Corona COVID-19 Health & Safety Protocol for cycling cruises 2021

Read our full Corona Protocol for boat and bike tours

Version 2.0: March 23, 2021 | Status: FINAL

The Corona protocol for cycling cruises has been drawn up in April 2020 by Boat Bike Tours and the sector organization BBZ in close consultation with the most important parties in this market segment. This protocol was subsequently coordinated with the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare & Sport, the Ministry of Infrastructure & Water Management and the Safety Regions of Kennemerland, North-Holland-North, North-Holland-Central and Zaanstreek-Waterland. No objections were raised to the structure and content.

In January and February 2021, this protocol was updated in such a way that it complies with the governmental requirements and rules applicable at that time.

Boat Bike Tours organizes its tours with ships equipped for this purpose, in compliance with all the provisions of this Corona Protocol.

Health, safety and well-being of all passengers are paramount.

On board of all ships the rules regarding distancing and hygiene will be observed. In order to ensure safe operations on board all ships that run Boat Bike Tours’ cycling cruises, the Corona Protocol described here will be observed. The content of the EU-Commission document (13-05-2020 / C(2020) 3251 final) “COVID-19 EU Guidance for the progressive resumption of tourism services and for health protocols in hospitality establishments” has therefore been considered.

The measures may be refined in detail for each vessel, depending on the specific size and design of the ship and the type of voyage.

Moreover, the measures depend on the guidelines of the Dutch authorities or of the competent authorities of the country in which the journey takes place. When government guidelines are changed, the measures and procedures on board will also be adjusted accordingly.

The Corona COVID-19 Protocol for cycling cruises, the related procedures, household rules and measures on board the ships must always be observed by all persons on board (passengers, crew members, tour guides and any visitors).

You can also download this protocol as a pdf file.

Contents: Outbreak Prevention“ and „Outbreak Management

  1. Before the start of the tour
  2. Crew training and instruction
  3. Measures on board of the ship
  4. Cycling arrangements
  5. How to act if a passenger or crew member is suspected to be infected by the Corona virus?
  6. Miscellaneous

Outbreak Prevention

1. Before the start of the tour

This Corona Protocol will be communicated to all future guests via our website and a targeted email update, directly or through our booking partners, about three weeks before departure of their tour.

  • Guests are also reminded, among other things, that they are only welcome and may participate in the trip if they do not show any symptoms that could indicate infection with the Corona virus.
  • Guests can only check in and join the voyage if they have previously completed a short health status questionnaire, which must be provided at check-in and checked by the ship / Corona manager.
  • If a guest has to cancel the trip due to symptoms that could indicate a possible infection with the Corona virus, or because of a recent positive Corona test, he / she may rebook to a later travel date, free of charge.
  • Guests will also be explicitly informed in advance of their own responsibility. General house rules and rules of conduct on board will be included in the mailing in advance.
  • Guests are made aware of the general rules regarding face masks and hygiene in the countries where  the trip takes place and the rules on board and they are requested to bring their own face masks. Boat Bike Tours only provides limited emergency supplies per ship.
  • All crew members and tour guides must provide a health certificate before commencing their journey.

2. Crew training and instruction

Prior to the voyages, the shipping company organizes trainings for all crew concerning the Corona Protocol. During this training, the following will be discussed and trained:

