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When May River Cruise Lines Resume Service? [Sep 1, 2020 edition]

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4 hours ago, gnome12 said:

Our province (Ontario) as well as Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia are all on the uptick. In Ontario, we have decreased the number of people allowed in non-monitored spaces to 10 indoors and 25 outdoors (from 25 and 50 respectively). Monitored spaces like restaurants, reception halls, and movie theatres are still at the old limits. While our infection numbers are as high as they were back in the spring, we have few hospitalizations which is very different. Personally, I go out only to grocery shop or cycle (with a few other stops sometimes) or to cycle. People are generally good at wearing masks, but we are starting to get some anti-mask demonstrations too.

Sad to say that British Columbia daily numbers are higher (over 100 or greater daily) than they have ever been during what we thought was the worst time in the spring. Restrictions have increased again...night clubs and banquet halls shut down and restaurants can only serve liquor until 10pm, close at 11pm. Highest increase in numbers are young adults so focus is really on reducing the opportunity for them to gather in large numbers or move about mingling with multiple groups. Fines are being issued for breach of the restrictions. Fines are also being given to USA citizens who have entered under false claims to directly pass through to a residence in Alaska (instead choosing to visit tourist sites, visit restaurants etc.). More and more people are wearing masks inside (and outside if keeping distance is not possible). I have friends who work on the Public Health Covid19 tracing teams which have been significantly expanded as unfortunately the contact tracing is a vast effort. 

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12 hours ago, Roger88 said:

How is Toronto doing by the way? We didnt have any news from what is going on in Canada for awhile. Do you have restrictions and stuff? It feels like Canada got untouched by the crisis really. Maybe its due to the cold.. Or maybe you got some good measures to fight it? 

gnome12 has commented above - but I will fill in a bit more.  I don't live in Toronto - but am just east, so pretty much the same situation.

The decrease in number of people allowed to meet is across the province. People who ignore the rules will be fined - and a house party not far from me had a number of people fined for attending.  I believe that a number of people were fined $800 (approx) - not sure if the host got a larger fine.  You can be fined up to $10k as a host.

 

We continue to do 20k+ tests/day in the province - but people are lining up to get tested - and the wait can be long.  They have just announced that there will testing available in some pharmacies  - starting on Friday.  Testing is free - and some places (ie: some seniors facilities) require proof of a negative test before anyone can visit. So - the demand for tests remains high.

 

I have resigned myself to the fact that we are probably looking at these restrictions well into next year.  Numbers started to rise here when schools went back in - and we aren't into the flu season yet.  I heard that the government has ordered extra doses of the flu shot for this year - and they are encouraging people to get the shot as a bit of extra protection - until a Covid vaccine is available. 

 

Our governments - federal & provincial - have been working well together.  You mentioned the cold... but, we still have beautiful weather here, in spite of having moved into autumn.  We expect our weather to be over 20 degrees C. through the weekend here. Still easy to have back yard meetings with friends - but, expect that will change when the weather does

 

Fran

 

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12 hours ago, franski said:

 

We continue to do 20k+ tests/day in the province - but people are lining up to get tested - and the wait can be long.  They have just announced that there will testing available in some pharmacies  - starting on Friday.  Testing is free - and some places (ie: some seniors facilities) require proof of a negative test before anyone can visit. So - the demand for tests remains high.

 You mentioned the cold... but, we still have beautiful weather here, in spite of having moved into autumn.  We expect our weather to be over 20 degrees C. through the weekend here. Still easy to have back yard meetings with friends - but, expect that will change when the weather does

 

Fran

 

 

As @franski says, testing is in high demand.  Part of the reason for that is because schools & day cares are open, and you need a negative test if the child or any member of the family has any sort of symptoms. We had a cold snap move through Eastern Ont just when schools re-opened, so of course there are lots of runny noses!  I have a friend who is an anesthesiologist who's daughter has the sniffles.  Having her home from school for the 14 days is no problem as her husband works from home......however she is unable to work until she gets a negative test because of this.  She finally managed to get one (fortunately there are some rural areas that have smaller appointment waits), but it took 2 days, and then another 2 days for the results.

