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In what will surely be a template for other river cruise lines to follow, both Avalon Waterways and Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection have outlined exactly how they’re preparing for a healthy resumption of operations in the near future.
Avalon WaterwaysFollowing the appointment of a Global Health & Safety Team, Avalon has launched its Avalon Assurance Program.
The program is comprised of several key protocols, such as how to properly board Avalon’s riverboats. New embarkation protocols will include mandatory health screenings such as temperature checks, as well as the disinfection of luggage.
Once onboard, Panorama Suites — which account for 80% of accommodations already — feature Open-Air balconies for fresh ventilation. What’s more, air is not recirculated between cabins but mixed with outside oxygen.
Furthermore, staterooms and their soft goods will be deep cleaned and disinfected at each turnover; dining areas will be wiped clean between meals; public areas will be disinfected on an hourly basis; and shared items, such as bikes and umbrellas, will be sanitized after each use.
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Additional sanitation will be applied via electrostatic cleaning and UV disinfecting, and extra hand sanitizer stations will be installed throughout. Buffet and self-serve stations will also be replaced with crew service. Social distancing will be made possible with reduced ship capacities and alternative dining venues, and passengers and crew will be provided masks as needed.
Crew will also be required to undergo medical screenings and provide certificates of health, uphold social distancing in staff areas and receive training on wearing personal protective equipment, and overall hygiene. Avalon is also evaluating excursion standards and partner protocols.
Avalon currently plans to resume its sailings in September.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise CollectionSimilarly, Uniworld will require guests to be health screened prior to embarkation, and self-serve items will be shelved, so to speak, including the removal of communal coffee table books in favor of its complimentary PressReader app. Fruits, cookies, chips, nuts, candies and other goodies will only be served by the crew, and shared restaurant items such as bread and butter will also be fully served.
Dining will follow reserved seating with the same guests at the same table daily. Regarding social distancing, bus capacities will be reduced during excursions, and gloves, face masks and hand sanitizer bottles will be available to guests.
Sanitation will extend to available disinfectant wipes throughout including coffee stations and public restrooms, and onboard payments will be processed in a contactless fashion while credit card machines will be sanitized after each transaction.
Uniworld’s crew will also be regularly health screened and uphold social distancing standards. Crew will receive their meals and have their private and public accommodations frequently cleaned.
Uniworld currently plans to restart cruises in July.
The DetailsAvalon Waterwayswww.avalonwaterways.com
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collectionwww.uniworld.com