  • Explain and practice extra hygiene measures, such as extra cleaning surfaces, door handles, displays (coffee machine), banisters, etc.
  • Explain and practice measures related to 1.5 meter policy, like check-in, (dis-)embarkation, course of events in the restaurant, one-way traffic in corridors and use of waiting areas.
  • Explanation and practice of protective equipment for the crew. Plastic gloves are mandatory for kitchen and cleaning staff. Gloves are changed regularly.
  • Staff wear masks wherever the 1.5 meter distance cannot be guaranteed (kitchen, service, assisting guests with boarding and disembarking, etc.)
  • Explanation to crew how Covid-19-related complaints or illness in the guest or crew can be recognized and which measures must then be taken.
  • Per ship / voyage there is a Corona manager responsible for compliance with all rules; he / she provides the accompanying briefings with passengers and crew. In addition, the Corona manager is the first and main contact for all passengers and crew members for all Corona-related matters.
  • The crew sets a good example, always and everywhere:
    • No physical contact. Keep 1.5 m distance where possible. If that is not possible: wear face mask.
    • Regularly wash, clean and disinfect hands.
    • Coughing and sneezing in the elbow.
    • Use paper tissues.
    • If necessary: ​​proactively point out (incorrect) behavior to guests and other crew members.
  • All crew members including tour guides must submit a health certificate prior to their journey. If a member of the crew develops (also: mild) symptoms during the voyage that could indicate an infection with the Coronavirus, he / she will immediately disembark and be replaced, and the procedure mentioned under point 5 will be followed.

3. Measures on board

General extra attention to Hygiene:
  • Daily briefing crew and tour guides
  • Hygiene instructions for passengers in different languages ​​in all cabins and in central places / pictograms / infographics clearly visible in all public areas.
  • Regular explanation to passengers about rules of conduct and measures. Every day repeat the most important things in the briefing for the guests.
  • Permanent decontamination stations at:
    • Entrance vessel, with supervision.
    • Restaurant entrance.
  • Disinfectant soap in all cabins; in general toilets also paper towels.
  • Regular and visible disinfection of contact surfaces: door handles, banisters, tables, railings, window sills, light buttons, coffee machines, etc.

General measures for keeping distance:
  • As much space as possible on board is made available and kept for guests: setting tables not long in advance; restaurant also available as a lounge in the evening, etc.
  • Defining / marking walking routes on board:
    • indicate one-way traffic with signs or arrows where possible.
    • where this is not possible, indicate clear waiting areas.
  • Where necessary, apply distance markings (e.g. at bar, reception, coffee machine, etc.)
  • Fewer chairs and tables, creating more space in all areas.
  • Indicate the maximum number of persons allowed at the same time per general area.

General measures kitchen and restaurant:
  • Additional cleaning scheme in the kitchen
  • No self-service buffets, but table / plate service.
  • As little crew as possible in the kitchen. Separate kitchen crew and wait staff.
  • Kitchen crew and operating crew wear gloves and masks (if 1.5 m distance cannot be guaranteed).
  • Always put glasses, cutlery, etc. in the dishwasher with hot water, not just rinse.
  • Breakfast and dinner in two shifts according to pre-arranged groups.
  • Fixed seating for guests throughout the week.
  • Between the first and second shift 15 minutes for cleaning and ventilation.
  • Use full space + strict seating arrangement to maintain every 1.5 meters.
  • Use sufficiently high and wide cough screens if the distance is less than 1.5 meters.
  • Use disposable napkins and place mats.
  • The virus remains active for longer on hard surfaces such as glass, plastic and metal: Only allow glasses, bottles, plates, cups etc. to be touched by the user (i.e. do not pass them on to each other).

Arrangements for breakfast:
  • Breakfast in two shifts according to pre-arranged groups 30 min per group.
  • Between the first and second shift 15 minutes for cleaning and ventilation.
  • Daily choice of two breakfast options via form. Options vary from day to day.
    e.g. “Continental” / “Healthy” (vegetarian options always available).
  • In addition, a choice of different types of bread and toppings in mono packs.
  • Everything served per person. Perhaps on a tray or étagère per couple / cabin.
  • Crew wears gloves and mask.

Arrangements for Lunch (packages):
  • Guests order pre-packed lunch in advance via form.
  • Packed lunch is made and packd by crew and handed over to guests at breakfast.
  • Here too limited choice, but variation during the week.

