Peace of mind, health, and safety of river cruise line's guests, crew members and partners is always a topmost priority. On-trip safety standards throughout the pandemic have been in place to ensure the readiness to welcome guests back to travel when the world is ready. Encouraged by the progress being made with the COVID-19 vaccines, several lines consider the vaccine requirement is simply the best way to ensure the safest possible experience for all on board their vessels.
On February 2, 2021 American Queen Steamboat Company and its sister company Victory Cruise Lines became the first North American cruise operators to announce that they will require all passengers to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination as a condition for setting sail, beginning July 1, 2021.
The Globus family of brands which includes Globus, Cosmos, Avalon Waterways, and Monograms followed that proof of COVID-19 vaccines, a negative test result or virus immunity will be required in order join its tours, river cruises and independent vacation packages in North America and abroad. Since the CDC instigated a requirement of a negative COVID-19 test from all international travelers upon US entry, including U.S. citizens, Globus will facilitate and cover additional COVID-19 testing, if required, for passengers to return to their home country, as well as tests while on the trip if symptoms are shown.
Luxury cruise operator, Crystal Cruises will also require all guests to be fully inoculated with a COVID-19 vaccine at least 14-days prior to their sailing. Passengers will have to offer proof of vaccination in order to board.
Aside from showing proof of vaccination at the time of boarding, additional protocols include temperature checks at the terminal prior to boarding, a mask mandating policy, social distancing guidelines, enhanced cleaning and disinfection measures, reduced capacity, crew member vaccines and negative tests, and more.
Other river cruise lines are expected to follow these prudent steps to ensure that they are providing the safest cruising experience possible. Comprehensive health and safety protocols give guests an added level of assurance to book travel as the world returns to sailing.
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Scooter Tessari, MCC, owns The Cruise Center, Inc. in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and operates the website Tasteful Journeys devoted to enrichment vacations with a culinary accent and featuring cruises, tours, and custom designed vacation packages.