You can sail on a self-disinfecting cruise ship with Hyatt points

Feb 6, 2020

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Lindblad Expeditions has a new selling point that might grab your attention: All its ships now are “self-disinfecting.”

The pioneering expedition cruise company this week announced it had coated the interiors of all nine of its vessels with a new specialized treatment that interacts with light to break down bacteria, viruses, mold and airborne allergens.

Lindblad is now claiming to have the “first self-disinfecting fleet in the cruise industry.”

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Dubbed ACT CleanCoat, the new system was developed by Copenhagen, Denmark-based ACT.Global. Billed as a transparent, odorless and sustainable disinfectant, the coating can eliminate microbes such as Ebola, E. coli, viruses, mold spores and allergens for up to a year, the company says. It also removes noxious odors.

CleanCoat’s main ingredient is titanium dioxide, which is also found in sunscreen and food additives. Lindblad says the coating is completely harmless to passengers, crew and the environment.

If this sounds familiar to you, it’s because in March of 2019, two hotels in (you guessed it) Denmark introduced the technology for the first “self-cleaning” guest rooms.

Lindblad was working on the coating project long before the outbreak of coronavirus. The project is part of an effort at the line to reduce its impact on the pristine environments its ships visit. The line is known as a leader in expeditions to Antarctica, the Arctic, the Galápagos and other remote, relatively undeveloped parts of the world.

Lindblad Expeditions is known for hardy, expedition-style vessels that can travel deep in polar regions. Photo courtesy of Lindblad Expeditions.
Lindblad Expeditions is known for hardy, expedition-style vessels that can travel deep in polar regions. Photo courtesy of Lindblad Expeditions.


“We are very conscious of the waste we produce, and how the cleanliness of our ship and protection of our guests onboard is vital to a healthy environment,” Bruce Tschampel, the line’s vice president for hotel operations, said in a statement accompanying the announcement.

Tschampel said a pilot program on one ship proved the coating worked. The number of illnesses reported by passengers on the vessel dropped by 50% after the coating was added, he said.

The ship’s cleaning staff also was able to use less disinfectant and water for cleaning, which lowered the vessel’s environmental footprint, according to Tschampel.

Related: The best credit cards for booking cruises

On an annualized basis, the single ship in the pilot program “eliminated over 1,000 plastic bottles of cleaning products and dramatically reduced water usage by 1.1 million gallons,” Tschampel said. “The crew is raving about how much healthier the ship is.”

Lindblad operates relatively small vessels that carry just 48 to 148 passengers, and has been a leader among cruise lines in sustainability efforts. In 2019, it became a carbon neutral company, offsetting 100% of emissions from its ships, land-based operations, employee travel and corporate offices. Lindblad also was one of the first cruise companies to eliminate single-use plastics in passenger areas.

The news comes as Lindblad prepares to unveil its hardiest vessel ever: the 126-passenger National Geographic Endurance. Named by The Points Guy as one of the eight most exciting new cruise ships of 2020, National Geographic Endurance has been specifically designed to take adventurous travelers deep into the world’s polar regions. Among its initial sailings will be an epic, 26-day crossing of the Russian Arctic that we’re calling one of the best new cruise itineraries of the year.

How to book a Lindblad cruise

In addition to now offering self-disinfecting ships, Lindblad is one of the only cruise-selling companies that lets you book a voyage using points. Thanks to a relatively new partnership between Lindblad and Hyatt, World of Hyatt members can pay for a cruise using Hyatt points. Alternately, members can earn 5 base points per dollar on eligible spend (excluding incidentals), plus the standard bonuses for Hyatt elite members and elite tier-qualifying night credits.

All members — regardless of status — will enjoy a $250 onboard credit to use on incidentals. Visit the Lindblad Expeditions cobranded Hyatt site for more details.

Planning a cruise for 2020? Our planning guide starts here:

Featured image courtesy of Lindblad Expeditions 

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