In response to the recent attack on America, Holland America Line and Windstar Cruises assure their guests and travel agent associates that the safety and security of its guests and crew is the company's highest priority.
Company management is in continual communication with all ships, where all operations and on-board programs are proceeding as scheduled.
Holland America/Windstar has no reason to believe its ships are at risk, however the company has taken every possible precaution in implementing a comprehensive on-board security program. A heightened level of security remains in effect.
"Cruise ships are inherently secure because they are a controlled environment with limited access," said Stein Kruse, senior vice president, marine operations. "Under normal circumstances, security programs are stringent, but in light of recent events, we have strengthened those programs even further."
Holland America/Windstar, and other cruise lines, work closely with local, state, federal and international authorities, including the port authorities where the ships call, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, U.S. Customs Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Interpol.
Holland America/Windstar's on-board security program has been developed in conjunction with the consulting firm, International Maritime Security Co. of London, England. Ship-specific security plans have been implemented. All on-board security officers are professionally trained law enforcement officers. In addition, IMS continually updates Holland America with worldwide security advisories.
Additional security measures affecting cruise passengers include, but are not limited to, the following: increased inspections of luggage and carry-on bags; additional security personnel and controls, canine inspections, and the use of metal detectors for embarking guests and crew.
Photo identification is required for all guests, crew members and any visitors who may be permitted to board any ship by advance authorization. The following documents are required for all passengers:
Holland America/Windstar advise that there will be strict enforcement of required identification and nationality/travel papers.
The company also advises that embarkation and disembarkation may take longer than usual in order to accommodate additional security procedures and guests should plan their flights accordingly.
"The tragic incidents have been a solemn reminder that we must remain constantly alert and ensure that every possible precaution is taken to protect our passengers, ships and all employees. We have undertaken these additional security measures, and others, to ensure a safe, secure and comfortable vacation experience for our guests," said Kruse. "We thank all of our travel agent associates and customers for their patience and understanding during this time."
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