UPDATE: A representative from AmaWaterways has confirmed that the pause until October does NOT apply to the newly restarted AmaKristina in Europe. It DOES however, apply to the rest of the cruise line’s fleet.
There have always been a section of cruisers who eschew the massive cruise ships sailing the seven seas these days. River cruising is an entirely different experience and in 2020, it’s been one of the only cruise experiences as large ships remain dormant due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There was plenty of optimism, particularly in Europe, earlier this summer as several prominent river cruise lines updated their health and safety protocols and began cruising before anyone else.
AmaWaterways was one such river cruise line that returned to service to much applause, but today the company announced they would continue to halt operation for all ships but one, citing the health and safety of their passengers and crew.
In an update on the Amawaterways website, the company wrote:
We are continuously monitoring the updates from global health authorities and local governments in the U.S. and around the world with regards to the ongoing situation. At this time, we have extended suspensions for river cruise sailings embarking through October 31, 2020.
It was just over a month ago that the cruise line put out a press release entitled “Amawaterways Pioneers River Cruising’s Return” and invited the media to a virtual conference on the changes on board to facilitate safe and healthy cruising. The plan clearly wasn’t to limit the return to just one ship, so what changed?
The cruise line first returned to service in July and it seemed to be smooth sailing with no reported COVID-19 cases since then. Though Amawaterways is based in America, they are not beholden to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions no-sail order due to the size of their ships and their return sailing location in Europe.
There haven’t been any cases of COVID-19 reported to this point and considering how quickly the news of cases on board other ships have spread, it seems like we’d have heard about it by now.
If that’s not the reason, then why? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.