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River Cruising Is Safe

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River Cruising Is Safe

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River Cruising Is Safe

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River Cruising Is Safe

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River Cruising Is Safe

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River Cruising is HOT!

The cruise industry's biggest success story in the past decade has been the surge in growth and popularity of river cruises. With an ever increasing number of new river boats introduced each year, and new river cruise companies adding new itineraries to more destinations, coupled with the ever expanding interest in river cruises by the traditional ocean cruising population looking for something new, many more lucky travelers are able to enjoy the more intimate, immersive and attentive experience that river cruises bring to the world!

MisterCruise.com is all about keeping cruising travelers informed about the cruise topics of the day, showcasing special offers and discounts from cruise lines and cruise agencies and answering any and all cruise travel related questions from the traveling public. Travel safety is of the utmost importance to us - as we know it is to YOU! Currently, the focus of the entire travel industry is on guaranteeing health safety while traveling. The "new normal" for global travel will be a prioritized focus on health and personal safety, as it should be!

I know that, for any type of travel, with any travel supplier, to any destination, knowledge promotes safety, and traveling safely truly makes one a Smart Traveler. With a lifetime of knowledge in the travel industry, and with a focus on traveling safely, I am here to share my knowledge with you, and, hopefully, that will provide the guidance you seek to help you make decisions that will keep you safer when traveling and we can assist you in booking the exact travel arrangements you want at the best possible price - helping YOU become a Smart Traveler! When booking your vacation, educational or business trip through Smart Traveler, your heanth and personal safety while traveling is the dominant factor driving our decisions, and we will always be there to help!

Cruises, Covid-19 and Your Safety

With the recent announcement that over 120 countries have not yet administered any Covid vaccines, and the unknown efficacy of the existing vaccines on variants that have arisen from multiple countries worldwide, including Brazil, England and South Africa, the prospect of a "back to normal" travel & cruise calendar is uncertain.

Canada has extended its no-cruise policy for one year, and despite a measure of success with mitigation efforts on Europe cruises since July of 2020, the industry is still facing an uncertain future. CLIA (the Cruise Lines International Association - the cruise industry association which represents most cruise lines) member cruise lines, which had hoped to resume cruises sailing from US ports back on September 15, 2020, has annonced members' "best practices" for future cruises departing US ports, once allowed. Outside of the USA, some cruises resumed sailing months ago, based on the local laws and guidance provided by government health authorities.

(From CLIA) CLIA members have agreed to adopt multiple layers of protocols informed by the insights and guidance of leading experts in health and science, including but not limited to:

  • 100% testing for passengers and crew prior to embarkation
  • Mandatory quarantine for crew prior to interaction with guests
  • Expanded medical capabilities onboard
  • Pre-arranged response logistics involving transportation and medical facilities
  • Physical distancing measures
  • Mask-wearing requirements
  • Increased ventilation
CLIA also noted that cruising has resumed on a gradual, phased-in basis in Europe, where CLIA members have sailed on a variety of modified itineraries from Germany, Italy, and Greece under strict protocols. These protocols have been developed by operators in collaboration with medical experts, scientists and health and government authorities, and have been informed by Guidance from the EU Healthy Gateways and European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). Since the beginning of July 2020, there have been over 200 sailings in Europe (and parts of Asia) with enhanced measures in place and approval from authorities in those regions. The success of these initial sailings demonstrates the effectiveness of a multi-layered approach and confirms that the new protocols are working as designed to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 in a cruise setting.

So, is it Safe to Cruise?

In a word - NO! At least, not everywhere - yet! I have sailed on more than 120 cruises on over 90 ships, and have toured another 60 or so ships. After sailing (or even a cruise ship tour) I have often pointed out to the cruise lines' management certain problem areas / policies that I have encountered onboard that may compromise health and/or safety for cruise passengers. In conjunction, I have made suggestions on how to improve and/or minimize/eliminate the negative consequences that these discovered issues may have. Until there is verifiable proof of an individual cruise ship's new health and safety measures having been implemented, and those measures have been deemed acceptable and sufficient to ensure the safety of its passengers per CDC, WHO and SCA protocols and guidelines, I will not suggest cruising on that particular ship, and I will not cruise on that particular ship myself!

