River cruise line AmaWaterways has resumed operations in Europe with a series of charter sailings on board AmaKristina in Germany with local guests. It’s the first U.S.-based river cruise line to resume sailings, and has implemented health and safety protocols on board its ships. 

“As the proud Godmother of our award-winning AmaKristina, I am honored that she was our very first river cruise ship to set sail in Europe this summer,” said Kristin Karst, executive v.p. and co-founder of AmaWaterways, in a press release statement. “Although many countries continue to have travel restrictions in place, we have begun operating a series of sailings for European guests, in collaboration with an established German tour operator, e-hoi. With these sailings, we have been able to put into practice and perfect our enhanced health and safety protocols while demonstrating that travelers can enjoy our unforgettable river cruise vacations with peace of mind.” 

AmaWaterways’ new procedures reflect the in-depth recommendations contained within the EU Healthy Gateways guidelines, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), IG RiverCruise and other official authorities. Based on current regulations, pre-boarding health questionnaires are required, and guests and crew are both subject to daily temperature checks. The crew has received in-depth updated training and each ship will have a designated Public Health Officer overseeing the application of these specific protocols. 

AmaWaterways
Practicing social distancing at Main restaurant.

While AmaWaterways’ ships are spacious—normally accommodating just 150 guests—current regulations limit all river cruise ships to a maximum of 100 guests on board. Crews are required to wear face coverings at all times while guests must wear them only while moving around the ship. With capacity currently capped, the spacious Main restaurant and the included specialty restaurant, The Chef’s Table, easily accommodate the safe distances now required. New room service options have also been added. In addition, AmaWaterways has incorporated creative ways to accommodate social distancing not only in its lounge areas, with plexiglass dividers, but also with personal portable Quietvox commentary systems to allow guests to hear guides while social distancing during the included small-group shore excursions, many of which involve outdoor hiking and biking tours.

Furthermore, AmaWaterways’ ships have been designed with fan coil individual air cooling and heating units, which eliminate any recirculation of air in staterooms or in public areas; and nearly all staterooms include balconies. 

“Since we started AmaWaterways 18 years ago, we’ve been passionate about creating luxurious, authentic and inspiring river cruises for every traveler,” continued Karst. “The personal connections and warm service experienced during an AmaWaterways river cruise remain as important as ever to us, and the new health and safety protocols just add additional peace of mind for our guests while on board.”

For more information on AmaWaterways’ health and safety protocols, click here.