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Health & Safety Protocol

Assam Bengal Navigation takes the health and safety of all passengers and crew extremely seriously, and – as such – we have drafted a Health & Safety Protocol that will be enforced on all ships. Proper adherence to these new escalated measures by all will help ensure the health and wellbeing of everyone on board as well as the locals that we may encounter on our excursions.




  • The ABN Health & Safety Protocol is subject to change, pending advice from World Health Organisation and local health authorities.


  • ABN will work swiftly to action any new health and safety advice, and will add them to this protocol when necessary.




Before boarding a cruise, all passengers will be asked to:


  • Have their body temperature checked


  • Any passenger whose temperature is above 100.4° F (38°C) will not be allowed to board the ship.


  • All passengers boarding the vessel shall submit a self-declaration form to the Cruise Manager that states that:

    • They are COVID-19 free as of 4 days before the date of embarkation.

    • They have not experienced any COVID-19 symptoms (particularly fever, cough, sore throat, difficulty in breathing) at any time during the last 7 days before the date of embarkation.


  • Carefully read through and accept the terms of Assam Bengal Navigation’s Health & Safety Protocol.




  • Assam Bengal Navigation reserves the right to stop any passenger from taking part in a cruise if their participation is considered to be in conflict with the Health & Safety Protocol.




General rules


To ensure the safety of all passengers and crew members on board, it is imperative that passengers adhere to the following:


  • Maintain physical distancing measures of 2 metres apart from all passengers and crew members

  • Wash or sanitise their hands regularly (hand sanitiser dispensers are provided throughout the ship)


  • Wear a face mask in indoor common areas of the ship; the ship’s open-air sundeck is the only exception provided passengers take care to maintain a physical distance of 2 metres

  • Wear a face mask during excursions

  • To ensure physical distancing in common areas, we may ask passengers to disperse among all common areas instead of gathering in a single space alone

  • Ensure that they report any illness (particularly fever, cough, sore throat, difficulty in breathing) to the Cruise Manager

  • Comply with the Health & Safety Protocol and the directions set out by the Cruise Manager.


Health & Safety Officer

Cruise Managers on Assam Bengal Navigation ships will act as Health & Safety Officers, ensuring compliance with the rules and procedures that we have established on all ships. Their responsibilities include enforcing the below:


  • All passengers and crew members must observe physical distancing measures of 2 metres apart


  • Correct usage of personal protective gear and cleaning products for all passengers and crew members

  • Thorough and frequent cleaning and disinfection of all surfaces


  • Monitor all passengers and personnel on board for COVID-19 symptoms


  • Ensure the overall health and safety of passengers and crew members through the correct implementation and adoption of the Health & Safety Protocol. 



  • Your luggage will be sanitised by our crew promptly upon arrival.

  • Although crew will be happy to oblige (and will disinfect the handles prior to and after carrying your luggage), passengers will have the option of carrying their own luggage to their cabins.

Hand sanitisation


  • Hand sanitisers are positioned throughout the ship, including in all back-of-house crew areas.

  • Passengers are requested to wash/sanitise their hands regularly and crew will wash/sanitise their hands at least every 30 minutes. 

Face masks

  • Face masks are to be worn by all passengers in indoor common areas of the ship

  • When on excursions, it is mandatory for passengers to wear face masks at all times.

  • Crew will wear face masks at all given times.

  • It’s advisable that face masks are either frequently replaced or washed.


  • We advise that all passengers bring at least 3 face masks with them on the cruise.


  • Covering your nose and mouth is the correct way to wear a face mask.


  • All passengers and crew are advised to avoid touching your face, even with a mask on. If hand contact occurs, please wash or sanitise hands immediately.





  • Depending on the number of passengers on a cruise, we will have two dining service timings for each meal - breakfast, lunch, and dinner - so that we can limit the number of passengers in the restaurant at a time.

