AQSC has introduced SafeCruise, our enhanced set of health and safety protocols. SafeCruise is our commitment to our guests’ safety and security throughout the entire cruise experience, and features pre-boarding, boarding and onboard processes to enhance health and safety.
•COVID-19 vaccination is required for all guests and crew for all sailings beginning July 1, 2021.
EMBARKATION & DISEMBARKATION
•On the morning of embarkation, we will advise any individual who has tested positive that they cannot board.
•Luggage will be disinfected before it is brought on board and when it is removed from the vessel.
•When guests arrive at the gangway, facial recognition and temperature check will be performed. This procedure will be used for all gangway access – on and off – by guests and crew.
•Social distancing during the disembarkation process will be achieved utilizing specific groupings.
•When the gangway is in use, sanitation will occur every half-hour.
CAPACITY CONTROL & SOCIAL DISTANCING
•Each vessel will have reduced guest capacity.
•We will ensure all public space capacities – including restaurants, bars and lounges, entertainment venues, pool deck, spa and fitness center – are controlled to accommodate required social distancing.
•Capacity will be reduced in elevators.
•Social distancing of at least six feet will be required outside of any individual’s travel party or immediate family.
•Prior to guest arrival, staterooms and suites will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected with hospital-grade EPA-approved solutions as well as electrostatic fogging.
•Guest corridors will be cleaned and disinfected regularly.
•Multi-purpose disinfecting wipes will be made available for all guests to carry and will be placed in all guest accommodations.
•Guest staterooms will be cleaned and disinfected with electrostatic fogging twice daily.
•Every space undergoes enhanced anti-microbial disinfection with medical-grade EPA-approved solutions.
•Twice daily anti-viral electrostatic fogging will occur in all public and crew spaces along with supplemental overnight deep fogging.
•Additional hand sanitizing stations with an alcohol-based sanitizer will be placed strategically throughout the ship.
FRESH-AIR VENTILATION SYSTEMS
•UV-C light has been added to all main air handlers and all passenger and crew stateroom fan coil units to facilitate with effective disinfecting and sanitizing against microorganisms that may be present in the air supply.
•Air filtration and air quality are maintained to the highest industry standard on every vessel.
MASKS & FACE COVERINGS
•Masks will be required in all venues and in situations where recommended social distancing is not possible, including entertainment venues, elevators, shoreside terminals and shore excursion motorcoaches.
•Masks will be provided (one per guest) in each of the guest’s accommodations and additional masks will be available, if needed.
CREWMEMBER STANDARDS & PRACTICES
•100% testing will occur for all crew at the start of each voyage.
•Crew will undergo daily temperature checks and regular health monitoring.
•Crew will wear masks when interacting with guests.
•Crew will follow proper hand washing techniques.
•Crew are prohibited from personal contact with guests such as handshaking, hugging, kissing and dancing.
•Crew are trained on all health and safety preventive measures.
FOOD & BEVERAGE
•Hand washing stations are available outside each dining area.
•All self-service buffets will be suspended. A re-invented food and beverage concept will be launched with express breakfast and lunch options.
•Crew will sanitize all frequently touched surfaces in restaurant areas hourly.
•Crew will sanitize all back-of-house areas such as pantries and office areas.
•Sanitizing Logs will be accurately maintained, and records kept on file.
•All tables, chairs and counter tops will be sanitized on the hour – or when vacated by the guest, whichever comes first.
•All table items will be removed each time a table is vacated. All crockery, glassware and cutlery will be washed even if unused.
•Menus will now be single-use paper printed and be discarded after each use.
•All self-service areas are currently suspended – such as Perks and the Front Porch – we will have assigned staff there to assist guests with their selections.
•All bus seats, windows and handrails will be sanitized with an EPA-approved solution each day before the first guests arrive.
•Stepwell handrails, seat handrails and seats will be cleaned after each service and sanitized every hour.
•The bus restrooms will be sanitized with an EPA-approved solution after each use and several times per day beyond that.
•Liquid hand sanitizer dispensers will be available at the motorcoach doors for all guests.
•A licensed nurse will be on board and available throughout the voyage.
•We have formed new partnerships in every port we visit so that you will be cared for wherever and whenever it is needed.
