Avalon is dedicated to giving our guests a safe, stress-free getaway. To that end, with help from our Global Health & Safety Team, we’ve established a set of enhanced pre- and on-trip protocols and procedures to ensure health – and happiness – throughout your journey with us.
You’ll receive a warm welcome by your Avalon crew. They’re ready, willing and able to ensure that you have a healthy and happy journey with us—here’s how:
- Cruise Directors, Adventure Hosts, dining, housekeeping and reception staff, drivers and local guides wear face masks when with guests, ensuring the spread of joy, not germs, while also making masks available to guests, as needed, throughout your journey.
- Key crew members are trained in First Aid and CPR, as well as our enhanced health and safety protocols
- They’re supported 24/7 by our local offices, who are well-equipped to handle on-trip issues
- They have extensive local knowledge to help enjoy your destination safely, including information on navigating your shore excursions with confidence, as well as a host of independent exploration options.
ENHANCED WELCOMING PROCEDURES
- Onboard health screening on arrival. All guests will provide proof of full vaccination, or negative COVID-19 test, or documentation of recovery in order to travel. Avalon accepts vaccines and viral tests authorized or approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) or an official governmental body.
- Direction and details on social distancing throughout your cruise.
- Luggage disinfection prior to boarding the ship (with our team wearing gloves and masks).
Avalon goes the extra mile to ensure your home away from home, your Avalon ship, is clean and safe throughout your voyage. This includes enhanced cleaning and hygiene protocols, followed with the utmost diligence, including twice daily stateroom cleaning and hourly cleaning of the ship’s common areas. Lounges and Dining Rooms receive special attention before and after each use.
And cruising with Avalon removes many “touch points” of travel, including luggage handling, checking in and out of hotels, and the purchase of sightseeing tickets. All this ensures only hearts are touched, not hands. We’ve also taken the extra step of removal of many printed items, replaced with easy-to-access information at our interactive kiosks, on screens throughout the ship, and via the AvalonGO App.
And safety extends off the ship, as well. Our shore excursions include expedited entry into must-see attractions, which means no waiting in long, crowded queues of people. For moments when touch is necessary, hand sanitizers are at-the-ready throughout each ship and on our vehicles.
COMMITMENT TO THE CLEANEST SHIPS.
Avalon has put in place enhanced cleaning procedures throughout each ship, such as these additional steps that go above-and-beyond Avalon’s already strict procedures, including:
- Use of electrostatic disinfecting systems
- Disinfection of all dining areas between meals
- Disinfection of all shared items like umbrellas, bicycles and other Adventure Center items
- Disinfection of all goods prior to loading on the ship
- Ongoing crew training in protective equipment use and hygiene
- Deep disinfection of each stateroom between cruises, including:
~ Use of disinfectants and cleaning materials that meet or exceed the highest CDC standards
~ Soft goods in each stateroom (mattress, sofa, window coverings, chairs, etc.) sanitized between cruises
EXTRA ROOM TO ROAM.
Avalon’s unique Suite ShipSM design means extra space throughout the ship. With 15% fewer guests than the average river cruise, Avalon assures that each guest has room to stretch out and relax. And we’re reducing ship capacity further, per local requirements, for even more space onboard.
Additional dining areas have been also been established to ensure safe social distancing during meals, and Avalon will adjust the ratio of guides and coaches for excursions, as required, accounting for safe distances while in port.
ENSURING HEALTHY (AND HAPPY) GUESTS.
Guests are asked to keep a close eye on how they’re feeling and report any new symptoms to a crew member so we can make sure they get the help they need. If anyone should become ill while travelling with us, we’ll ask them to isolate until they can be seen by a medical professional. Because we sail in inland waterways, high quality local medical services are always nearby.
And if COVID-19 testing is required if a guest shows symptoms of illness, Avalon will help facilitate this testing at no cost to our guests.
ENSURING HEALTHY (AND HAPPY) CREW.
Healthy crews help keep a healthy cruise, and Avalon goes to great lengths to ensure that’s the case. Before cruising, our entire crew will follow the same guidelines as our guests to ensure everyone’s health and safety. Medical certificates for each crew member are required prior to start of sailing season, and we’ve instituted daily temperature checks along with regular health screenings and additional COVID-19 testing as warranted. Social distancing is enabled in the crew quarters as well as throughout each ship.
And while you enjoy your vacation, we are working behind-the-scenes to ensure safety with hands-free services, as traditional self-services have been replaced by staff service, including buffet meals.
HEADING FOR HOME
Our aim is that your cruise leaves you as healthy as—and happier than—when you left. Efficient and reliable airport transfers are available (and are included when you purchase flights with us), so that’s one less thing to worry about.
As you prepare for the journey home, If you need any assistance or are not feeling 100%, just let your Cruise Director know and we can help find local medical assistance to get you ship-shape before your return.
And if COVID-19 testing is required as a condition of your return home, Avalon will help facilitate this testing in accordance with local and airline guidelines, at no cost to our guests.
Avalon Waterways’ health and safety guidelines and protocols (The Avalon Assurance Program) have been developed in partnership with IGI Limited, a company that specializes in travel-related health and safety measures, and long-time industry consultant Ian Greaves. Additionally, Avalon’s team includes two Hygiene & Procedure Officers who’s roles are to ensure the seamless execution of these protocols across our European fleet.
These protocols have received approvals of the World Travel & Tourism Council.
Avalon Waterways will continue to review and update Assurance initiatives as we make our return to the world, 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), the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA).
If you want to see the world, cruise down its legendary rivers. If you want to see more of the world, look no further than Avalon Waterways. Avalon’s Suite Ships feature one-of-a-kind Panorama Suites, with the widest opening windows in river cruising, the industry’s only Open-Air Balcony, and beds facing the incredible views. Beyond the wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows is a world waiting to be explored—your way. Whether you want to enjoy a guided walking tour of one of Europe's great cities, join a cooking class or paddle a canoe, the Avalon Choice® selections of Classic, Discovery and Active excursions offer a wide range of possibilities. When you prefer to explore on your own, Avalon can help you with all the recommendations, information and gear you need with the new Adventure Center and AvalonGO Mobile App. And when it's time to refuel, your dining options on board are as wide open as your views, with the new FlexDining® choices.
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