Avalon Waterways has created a guest “assurance programme” of new health and wellbeing protocols ahead of its return to cruising.
The river line is aiming to restart sailings on 1 September and has established a global health and safety team, which UK chief executive Giles Hawke said was “dedicated to ensuring the cleanliness of all operations exceeds today’s standards from start to finish.”
“The world has changed but what remains certain is our steadfast commitment to our guests’ safety, comfort and peace-of-mind,” he added.
Avalon’s programme currently features seven areas of protocols spanning its guest experience - all of which are being “shared, explored, reviewed and renewed”, the line said.
Procedures include mandatory health screenings, with touch-free temperature checks and luggage disinfection, prior to boarding and air conditioning onboard vessels not circulating between staterooms.
The line is introducing new technologies for its cleaning and disinfecting systems, while new protocols also include deep-cleaning and disinfection of each stateroom during turnover; disinfection of all dining areas between meals and disinfection of shared items such as bicycles or umbrellas after each use.
Meanwhile, it is upping its number of hands-free services onboard, such as more hand sanitiser stations throughout the ship (including all public areas); replacing buffet and self-serve stations with crew services and hourly disinfection of all public areas.
To help social distancing, Avalon will reduce ship capacity and alternative dining venues, provide guests and crew with face masks. It will also and make crew living quarters social distant and provide ongoing training in PPE use and hygiene.
Avalon said it would also be reviewing excursion standards and protocols with partners across the globe.
Hawke added: “We will continue to review and update our assurance initiatives as we make the pivot back to the world’s waterways. We are looking at 1 September for that.
"While we place a spotlight on guest safety and wellbeing, we will also deliver to our travellers a wonderful holiday. An escape that invites them to take part in the joy of discovering new places, new people and new cultures – everything they already expect from an Avalon Waterways cruise."