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vaccination against Covid-19 required when river cruising - news, policies, companies


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Saga, a company based in the UK, was the first to announce a policy which requires all its river cruise passengers (indeed all travellers) to have been vaccinated against Covid-19, fully and at least 2 weeks before embarking on the cruise. That was in January and caused a bit of a stir in the industry. However, according to SeaTradeCruiseNews, that requirement for vaccinations does not extend to the crew.

 

https://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/news/5830/

 

Now American Queen Steamboat Company have followed with that policy and have extended it to the crew: https://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/news/5858/

 

notamermaid

 

Edited by notamermaid
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  • notamermaid changed the title to vaccination against Covid-19 required when river cruising - news, policies, companies

I don't think that crew are generally permanent employees. Most of them I would assume are hired for a season. (I may however be wrong. It won't be the first - or the last - time.)

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7 minutes ago, gnome12 said:

I don't think that crew are generally permanent employees. Most of them I would assume are hired for a season. (I may however be wrong. It won't be the first - or the last - time.)

I think a lot are hired by agencies, at least that is what I had heard.  Maybe the agencies will require vaccination as a better "sale" for the cruise lines?  

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Vaccinating the crew will definitely not be as straightforward as requiring the passengers having been vaccinated. Existing work contracts may well be a problem as canal archive mentioned. I assume we will run into many disputes with this in Germany as well.

 

Viking hire themselves as far as I know. Some others as well probably. Other companies indeed often go through these agencies. One of them is Seachefs, another is River Advice.

 

I have heard of contracts that are only for a season, but many are renewed and some become long-term employees. I am sure it varies a lot.

 

But I can imagine many existing crew members wanting a vaccination anyway.

 

I must admit that I somewhat also feel safer at the thought of crew members being vaccinated. For most of this year as a transition phase I think health protocols on the ship and on land will prohibit normal life anyway, but just the thought alone that a large proportion out of 200 people are less likely to carry the virus and spread it, is reassuring.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

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Depending on the country they're living in, they may not be eligible for the vaccine for a long time, especially if they're young and healthy.  

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I remember seeing on Ytube the German company that trains the crews it has two sections one hotel and one maritime as far as I know they train to basic requirements and then further training as different companies require. Talking to Scenic crews over the years they apply before the off season. CA

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Yes, exaclty, hotel deparmtent and nautical department are employed by two different companies (usually agencies). Some of those crewing agencies are located in Eastern Europe like Romania. So for river cruise ships it´s pretty difficult...

 

Ship owner is often not the company "operating" (selling) the cruises.

Crew is employed by two different companies.

Usually people like a cruise director are freelancers hired by the company selling the cruises.

 

Especially hotel crew is usually hired just for the season. So new season, new contract.

 

Nautical crew can be hired for longer as the ships need some basic crew during winter and especially good "officers" are pretty rare on the rivers.

 

steamboats

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15 hours ago, Roz said:

Depending on the country they're living in, they may not be eligible for the vaccine for a long time, especially if they're young and healthy.  

I was wondering about this issue as well.

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Viking owns its own ships, does it not?  It would be a good investment for them (or any other cruise line) if they purchased vaccine to inoculate their employees (or subcontractors, whatever they are, technically)?  Would make it easier to sell cruises if both crew and passengers are inoculated.

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26 minutes ago, sharkster77 said:

Viking owns its own ships, does it not?

 

Yes, they do. But this doesn´t say anything about for which company the hotel and maritime crew is working for.

 

steamboats

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52 minutes ago, sharkster77 said:

Viking owns its own ships, does it not?  It would be a good investment for them (or any other cruise line) if they purchased vaccine to inoculate their employees (or subcontractors, whatever they are, technically)?  Would make it easier to sell cruises if both crew and passengers are inoculated.

 

To the best of my knowledge, private companies can't purchase vaccine, at least in the US.  It may be different in Europe.  I think this is an issue all cruise lines are facing.  They probably want all their crew to be vaccinated, but how to accomplish this is another thing. 

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11 minutes ago, Roz said:

 

To the best of my knowledge, private companies can't purchase vaccine, at least in the US.  It may be different in Europe.  I think this is an issue all cruise lines are facing.  They probably want all their crew to be vaccinated, but how to accomplish this is another thing. 

I agree. In the US - we are at the mercy of the US government what they have purchased and then the state and local governments on how they allocate the vaccines.

 

My guess is when we get past the availability issue - private companies will be able to buy them but we are months away from that. I expect once those aged 1-16 are approved and eligible for vaccines, our supply and demand issues will continue with people want their kids vaccinated for school in the fall.

Edited by Coral
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My employer employs thousands of people, and BC/BS is our insurance carrier.  Every fall (except the last one) they set up flu shot clinics at various locations to make it easy for the employees to get the shot.  The same could be done if insurers were given access to the Covid vaccine.  

