About Us

Public Health Compliance Professionals You Can Trust

Public Health Compliance Professionals You Can Trust

Anchor Hygiene Services Ltd. is a cohesive source of public health stability and support for cruise ships world-wide, working in accordance with the United States CDC Vessel Sanitation Program, commonly referred to as USPH. Our background also includes more than 20 years of managing public health compliance for the cruise industry. Bringing together our skills and knowledge in these fields, we provide our clients with the environmental health support and management that they need for both, their hotel and technical operations.

Why Choose Us

We provide quality public health support, answer cruise industry professionals’ public health questions and keep our clients informed of the best practices in maritime public health. Because of our detailed understanding of world-wide public health legislation governing cruise ships, ship owners and operators can count on us to help ensure that their companies meet the standards set by USPH and other port health authorities around the world. We have an in-depth working knowledge of cruise ship operations gleaned from years of hands-on experience.

All-Encompassing Public Health Support

  • On-the-job assistance in preparation for port authority public health inspections world-wide
  • Operational USPH - style inspections
  • Outbreak prevention planning and, when the need regrettably arises, outbreak resolution
  • Overseeing recreational and potable water management
  • Oversight and inspections during new ship construction and refurbishments
  • Training and developing of shipboard management and crew

Our Core Values

  • Excellence

    We have extensive knowledge and experience in shipboard hotel management and public health operations. This gives us the ability to provide effective training to all crew members at every level.

  • Compassion

    Our team has an in-depth understanding of the challenges and frustrations experienced by crew members. Because of this, we can develop effective strategies on how we can walk them through their issues and help them learn how to work in compliance with public health regulations.

Iain Hay, FRSPH, Managing Director

Iain is a focused, committed, results-driven professional who has more than 30 years of experience in international hospitality management and cruise ship public health compliance. He has a tenacious passion for excellence and keen interpersonal skills.

His reputation is based on consistently delivering superior results and his ability to connect with management and crew of various nationalities. He fluidly explains what is required in simple, uncomplicated terms and is resolved to achieve results through positive reinforcement.

Iain is an active Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health (FRSPH) and member of the Institute of Hospitality. He is an articulate communicator who commands respect through the projection of a professional image and an unbiased attitude. Aside from that, he is a proficient report writer with an excellent command of the English language.

Cruise Ship Public Health Support


Arguably the greatest asset offered to cruise operators by Anchor Hygiene Services, alongside extensive knowledge and experience in both hotel management and public health regulations, is the proven ability to get buy-in from the crew at every level through effective training. A positive and non-threatening approach is used at all times during inspections, on operational walk-through’s (on-the-job training), in classroom training, in outbreak situations and when escorting sick or unstable crewmembers around the world.

AHS clients are assured of an in-depth understanding of the challenges and frustrations experienced by crewmembers and an ability to walk them through their issues to practically demonstrate how to achieve public health compliance.

Operational Methodology:

  • Walking through each work area and advising crewmembers on all aspects of their work as it relates to public health safety, practically demonstrating public health requirements and showing employees how to achieve the desired result.
  • Explaining requirements and the reasoning behind them.
  • Asking questions in an informal manner to establish management and crew knowledge which provides a platform on which to offer tailored guidance and training.
  • Offering constructive feedback on crewmembers’ performance and of public health compliance insofar as it applies to them, using positive feedback to motivate and encourage them.
  • Ensuring that all new implementations and procedures are always effectively communicated to both management and the crew.
  • Correcting errors as they happen and always providing corrective action feedback on to supervisors and managers.

Inspections and Report Writing

The entire scope of public health requirements are assessed during inspections and are commented upon in a report provided following each ship visit detailing all non-compliance issues as well as best practice suggestions and recommendations. Scores are provided only where ship operators explicitly request scores in which case the U.S. CDC Vessel Sanitation Program system is applied.

Reports are primarily intended to offer constructive guidance on the correction of findings and improving the operation.

The following public health headings are covered with each visit and the compliance factor is based on the specific requirements of the countries within the geographical location of the ship as well as with the CDC Vessel Sanitation Program requirements:

  • Gastrointestinal Illness Surveillance
  • Potable Water
  • Recreational Water (Swimming Pools and Whirlpool Spas)
  • Food Safety
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Housekeeping
  • Child Activity Centres
  • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems, Fountains, Misting Systems, Humidifiers, and Showers


On-the Job:

  • Watching crewmembers at work, commenting on their practices, asking questions, offering practical solutions and demonstrating compliance in a hands-on approach. The work setting tends to be less threatening than a formal classroom and the mistakes can be observed and corrected as they occur.


