Safe Cruising Protocols
A Hotel Barge cruise is the ideal holiday for the “new world” of travel which we are all now facing. With small numbers of passengers (usually 8 to 12) on board, we 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. And many clients charter the whole barge to create their own secure private space for friends and family.
Nonetheless, whilst wishing to maintain the ambience of a barge cruise which makes it a unique experience, we are aware that going forward, our standards of hygiene and health security will need to be maintained at the highest level and a summary of our enhanced procedures is outlined below. Further details can be provided on request.
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 Board
Before 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 whilst 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 aircon 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
Guest will be asked to use sanitizer gel each time they board the barge and before meals. Sanitiser 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 whilst 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 whilst 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 facilities. In the event of any Covid-19 concerns, each country in which we operate has an emergency hotline and our first action would be to call this on your behalf.
We are conscious that the current situation is constantly evolving and we will keep the above procedures 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.