INSURANCE Kevin McMullan, head of product, Saga Health and Travel Insurance: “You have to be confident protection is in place for all eventualities while you’re away, and that’s why we’ve put Covid-19 cover into our travel insurance policies. If you fall ill with Covid while abroad, we’ll help with the medical costs and get you back home. This covers all Saga travel insurance customers, whether your cover is part of a holiday booked through us, or through standalone insurance.”

ABOVE: Entrance to the Manor nightclub on Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady FACING PAGE: (from top left): Scenic Sapphire in Avignon, France; Royal Suite on a Uniworld ship; Crystal Symphony in Antarctica

which shows consumer confidence is growing again and people are excited about cruising next year.” A. Anthony Daniels, general manager, UK and Ireland, Hurtigruten: “We understand that for many people, flying may not be an option for some time. That’s why we are pleased to offer four adventurous itineraries departing from Dover from March 2021, and since announcing them, we’ve received well over 3,000 pre-registration enquiries.” A. Paul Ludlow, president, P&O Cruises: “For guests preferring an ex-UK holiday, we have a huge range departing year-round from our homeport of Southampton to destinations including Norway, Spain, Portugal, the Canary Islands and Italy as well as longer no-fly holidays to the Caribbean, US and Canada. Availability for family groups during the 2021 summer holidays is already extremely limited and we recommend guests look at alternative school holidays such as Easter, Christmas or half-term.”

We are very pleased to say our first post-Covid-19 cruise – a 13-day river sailing – successfully came to an end last week

Q.What onboard facilities – from bars to spas – will be available when sailings restart? A. Shane Riley, associate vice-president of international sales, Virgin Voyages: “Ensuring that our sailors and crew feel safe and secure is our top priority, and part of this will require us to be more mindful of physical distancing while enjoying public spaces on board. Yes, our bars and entertainment spaces will be open, but with capacity in mind so all feel comfortable to enjoy their holiday. These measures will

be strictly enforced and easily managed through our onboard technology, using The Band for contactless payment, Service Chat for digital assistance and Virtual Queues for onboard experiences.” A. Kristin Karst, executive vice- president, AmaWaterways: “We are well-prepared to implement the recommended sanitation protocols and social distancing guidelines so our guests can safely continue to enjoy our spa services, daily exercise classes and hiking and biking tours. Bikes are sanitised after each use and our open-air Sun Decks are the perfect place for small-group exercise classes – social distancing is easily respected and the views are the best!”

Q.Will guests still be able to enjoy shore excursions? A. Arno Reitsma, chief executive, Scylla [which runs river ships chartered by operators including Riviera Travel, Tauck, Nicko Cruises and Viva Cruises]: “We are ²

FUTURE CRUISE CREDIT Lynn Narraway, managing director, UK and Ireland, Holland America Line: “We’ve launched a short-term cancellation policy as part of our Book With Confidence campaign, for cruises departing up to December 31, 2021. Those who have had full-paid sailings cancelled will receive 125% of the cost in Future Cruise Credit, which is valid for a year for sailings up to December 31, 2022. Those who had not paid in full will receive Future Cruise Credit to the value of double the deposit paid. Alternatively, guests can request a 100% refund.”

RESTORING CONFIDENCE Adolfo Perez, senior vice-president of trade sales and marketing, Carnival Cruise Line: “During our voluntary pause in operations, we have been engaging with experts, government officials and stakeholders on additional protocols to protect the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we serve. It’s important that travel advisors are very familiar with those changes as we announce them, so they can continue their vital role as ambassadors for our industry.”

SMALL SHIPS Torstein Hagen, founder, Viking Cruises: “We are committed to maintaining the safest and healthiest fleet in the industry and are now developing additional protocols to make travelling with Viking even safer.”

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