Intercruises Shoreside & Port Services, a global business offering ground handling and port agency services to the ocean and river cruise industry, has completed the development of SafeAshore™, a new system designed to help further enhance the safety of shore excursion guests and guides.
Following five months of development, trials were successfully carried out in August 2017 during shore excursions in Marseille, where the system is live and being used by the local Intercruises team.
SafeAshore™ enables Intercruises and cruise line teams to track tour groups’ locations at any time and provides a single and secure communication channel for instant messaging between guides and the Intercruises team. The system is also pre-loaded with information to aid incident response, including local emergency phone numbers and a map highlighting nearby ‘safe places’, such as police stations or hospitals.
“Safety is a priority for Intercruises and SafeAshore will enhance our ability to respond to incidents during our shore excursions, enabling more timely, informed and efficient incident management,” said Olga Piqueras, managing director, Intercruises Shoreside & Port Services. “This is an innovative, yet simple solution that has been developed based on the real incident experiences of our own teams and in response to concerns raised in recent years by cruise lines, ports and destinations.”
SafeAshore™ is a two-part system, consisting of a mobile and web application. Guides install and log into the SafeAshore™ mobile application, entering basic details specific to their tour to make it active. Active tours are visible to Intercruises and cruise line teams on the web application, with real-time locations displayed on a map. SafeAshore™ runs in the background on guides’ phone and constantly sends location data, which is recorded on the web application and stored for reporting purposes. Once a tour is completed, the guide logs out of SafeAshore™ and the application remains dormant, no longer collecting data, until the next login.
“I was happy to be involved in this project and see the value the system can have during an emergency and also in everyday operations, such as informing other guides or the port team of heavy traffic,” commented a guide from Marseille involved in the SafeAshore™ trials.
SafeAshore™ is being updated with information for other destinations as availability of the system is expanded across France and the Mediterranean during 2017, with implementation in other regions planned for 2018.