 

People are not going back to work until the vaccine is available to those not in the older age groups.  

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Once as many people as possible are vaccinated we then will have the biggest potential headache of all those who refuse for whatever reason to be vaccinated. Don’t forget not that long ago we nearly had a measles epidemic caused through parents not having their children inoculated. CA

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2 hours ago, steamboats said:

 

Yes, they do. But this doesn´t say anything about for which company the hotel and maritime crew is working for.

 

steamboats

Indeed. Even Viking is not Viking. When you book in the US you book with "one Viking" when you are employed by Viking you are employed by "another Viking", i.e. Swiss company "with EU contract" as it puts it on the internet but I am not sure that this is still valid. There was a dispute about work contracts in the news a few years ago, therefore my knowledge of this. Nautical teams and hotel teams are two different aspects again, as you pointed out.

 

As far as I know no German company has any access to vaccine supply, we as citizens have also been warned about imposters. The government has the contracts with the manufacturers but in the future I can imagine large companies getting into the supply chain directly. I am sure there are discussions going on already in the background.

 

notamermaid

 

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Somebody mentioned the abundant flu shot clinics that pop up all over the US every fall.  Eventually that's how the COVID vaccinations have to eventually end up.  I can get my annual flu shot at dozens of different places--incredibly easy.

 

Right now in my area of the country (New England) what we have are fewer but larger mega-COVID vaccine clinics at sports stadia, convention centers, etc.  Our local press had video of elderly waiting outside in the cold for hours, waiting to get in for their appointments.  It's now wonder COVID vaccine isn't getting into arms.  Governors are just wising up to the idea that they need to ship vaccines to medical practices, pharmacies, town health offices, etc.

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1 hour ago, sharkster77 said:

Governors are just wising up to the idea that they need to ship vaccines to medical practices, pharmacies, town health offices, etc.

That will be fine when they get to vaccines that don't require special storage. The Pfizer vaccine in particular require extreme cold, and the Moderna is also a frozen vaccine although not as extreme. I believe that the Astrazeneca vaccine can be stored in a refrigerator. I'm not sure about the other ones still in the pipeline.

 

Also, when quantities are still very limited it is important not to waste doses, which come in multi-dose vials.

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There's an article in today's Wall Street Journal titled "Why Covid Shots Are Scarcer Than Flu Shots" – short answer is (a) fewer manufacturers, (b) need to keep the serum ultra-frozen, (c) eligibility requirements, (d) need to monitor allergic reactions, (e) reserving supplies for second shot – and the biggie:  need to document all of the above.

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44 minutes ago, gnome12 said:

That will be fine when they get to vaccines that don't require special storage. The Pfizer vaccine in particular require extreme cold, and the Moderna is also a frozen vaccine although not as extreme. I believe that the Astrazeneca vaccine can be stored in a refrigerator. I'm not sure about the other ones still in the pipeline.

 

Yes and no. Right now the vaccines are still very scarce. For example - my employer has freezers that can tolerate the Pfizer vaccine. I am sure other places have these also but don't have access to the vaccine.

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We had the Pfizer vaccine and according to our vaccinator who was just about the best I’ve ever had she said as long as you looked after it properly it was no problem. They had units to keep it at low temps i think it’s was put into a normal fridge two hours before required then was safe to use for several hours.

The other vaccines coming on stream can be treated as other vaccines with care. 
The boffins are working on mixing vaccines i.e. the second jab being from another manufacturer and it’s looking like this could be beneficial especially were the variants are concerned. CA

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Just now, Canal archive said:

The boffins are working on mixing vaccines i.e. the second jab being from another manufacturer and it’s looking like this could be beneficial especially were the variants are concerned. CA

This is why the record keeping is so essential at this stage.  The more they learn, the better the science will get.  My old doctor always prescribed the oldest drug for a disease, because he felt that only years of use in the general population brought out all the effects and side-effects – I hope we will get to that stage with this vaccine, and we'll be able to get it (or boosters, anyway) just by dropping in at CVS same as the flu shots.

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13 hours ago, notamermaid said:

Indeed. Even Viking is not Viking.

 

Actually it´s normal that you found a company which has the only purpose to own a single ship. I´ve never checked who is officially owning any of the Viking ships.

 

And yes, all vaccine here in Germany is bought (and therefore owned) by the government of Germany. There are no private vaccine buyers here. No company can buy vaccine for their employees.

 

steamboats

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At the moment I doubt that any company is going to throw there hat into the ring and take on a government and likewise a vaccine company would be chancing their luck to sell to what amounts to a private individual. Well our powers that be are aiming for 15 million first time vaccinations by the end of next week and it looks like it is at least one target that will be met. We have though several vociferous conspiracy groups in the U.K. causing some trouble so yet another challenge. CA

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