A popular European river cruise line is getting ready to resume operation on Portugal’s Douro River! Riviera River Cruises is planning to restart their ship MS Douro Elegance on July 2, 2021 for eight-day itineraries on the Douro and Salamanca Rivers. All guests boarding Riviera ships will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or present a negative test prior to travel.
“We’re thrilled to announce that we’ll be welcoming guests aboard our Douro River cruises this summer,” said Marilyn Conroy, Riviera River Cruises’ Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing North America. “While we’re all eager to travel again, we’ll still be taking precautions to ensure our cruises are safe for both you and our crew members. And, of course, we guarantee you’ll be happy with your cruise by the second day or we’ll help bring you home with a full refund. We hope that you’ll make Riviera your go-to river cruise line as you plan your post-COVID travels.”
For now, the Douro will be the only river the cruise line returns to, but that will change in the future. According to the cruise line, they will continue to evaluate travel guidelines across Europe and resume operations on additional rivers when possible.
Flexible Cruise Cancellation Policies
Understanding that people may be hesitant to book a cruise vacation while the travel industry remains in flux, Riviera River Cruises has a flexible policy for COVID-19 cancellation and curtailment protection as well as a happiness guarantee.
From the cruise line:
If a guest isn’t able to travel specifically due to COVID-19, the booking can be transferred to another departure date for free with as little as 24 hours’ notice. If a guest has to cut their holiday short specifically due to COVID-19 and a travel insurer doesn’t cover it, Riviera will provide compensation for the missed portion of the cruise. And if a guest isn’t happy by the second day of their cruise, Riviera will assist in bringing them home with a full refund.
Health and Safety Protocols
Riviera River Cruises has implemented a number of health and safety practices including enhanced cleaning schedules, regularly disinfecting shared equipment and touch points, disinfecting suitcase handles, making hand sanitizer available throughout the ship, social distancing on coaches for excursions with temperature checks upon reboarding, providing contact-free services throughout the ship and full table service in restaurants with seating to allow for social distancing, performing daily temperature checks and ongoing health screenings for crew members, and requiring face coverings for crew members where necessary.
With some European countries beginning to open up to tourism, a European river cruise this summer is definitely a possibility for travelers looking for an awesome vacation!