• Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Log In
  • Find a Cruise
  • Deals
  • Excursions
  • More
You may also like
Dismiss
First European River Cruise Line Sets Sail
NickoVision crew greet passengers wearing masks and goggles

First European River Cruise Line Sets Sail

First European River Cruise Line Sets Sail
NickoVision crew greet passengers wearing masks and goggles

June 03, 2020

Adam Coulter
UK Managing Editor
By Adam Coulter
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
(1:05 p.m. EDT) -- After a nearly three month pause because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, cruising has restarted -- but only in Germany, with half the usual passengers onboard.
Nicko Cruises, a German domestic line using ships chartered from Scylla, boarded 110 passengers yesterday on NickoVision and set sail at 5.30 p.m. CEST (11.30 a.m. EDT) today for a 13-day voyage along the Danube and the Rhine.
If all goes well,
A-ROSA
, another German line will restart on June 17 on the
Douro river
and Scylla’s sister brand VIVA will restart in July. Scylla also charters vessels to
Tauck
, although that American line still has cruises on hold until August 1.
The moves come as central Europe gradually starts to re-open, with the threat of COVID-19 -- which led to
the suspension of all cruising worldwide
in mid-March -- recedes in the area.
NickoVision
Arno Reitsma, Scylla CEO and owner, said: “In the past months, our ships have been on 'pause' but our company hasn’t. Scylla has been working as one team to adapt our operations to the new reality.
“We are delighted to see that today these efforts are paying off. Guests are boarding again and are ready to start rediscovering the wonderful places along the European waterways.
“It is in our DNA to pioneer when it comes to new innovations and evolutions in the river cruising business, and so are we at this moment.
“A starting point has been created, and we can’t wait to further scale up our activities soon.”
NickoVision hand sanitizers and floor markings
Scylla has outlined
a long list of stringent health protocols
both pre-cruise and onboard including: no use of elevators, mandatory mask wearing, social distancing, daily temperature checks, no public toilets, a doctor onboard, no newspapers and umbrellas and no buffet, amongst many others.
Other European river cruise lines including Uniworld, CroisiEurope and Avalon Waterways, have also outlined tough new health protocols. It's unlikely that Americans will be traveling to Europe until later this year, however, because of travel restrictions and the continuing pandemic spread in the U.S.
Within the U.S., American Queen Steamboat Company and American Cruise Lines --
which hopes to be the first to restart on June 20
, sailing the Snake and Columbia rivers in the Pacific Northwest -- have also released increased sanitation and health measures.
A number of ocean cruise lines including
Norwegian
, Princess and Regent, have outlined their health and safety protocols, but their
return to sail dates
are not until August and beyond. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
has yet to release the requirements
that ocean ships carrying more than 250 passengers and crew must meet.
How was this article?
Popular with cruisers like you
UnCruise Ship Returning to Port After Passenger Tests Positive for COVID

(Updated 11: 54 a.m. EDT) -- The first U.S. cruise to set sail since the COVID-19 pandemic began has returned to Juneau after cutting short its voyage to Alaska after a passenger received notification he had tested positive for the virus.

UnCruise Adventures' Wilderness Adventurer, which left Juneau on Saturday for a weeklong cruise with 37 passengers and 30 crewmembers onboard, docked in the port city Wednesday morning, with all passengers being transferred to a local hotel where they will be placed into quarantine until doctors and state officials determine it is safe for them to leave. Crew will quarantine onboard the boat.

In announcing the news of the positive test

CLIA Further Extends Suspension of U.S. Cruises Until At Least October 31: Cruise Lines Follow Suit

(10:50 a.m. EDT) -- The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has announced it will be extending its voluntary suspension of U.S. cruise operations for all member lines until at least October 31, 2020.  

It is the third time that CLIA has issued a voluntary suspension of sailing notice, following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's initial "No-Sail" order that was issued in March and extended further in April and July.

CLIA member lines include some of the world's largest brands, including all Carnival Corporation & plc lines like Carnival, Holland America and Princess; Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings' brands including Norwegian,

Contact Tracing, Masks, Swab Tests in Terminal Part of MSC's Return to Cruise Plan

(2:15 p.m. EDT) -- In anticipation of a limited restart of cruising later this month in the Mediterranean, MSC Cruises gave more details of their health and safety protocols Tuesday, which are shaping up to be among the most sweeping and innovative that the cruise industry has seen so far. 

Speaking on a conference call with media, MSC CEO Gianni Onorato detailed the new health and safety initiatives that are expected to roll out later this month aboard MSC Grandiosa and MSC Magnifica.

Sailings aboard the two vessels, which would initially be limited to residents of Schengen (European Union) countries, could start as early as August 15, pending the approval of the Italian government. I

Norway Suspends Cruise Ship Docking After COVID-19 Outbreak; SeaDream I Quarantined

(10:50 a.m. EDT) -- After a positive COVID-19 outbreak was detected on Hurtigruten's Roald Amundsen, Norway has suspended cruise ships sailing with over 100 people from disembarking in the country's ports for the next two weeks.

Meanwhile, Norwegian newspapers are reporting that passengers on the luxury ship SeaDream I are at sea in quarantine, as a guest on a previous voyage tested positive for COVID-19.

Hurtigruten Case Count Grows

Accord

P&O Cruises To Take Delivery Of Iona Before Autumn; Second Ship Coming in late 2022

(3:45 p.m. BST) -- P&O Cruises has updated two major dates for its fleet, announcing that Iona will be arriving before autumn and its sister ship will be delivered in December 2022.

The 5,200-passener Iona, which will be the largest ship custom-built for the U.K. cruise market, was originally set to debut in May 2020. It is also the first British ship to be powered by liquified natural gas. Delivery from the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, has been delayed because of the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The sister ship is yet unnamed and will also be built at Meyer Werft. Itineraries will go on sale in spring 2021.

P&O Cruises has voluntarily suspended operations t

New Zealand Puts the Breaks on Trans-Tasman Travel Bubble Plans

(5 p.m. EDT) -- New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has poured cold water over the idea of a Trans-Tasman travel "bubble" between New Zealand and Australia, according to reports in the Sydney Morning Herald.

While New Zealand has managed to go over three months without a case of COVID-19 with no known source, the Australian city of Melbourne saw 760 active cases of COVID-19 with no known source on Sunday, according to the Herald.

Those increasing numbers have led Australia's second-largest city to impose lockdown restrictions for si

Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
Cookie Consent