River Cruise Lines Begin Introducing New Health & Safety Protocols
River cruise lines have started to introduce their new protocols and procedures for health and safety in advance of their return to sailing. These changes span from new embarkation procedures and social distancing guidelines to sanitization methods and crew health standards.
Avalon Waterways has introduced the Avalon Assurance program in advance of its September 1, 2020 return date. This program outlines new embarkation procedures, air circulation of the ship, how it will implement social distancing, new disinfecting technologies, hands-free service, deep cleaning procedures, and steps being taken to ensure crew members are healthy.
Prior to departure, Avalon will require that passengers undergo a health screening that includes a touch-free temperature check and luggage disinfection by crew members. To encourage social distancing, Avalon will reduce ship capacity and introduce more dining venues for additional space. Avalon crew members will wear masks for the duration of the cruise during any guest interaction, and guests will be provided with masks to wear during any event where social proximity could become an issue, including disembarkation for excursions and safety drills.
More hand sanitizing stations will appear throughout the ship, and there will be required use of hand-sanitizing stations when leaving the ship, returning to the ship, entering dining venues, and entering common spaces. Avalon will also be modifying its dining service — replacing self-serve stations (including buffets) with crew service. All breakfast and lunch buffets will be replaced by a range of á la carte options.
On these changes, the line says, “Avalon will continue to review and update Assurance initiatives as we make our return to the world’s waterways including adhering to – and building upon – the standards set forth by travel and health agencies across the globe, including the European Centre for Disease Prevention (ECDC), Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA).”
For more information on the Avalon Waterways Avalon Assurance visit: https://agents.globusfamily.com/avalon-assurance.
Uniworld River Cruises has also introduced new health and safety as well as sanitization procedures. Like Avalon, Uniworld will require passengers to complete a health screening before embarkation. Onboard, gloves, masks, and hand sanitizer will be readily available. All guests and crew are required to sanitize their hands when entering public spaces, and when coming back onboard the ship.
New changes are being implemented for dining by Uniworld. All meals will be served by Uniworld crew, with no self-service allowed during buffets. All restaurant dining now has reserved seating, with guests at the same table with the same people each day. Two new seating times for each meal will limit the number of guests in a restaurant at one time.
In a statement, Uniworld said that “As we learn more from Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) we will look to adopt their health and safety recommendations and continue to update for your added peace of mind.”
Uniworld plans to resume European river cruise sailings on July 1, 2020.
For more information on Uniworld’s new protocols visit: https://www.uniworld.com/en/why-uniworld/health-safety/.