Arrangements for Dinner:
  • Dinner in two shifts according to pre-arranged groups, approx. 45 minutes per group.
  • Between the first and second shift 15 minutes for cleaning and ventilation.
  • Everything served per person.
  • If possible, dessert on deck or elsewhere.
  • Crew wears gloves and mask

  • Clean surfaces regularly
  • If possible, transparent screen between bar staff and guests
  • Bar staff wear gloves and mouth mask if the bar is not equipped with a screen and / or if the distance of 1.5 meters cannot be guaranteed.
  • Drinks are served (guests do not collect at the bar)
  • At self-service bar (small ships): clear instructions are provided about rules of use / hygiene.
  • On small ships with a self-service bar, drinks are available in single packs: no open/tap beer nor open lemonade or juices. Each guest / cabin has its own peat list.

  • Ventilation will take place as often and as much as possible. During the daytime during the cruise, as the guests while on the road on the bike always open all windows and doors. This applies to all indoor areas.
  • Also, on the changeover day (end/start of tour), all areas including the cabins are ventilated as much as possible, either in a natural way or with mechanical ventilation.
  • Filters of air conditioners and the like should be checked, cleaned and replaced regularly.

Procedures during check-in and embarkation / disembarkation:
  • Crew organizes check-in: guaranteeing and supervising 1.5 meters distance.
  • If possible, stagger arrival time for guests.
  • The guest hands over the completed Covid-19 questionnaire including contact details (name, address, mobile phone number and email address) that has been sent in advance.
  • The data on the form is checked by the Corona Manager. These data are securely stored on board for up to 14 days after the end of the trip so that, if necessary, all passengers can be warned immediately within the framework of a source and contact investigation by government authorities (in NL: GGD). This data will be destroyed 14 days after the end of the trip (GDPR privacy legislation).
  • Crew regularly and visibly cleans the desk, railings, handles etc. for guests

4. Cycling arrangements

  • A briefing by the (on board) tour leader will take place prior to each cycling tour.
  • Guests will be encouraged to go out individually.
  • Crew and tour guides clean the handlebars at the beginning and at the end of the day.
  • Furthermore, the guest is responsible.
  • When cycling in groups, it is facilitated to maintain sufficient distance, e.g. by using the so-called “corner system”.
  • The creation of larger groups during breaks and attractions, etc. is avoided.
  • Locations to be visited such as museums, cheese farms, mills and restaurants etc. will be assessed in advance for suitability, including regarding the maximum number of visitors.

Boarding and disembarking:
  • Crew and tour guides wear gloves and masks
  • Crew and tour guides organize boarding / disembarking passengers at an appropriate distance.
  • Disembarkation of the guests is spread out as much as possible.
  • The crew and tour guides will (where possible) set up the bicycles ashore with a distance of 1.5 m.
  • On larger ships, the crew only puts e-bikes ashore. Guests themselves go ashore with normal
  • bicycles with due regard for distance via the gangway.
  • When the crew and tour guides have moved the bicycles, handles are disinfected.
  • Guests are responsible for keeping the handles clean during the bike ride.
  • When you come on board, a crew is always present to supervise this. When everything is ready, the
  • crew and tour guides clean the handles of the bicycles again.

Outbreak Management“:

5. How to act if a passenger or crew member is suspected to be infected by the Corona virus?

  • The rules applicable at that time of the competent authorities incl. national health authorities (in the Netherlands: RIVM or GGD) will be strictly followed.
  • The crew is always alert to guests with possible Corona symptoms.
  • Someone may have Corona if she / he has symptoms / complaints such as coughing, fever, colds, sudden loss of smell or taste, muscle pain, possibly diarrhea.

