Project Overview

Healthy Sailing Project logo

EU Horizon – Healthy Sailing Project

September 2022 – August 2025

EU Funder: European Commission EU logo Funded under: HE | HORIZON-RIA\HORIZON-AG  
Project code: 101069764 Overall Budget: 3,194,560 EUR  
Call for proposal: HORIZON-CL5-2021-D6-01  UoG / FSEG awarded funding: £ 262,000  
UK Funder: UK Government via UKRI UKRI logo  

The Fire Safety Engineering Group are delighted to announce that, from September 2022, we are associate partners in a major EU Horizon project to investigate and develop prevention, mitigation and management measures for airborne disease control on passenger ships and ferries.

With vast experience, in-depth knowledge and established expertise in infectious disease prevention and control on passenger ships, HEALTHY SAILING consortium presents a comprehensive approach introducing innovative, multi-layered, risk and evidence-based, cost-effective tested measures for infectious diseases prevention, mitigation and management (PMM) differentiated for large ferries, cruise ships and expedition vessels. This approach covers: a) preparedness and response to known infectious diseases frequently occurring on passenger ships, diseases that have never occurred but for which preparedness is essential, diseases of unknown aetiology to ensure preparedness for future emerging pathogens/pandemics; b) the entire passenger/crew journey travelling from home to ship and returning, on-board, during shore-side visits; c) ship-board operations, shore-side company operations, port destinations and communities; d) a global perspective of project outputs towards communities and passenger shipping industry. Epidemiological studies, risk assessment, modelling for disease spread and aerosol/droplet dispersion and setting disease thresholds/alert levels will develop a scientific evidence-base and support production of evidence-informed guidelines on COVID-19 for ships/ports, passengers/crew vaccination, ventilation systems and expedition vessels’ medical operation needs. Development/testing of ship-specific syndromic surveillance, AI systems, decision support tools will contribute to early health threat detection on-board, risk-based proportionate responses, and healthy on-board environments.  Toolkits for blended learning with hands-on training and technology induced behaviour change will further knowledge, awareness and compliance of all stakeholders. An integrated e-pass based on one-ID concept and toolkit predicting port response capacities will address port operation and community needs. A scientific international panel will promote a harmonized global approach. .

Project Objectives The general (conceptual) objective of HEALTHY SAILING is to contribute to improve quality of passenger shipping services brought to society, facilitating recovery from COVID-19 pandemic, making the passenger shipping sector, safer, more resilient, competitive and efficient by producing evidence for infection control, validated prevention, mitigation, management measures and training to be used for policy making and ship operations, whose implementation will reduce public health incidents on-board large passenger ships and ferries.

Healthy Sailing project is partnering with major cruise operators to ensure safety in the most challenging conditions.

Cruise ship - pic 1 Cruise ship - pic 2
Cruise ship - pic 3 Cruise ship - pic 4

Objective 1:

To establish a comprehensive scientific basis concerning the specific mechanisms facilitating the on-board spread of infection and the effectiveness of different mitigation methods, WP3 will conduct literature reviews and epidemiological studies, risk assessment analysis, mathematical modelling for infectious diseases spread prediction, and provide a validated modelling capability to predict the dispersion of respiratory droplets and aerosols within the ventilated environment of a passenger ship to be used for PMM strategies. This comprehensive scientific basis will be publicly available through WP2 and 7 and measures will be in place to facilitate the take-up of project outputs as a function of ship type, size, type of cruise and cruise destination. The model will investigate areas of particular concern and challenges for infection transmission risk due to duration or nature of the activities:

Cruise ship inside - pic 1  Cruise ship inside - pic 2  Cruise ship inside - pic 3 
Cinema Gym Restaurant

Objective 2:

To develop, test and validate measures for early threat detection and for effective PMM measures that can reduce the rapid spread of diseases and the infection risks on-board large passenger ships, using syndromic surveillance for infectious diseases, innovative technologies including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning which are interoperable with legal, safety, security, environmental and other ship operational aspects and in the context of SSH aspects. PMM measures will be addressed (WP3,4,5,6).