 

The gov't has just announced that testing for asymptomatic people (someone who is pretty sure it's a cold) will be available in select pharmacies now.  Mostly in the large cities, but when that's where the people live....

 

I did see that the Cruise Line Industry (?) is trying to get some agreements with the CDC for re-opening.  I know it only takes 1 person, so really smaller River boats vs large Ocean boats really won't make much difference, as you can still come into contact with that person, but it's a start.

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That first river cruise ship struck by a few cases of Covid-19 (see respective thread) is treated by the industry as an isolated incidence and confidence is still high among the companies: https://www.travelweekly.com/River-Cruising/Insights/After-river-cruise-Covid-cases-no-cause-for-alarm

 

Good. With cases rising all over Europe, at least statistically the risk has become greater. After all, the fact that we did not see an outbreak on a ship in Spring in Europe - there was one on the Nile - is because almost no ships had actually started sailing before the companies and countries pulled on the breaks and travel came to almost a standstill.

 

I am confident myself about river cruising as such but I fear we will see cases in Autumn going into Winter. I very much hope I am proven wrong. 

 

Interesting also in the article is that also Tauck's ships are sailing for the German market. It confirms my findings that not just the Inspire is on a proper itinerary, but also the Grace (and others).

 

notamermaid

 

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On 9/3/2020 at 1:24 AM, gnome12 said:

I got an email from a TA today advertising a Canadian only Christmas Markets cruise on Avalon Dec 2-8 from Nuremberg to Vienna.


Sent from my iPhone using Forums

I reckon this announcement is connected to the e-mail you received: https://www.travelweekly.com/River-Cruising/Avalon-slates-Christmas-market-cruises

 

I would like to make a couple of comments, not directed at you but the general reader: quote ""The reality is these are outdoor markets, and outdoor markets have been happening all summer," Hoffee said." end quote   I say: Well, yes - and no. Large-scale events did not happen all through Summer. Christmas markets are large-scale events. There were few street festivals, etc. with few crowds, nothing like you see at huge markets. Small controlled events have happened. There were and are regular markets - I saw how widely the Würzburg weekly market was spaced. It is not romantic.While the organizers are optimistic and working hard to make them happen, there is no guarantee the health authorities will allow them automatically. None of them will look like the ones last year. In Germany a limit or down-right ban on alcohol might be considered as well. Glühwein is not guaranteed this year, we can only assume it will be allowed as it is such an integral part of any market. Do not expect business as usual. This is the situation in Germany and it is likely to be similar in other countries.

 

quote "Likewise, she said, Avalon stands ready to open more end-of-year sailings if Europe opens to Americans, which make up the bulk of their customer base." end quote  I say: I wonder if this means over Christmas as well? Or just more ships to accommodate more passengers for the markets? Bear in mind that Christmas markets in most places end on 23 December at the latest, few are open after Christmas.

 

I do not mean to be a spoilsport. If you are desperate to get away from home and enjoy the general festive atmosphere it is great to go. But more than ever you need to "go with the flow" and be willing to adapt.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, notamermaid said:

I reckon this announcement is connected to the e-mail you received: https://www.travelweekly.com/River-Cruising/Avalon-slates-Christmas-market-cruises

 

I would like to make a couple of comments, not directed at you but the general reader: quote ""The reality is these are outdoor markets, and outdoor markets have been happening all summer," Hoffee said." end quote   I say: Well, yes - and no. Large-scale events did not happen all through Summer. Christmas markets are large-scale events. There were few street festivals, etc. with few crowds, nothing like you see at huge markets. Small controlled events have happened. There were and are regular markets - I saw how widely the Würzburg weekly market was spaced. It is not romantic.While the organizers are optimistic and working hard to make them happen, there is no guarantee the health authorities will allow them automatically. None of them will look like the ones last year. In Germany a limit or down-right ban on alcohol might be considered as well. Glühwein is not guaranteed this year, we can only assume it will be allowed as it is such an integral part of any market. Do not expect business as usual. This is the situation in Germany and it is likely to be similar in other countries.

