-physical, at this time, it is the cover face mandatory. Our sector is already tightly regulated and the jurisdiction over a vessel, it is federal and it is the same principle as in an airplane,” he mentioned in the interview, confident of being able to provide an environment that is “safe” to its customers in the circumstances.
Reduced capacity or not?
Dr. Horacio Arruda, during a press briefing at the national Assembly, has, however, evoked a reduction of the capacity of vessels. “To my knowledge, it’s going to be, yes, actually, probably less volumetric. There are some volumes that are not to be respected in order to avoid, precisely, that there is too much contact between the people (…). This is according to the capacity, I would tell you, of the room to accommodate distanciations or family groups as such”, he said.
Whatever happens, the president and CEO of Croisières AML is concerned more with the response of the customers this summer, anticipating an occupancy rate of 10% to 15% since the international tourists will not be at the rendezvous. “When we made our calculations, it is not cost-effective. It is for this reason that we need to support measures adequate,” he said.
“We should operate the Louis Jolliet, despite the fact that we are going to have occupancy rate is very low. It’s the same thing with the whale-watching cruises, but we are extremely concerned. It is not necessary to dream in colors. We will never be able, this year, to recover losses that it has had for all audiences outside of Quebec. It is necessary that the Québécois are reclaiming the tourist offer of the province of Quebec, but they will never be numerous enough to achieve occupancy rates that allow the profitability of the business.”
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