Travelling internationally during Covid-19 becomes more common as countries relax their restrictions and set new standards. When I felt ready to travel again, I took a trip in France. This was my first international experience since the pandemic.
Avalon Waterways’ Active & Discovery Rhone River Cruise was my trip. I was pleasantly surprised at how simple the safety and health regulations were. Although I was hesitant about obtaining my passport due to the logistics of travel right now, I found my cruise experience to be extremely safe and easy.
Here are my top picks for international travel in the Covid era of Avalon Waterways
- Vaccinations Are Often Required
You will need to prove your vaccinations if you travel internationally in the near future.
It was required that I be vaccinated before I could travel to France on my cruise. I also had to present my documents in order to enter the country. These requirements can change depending on where you are.
Once I was on board the ship, I felt at ease knowing that all Avalon Waterways employees have been double-vaccinated. They also receive training, temperature checks and screenings. You can be sure that the crew is safe and healthy.
- Precautions & Sanitization
Avalon Waterways had many stations for sanitizing the ship when I arrived on my cruise. They required guests to wash their hands before entering the dining room.
Avalon Waterways employs extensive cleaning procedures, including regular sanitization of the dining room, disinfection in every room between cruises and disinfection before loading all goods on board.
I used to go on city and town excursions and found that there were many stations for hand sanitizing. I made sure I had a small bottle of sanitizer and a few other items.
- You will need a mask
Although it seemed so shocking to the system to be asked for masks nearly two years ago, wearing them now is a standard practice aboard planes, restaurants, and on ships.
All airlines require you to have a mask. Although some planes don’t allow cloth masks they will provide surgical masks for those who do not have one. You should bring your N95 mask.
Avalon Waterways ships require all staff to wear masks, but patrons are not required to do so. While guests are required to wear masks while serving themselves at the buffets, it is not a requirement. I was able to use my discretion in different situations and felt secure and comfortable. It is highly recommended that you use your mask for indoor and bus trips.
- You Can Get Tested for Covid-19
You should get Covid-19 testing done before you return to the United States. Avalon Waterways made it easy for passengers by transporting the testing to the ship. It was quick and I received my results in 15 minutes.
This is in addition to the routine temperature test. Guests on cruise are also checked with a thermometer before they enter the dining room. This is done to make sure that no one onboard has a fever.
- Social distancing is recommended
Guests from different countries should keep their distance, despite all the safety precautions Avalon Waterways takes to ensure safety. Although this isn’t an exact rule, Avalon Waterways has set up socially distant seating in the lounge and dining room to make it easier.
Social distancing on buses and other excursions can be more difficult. This is something you should consider if you are serious about. Book yourself on walking tours, and go kayaking or hiking. It’s very easy to socialise with nature.
- It’s all about the small ship
Even though social distancing was not something that was particularly addressed onboard the ship it was easy to do because of its size. Avalon Waterways uses smaller cruise ships than the typical ocean liner because European rivers aren’t as wide or deep as oceans.
This means that cruises have an average of 150 passengers and three staff members. You’ll feel more at ease and less crowded when there are fewer people and spacious lounge areas.
- Logistically, it’s easy (with a little help)
Prior to setting out on my trip, my biggest worry was not getting sick but that it would be a logistical nightmare. Avalon Waterways staff are true professionals, and made the entire process stress-free and easy.
The team provided all necessary documents before I arrived in France. They were very transparent and kind throughout the process.
All current trip options can be viewed on the Avalon Waterways website. It also includes the most recent travel requirements.
Avalon Waterways & iambassador are my big thanks for inviting me to participate in the #AvalonAD campaign. All opinions are mine, as always.