How to act:
  • A person with suspicious symptoms stays in her / his cabin, does not leave it, and must report or be
  • reported immediately to the ship’s Corona manager, preferably by telephone (without physical
  • contact). The Corona manager determines whether to contact the GGD / health authorities. The Corona manager will immediately contact the Corona officer of Boat Bike Tours (contact details in attachment).
  • The person concerned must contact the GGD resp. the health authorities in the country where the trip takes place:
    • The Netherlands: National number for Covid-testing GGD (within the Netherlands): 0800-1202
    • Germany: Ärztlicher Bereitschaftsdienst (within Germany): 116117
    • Belgium: Infoline Federal Public Health Service (within Belgium) 0800-14689.
    • France: Coronavirus hotline (in French) 0800 130 000 (from abroad +33 800 130 000.
    • The Corona manager remains present during the conversation for any translation and logistical arrangements. The doctor of the GGD will determine by telephone check whether the person should take a test.
  • The Corona manager must always notify the Corona officer of Boat Bike Tours promptly and keep
    Her/him up to date on progress, even if the authorities decide that a test is not necessary.
  • If necessary, the person will go to the test location as soon as possible. If this is not immediately possible, continue the person only in strict quarantine in their own cabin until transport to the test location is possible.
  • Transportation of the person concerned to the test location:
    On your own;
    With a specialized local taxi that offers Corona transport; report when booking that it concerns a ride
    With a possibly infected person to a Corona test location (see also attachment)
    Only if possible: ship sails to the nearest test location and then the guest goes to the test location by bicycle.
  • After the test, Boat Bike Tours or the Corona manager will ensure that the person is immediately taken to a quarantine location where the person will stay until the result of the test is known. If the person indicates that they would rather go home immediately, an attempt will be made to facilitate this in a safe way.
  • If the test result is positive, the next steps will be determined in consultation with the authorities and Corona Manager. The GGD can decide to initiate source and contact investigations and determine which further measures must be taken, including quarantine.
  • If the test result is negative, Boat Bike Tours or the Corona manager will arrange that the person is brought back to the ship afterwards.
  • If the person in question shares the cabin with someone else, this other person must remain in quarantine from the moment the symptoms are reported until the result of the test is known. The Dutch GGD identifies 4 levels, which apply to both crew members and passengers:
    • a. The person concerned is infected: call the GGD and immediately put him/her in quarantine.
    • b. Another person is part of the household of the infected person (cabin shared): person must be quarantined immediately.
    • c. Other person has been in contact with infected person (15 minutes within 1.5 meters of infected person): person must be quarantined immediately.
    • d. Another person has been at the same location as the infected person, but outside 1.5 meters and for a short time: Keep an extra eye on health for 14 days regarding Corona symptoms: including cold complaints, coughing, loss of smell and taste, shortness of breath and increase in temperatur (above 38 degrees).
  • When several related cases are being identified, such as under b. and c., authorities can take more far-reaching measures.
  • The costs of the tests, transport and quarantine location will initially be borne by Boat Bike Tours and subsequently recovered from (the insurance of) the passenger or crew member.
  • Good and transparent communication is essential. If a passenger needs to be tested, the Corona manager will notify the other passengers on board. It is a precautionary measure that must be taken for the safety of all persons on board. The Corona manager consults on the nature and time of communication with the Corona responsible of Boat Bike Tours.
  • The latest rules set by the national authorities will be strictly adhered to.

6. Miscellaneous

  • Mooring of a ship alongside another vessel will be avoided as much as possible.
  • Insofar as the competent authorities of the country where the voyage takes place establish laws and regulations regarding the Corona Covid-19 pandemic, take measures and / or uses or advises, Boat Bike Tours will enforce these measures on board its ships for all persons on board. regardless of whether someone has been vaccinated or can show a negative test before departure.
  • Boat Bike Tours does not impose any additional requirements that go beyond the legislation, rules and requirements set by the competent authorities of the country in which the trip takes place.
  • If a (incl. local) government (also for a limited period or for special situations) sets additional requirements, the passengers and crew members must comply with these. Possible costs that may arise from these requirements are for the account of the relevant passengers and / or crew members.

Corona safety measures on our tours

See what travel with us is like in corona time, both on board and while cycling. Some things are a little different, but we always strive to offer you an unforgettable travel experience while keeping hygiene and safety a top priority. Welcome to Boat Bike Tours!