Objective 3:

To increase knowledge and awareness among crew, other staff and passengers by conducting interventional study to improve compliance with health measures including hand hygiene practices, considering and addressing cultural, social, behavioural aspects and implementing risk communication principles accordingly, as part of the work of WP7, ensuring that crew and passengers are dully trained. The project aims to deliver the following outputs:

Project outputs 

Methodology  To achieve its objectives, HEALTHY SAILING has adopted an evidence-based methodological approach consisting of four components: expert opinion (across all WPs), evidence accumulation (WP3), development of PMM measures (WP4, WP5, WP6, WP7) and finally, integration of project outputs (WP 2, WP 3, WP6, WP7).

The four components of the Healthy Sailing Project:

Project components 
Project Workplan Work Package 1: Lead Partner: UTH

Project technical and scientific coordination

 WP1 will coordinate the activities across all work packages of HEALTHY SAILING and integrate legal aspects.

WP1 Objectives:

a) To manage the project by ensuring it is implemented as planned, demonstrating high-quality scientific leadership across the consortium and at global level, and providing sound financial management.

b) To cooperate and coordinate with “healthy ship design”, EU HEALTHY GATEWAYS and other action. FSEG’s role in this Work Package is to help coordinate the WP3 experimental trials and modelling, which require access to suitable ships for the trial dispersion studies and modelling that will form part of the central evidence base for the whole project.


Work Package 2: Lead Partner: SHIPSAN

Exploitation, dissemination and communication

WP2 will be responsible for the design and implementation of the dissemination, exploitation and communication.

WP2 Objectives:

a) To make the knowledge produced publicly available about infection spread mechanisms and measures.

b) To facilitate take-up of project outputs in function of ship type, size, type of cruise and cruise destination.


Work Package 3: Lead Partner: UoG

Evidence accumulation, overall assessment and integration

WP3 will provide the foundations for the information needed to develop the project outputs including software, training, experimental studies, guidelines, modelling and will develop the methods and conduct risk assessment and analysis of the infection chain for the infectious diseases that are relevant to large passenger ships from the perspective of ship operation and behaviour and other human factors. WP3 includes the activities for validation of the outputs produced through WP 4, 5, 6 and 7.

WP3 Objectives:

a) To establish an evidence base concerning the specific mechanisms facilitating the on-board spread of infection and the effectiveness of different mitigation methods.

b) To perform pilot-runs and demonstrations to create evidence for the effectiveness, applicability and interoperability of the introduced solutions for PMM measures.

c) To integrate evidence produced into project outputs including guidelines. FSEG leads this core modelling and experimental work package (WP) to generate a scientific evidence base concerning infection risk for the Healthy Sailing project.  UOG will utilise the SMARTFIRE CFD modelling environment and the dynamic aerosol dispersion modelling framework to explore the impact of the dispersion of airborne respiratory pathogens within ventilated spaces in cruise ship environments.  This is based on FSEG’s research and modelling framework development investigating Covid-19 aerosol dispersion and Infection Risk analysis in buildings, aircraft and trains:

  FSEG's work on the project 
Train droplet dispersion   Experimental Trials  

FSEG will also explore the effectiveness of different mitigation methods to reduce the risk of infection.

Together with the project’s experimental trials, conducted by University of Surrey (UOS), to generate data to validate the modelling, FSEG will model long range and extended duration interactions in shipboard ventilated spaces, whilst our other WP partner Finnish research laboratory VTT, will model short range droplet interactions, to assess the Infection Risks from directly inhaled near-field droplets and surfaces contamination with fomites.   These investigations will create a body of evidence helping to define the effectiveness, applicability and interoperability of introduced solutions for Prevention, Mitigation and Management (PMM) measures and allow the integration of these findings into project outputs, guidelines and training.


Work Package 4: Lead Partner: UTH

Prevention, mitigation and management measures for travellers

WP4 will incorporate tasks for PMM measures in relation to humans for infectious diseases on passenger ships, with emphasis on COVID-19.

