Cruise line adopts SKO Systems facial recognition and Daon health pass
Holland America Line will be implementing SKO Systems’ mBark facial recognition to check-in passengers and take up Daon’s VeriFLY COVID-19 vaccination digital wallet for its homeports in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.
“Holland America Line continues to look for ways that make the cruising experience better for our guests as we navigate protocols and best practices for today’s travelers,” says Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. “We recently completed testing with VeriFLY and mBark on a few sailings, and the most common comment from guests was, ‘That’s it?’ because it’s so fast and efficient.”
mBark is described as a mobile verification system that allows passengers to check-in for their cruise in under 10 seconds. Users upload their photo and pretravel information to the Holland America Website before embarking. Then the facial recognition system will allow guests to use a touchless check-in system after a face scan to go aboard the cruise.
London-based SKO Systems’ portfolio also includes integrated face biometrics solution SKOFace.
The cruise line will also use VeriFLY to ensure that passengers have proof of vaccination or test results to expedite the screening process. Users of the vaccine passport app must first upload their inoculation information to the VeriFLY app, which grants them a QR code that can progress past check-in. Daon says that dozens of airliners, cruise lines, hotels, and other industries now use VeriFLY, with Carnival Cruise Lines another prominent client in the cruise industry.
Tom Grissen, Daon’s CEO, says, “Holland America Line is recognized globally for providing an outstanding travel experience, and so we are delighted to be able to partner with the cruise line to bring their guests the convenience and peace of mind that comes with VeriFLY.”
Holland America Line says mBark will launch alongside ships as they return to service and will be introduced to other embarkation ports as they move to new regions. VeriFLY was launched in March and will be added to other ships by the end of March, the cruise line says.
The decision by Holland America Line joins a trend among cruise liners to add biometrics for passenger verification, which took on new alarm after the COVID-19 pandemic. Some recent examples include Celebrity and Royal Caribbean integrating BriefCam with facial recognition for contract tracing of passengers for COVID-19, facial analysis and verification for cruise ships in Hong Kong and Carnival Cruise Line, and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol using facial recognition for 12 U.S. ports in partnership with major cruise lines.