Guests were asked to wear face masks.

By Alison Fox
June 08, 2020
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Courtesy of Nicko

While cruising has been largely put on hold this year as COVID-19 has spread throughout the world, one German river cruise company has started to sail again, giving a potential sneak peek into what cruising may look like going forward.

The cruise line, nicko cruises, set sail on the Rhine River in Germany last week, on the NickoVISION and featuring spaced-out dining, face shields, and arrows on the floor directing traffic in tight quarters, according to photos shared to social media.

The NickoVISION ship, which has a capacity of 220 passengers, was only carrying 40 for its first voyage, The Points Guy reported.

Going forward, nicko cruises will feature a maximum capacity of up to 80 percent and guests will be asked to wear face masks when in the hallways and when touring on buses, according to the company. Things like buffets, the spa, the pool, and the gym will remain closed as part of what the cruise line calls a “comprehensive hygiene concept.”

Restaurant and bar staff on board will also wear face masks and gloves, and excursions will feature extra stops for hand washing.

Before boarding, passengers will have their temperatures taken and be tested for antibodies.

“The satisfaction and well-being of our guests is very important to us. We are counting on the fact that the measures that have been taken are having an effect and that from June onwards we will gradually be able to get our ships going again,” Guido Laukamp, the managing director of nicko cruises, said in a statement.

While the cruise line is sailing the Rhine, it has canceled journeys on the Danube as well as in Croatia, Portugal, France, Russia, and Asia through at least June 14.

The German cruise line isn’t the only river fleet ready to hit the water. Connecticut-based American Cruise Lines is preparing to sail the Columbia and Snake rivers on June 20. The line will limit capacity to 75 percent and will feature touch-less boarding and medical screenings, including carrying “COVID-19 quick test kits.”