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  • Writer's pictureStephan Busch

Re - Opening River Cruises Europe. When and How?

Of course we are desperately waiting to open up the river cruise ships again. More than half the season is lost which is of course sad for our guest, a catastrophe for the shipping companies but even harder for the crew. The virus blocked everything right before the season should have started and crew after the winter break were of course looking forward to have incoming salaries. Now they are still waiting and hoping that we are starting again.

The first signs are there.

KD announced that they will start their daytrips again . It’s a beginning.

(Das Warten hat zum Glück bald ein Ende: Im Zuge der nächsten Lockerungsphase werden wir am Freitag, den 15. Mai 2020 den Startschuss in die Saison geben und die Anker lichten zu einem Rundfahrtenangebot in Köln und in Düsseldorf)

Also Cruise Critics published an article how River Cruise Companies are preparing to re – open and what changes might be introduced. There is still no clear government rules and regulations but being prepared is the first step to be able to start as fast as possible.

“The changes that have been announced publicly point to a re-working of the traditional river cruise experience. Passengers should expect to see changes to the way meals are taken, tours are operated, and even the way guests and crew interact with each other – and among themselves.

What makes the changes in river cruise interesting is that they might give hints as to how the larger ocean lines approach their changes.

There’s also speculation within the travel industry that as people emerge from lockdowns, they will seek out more intimate experiences, such as river cruises that carry fewer than 200 passengers

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection recently released new health and safety protocols that cruises can expect onboard its fleet of riverboats in Europe and beyond.

Some of the new measures include health screenings prior to embarkation and contactless payment options. Uniworld has considered how its passengers interact with their onboard environment, crewmembers and each other in determining how to move forward.

A bigger change for those used to river cruising comes in the form of dining arrangements: meals onboard will now have reserved seating with guests seated at the same table, with the same tablemates and wait staff, for the duration of the voyage.

While these changes paint a different picture of what European river cruising has been, they are positive developments that should allow river cruise lines to resume service safely while still providing the destination-immersive travel experience they've become known for.”

(CruiseCritics 9.05.2020)

The full article can be found under:

Amawaterways and other River Cruise companies are also prepared with new health, dining and protection programs. Time to start and time for us to get back to work. Hopefully soon!

Author: Stephan Busch, Academic Director at the State University for the Humanities Moscow RGGU, Faculty of Tourism & Hospitality and the Swiss International University earned his Master Certificate in Hospitality Management from Cornell University, USA. He has a diverse experience in launching operations, business development and service training- for hotel and cruise companies in Asia, Europe, Canada and Russia.,  

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