Avalon Waterways has developed a new Avalon Assurance program to safeguard the health of guests on their river voyages, while also announcing new protocols.
“The world has changed but what remains certain is our steadfast commitment to our guests’ safety, comfort and peace-of-mind,” said Pam Hoffee, managing director of Avalon Waterways. “To that end, we have established a Global Health and Safety team dedicated to ensuring that the cleanliness of all operations exceeds today’s standards from start-to-finish.”
Avalon has plans to unveil new embarkation procedures that provide travelers a safe start to their journey. Among the company’s planned changes are mandatory health screenings, including touch-free temperature checks and luggage disinfection, prior to boarding, the company said.
Eighty percent of Avalon Waterways cabins are Panorama Suites, offering guests an open-air experience on each ship. In addition to Avalon’s Open-Air staterooms, the air in its ships is not circulated between staterooms; only within an individual stateroom and mixed with fresh, outside air.
To further advance Avalon’s new Assurance protocols, the company is also introducing new, top-of-the-line technologies including Electrostatic cleaning systems and UV disinfecting systems, according to a statement.
Avalon’s new assurance protocols will also ensure more risk-free and hands-free services onboard, such as more hand sanitizer stations throughout the ship (including all public areas); replacing buffet and self-serve stations with crew services and hourly disinfection (at a minimum) of all public areas.
Avalon also said it would reduce ship capacity and alternative dining venue capacity as well as providing guests and crew masks for use, as needed or required.
New policies touch on Deep-cleaning and disinfection of each stateroom during turnover – including soft goods; disinfection of all dining areas between meals and disinfection of shared items such as bicycles or umbrellas after each use.
For crew, new standards include required medical screenings and certificates of health, new social distancing in crew living quarters and ongoing training in PPE use and hygiene.
In addition, Avalon Waterways is reviewing excursion standards and protocols with partners across the globe.
“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 September 1, 2020 for that,” said Hoffee. “While we place a spotlight on guest safety and well-being, we will also deliver to our travelers a wonderful vacation. 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 vacation.”