  • Using training aids, such as MS Powerpoint, to explain the theory of food safety and guidance on the specifics of the public health requirements as they relate to each group of personnel.

Training is offered to suit the various public health authorities that cruise lines work with around the world. Also UK Ofqual food safety training is offered from levels 1 through 4.


HACCP plans of food operations are assessed and guidance is offered to update plans in accordance with the process-led time and temperature protocols favoured by the VSP. Also, HACCP plans can be drawn up, if required, to meet the Codex system preferred in the UK and elsewhere within the EU.

HACCP principles may be introduced for all aspects of the shipboard operation beyond the food and beverage department as is favoured by the EU, UK and Australian systems.


Outbreak Prevention

Assistance is given to help management operate a safe outbreak prevention policy. Outbreak prevention planning may be offered, including the writing or updating of companies’ outbreak prevention plans.

Guidance is offered for all aspects of outbreak prevention including housekeeping, food safety, and water management.

Outbreak Resolution

During an outbreak situation guidance and support is offered at every stage of the operation including:

  • Meeting with the entire crew complement to explain the situation in layman’s terms, to guide them on how to limit the spread of communicable illness and how to stay well themselves. Explain why additional labour intensive measures, which may involve all departments, are usually essential to kerb the spread of illness as part of the outbreak resolution process. Provide a forum for questions and answers.
  • Daily meetings with senior managers and doctors to review progress, to update shoreside support groups and to discuss the next steps.
  • Supporting the ship’s medical division to ensure that illness reporting is accurate and timely. Liaising with management for the provision of additional administrative support to the medical team as needed.
  • Overseeing the mixing, bottling, labeling and distribution of chemical sanitising agents (bleach and manufactured products such as Microbac, Vital Oxide, Oxyvir, Virox, etc).
  • Working with operational managers (F&B manager, housekeeper, concessionaires, etc) to make certain that the cruise operators’ OPRP (outbreak prevention and response plan)is strictly adhered to and that there are no gaps in processes which could compromise the ship-wide sanitation effort.

Post Outbreak Assessment

  • Review outbreak prevention practices employed and observed operational shortcomings in order to offer guidance to improve for the future.
  • Provide suggestions and guidance to improve the OPRP based on the reality of deficiencies realised during an outbreak.

Construction Support

Anchor Hygiene Services are qualified to provide public health construction guidance during the new building process or during major ship re-fits and revitalisation projects to ensure that all equipment installations are built, installed and positioned in accordance within strict international construction requirements.

We offer support to ships during public health construction inspections in the shipbuilding yard and are able to work with shipyards and/or cruise operators to obtain variances to comply with authorities, such as the United States CDC Vessel Sanitation Program, when the regulation cannot be upheld exactly as outlined in relevant public health operations manuals.


In addition to the services detailed above Anchor Hygiene Services is able to consider and support any aspect of a ship operator’s public health programme as required and can offer additional services such as the escorting of sick crewmembers from ships to hospitals or their homes world-wide. If a demand is realised Anchor Hygiene Services will consider taking on new functions as requested by cruise operators to support their public health needs.

Anchor Hygiene Services, in conjunction with partner organisations, is able to assist with the provision of ship cleaning, sanitising and fogging during UK port turnarounds or in British ports of call by recommending experts in that field. This is particularly useful in outbreak situations when crew are extremely busy meeting the additional workload to fight viruses and they struggle to ensure that the ship can be 100% sanitised in the short amount of time available to them in a single port day.

Additional Notes

Anchor Hygiene Services are familiar with and can provide guidance to operate in conjunction with:

  • CDC Vessel Sanitation Program (USPH)
  • Health Canada
  • Anvisa Brazil
  • UK Port Health
  • Australian Port Health

In order to comply with various international regulations for working on board ships Anchor Hygiene Services employees will always be in possession of:

  • B1/B2 tourist visa, or a Visa Waiver Program ESTA for entry into the United States
  • Yellow fever vaccination (if required to go to Brazil)
  • Hepatitis A vaccination for tropical countries

Other certificates, visas and vaccinations may be obtained as are required either by the cruise operator, or by authorities in countries visited by AHS personnel aboard clients’ vessels or overseas offices and training facilities.