Operating amidst Covid-19

 

Bay State Cruises Policies and Procedures

Bay State Cruises has adopted measures recommended by the CDC and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for operating in the current condition of increased vigilance required for our passengers’ and employees’ health, safety and peace of mind.

Here’s what we’re doing:

Social Distancing: We have reduced the capacity of all Bay State vessels such that six feet of social distancing can be achieved.  There will be times when passengers or employees pass one another at a distance closer than 6 feet, but, with the Personal Protection Equipment requirements of the State (more on that below) we are confident that everyone can remain safe aboard our vessels.

Regarding our Provincetown Fast Ferries: In order to further decrease passenger density on trips, we will maintain the full, decades old schedule, despite the foreseen decreased passenger demand of 2020. 

On certain vessels in our fleet, where it’s been possible, we have added clear barriers between seating sections in order to provide more atmospheric privacy.

At points where our staff interact with our passengers, both parties will be afforded the benefit of lexan barriers, to put a layer of protection between crew member and guest.

We have signage throughout our boarding areas and vessels reminding folks to socially distance themselves from one another.

We will adjust boarding times in order to better ensure decreased dockside congestion and social distancing between passengers waiting to board.

Open Air: Thank goodness for boats and the sea! In addition to the natural (and, frankly, beautiful) benefit that our vessels’ open air decks provide, we have modified the main cabin air circulation of our vessels such that the entire enclosed cabins’ volume of air can be completely renewed by fresh outside air in as little as  three minutes.

Cleaning and sanitization: We’re on it! In addition to the head start we have, from what our passengers have told us, as having already maintained the cleanest boats in the harbor, we’ve added these additional measures:

  • Up to three times daily anti-microbial fogging of the vessels via electrostatically charged spraying that resists up to 24 hours of “touches”.  These are state of the art devices, hard to come by, and we’ve got them!
  • Frequent sanitization of common touch points:
    • You will see our crew walk through the vessels every 15-20 minutes to clean touch points such as door handles, handrails, and grab rails with disinfectant.
  • At points of service contact with our crew (such as beverage service or ticketing) we have both reduced the need for contact via systems’ changes, and, provided motion activated hand sanitizer dispensers on both sides of the counters; one for the passenger and one for the crew. The crew will have sanitized their gloved hands between each and every transaction.
  • Availability of hand sanitizers in general: we have obtained 100 motion activated hand sanitizer dispensers and will have them within easy access to passengers and crew members throughout the vessels and on the docks.
  • Each of our crew have been provided with personal sized hand sanitizer bottles to be kept on their person throughout their shifts. They are to sanitize their hands between every contact, be it having touched a door lever, helped with a piece of luggage, or made a credit card transaction.

Reducing Payment Contact Points: As always, we encourage online bookings for our services, where it applies. We have modified our point of sale machines such that our crew won’t have to touch your credit card and we won’t require you to sign a receipt or handle a shared pen. Where boarding passes are still distributed, we have modified their handling procedure so that they are only contacted once, at the point of distribution from our ticket offices, and hand sanitizer is to be used by our ticketing personnel between each and every transaction. Hand sanitizer is also immediately available to passengers receiving the boarding pass.

For customers preferring to pay with cash: We provide motion activated hand sanitizers on both side of the counter; one for the crew member or ticket agent and one for the guest.

Face Masks and Personal Protection Equipment: As for our employees, you will see them wearing face masks at all times, whenever near any other person (some of the over 10,000 masks we’ve got for our crew are pretty snazzy, and you might have face covering envy). 

For our guests, we are following the guidance of the Governor of Massachusetts and the CDC, which we are sharing with you below.

We anticipate, and have all read about, this sometimes being a sore topic in our communities, so, let’s give this a particularly good look:

From the State: Governor Baker has issued an Order effective Wednesday, May 6 requiring face masks or cloth face coverings in public places where social distancing is not possible. This applies to both indoor and outdoor spaces. Exceptions include children under the age of 2 and those unable to wear a mask or face covering due to a medical condition.

Further from the State’s Transit Authority (the MBTA): Children under the age of 2 and people with health conditions that make it difficult or impossible to wear face coverings are exempt. MBTA staff cannot ask anyone about the nature of their medical conditions, so we will not refuse service to any person not wearing a face covering.

From the CDC: 

 

  • A face covering can include anything that covers your nose and mouth, including dust masks, scarves and bandanas.
  • Do not use health care worker masks, such as the N95 masks – those should be preserved for healthcare workers.
  • It is important that you wear these face coverings or masks in situations where it is difficult to maintain a social distance of six feet from others.

 

From the Town of Provincetown: Provincetown Select Board voted on May 4, 2020 to adopt the Governor’s Face Covering Order and add “any member of the public not covered under the Governor’s order utilizing Commercial Street from Bangs Street to Pleasant Street between 9am and 9pm must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth and must exercise social distancing in accordance with the CDC guidelines and shall remain in effect until rescinded.”

 

Bay State Cruises has adopted these rules and standards from the State and CDC, and, we want to make sure all our passengers are aware of these standards prior to sailing with us.

In general, Friends, it’s going to be a weird summer, but Bay State Cruises will be working hard to make things as nice as possible for everyone. Let’s enjoy being out on the water as best we can. There’s a lot to be thankful for and, being able to get out onto the ocean, is pretty high up there on the list. Thank you for sailing with us.

Onward!