The arrival requirements for cruise ships are the same as for other vessels. However, cruise vessels may be visited by health officers as part of the First Arrival Survey programme.
First Arrival Survey programme
During the annual cruise season public health officials may visit passenger cruise vessels making more than one round-trip visit to New Zealand. This is to ensure that the appropriate processes are in place to protect the health of passengers and crew on entering New Zealand.
Health officers will notify shipping agents in advance of visiting a vessel. This enables shipping agents to advise vessels that the visit will take place, and ensures that public health officials receive the relevant security clearance.
Public health visits
The health officer will board the cruise vessel approximately two hours after arrival. A copy of the New Zealand Maritime Declaration of Health will be required.
The health officer will visit the vessel’s medical facilities. The vessel’s gastrointestinal surveillance log will be reviewed and the illness rates checked against those reported in the Advance Notice of Arrival and the ‘no change in status’ message. Where there are any discrepancies an explanation will be sought and the ship’s officers will be reminded of their responsibility to notify cases of illness both on arrival and while in New Zealand waters.
Public health assistance
Health officers can provide assistance to vessels in the following:
- Medical assistance when illness is occurring amongst passengers or crew members on arrival
- Assessment of sanitation practices
- Disease prevention and control strategies
- Laboratory analysis to confirm the cause of any gastroenteric illness on board.