Since there are now multiple effective vaccines (3 as of 3/1/21) for Covid-19, I, and my family, will be looking forward to traveling, and specifically, cruising again, but only from, and to, ports with significant Covid vaccine acceptance and distribution, and only on ships strictly adhering to the above listed protocols! But, for those who have any kind of underlying health issue like diabetes, asthma, heart disease, COPD, etc. and/or are over 65 years old, I would HEARTILY suggest refraining from cruising at this time! If you are not in the high risk group, I would still wait until worldwide "control" of Covid is attained!

I certainly do not enjoy putting out these recommendations! But, because of the former US leadership, which failed to do anything to contain Covid, I cannot, in good faith, suggest that there is a normalcy to cruising from US ports at this time, or any time soon! We must trust facts and science implicitly, and to do otherwise is putting lives at risk. Until Covid-19 is under control worldwide (and, hopefully, eradicated), dealing with an annual vaccine for protection may be the "new normal" for the cruise industry, and life in general. I am happy to see the measures cruise lines have taken so far to handle safety for Covid-19, but, just as scientists had been warning that this Coronavirus pandemic was a matter of when, not if, that is the same guidance given for the next one - it is not "if", it is "when" will it occur. Cruise lines must be ready the next time!

Many of the changes I promoted last year to ensure passenger safety, and which I discussed with several cruise lines' management, have been adopted, and are included in these new protocols. For avid cruisers, the cruise news is getting better, but we're just not there - YET!

Coronavirus Information - Last Updated 02/26/2021 - CLIA

COVID-19 Impacts to Travel Offerings

Several suppliers and destinations have temporarily suspended operations amid COVID-19 concerns.

Supplier Suspensions

The following suppliers - river cruise lines and tour operators with river cruise product offerings, have suspended cruise, tour, and/or package operations, with plans to resume operations on the dates listed below:

  • Abercrombie & Kent: Operations have resumed. Abercrombie & Kent is continuing to assess future travel operations on a destination by destination basis around the world. If your upcoming travel plans are affected, an A&K Travel Consultant will contact you or your travel professional to discuss postponing your journey, approximately 30-45 days prior to departure.
  • AmaWaterways River Cruise: May 1, 2021
  • Avalon Waterways: May 1, 2021
  • Avanti Destinations: March 31, 2021
  • Crystal Cruises: Dates vary by cruise type
  • River voyages aboard Crystal Bach, Crystal Debussy, Crystal Mahler and Crystal Ravel: June 1, 2021
  • Emerald Waterways: June 1, 2021
  • Monograms: May 1, 2021
  • Tauck Tours: April 1, 2021
  • The 2020 Oberammergau Passion Play has been postponed until 2022. Tauck will be reaching out to affected travelers to discuss itinerary changes.
  • Uniworld: January 1, 2021
  • Viking River Cruises: June 1, 2021

River Cruise Destination Suspensions

  • Brazil: Due to COVID-19, the U.S. Department of State has issued a Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory for Brazil. Brazil requires all air travelers to provide a Traveler’s Health Declaration and negative COVID-19 test. Land and sea borders are closed until further notice.
  • Canada: All non-essential travel to Canada is restricted. Air travelers must provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test for entry.
  • China: Due to COVID-19, the U.S. Department of State has issued a Level 3: Reconsider Travel advisory for China. A negative COVID-19 test is required for entry. Entering travelers must quarantine for 14 days after arrival.
  • European Union: United States citizens on non-essential travel are restricted from entering most European Union countries.
  • India: Due to COVID-19, the U.S. Department of State has issued a Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory for India. All travelers entering India must quarantine upon arrival.
  • Panama: Due to COVID-19, the U.S. Department of State has issued a Level 3: Reconsider Travel advisory for Panama. A negative COVID-19 test is required for entry.
  • Russia: Due to COVID-19, the U.S. Department of State has issued a Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory for Russia. Foreign nationals are not permitted entry into Russia.
  • South Africa: Due to COVID-19, the U.S. Department of State has issued a Level 3: Reconsider Travel advisory for South Africa. Travelers must provide a negative COVID-19 test for entry.
  • Vietnam: Due to COVID-19, the U.S. Department of State has issued a Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution advisory for Vietnam. U.S. citizens and all foreigners are not permitted to enter the country.