•We have formed partnerships with professional medical facilities in every port we visit so that you will be cared for wherever and whenever it is needed.
•Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. Use alcohol-based sanitizer when soap is not available.
•Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze and be sure to cough or sneeze into your elbow if a tissue is unavailable.
•Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
•Avoid personal contact with others such as handshaking or sharing cups, glasses or utensils..
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
American Queen Steamboat Company and Victory Cruise Lines Announce Vaccination Requirement for all Guests and Crew Members
1.Why have you issued mandatory vaccines for guests and overnighting employees?
The health and safety of our guests, crew members and partners is our priority. While we are confident in the measures we have taken for itineraries operating from April through June, the implementation of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate will further ensure the wellbeing of the individuals who overnight on our vessels. Additionally, protecting the communities we visit on each itinerary is also a priority as the vaccine requirement will help provide an additional safety measure that we are mandating to safeguard these communities.
2.Will guests and crew members need to have received both doses of the vaccine prior to boarding?
Yes. If the vaccine that guests and/or crew members are administered requires two doses, they will need to have received both doses before embarking.
3.How will you know if guests and crew members have been vaccinated?
While boarding, all guests will be required to present verified documentation of vaccination. Crew members will also be required to present vaccination documentation, either at the time of hiring or boarding a vessel.
4.When will the requirement take place?
The mandatory vaccination requirement will begin on all itineraries starting July 1, 2021 and onward.
5.The timing for the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility varies from state to state. Will guests have access to vaccinations before they cruise?
The majority of our guests represent the 65+ population, who are eligible now or will soon be eligible to receive the vaccination. If a guest is not able to receive both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine prior to their scheduled trip, we will rebook them for a future sailing at no charge.
6.Will remaining health and safety protocols remain after the July 1, 2021 vaccination mandate?
Yes. Protocols will remain in place until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends otherwise. These protocols include, but are not limited to:
•100% testing of guests and crew prior to boarding
•Pre-boarding health questionnaire
•Reduced ship capacity
•Mask requirement in all public spaces where social distancing is not possible
•Public spaces undergo continuous anti-microbial disinfection with medical-grade EPA-approved solutions and anti-viral electrostatic fogging
•Re-invented food & beverage concept to replace self-service buffets
•UVC light added to HVAC
•Crew training on all health and safety preventive measures
•Shore protocols (driver/hotel/concierge)
•On-board licensed nurse
•Reporting (FDA/CDC/local ports)
7.Does the vaccination requirement apply to anyone boarding the vessels?
No. The current requirement applies only to those remaining overnight on the vessel. Although those that may be boarding the vessels and not staying overnight will undergo our mandated health and safety protocols. In addition, all drivers for shoreside excursions will also be vaccinated.
8.How can you be sure that every crew member will be vaccinated before July 1?
Per the CDC recommendations, Phase 1c vaccination rollout includes maritime transportation workers. We have no reason to believe that they will not have access to both doses of the vaccine by that time.
9.With vaccine mandate in place July 1, why sail prior? Isn’t this an added risk?
The health and safety of our guests, crew members and partners is our top priority. While we are confident in the measures we have taken for itineraries operating from April through June, the implementation of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate will further ensure the wellbeing of the individuals who overnight on our vessels.
To date, we have received strong interest for our April through June itineraries from guests who are confident in our current measures. Additionally, a good number of these guests will have had access to the vaccine prior. This, combined with our belief that crew will be vaccinated per the CDC recommendation Phase 1c vaccination rollout includes maritime transportation workers, further ensures our confidence to cruise safely.
10.What is the oversight of the boat by the CDC, FDA, Coast Guard and etc.?
We are working with the CDC, FDA and Coast Guard to ensure ongoing communication and compliance in order to safely resume operations.
11.For guests that have booked a cruise departing from July 1 forward, but do not plan on receiving the vaccine, will their deposit be refunded?
Guests who have booked a cruise for a sailing departing from July 1 forward who have no intention of receiving the vaccine will be fully refunded.
12.Will you require the vaccines (second dose) to be given 14 days in advance of the sail date?
Yes, 14 days after the second does or the single Johnson & Johnson dose, would be required.