 

quote "Likewise, she said, Avalon stands ready to open more end-of-year sailings if Europe opens to Americans, which make up the bulk of their customer base." end quote  I say: I wonder if this means over Christmas as well? Or just more ships to accommodate more passengers for the markets? Bear in mind that Christmas markets in most places end on 23 December at the latest, few are open after Christmas.

 

I do not mean to be a spoilsport. If you are desperate to get away from home and enjoy the general festive atmosphere it is great to go. But more than ever you need to "go with the flow" and be willing to adapt.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

Avalon may be open to Canadians, but I doubt that very many Canadians are ready to travel anywhere right now.

 

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56 minutes ago, gnome12 said:

Avalon may be open to Canadians, but I doubt that very many Canadians are ready to travel anywhere right now.

 

Yes, I can imagine. And booking now for December? Confidence in your own health and travel restrictions being favourable by then needs to be high for that. I can see this appealing more to UK customers. Germany not being on the quarantine list has even prompted "The Guardian" newspaper to write a travel article advertising holidaying in Germany in Autumn (!). So Christmas markets in Germany especially could be an attractive notion. Austria hopefully getting on top of the situation would open up much of the Danube for a nice winter river cruise.

 

notamermaid

 

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12 hours ago, Daisi said:

 

As @franski says, testing is in high demand.  Part of the reason for that is because schools & day cares are open, and you need a negative test if the child or any member of the family has any sort of symptoms. We had a cold snap move through Eastern Ont just when schools re-opened, so of course there are lots of runny noses!  I have a friend who is an anesthesiologist who's daughter has the sniffles.  Having her home from school for the 14 days is no problem as her husband works from home......however she is unable to work until she gets a negative test because of this.  She finally managed to get one (fortunately there are some rural areas that have smaller appointment waits), but it took 2 days, and then another 2 days for the results.

 

The gov't has just announced that testing for asymptomatic people (someone who is pretty sure it's a cold) will be available in select pharmacies now.  Mostly in the large cities, but when that's where the people live....

 

I work at a college. I really don't know the criteria for coming back after having COVID-19 where I work but I do know that we do not require a negative test. Apparently you can test positive for a really long time after recovering so this is no longer required. This was required earlier in the cycle but things have changed where I live.

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On the CLIA conference, Cruisecritic UK has this report: https://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/news/5619/

 

Smaller Christmas markets as the big ones are not happening? Nice idea if it works. Some smaller markets have already been cancelled like Rüdesheim on the Rhine (small due to street layout, big on crowds) but the ones with much space may happen. Much work for the cruise directors and the cruise organizers behind the scenes.

 

notamermaid

 

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Grand Circle has cancelled all

departures through the end of 2020 according to their website.

Edited by WonderMan3

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On 9/24/2020 at 7:41 PM, Coral said:

I work at a college. I really don't know the criteria for coming back after having COVID-19 where I work but I do know that we do not require a negative test. Apparently you can test positive for a really long time after recovering so this is no longer required. This was required earlier in the cycle but things have changed where I live.

 

Most college & university courses are on-line here.  Very few students attending in-person.  And, they don't anticipate this changing this semester.

 

From what I understand, if you test positive for Covid - teacher or student (elementary or secondary school) - you have to be asymptomatic & test negative before returning to the classroom.  Just this evening on the news, they were reporting on an elementary school in Toronto where 2 students tested positive.  So - all students & teachers in the classrooms that the children were in have been sent home to quarantine for 2 weeks.  I don't know if they need a negative test before returning - or, just if they have any symptoms.

 

Our numbers are climbing in Toronto - 400+ cases in the last 24 hours (not horrific when you realize the population is over 2.5 million - but concerning...). The worst spike is downtown, in an area with a large number of bars & restaurants.  A large percentage of people living in this area are under 40 years of age.  The province has mandated that "last call" will now be 11 pm...  hoping this might help curb the spread.  

 

They are trying to prevent the need for a tighter lockdown...  People need to think about where and how they socialize!!

 

Fran

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22 minutes ago, franski said:

 

Most college & university courses are on-line here.  Very few students attending in-person.  And, they don't anticipate this changing this semester.