    • The Cruise Manager will inform you of the dining service timings

    • The Cruise Manager will also draw up a seating arrangement to help maintain physical distancing during meal times


  • Groups travelling together will be allowed to sit closer together, but only with four passengers or less (except for families)

  • Passengers will be required to maintain the same seating arrangement during meals throughout the cruise


  • Table service will replace buffets for all meals


  • Fruit, cookies, cocktail snacks, and appetisers at the bar will be served individually and on request

  • Passengers should ask the restaurant staff if they want to use shared objects (e.g. menus, condiments etc.)


  • Restaurant staff will be available to ensure that there is no shared usage of utensils by passengers


  • All touch points, like chairs and salt and pepper shakers, will be immediately disinfected after each seating.



Common areas

  • In the event that the cruise is being operated with a full capacity of passengers, passengers will be asked to disperse among all common areas such as the saloon, restaurant and sun-deck instead of gathering in a single area.

  • Events such as briefings, lectures, folk performances etc. may be split into two or more sessions.

  • All furniture in these areas will be rearranged to facilitate physical distancing


  • Passengers will no longer be able to borrow books, magazines, and board games

  • Disinfection of common touch-point surfaces will be done several times a day (door handles, railings, bar counters, etc.)

  • All air-conditioner filters are cleaned and disinfected at the start of each cruise


  • As much as possible, the crew will ensure proper ventilation of all areas


  • Instructions on physical distancing, sneezing and coughing etiquette, and correct usage of hand sanitisers and personal protective gear will be posted in public areas.




  • Daily spraying of disinfectant will be carried out


  • Housekeeping crew will wear disposable gloves and face masks throughout the service. Gloves will be changed after cleaning each cabin.

  • All air-conditioning filters in the cabins will be cleaned and disinfected before the start of each cruise


  • Your cabin keys will be disinfected each time before they are handed back to you.




  • Bedsheets, towels, uniforms and other clothes will be washed at the extremely high temperature of 60°C.

  • Passengers are requested to regularly wash their face masks themselves.



  • In accordance with instructions from local health authorities, spa services may continue to be offered in adherence to strict hygiene standards.


  • Up-to-date rules and procedures in accordance with local regulations will be shared with passengers prior to shore excursions

  • Face masks are to be worn for all excursions at all times by passengers and crew. Refusal to wear a face mask will mean that the excursion will be cancelled for that particular passenger.

  • Physical distancing measures will be set up in vehicles during excursions


  • All vehicles will be cleaned and disinfected before each use.



  • Passengers and crew members will be required to report any symptoms of COVID-19 to the Cruise Manager. Moreover, the Cruise Manager will be actively monitoring all on board for the emergence of any symptoms.

  • In such a case where a passenger or crew member has displayed symptoms possibly related to COVID-19, the following plan will be activated:


  • The concerned passenger or crew member will be isolated in a separate cabin and kept under supervision until the arrival of local health authorities

  • Crew members coming into contact with the concerned party will be required to wear full personal protection equipment

  • Once local health authorities have made their diagnosis and found that the concerned passenger or crew member has tested negative for COVID-19, then activity will proceed as normal.

  • In the event that the concerned party has to leave the ship for the test, they will only be allowed back on board if there is an official certification showing that they have tested negative for COVID-19.

  • Costs for medical services for passengers will not be borne by Assam Bengal Navigation.



  • Crew members will return to work at the start of the cruising season only if they can present a COVID-19 free test that was taken within the last 3 days

  • All crew will be subject to daily body temperature checks

  • All crew will be provided with masks and other personal protective equipment, and provided with detailed instructions on their usage

  • Face masks are to be worn at all times by crew, both on and off the ship.


  • Daily disinfection of all crew cabins and quarters

  • Person-to-person physical greetings are prohibited (hugging, shaking hands).

  • All crew will ensure that their hands are washed/sanitised every 30 minutes while on board.






  • Where possible, external suppliers, vendors and contractors will not be allowed on board at all

  • If they do need to enter, then body temperature checks of these personnel will be undertaken; they will be allowed on board only if their body temperature is less than 100.4° F (38°C) and they are wearing masks and other appropriate personal protective equipment


  • These personnel will be mandated to wash/sanitise their hands upon entry as well as every 30 minutes during their time on board the ship


  • Strict guidelines to maintain the sanitisation chain during the receipt of goods will be implemented.

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