Avalon Waterways invites cruisers to say “hello” to the world’s most fascinating places with unmatched intrigue, curiosity, wonder and joy. Along the way, we’ve discovered the sights to see, encountered the people to meet, engaged in the customs to sample, and indulged in the cuisine to savour. And we’ve done this while bundling amazing ports and shore excursions with the industry’s only Suite Ship fleet to help you greet the globe on a journey where happiness flows.
When you’re ready to travel again, we're here to support you. Your safety, as well as the safety of our employees and partners, has always been our top priority, which is why new physical distancing and cleaning measures have been put in place on all of our cruises. Our new Cruising with Confidence policy features new health and safety procedures from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave, without taking away from having the time of your life. The policy will evolve as time goes on and as we continue to monitor local public health recommendations, but what won’t change is our commitment to keeping you safe as you explore our big, beautiful world.
|Avalon will continue to review and update Assurance initiatives as we make our return to the world’s waterways 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), Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).|
We’ll take every step to ensure you and your travelling companions are ready for the journey. Along with a host of pre-trip info to help you prepare for your cruise, we’re providing guests with a set of health and safety advice and instructions, ensuring that all health considerations have been taken into account before leaving home. Please refer to details in the documents below.
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 & onboard protocols & procedures to ensure health - and happiness - throughout your journey with us.
With Avalon, big things come in small packages. With an average of fewer than 150 guests per cruise, you can rest assured that every inch of your ship is attended to with our famous attention to detail, including enhanced onboard protocols to help ensure a safe and healthy voyage for all. The lower guest count combined with our spacious ship design means you’ll always find extra room to make yourself comfortable - in your stateroom and around the ship.
We’ve instituted enhanced cleaning procedures throughout each ship in our Suite fleet, with steps that go above-and-beyond Avalon’s already strict procedures. These include deep disinfection of each stateroom between cruises as well as dining areas between each meal service and the inspection and disinfection of all goods prior to loading on the ship.
In addition to our unique Open-Air Balcony stateroom design, promising both fresh air and wide-open perspectives, the air in our ships is not circulated between staterooms; only within an individual stateroom and mixed with clean, fresh, outside air.
With a guest to crew ratio of 3:1, our attention is always on guest comfort, health and safety. And we’ve taken extra measures to ensure a healthy crew, including additional training, medical certificates required prior to start the season, daily temperature checks, regular crew health screenings and social distancing in crew living quarters.
The world has changed, but what remains certain is our commitment to your peace-of-mind while travelling. Not only have we enhanced our on-trip health and safety protocols with our Avalon Assurance program, we are also offering you risk-free, hassle-free and strings-free bookings with a 2021 Peace of Mind Travel Plan.
We’ll take every step to ensure you and your travelling companions are ready for the journey. Along with a host of pre-trip info to ensure you’re prepared for your cruise, you’ll have access to the AvalonGO App—a great resource for your cruise schedule and details, onboard amenities and services, destination information, and updates related to your cruise.
And as an additional assurance measure, we’re providing guests with a set of health and safety advice and instructions, ensuring that all health considerations have been taken into account before leaving home. These requirements now include that all Avalon travellers are fully vaccinated before their cruise.
The world has changed, but what remains certain is our commitment to your peace-of-mind while travelling. Not only have we enhanced our on-trip health and safety protocols with our Avalon Assurance program, our Peace of Mind Travel Plan can be used in cases where COVID is affecting travel conditions.
Plus, we’re here for you. Our Holiday Planners are available to answer questions and ensure you’re confident in your upcoming journey—we love to hear from you!
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.
~ Onboard health screening on arrival. All international guests will provide proof of full vaccination in order to travel. Avalon accepts vaccines authorised 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.
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.
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 sanitisers 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.) sanitised between cruises
EXTRA ROOM TO ROAM
Avalon’s unique Suite Ship 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.
ENSURING HEALTHY (AND HAPPY) CREW
Healthy crews help keep a healthy cruise, and Avalon goes to great lengths to ensure that’s the case. We are working towards full vaccinations for our entire crew, and medical certificates for each crew member are required prior to start of sailing season. We’ve instituted daily temperature checks along with regular health screenings, and social distancing is enforced in the crew quarters as well as throughout each ship.
And while you enjoy your holiday, 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.
Our aim is that your cruise leaves you as healthy as—and happier than—when you left. Efficient and reliable airport transfers are available to book 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 specialises in travel-related health and safety measures, and long-time industry consultant Ian Greaves. Additionally, Avalon’s team includes two Hygiene & Procedure Officers whose roles are to ensure the seamless execution of these protocols across our European fleet. These protocols have received approval of the World Travel & Tourism Council.
Information and protocols included here are as planned as of the publication date of June 10, 2021. Changes in local requirements are guidelines may occur and result in updates as they become available.
Please check our Travel Updates for the latest information.
Over the last 10 years, river cruising has grown, making waves in the travel industry and proving that, when it comes to bodies of water, ships, and cities, bigger isn’t always better. Avalon Waterways has led the way with our spacious, innovative, and award-winning Suite Ships®. Combined with the highest health standards and environmentally conscious practices in the industry, an Avalon Waterways river cruise gives travellers peace of mind throughout their holiday—from embarkation to the last goodbye.
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