 

From what I understand, if you test positive for Covid - teacher or student (elementary or secondary school) - you have to be asymptomatic & test negative before returning to the classroom.  Just this evening on the news, they were reporting on an elementary school in Toronto where 2 students tested positive.  So - all students & teachers in the classrooms that the children were in have been sent home to quarantine for 2 weeks.  I don't know if they need a negative test before returning - or, just if they have any symptoms.

 

Our colleges are in session. So are our K-12 schools. In person. And our numbers are increasing because students are now mingling with others (parents, grandparents). I don't see school going online here at all.

 

There probably is a reason why Canada has fewer cases than the US and we are not allowed to travel there.

 

We had 119 cases today (city of less than 300,000). Hospital stays at an all time high (31 in my county, an additional 34 from other counties that are in our hospitals).

Edited by Coral

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15 minutes ago, Coral said:

Our colleges are in session. So are our K-12 schools. In person. And our numbers are increasing because students are now mingling with others (parents, grandparents). I don't see school going online here at all.

 

Students from K-8 can opt to stay home and do virtual learning.  Teachers have been hired to support this - this helps keep numbers down in the classrooms.  You do have to register if you want to do this - and, you can't jump back & forth --> you need to "stay put" (in class or virtual) until a designated point.  You can change at that time.  Everyone in Grade 3 & up has to wear a mask in class - although it is not mandatory during recess or other outside time. Staggered start times in the mornings for some schools. 

 

Many high schools (Grades 9-12) have some type of hybrid model.  Maybe in person in mornings and home in the afternoon.  Or, attend every other day.  Some are doing block subjects to reduce the number of contacts each student has. Not a single approach across the province - but each school board has different dynamics - so they try to tailor to their population.  Not everyone is happy - but, it seldom happens that everyone is!!

 

Fran   

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6 minutes ago, franski said:

 

Students from K-8 can opt to stay home and do virtual learning.  Teachers have been hired to support this - this helps keep numbers down in the classrooms.  You do have to register if you want to do this - and, you can't jump back & forth --> you need to "stay put" (in class or virtual) until a designated point.  You can change at that time.  Everyone in Grade 3 & up has to wear a mask in class - although it is not mandatory during recess or other outside time. Staggered start times in the mornings for some schools. 

 

Many high schools (Grades 9-12) have some type of hybrid model.  Maybe in person in mornings and home in the afternoon.  Or, attend every other day.  Some are doing block subjects to reduce the number of contacts each student has. Not a single approach across the province - but each school board has different dynamics - so they try to tailor to their population.  Not everyone is happy - but, it seldom happens that everyone is!!

 

Fran   

K-12 can apply for virtual classes. We started with hybrid classes for high school (3 days in 2 days home and then reverse) but that is ending now. Colleges are doing some hybrid where I live. Mostly trying to have classes outside (while we can) or move the chairs far apart. Virtual for those who have immune compromised issues. 

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According Binnenschifffahrt-online.de A-Rosa are putting their fourth ship back on the Rhine due to high demand for late Autumn/Winter cruises, which means all of the intended Rhine fleet are back on that river. It appears that more German ocean cruisers are going on river cruises. Although cruises are much curtailed towards the East of Europe and France is a real problem, the German rivers are very accessible for now. Apart from some low water problems (which are not as pronounced as was feared earlier this year). AmaWaterways and Uniworld are already using their ships on the German-speaking market. Will others follow? Tauck ships are Swiss and sailing the rivers but I do not know if Tauck is any way involved in those charters.

 

Still have not figured out if Riviera has actually started sailing on the Po in Italy again.

 

notamermaid

 

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Phoenix has added at least two ships temporarily to the fleet - Thomas Hardy and Geoffrey Chaucer and I think the Rhein Prinzessin. The first two ships are Riveria Travel ships. So obviously Phoenix can fill them up.

 

steamboats

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Just took a quick look on Avalon's site....all but special interest cruises seem to no longer be available for 2020, including ones that would have ran in Dec.  Didn't check all, but I wouldn't be surprised to hear they have cancelled them.  There are still prices up for room rates, so not sold out.

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