Effective Hand Hygiene Strategy for Passenger Cruise Ships

Effective Hand Hygiene Strategy for Passenger Cruise Ships

Today’s passenger cruise ships which are designed employing modern techniques seem like“mini cities” in the sea world. Almost thousands of people travel via cruise ships on a daily basis and therefore hand hygiene provision especially in the times of pandemic is an essential measure. This article gives an overview regarding all the requirements necessary for hand hygiene and particularly the role of hand sanitizers within the settings of cruise ships.

Essential Components of the Cruise Ship Settings

The key components in the ecosystem of cruise ships are mentioned below where hand hygiene should be considered as the top priority as well the people who are  responsible for hand hygiene are also listed below:

Essential Locations 

  • All Washrooms 
  • Food storage and preparation areas 
  • Healthcare areas (on board hospital/clinic)
  • General public areas (e.g. cinema, ballroom, etc.) 

Essential people

  • Passengers 
  • Staff associated with food handling
  • Staff associated with healthcare provision
  • General staff 

Hand Hygiene in Cruise Ships

To ensure hand hygiene in passenger cruise ships, take into account the following factors:


  • Availability of clean water
  • Availability of hand sanitizers


The most useful way to ensure hand hygiene is to wash and rinse hands properly as per established best practice. Washing with an appropriate hand cleanser and water helps in removing dirt, germs, greasy soiling as well as any contaminated sticky material. Considering the high degree of self-care for such situations, a high level of sanitization is required. As discussed above, this can be obtained either by using soapy solution and water or by using hand sanitizers that  contain at least 60 percent alcohol concentration in them. 

The latter strategy should be strongly recommended for food handlers as it provides a more convenient way and a handy solution to safeguard hands against germs  When hand cleansers and  hand sanitizers are used, it is significant to clean and dry hands before the application of sanitizer. 


Hand Hygiene in washrooms of cruise ships


Taking care of hygiene in washrooms is a key component of germs prevention measures.  Washrooms present a risk of germs spread via two main routes;  spread via excrement or spread via contaminated water. It is necessary to clean and disinfect washrooms daily with effective solutions as well as ensured of quality water system. After using washrooms, it is mandatory to wash hands with soap or hand cleanser. 

Tips to Ensure Hand Hygiene 

  • Regular hand washing

Research statistics say that most people don’t wash their hands through proper means. It is necessary to apply soap and scrub it in a proper way i.e. palms, between the fingers and under the fingernails for at least 20 seconds. Proper hand washing can get rid of germs effectively. As per the recommendation of CDC, the practice of hand washing can safeguard lives if proper technique is employed and it can reduce the flu risk and avoid the spread of foodborne illnesses in close settings especially in cruise ships.

  • Using Hand Sanitizer


The best choice for passengers to clean hands is the use of hand sanitizers in order to increase the time period of hand hygiene. It kills harmful germs when comes in contact while delivering long-term persistent efficacy and protection. Research showed that Hand Sanitizers that contain alcohol based concentrates and antimicrobial nanotechnology, are effective against germs for a long time with an effect of up to 4 hours. So, it is essential to make this necessary item available in cruise ships at all key locations.

  • Avoiding Finger Food Sharing

We touch many surfaces throughout the day including door knobs, handles, tables, chairs etc. All tangible surfaces contain germs as they come in contact with everyone. So, it is important to clean hands especially before eating. Food sharing involves the risk of passing germs to others. Therefore, before sharing food items and meals to others for consumption, first of all wash or sanitize hands carefully. If you have limited access to soap and water, consider using high quality hand sanitizer that gives persistent safety against germs. Hand hygiene is of great importance in order to prevent food contamination.

  • Avoiding Use of Hand Dryers

Hand dryers blow hot air as well as all sorts of germs present around us. A research study found that people who use dryers have 27 times more germs on their hands than people who use paper towels in order to dry their hands after washing. So, it is good to make use of paper towels and dispose off them after one time use. In addition to other preventative measures, it’s also a must-have approach to get rid of toxic and harmful germs.


Despite the practice of washing hand, hand sanitizers also play a crucial role to ensure hand hygiene and prevention of germs within passenger cruise ships. Cruise management should prefer hand sanitizers that meet global efficacy standards recommended by WHO and meet the requirements of all users including managers, staff and passengers.