River cruise operator Scylla has announced its reoperations as many European countries start to ease their restrictions placed due to COVID-19 pandemic while Royal Caribbean will resume sailing from July with scheduled cruises in Asia.

Leading river cruise operator, Scylla, has announced the sailing of 34 ships on Europe’s waterways with immediate effect – becoming one of the first companies to resume operations after Covid-19. The Swiss operator founded in 1974 runs a fleet of riverboats for various European charter clients. 

“We are very pleased that the industry is slowly recovering from the coronavirus crisis and that our riverboats can now be put back on Europe’s waterways, where they belong,” says Arno Reitsma, CEO of Scylla AG. 

“Guests will once again be able to enjoy some of the most exciting river cruises on Europe’s beautiful waterways, even though travel itself is now slightly different,” Mr Reitsma adds.

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Every river cruise from Scylla will be fully equipped with new safety measures on board so as to reassure that all passengers can now feel relieved and truly enjoy the aesthetic beauty of European rivers.

“It goes without saying that all necessary safety, security and hygiene standards have been implemented onboard all our ships,” Mr. Reitsma explains. One of these measures will be to maintain a safe distance during the entire time onboard – only registered passengers who have previously undergone a health check will be allowed on the ship.

Fewer passengers on the ships, compulsory facemasks, regular disinfection and bringing meals and drinks directly to the table are also part of the new measures. In addition, a doctor will also be on board for health checks and consultations for all guests and crewmembers. “Travel has changed but passengers on our ships will still be able to enjoy our river cruises,” Mr. Reitsma says.

Scylla will start sailing on a selection of European waterways and the newly added “mini-cruises” (shorter cruises) are proving to be very popular, with strong forward bookings.

Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean is going to put its cruises back in operations in China. From the beginning of July, there will be cruises from Hong Kong and China ranging from a 3-night cruise from Hong Kong to Shanghai to an 8-night cruise from Shanghai to Kobe-Kyoto-Tokyo, Japan, according to the Royal Caribbean website.


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“Given ongoing global public health circumstances, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has decided to extend the suspension of most sailings through July 31, 2020, with the exception of sailings from China, which will be suspended through the end of June. We are working with our guests and travel partners to address this disruption to their vacations, and we are genuinely sorry for their inconvenience. We expect to return to service on August 1,” Royal Caribbean said in a statement.

The cancellation of other cruises (except cruises from China) is due to the fact that coronavirus moves westward and early signs of recovery are now being seen in Asia. 

Moreover, Royal Caribbean will implement various measures to ensure the health and safety of passengers onboard such as enhanced boarding screening, hand sanitizers everywhere, medical consultations for guests with flu-like symptoms, as well as intensified ship cleaning, air filtration, and sanitization procedures. 

Royal Caribbean is actively working with government health authorities, the Cruise Lines International Association, and our own team of medical experts for its boarding screening process and updated health protocols.

Source: Destination Review

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