River cruise covid-19 protocols



  • edited May 2020

    and . . . unfortunately the clock keeps ticking- we all have a "terminal" disease- life! :D There aren't too many of us that don't have some other ailments as well- after all we are in the 'at risk' demographic for a number of maladies- male and older. :D

    It sounded like we were getting ready for a metaphor contest! :D

  • I'll have to go along with Smiling Sam. I have no desire to "play the game" given the unacceptable game rules. It's not only the shipboard experience that will be rendered unpleasant, all of the off-ship activities: dining, museums, sight-seeing, theater, will be negatively impacted, if they're even available.

  • Tauck has said the do not want to put a product out there that does not meet their standards. That being said, I’m sure a return to normal will take some time. If ‘we’ discontinue traveling and flying longer than necessary waiting for a return to ‘normal’, you may wait a long time ... and the ‘old’ normal may not return without our support. We have four trips planned. Other than possibly our ‘backup’ trip, I don’t plan on canceling any of them unless they are first canceled by the ‘providers’.

  • Sealord - Good for you. It sounds like money is no issue to you and you are willing to spend it to help keep the economy afloat, even if you are paying more for a bit less. You'll be the Bill Gates of the Tauck/travel world. When you do go, if attractions you expected to see are closed, Tauck has been good at compensating for those unexpected itinerary items that can't be done. On a Danube river cruise we went on we were unable to sail on a portion of the river due to low water levels. Tauck did their best to readjust the itinerary and then after the tour they provided everyone with a stipend to compensate for the changes. A very nice gesture, I thought.

    I'm anxious to travel as soon as possible as well, but I may be a bit more pragmatic than you. I will have a real hard time paying more for a lesser product. Paying more for the same product is expected. I'm already seeing that in restaurants in Tucson that have reopened. The food is the same as before they closed, but the prices all have been increased. I expected that and I'm OK with that. Now if they raised the prices and the meals were reduced (less side dishes, smaller portions, etc.) then I'd find alternatives.

  • I’m hardly a “no object” guy. We normally do one Tauck trip per year, and several ‘cheap’ trips. We had just returned from one of our ‘cheap’ trips when this all began. Our next Tauck trip if it goes has a small number of people in space that was designed for twice as many, and there is a lot of ‘outdoors’. Still doubtful it will happen, but Lufthansa just gave us new seats so they seem to think we are going. (;-)

  • We have deposits on four trips. I’m not booking any more until I know the status of those trips. Then I will book. We already took a tour that was abandoned because of the Covid 19, causing distress for our children as we did not know whether we were going to be stuck in a remote place on the other side of the world. I am not sure I can put them theu that. Plus, it wasn’t with Tauck so we are still waiting for the insurance company to issue a Trip interruption payout after two months.
    I’m convinced Tauck cannot give tours until there is at least a vaccine. Even with Social distancing they are not going to be able to give the tours that are already booked, there are too many people on each tour, they would need two buses per tour at least. Many hotels are leaving rooms empty for at least 24 hours between guests. There will be no buffets, restaurants have limited capacity etc etc etc. tours will have to be redesigned and I am sure will be more expensive.

  • edited May 2020

    Not to mention the byzantine, ever-changing, restrictions on entry and movement imposed by most countries, which are certain to remain in place for some time to come. Worse yet, these restrictions are not necessarily uniform within a country, there are likely to be differences between different cities and regions. Hard to imagine how Tauck can possibly operate tours under these circumstances.

  • edited May 2020

    Before this came out, I was mostly concerned about the long European flights. I have been waiting to see what Tauck was going to do about my Yuletide Spirit cruise this December before making any rash decisions. I love the river cruises and take them exclusively now, since they are the only choice that offers no single supplement (a much better deal than the small amount they credit singles on some land tours). However, thinking about the great times I had on my last two cruises (this past October and December 2018) with the great people I met, I can not imagine that I will enjoy them in the future with these restrictions. I, too, am hoping for a cure or vaccine in the near future, but until then, I will probably stay home (much to my dismay).

    As a solo traveller, I wouldn't be too happy social distancing from everyone else on board, since I wouldn't be travelling with anyone. On my last cruise, I met two other solo ladies the first day, and by the end of the cruise, we were adding an extra chair to eight-top tables because there were nine of us who wanted to sit together! That just doesn't seem possible under these new restrictions.

  • Scylla is beginning European river cruises on Tuesday, 9 June for a German operator they sail for. Danube and Rhine. Article I read said they were operating using half capacity and then said they were boarding 110 passengers!

  • Scylla has a much larger fleet than the few that Tauck uses. Size ranges from 88 passengers to 220. If you look on their website you can see all the different ships, deck plans, photos, etc.

  • Of course. I should have been clearer: since most European river cruise boats have essentially the same overall dimensions because of the locks, a boat carrying 110 at half capacity (220) isn't going to be as nice as those they operate for Tauck in terms of cabin size and common area space. Also makes them, as with the huge ocean cruise ships, harder to operate with social distancing.

  • Definitely some challenges with social distancing. I noted that the ships with 220 passengers don't have suites and as many mini suites as the ships Tauck uses. Mostly all 150 sqft staterooms. Boy would that get old fast on a cruise with limited ability to hang out in the lounge or restaurants. Our first cruise had that size room - standard on the mid and lower decks for Tauck then and the only place to sit was the bed or a small wicker chair. Thankfully it was a 1week cruise with a fairly busy pace so not a problem.

  • Like how we prioritize spending (small group upgrade, extra nights in the hotel, fancier stateroom) it may be a balancing act. Which restrictions can be put up with and which make the trip so hard we aren't going to enjoy it. Everyone will.have to make their own decision of how much is too much or can they wait til conditions improve.

    As much as I was looking forward to our tour this year, I'm kind of glad it will likely be put off til next year when yes there may be some differences from the past but hopefully will still be a worthwhile trip. I don't think I'd enjoy a tour where my husband and I were spending the bulk of our time on our own due to social distancing requirements. Might as well just plan our own trip. Since our tour was Switzerland that's not that hard to do.

  • edited June 2020

    Not to disagree with anyone, but what makes me think that in the end, many of us will accept more restrictions than we ever expected we might, just to get the heck out of Dodge! :D

  • I don’t think I will really miss travel until the weather here turns wintry. I’m so over doing the Singapore Bali Tour even though it has not been canceled.
    You make some good points Alan, but I think it will become more experience to travel because I can’t see land tours with 40 plus tours any more. Cruises and the like are more used to that but it will take a lot more buses and tour guides.
    Cathy, I know you like Jamaica and theater. There is a National Theatre Live production premiering on YouTube tonight called Small Island and it’s about the U.K. and Jamaica and immigration during the Second World War. I saw the preview and it looks excellent. It is free for one week. We have watched a number of these free weekly performances since they began at the start of Lockdown. I’m really missing my theatre and singing performances more than travel right now.

  • Not to disagree with anyone, but what makes me think that in the end, many of us will accept more restrictions than we ever expected we might, just to get the heck out of Dodge! :disappointed:

    To me, a tour such as Tauck offered in the pre-Covid world is not worth it with current restrictions and safety concerns. I expect things will be back to normal in 12-18 months. I'm willing to wait.

    BTW, I'm about a 6 hour drive from "Dodge" (City, KS). I've never been there. Maybe I'll visit some time :)

  • Travel under COVID restrictions is a non-starter for me, far too dismal to contemplate how unpleasant the experience would be.

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