Scylla Releases New COVID-19 Onboard Protocols for Riverboat Fleet

Phoenix Reisen's MS Anna Katharina is under management from Scylla

Scylla, which operates a fleet of over 30 riverboats for various charter clients, has released a comprehensive new set of operational procedures as it prepares to return most of its fleet to service.

Guest embarkation

  • Scylla will request that its tour operators to investigate the whereabouts and physical health of guests before boarding the ship by means of a questionnaire.
  • Scylla will require a pre-boarding statement from the tour operator confirming the validated health checks for all passengers participating in the journey, ensuring all passengers being fit to travel.
  • Only registered guests and crew are allowed to enter the ship, after performing safety/health checks such as measurement of body temperature and hand disinfecting.
  • In case elevated temperature is measured, the passenger will not be allowed on board until the potential risk of a passenger has been defined by the local health authorities.
  • Embarkation is arranged with respect for social distance and adapted procedures minimize the interaction between guests and crew.
  • Every step of the check-in procedure is being revised to have a contactless experience.
  • The main safety rules will be communicated to guests (verbal and in writing) before entering the ship the first time.
  • The use of plastic screens and other protective gear is used for embarkation steps that require interaction.
  • Before embarkation, the entire ship, including all cabins, will be cleaned, disinfected and ventilated.

Guest Interaction Onboard

  • The use of mouth masks is mandatory onboard when walking around.
  • Respect for 1.5-meter social distance or compliance with local guidelines with regards to social distancing is guaranteed and clearly communicated onboard.
  • General safety measures such as coughing hygiene are requested and clearly communicated onboard.
  • When needed, meals and activities are being arranged in time slots to lower the used capacity of communal areas.
  • When spaces do not allow social distancing, one-way movements are being installed and clear routing is defined onboard to exclude crossings without a safe interpersonal distance.
  • All meals are served and no buffet services are offered.

Onboard Services and facilities

  • A doctor accompanies all journeys to preform health checks with crew and guests for onboard consultations and to assess the potential risks on a frequent basis.
  • Quick tests for COVID-19 are available onboard. These can be used by the accompanying doctor in case of suspected risk.
  • The temperature of every guest will be measured on a daily basis.
  • Clear signage is provided onboard to make guests and crew comply with the defined routing plans.
  • Services such as massage and hairdresser are not available.
  • Services with a medium risk of spreading bacteria such as luggage handling are being minimized and performed with adapted procedures to limit risks.
  • Facilities with limited space or elevated infection risks such as elevators and public toilets are out of order.
  • Cleaning staff will be taking additional measures in disinfecting surfaces to minimize the spread of bacteria by cleaning handles, staircases, toilets, armrests, guardrails and other areas, with cleaning solutions adapted to COVID-19 on an even more frequent basis than is usually done.
  • Room service offerings will be amended to help limit the number of guests in the restaurant onboard each ship.
  • Non-essential items that would be touched by multiple guests will not longer be available such as newspapers and umbrellas.
  • No orders can be placed at the bar, all services are based on table services at all times.
  • All food and beverage items will be served as individual portions with a minimal need for contact between the person serving and the food/drink item.
  • Each cabin will be disinfected twice a day, without the presence of the guest. Cabins are cleaned by the same member of the housekeeping staff every time and all members of the housekeeping staff are obliged to wear a face mask and gloves during their activities.
  • All cabins will be provided with a bottle of hand sanitizer.
  • Payments can be made by credit card only, except for tips which will be deposited in a tip box.


  • Every crew member will be officially tested on COVID-19 before boarding.
  • The crew arrives onboard days before guests to guarantee a quarantine period, after being questioned about their past whereabouts and current and past health situation.
  • Procedures are being put in place to ensure social distance between crew members in sleeping, recreational and mutual areas for the crew.
  • All crew will be trained to ensure compliance with the COVID-19 protocols.
  • The onboard crew is required to wear protective gear during working hours and when interacting with guests.
  • If it is determined by the onboard doctor that there is a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 disease onboard, an outbreak management plan will be activated. The suspected case will be immediately instructed to wear a medical mask, follow cough etiquette, and practice hand hygiene; the suspected case will be isolated in a predefined isolation cabin with the door closed. Infection control measures will be applied in accordance with WHO guidance. The disembarkation and transfer of the suspected case to an onshore healthcare facility for further assessment and laboratory testing will be arranged as soon as possible in cooperation with the health authorities at the port.

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