WP4 Objectives:

a) To develop solutions for improving the prevention, mitigation and management of on-board disease and illness in relation to travellers including passengers and crew members.

b) To prevent communicable infections (Covid-19, influenza, norovirus) rapid spread amongst passengers and crew on large passenger ships, in particular on cruise ships.

c) To achieve early health threat detection systematically on-board passenger ships by developing an integrated e-surveillance system (E-SS) performing real-time syndromic, laboratory and environmental health surveillance.

d) To support decision making for implementing PMM response measures on-board by producing an Artificial Intelligence (AI) Intelligence Immune System (IIS) for health measures decision making.


Work Package 5: Lead Partner: INP

Prevention, mitigation and management measures in the ship environment

WP5 will include tasks for PMM measures relevant to the ship environment including activities for measures of cleaning, disinfection, water safety.

WP5 Objectives:

a) To develop solutions to prevent, mitigate and manage the rapid spread of infectious agents in the ship environment that can cause on-board disease.

b) To contribute to early detection of infectious agents by using reliable laboratory testing methods.

c) To contribute to the prevention of waterborne diseases including Legionnaires’ disease by producing an artificial intelligence water safety plan.


Work Package 6: Lead Partner: UKE

Prevention, mitigation, management measures for shore side operations & communities

WP6 will focus on PMM measures applicable to ports such as crowd control and will produce best practices for interoperability with the ship plans and activities for international cooperation for communities.

WP6 Objectives:

a) To control spread of communicable infections (Covid-19, influenza, norovirus) beyond the vessel in ports and port communities.

b) To develop and demonstrate solutions for improving the prevention, mitigation and management of on-board disease and illness.


Work Package 7: Lead Partner: USN

Education, awareness and risk communication

WP7 will focus on increasing knowledge and awareness among crew, passengers and staff, while placing HEALTHY SAILING outputs in an SSH context.

WP7 Objectives:

a) To prevent and control infectious diseases spread through contaminated hands by developing for a toolkit for technology-induced behavioural change in hand hygiene incorporating training.

b) To increase knowledge and awareness among crew, other staff and passengers by providing blended learning training toolkit enriched with hands-on training (HOT).

c) To place project outputs in SSH context.

Figure showing the linkages between the Healthy Sailing Work Packages:

Project Partners
EU Horizon Funded Partners 
University of Thessaly (UTH)  UTH logo  Frederick University (FREDU)  FREDU logo 
Fondazione E Bruno Kessler (FBK)  FBK logo  Universitaetsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE)  UKE logo 
European Scientific Association For Health And Hygiene In Maritime Transport (SHIPSAN)  SHIPSAN logo  National Technical University of Athens (NTUA)  NTUA logo 
SIMFWD P.C. (SIMFWD)  SIMFWD logo  Mircea cel Batran Naval Academy (MBNA)  MBNA logo 
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA)  NKUA logo  Sveuciliste U Rijeci, Pomorski Fakultet (PFRI)  PFRI logo 
University of Gothenburg (UGOT)  UGOT logo  SEA JETS Maritime Company (SEAJETS)  SEAJETS logo 
Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus VTT OY (VTT)  VTT logo  CELESTYAL CRUISES (CELESTYAL)   CELESTYAL logo 
Instituto De Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)  ISCIII logo  University of South-Eastern Norway (USN)  USN logo 
Institute of Communication and Computer Systems (ICCS)  ICCS logo  Istituto Superiore Di Sanita (ISS)  ISS logo 
Inp Greifswald - Leibniz-Institut fur Plasmaforschung Und Technologie Ev (INP)  INP logo     

EU Horizon Funded Partners 
University of Greenwich (UOG) – Fire Safety Engineering Group (FSEG)  UoG logo  University of Surrey (UOS) - Global Centre for Clean Air Research  UOS logo 
Carnival Maritime (CCL)  CCL logo  Viking Cruises (VIKING)  VIKING logo 
MSC Cruises (MSC)  MSC logo     

Further Information Prof. Ed Galea
Fire Safety Engineering Group
University of Greenwich
Greenwich Maritime Campus
Old Royal Naval College
Queen Mary Building
Greenwich SE10 9LS
Tel: +44 (020) 8331 8730

The Healthy Sailing project is funded by the European Union’s HORIZON 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.

More Details
EU Website:

See FSEG publications: #362, #358, #355