Know Before You Go

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Our security efforts focus both on protecting our guests and crew from external security threats as well as ensuring that your vacation is not disrupted by disorderly conduct of anyone on board our ships. This is accomplished through planning, proper equipment, trained staff and audits, both governmental and internal.

A cruise ship is comparable to a secure building with round-the-clock security. Since cruise ships operate in a strictly controlled environment, access can be tightly regulated. Every person on board, including guests and crewmembers, is placed on an official manifest and may leave or enter the ship only after passing through strict security measures such as, by way of example:

  • All crewmembers must have photo identification badges.
  • All guests are required to carry ship-issued identification cards which they must have scanned whenever they board or leave the ship.
  • Visitors are not permitted onboard unless they were previously placed on a visitor’s list that has been submitted to regulatory authorities.
  • All guests and their luggage are screened before being allowed on the ship.

Every ship has a confidential security plan that prepares crewmembers to respond to foreseeable security threats. These plans are prepared by ship’s staff in conjunction with our Director, Fleet Security. The security plan must be approved by regulatory authorities before it is put in place.

Our ships are equipped with detection equipment similar to what is used in airports so that we are able to properly monitor both persons and property brought onto the ships. We also maintain special equipment for identifying explosives that can be used in the case of a bomb threat. Closed circuit television cameras are located in various areas of the ship. Finally, those ships operating in certain parts of the world are equipped with appropriate equipment to enable the crew to respond to external threats.

Every ship has an experienced Security Officer on board who is supported by a trained security staff. These men and women patrol the ship and monitor gangways during port calls.

Our ships are subject to regular inspections by governmental law enforcement authorities throughout the world, including the U.S. Coast Guard. These inspections ensure that our ships fully comply with the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code, an international law that was enacted after the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Furthermore, we conduct regular security audits on our ships to ensure that systems are being operated in accordance with published procedures.

In the unlikely event that a crime does occur on one of our vessels, it is promptly reported to appropriate law enforcement authorities. This reporting is done in full compliance with U.S. law, including the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010. This law, applicable to international voyages that embark or disembark guests in the United States, requires cruise lines to report certain on board felonies, tampering with the vessel and missing U.S. nationals. Reports must be made to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and U.S. Coast Guard.

These requirements apply to incidents that occur on board in U.S. territorial waters, or on the high seas or in foreign waters if the assailant or victim is a U.S. national. The FBI can assert criminal jurisdiction in all of these circumstances. Each of the nations visited, as well as the vessel’s flag state (The Netherlands), may also assert jurisdiction and/or impose additional reporting requirements.

In accordance with U.S. legal requirements, we are providing the following link to the U.S. Department of Transportation Cruise Line Incident Reports.