Posted: 13 May 2020 New health and safety protocols announced for Uniworld river cruises


EVERY TOUCHPOINT: Uniworld Unveils Enhanced Health and Safety Protocols

~Bettridge and Team Reviewing Every Protocol of Interaction in Preparation for Reopening~

In preparation for the line’s expected return, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection announces enhanced health and safety protocols. After an extensive review of current procedures, and consideration of every touchpoint and interaction between crew and guest, new measures will be added to every facet of the experience, from onboard dining and the maintenance and service of guest suites to excursions and crew etiquette.

“At Uniworld, the health and wellbeing of our guests and our crew are paramount. As we prepare to join the world community in reopening our homes, businesses, ships and lives to one another, we have carefully reviewed protocols and procedures to ensure that the touchpoints between the people we care about the very most are managed with intention, respect and utmost care,” said Ellen Bettridge, president & CEO of Uniworld. 

Bettridge said that common practices, such as candy jars in the lounge and displayed coffee table books which had been considered welcoming, are now part of the everyday experiences that are being reimagined across the company. “We have been scrupulous in our process to consider every moment that may present an unnecessary concern and why all coffee table books, magazines and brochures for example, have been removed from public use. Instead, guests will be able to access these reading materials via our complimentary PressReader app on their personal devices,” said Bettridge.

As an extension to the rigorous sanitation procedures Uniworld already has in place, other new guest measures include:

  • All guests must complete health screening prior to embarkation
  • Fruits, cookies, chips, nuts, candies and other treats will be served to individual guests by the crew only. These treats are no longer available for self-service
  • Disinfect wipes will be available throughout the ship, including at coffee stations and in the public restrooms
  • Any onboard payments will be processed using a contactless payment method and credit card machines will be wiped after each pin entry
  • All restaurant dining will have reserved seating, with guests at the same table, with the same people, each day
  • Items that are usually shared, like bread and butter, will now be served to each person individually
  • Gloves, face masks and bottles of hand sanitizer will be readily available for all guests
  • For excursions, the maximum occupancy per bus will be adjusted to reduce the total number of people together at one time

In addition to regularly reviewing procedures and protocols to ensure best practices, Bettridge shared that Uniworld is also closely monitoring and following recommendations from world health authorities including the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the independent agency of the European Union (EU) whose mission is to strengthen Europe's defenses against infectious diseases and the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as  from traditional ocean cruise industry association Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). As a member of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), Uniworld will also leverage their expertise. 

“Consistently reviewing our policies to improve and enhance the safety and wellbeing of our guests is part of our DNA; what’s important right now, is the speed at which we’re able to act on new information, particularly from local authorities where we cruise,” said Bettridge. “We have worked on internal processes to help our team embrace and thrive during crucial moments when the need to pivot quickly is imperative.”

According to Bettridge, Uniworld’s already stringent crew protocol has also been reviewed and enhanced. In addition to the extensive and required professional health and hygiene HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) training that all crew receives, crew will receive regular health screenings and are expected to adhere to social distancing requirements, all public and private crew quarters are sanitized regularly; plus now, crew meals are served - no self-service allowed. 

“The world is changed and as we start to welcome guests just beginning to step back into travel, we want them to know that we understand and are anticipating their concern and taking careful and deliberate steps to protect their safety, health and wellbeing—which will come in the form of a broad smile instead of a handshake” said Bettridge.

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