The Murray River, as it flows through the bends of Australia, including Canberra, is one of the popular cruising destinations of locals and tourists alike. The place has always been jam-packed with people – amateurs and seasoned – who want to cruise and see the sights of Australia. Currently, with the coronavirus pandemic hitting all over the world, Canberra is also among those that have been affected environmentally and economically as well. However, cruises have not completely stopped but only monitored under close supervision. This is to ensure the health and safety of the guests who have insisted on pursuing their scheduled cruise dates despite the pandemic. The staff has been doubling their efforts in cleaning and sanitizing their cruise boats in efforts of preventing infection and illness.
Changes In Cruising Operations
As always, guests are required to use alcohol or sanitizers before boarding. The crew and staff provide sanitizer stations. When falling in line, they are requested to strictly follow social distancing rules, keeping a 1.5-meter gap from each other. If guests are traveling in groups, the cruise crewmembers are tasked to guide them to their assigned areas. Floor markings have also been made to guide the guests and promote safe practices. All food and drinks will be bought inside the boat. Toilets will also remain closed during the one-hour cruises.
Previously, when families were aboard the boats, the crew would allow children to steer the boat with their supervision. Unfortunately, they won’t get this chance during these times. After each cruise, all crewmembers are mandated to clean the boats thoroughly and meticulously.
Travel plans have undoubtedly been affected by the continuous spread of the COVID-19 and the existing government restrictions. In relation to this, the cruise organizers made modifications to the booking regulations and procedures. Daily cruisers are provided with the opportunity to cancel an existing booking and get a cruise credit as a refund to their ticket, which can be used within three years from the date of purchase.
Guests who are unwell, on the other hand, are advised not to visit the premises to protect the others as well as the crew and staff of the boat. Apparently, the coronavirus can survive on certain surfaces for hours and days so it would be insensitive for those who have a cough or fever to visit the cruise grounds and the boat itself.
Procedures In Daily Cruising
- Guests are required to use hand sanitizers before boarding at all times.
- Guests aboard the cruise ship are advised to maintain a distance of more than a meter throughout the cruise. Dining tables are also arranged separately.
- Disinfection of surfaces using quality-cleaning agents will be conducted daily to ensure effective disinfection for COVID-19.
- Linens, towels, and other clothing materials from the boat will all be washed externally.
Please be guided with these carefully prepared cruise restrictions to ensure the health and safety of the passengers, personnel, and crewmembers of the whole cruising destination packages.
- Passengers who have been confirmed positive with the coronavirus in the past two weeks are not allowed to cruise.
- Those who have arrived from out of the country but have not isolated themselves will also not be allowed to cruise. They are required to get clearance from their general physicians.
- A passenger that has been confirmed to be in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past two weeks prior to the cruise is not allowed to join the cruise.
- Any passenger that was not allowed to travel because of the above-mentioned reasons is permitted to reschedule their trip to another date without any charges. They may also opt to get a credit of the money and paid to a different cruise package with the same company.
- In terms of tours, passengers are advised to get travel insurance when looking for a cruise for obvious reasons. Do check your insurance policies before traveling, as some of these policies do not cover a pandemic like COVID-19.