Avalon Waterways has set a target of resuming its river cruises from September 1, and unveiled its health and safety protocols for when they do.

The line has developed an Avalon Assurance programme which includes seven categories spanning across different guests’ touch-points.

Passengers will undergo mandatory health screenings, including touch-free temperature checks and luggage disinfection, prior to onboarding.

The company is also introducing new cleaning technologies including Electrostatic sprays and UV disinfecting systems.

More hand sanitizer stations will be added throughout ships while buffet and self-serve stations will be replaced with crew services and disinfection of all public areas will take place at least every hour. Shared items, such as bicycles or umbrellas, will be disinfected after each use.

Ship capacity will be reduced and alternative dining venues added as part of new social distancing measures, with guests and crew given face masks.

Crew will be required to undergo medical screenings, provide certificates of health and be trained in hygiene and use of PPE, while social distancing will be enforced in crew living quarters.

“The world has changed but what remains certain is our steadfast commitment to our guests’ safety, comfort and peace-of-mind,” said Giles Hawke, chief executive of Avalon Waterways UK. “We have established a Global Health & Safety team dedicated to ensuring that the cleanliness of all operations exceeds today’s standards from start-to-finish.”

“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 Hawke. “While we place a spotlight on guest safety and well-being, we will also deliver to our travellers a wonderful holiday. 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 cruise.”