COVID-19 Information from Suppliers

In light of recent concerns in the travel industry regarding the Coronavirus, we have created a listing of the latest travel advisory updates from many of our suppliers for your convenience. We will continue to review and modify this list as we receive updates.

Abercrombie & Kent
https://www.abercrombiekent.com/coronavirus-update
African Travel, Inc.

Coronavirus Travel Update for Africa
Well-Being is Our Top Priority – Travel with Confidence

AmaWaterways

https://www.amawaterways.com/travel-updates

Avalon Waterways

Avalon Waterways Travel Update and Peace of Mind Policy

Avalon Assurance – Health and Safety

Avanti Destinations

https://www.avantidestinations.com/Web_covid19_resource_center.jsp

Cosmos

Cosmos Travel Update and Peace of Mind Policy

On-Trip Assurance – Health and Safety

Emerald Waterways
https://www.emeraldwaterways.com/travel-advisory
Globus

Globus Travel Update and Peace of Mind Policy

On-Trip Assurance – Health and Safety

Insight Vacations

Insight Vacations Travel Update

We Are Committed to Your Well-Being – Hygiene Standards and Protocols

Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Travel Coronavirus Customer Information

COVID-19 Safe – Health and Safety Guidelines

Journese

https://www.journese.com/alerts/

Monograms

Monograms Travel Update
On-Trip Assurance – Health and Safety

Uniworld

https://www.uniworld.com/en/already-booked/travel-information/

Viking River Cruises

Changes Affecting Itineraries
Viking River Cruises Risk-Free Guarantee Booking Policy

Mister Cruise Q & A Excursions in Europe

Q? - I prefer just walking off my cruise ship and exploring on my own to taking bus tours, I have been on several ocean cruises, and it has been a great money saver, but next year, I am doing a Europe river cruise, and I was curious as to how it would be there? Thank you, Jean I., Fort Lauderdale, FL

Most river cruise excursions in Europe are walking tours since many attractions are very close to the river, which was, and is, the lifeline of any European city. Walking tours will require varying levels of fitness as defined by each river cruise line for their excursions, and in many historic European towns there are cobblstone streets. For those with mobility issues, slower paced tours are usually available.

Thank you, Jean, for your great question!

Mister Cruise - Peter E Coloyan, Sr.
(To ask your cruising question, please use the form below.)

BONUS INFO FOR ALL -
Mobility issues and river cruises: For river cruise excursions that involve bus travel, you will be required to store mobility aids beneath the bus in the luggage hold, and climb the steps onto the coach. In Europe, excursions are often included in the price of a river cruise, and, if included, you’ll be wasting money if you can’t join them due to an inability to climb the stairs of a coach..

One of the best things about a European river cruise, regardless of whether it's on the Danube, Rhine, Moselle, or any other river, is the scenery continually passing by as seen from the ship. Historic castles, vineyards, and beautiful vistas often fill both banks of the river as your ship cruises by!

Accessible, or not?: There is a river cruise somewhere in the world for those with most any disability or mobility issue. Plus, new river cruise ships are launched every year, with more, and better, accessibility. So, don't think you can't go just because today there may not be exactly what you want where you want it. It may be coming next month, or next year! As river cruising grows in popularity, the options for accessible river cruising will expand - and we will help you every step of the way!

How We Work - For You!

With so many River Cruise Companies vying for this ever increasing number of passengers, each claiming to be the best option in the Budget, First Class or Deluxe categories, it has becomes quite difficult for travelers to know which is the best River Cruise Company, River Boat, Destination or Itinerary FOR THEM! Without years of experience and the knowledge and access to information that those years bring, consumers run the risk of paying more than they need to, or getting less than they expected to!

That is where we come in! RiverCruiseLines.com, a service of Smart Traveler, puts you in touch with the best cruise counselors for your lifestyle and budget - and our service is FREE.

In fact, we guarantee that, at the time of your initial river cruise reservation, you will never pay more than if you booked it yourself directly! In addition to absolutely NOT paying more using our services, for over 80% of our reservations, our customers pay less, sometimes MUCH less, than if they booked it themselves!

So, please, look around, get some ideas, and whenever you feel ready for some assistance, simply fill out the Quote Request Form.

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