The cruise ferry Color Magic has resumed her normal schedule after a coronavirus scare on board. One of her crewmembers tested positive during a routine check on September 10, and Color Line canceled the vessel’s scheduled Saturday departure as a precautionary measure. All other crewmembers were also tested to determine if there might be additional cases, and all passengers who were on board for the affected voyage were notified.
However, the suspected case turned out to be a false alarm. The individual who tested positive was retested and showed no evidence of infection, and the Color Magic has resumed her normal Oslo-to-Kiel round trip service.
“We are very happy that Color Magic can resume its daily [operation] in the knowledge that there is no proven infection among any of our employees on board,” said Color Line CEO Trond Kleivdal. “It is positive for both the guests and our employees that the strict infection control routines work, because a safe ship provides the good experience we give our many thousands of guests daily.”
Color Line is the first firm in Norway to have its coronavirus prevention and response policies verified by DNV GL. In addition to the industry standard self-declaration health form, each passenger’s body temperature is measured with a thermal camera before boarding in order to detect symptomatic cases. Crewmembers who come from high-infection-rate regions are quarantined for ten days before working on board.
Like all cruise and ferry operators, Color Line has also experienced a financial impact – as well as an operational impact – from the COVID-19 crisis. The firm is implementing cost reduction plans to cut its overhead by roughly $28 million in 2021, including reducing its staffing by the equivalent of about 300 full-time positions. Kleivdal says that Color Line will use voluntary measures as much as it can in order to achieve the cuts.