Joshua Horlock, deck officer cadet, receives his vaccine
This Saturday (7 August) Portsmouth International Port hosted Covid vaccinations for seafarers as part of a NHS programme.
55 crew members on board Noble Caledonia ships Island Sky and Hebridean Sky received their first vaccine doses.
This follows vaccines which have been also been administered recently to crews from cargo ships, essential to keep providing lifeline services as these ships are carrying supplies of fresh fruit and vegetables destined for UK supermarkets.
Ben McInnes, Portsmouth International Port’s harbour master said: “Many crew members have been away from home for months and in a lot of cases are not allowed shore leave because they are not vaccinated.
“It’s critical we use this opportunity to support their welfare, not only for the individuals involved but also to make sure goods keep moving and for the safety UK passengers going on cruises.”
Mike Deegan Noble Caledonia Head of Fleet Operations said “We could not be more grateful to our friends at Solent NHS Trust for providing the vaccination programme for those of our seafaring colleagues who needed it.
“Their safety and that of our guests are of paramount importance to us so it was with huge appreciation that we could provide this extra level of protection and safety as we continue re-commencing our cruise operations from Portsmouth, a port we have been proud to call our home port for many years”.
Portsmouth International Port is recognised by the government as a major UK port, and employees considered key workers during the pandemic.
The port welcomed the first international cruise call since sailings were suspended last year, as SeaDream Yacht Club’s vessel, SeaDream 1, stopped to pick up passengers for a transatlantic voyage to the Caribbean.
Since then the port has seen the busiest activity in its history, with a record number of bookings, including a world first commercial sailing from Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady and also hosted the naming ceremony for Saga’s Spirit of Adventure.