Safe Barge Cruising Protocols
These protocols apply to the following barges: Anjodi, Athos, Enchante, Finesse, L'Art de Vivre, La Bella Vita, La Belle Epoque, La Nouvelle Etoile, L'Impressionniste, Magna Carta, Panache, Renaissance, Rosa, Scottish Highlander, Shannon Princess, and Spirit of Scotland.
A hotel barge cruise is the ideal vacation for the "new world" of travel which we are all now facing. With small numbers of passengers (usually 8 to 12) on board, you cruise through rural areas only a few feet from the bank and offer regular opportunities to disembark to walk or ride the towpaths. Excursions are mostly private and exclusive and able to be adapted to everyone's needs. Many clients charter the whole barge to create their own secure private space for friends and family.
Nonetheless, while wishing to maintain the ambience of a barge cruise which makes it a unique experience, we are aware that going forward, standards of hygiene and health security will need to be maintained at the highest level and a summary of enhanced procedures is outlined below.
All guests will be asked to complete a pre-boarding questionnaire and pass a contactless temperature check at the meeting point before being permitted to join the cruise. Guest luggage will be disinfected on arrival.
CLEANING ON BOARDBefore and after every cruise, the barge, minibus, and any shared equipment (Jacuzzis, bikes, umbrellas etc.) will be subjected to deep cleaning procedures with disinfectant, including the wiping down of all surfaces. Cabins and public areas will be thoroughly cleaned daily while more frequently touched surfaces such as bars and handrails will be disinfected several times per day.
Air conditioning on board is not circulated between cabins but is individual. Many staterooms also have opening portholes to allow fresh air in. All air conditioning units for the barge and vehicles will be cleaned and disinfected before every cruise and will be fitted with HEPA fine particulate filters.
GUEST HYGIENE PROTOCOLS
Guests will be asked to use sanitizer gel each time they board the barge and before meals. Sanitizer stations will also be located around the barge. Masks and gloves will be available at all times, to be worn as desired or as appropriate.
FOOD AND BEVERAGE
There will be no buffet service on board (other than as requested by charter groups), and no self-service bar. All food and beverage will be served by the crew. Bar service will, as always, be available at all times. Personal water bottles are also provided in cabins.
Excursions will be mainly to outdoor locations or private visits to chateaux, wineries, etc., which will follow similarly rigorous hygiene regimes. Visits to crowded tourist spots will be avoided. Our guides will wear masks while in confined areas as appropriate.
Crew will be subject to pre-cruise medical checks and regular temperature controls. Enhanced training will be provided on all aspects of company hygiene policy including regular hand washing. Masks will be worn as appropriate. Sadly, no physical contact greetings between crew and guests – such as handshakes – will be permitted.
MEDICAL BACK UP
Should there be any medical issues while on board, each barge has the contact of an English-speaking doctor who can attend at short notice. If required, a member of the barge crew will escort you to the nearest medical facility. In the event of any Covid-19 concerns, each country has an emergency hotline and the barge's first action would be to call this on your behalf.
We are conscious that the current situation is constantly evolving and the above procedures will be kept under regular review, reinforcing actions as required and also, in due course, relaxing certain requirements as and when government guidelines indicate that it is safe to do so.
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