Tall Ship Avatar and the coronavirus
Actual situation 03-06-2020
We follow the instructions of the Dutch and local authorities. If there are no restrictions or travel bans, we will perform the journey as planned. We will of course keep a close eye on developments and will respond if necessary and inform the guests involved.
The Land of Schleswig-Holstein announced on Thursday May 7, 2020 that tourism, only for people from Germany, will be allowed again from May 18, 2020. In Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, tourism, again only for people from Germany, will be allowed again from 25 May 2020.
The new Schleswig-Holstein scheme was published on Saturday 16 May. Based on the conditions for allowing tourism, we have subsequently drawn up a mandatory hygiene concept with all anti-corona measures on board the Avatar. Some of these measures can be found below.
We will resume our sailing trips from Sunday evening 24 May 2020.
It remains unknown when the Danish borders will open again. That means that for now we can only sail along the German coast and -islands.
The following voyages are cancelled:
- Delivery trip Franeker - Kiel from 7 to 14 April 2020
- Sailing weekend Baltic Sea from 17 to 19 April 2020
- Sailing trip western Baltic Sea from 19 to 24 April 2020
- Sailing trip western Baltic Sea from 10 to 15 May 2020
- Sailing weekend Baltic Sea from 20 to 24 May 2020
- all group bookings until May 24, 2020
Also the following events will not take place:
- Race of the Classics from 30 March to 5 April 2020
- Hafengeburtstag Hamburg from 8 to 10 May 2020
- Kieler Woche from 20 to 28 May 2020
- Brest 2020 from 10 to 16 July 2020
- SAIL Amsterdam from 12 to 16 August 2020
The bookers of these trips have been informed by email about a solution.
Channel Islands and Southeast England in the summer of 2020
France has announced that it will open its borders on 15 June under certain conditions. Unfortunately, it is not yet clear for the English Channel Islands and the English mainland how the situation will develop in a few weeks. There is currently a travel ban and a 14-day quarantine obligation.
Since it is now time to clarify our sailing trips in the Channel Islands and Southeast England, so that everyone can also organize their outward and return journeys, we unfortunately had to decide not to carry out these trips as planned. We will move these sailing trips to the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. Details about these changed trips can be found here.
Measures on board
Safety has always been very important on board the Avatar and now even more with the Coronavirus. In collaboration with our branch organization, we have drawn up protocols to minimize the risk of infection with the Coronavirus. These protocols include amongst others the following measures:
We ask all persons who:
- have been in risk areas in the 14 days before departure (regions with more than 50 new corona infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 7 days);
- have had direct contact with an infected person, or themselves are suspected of being infected with the Corona virus;
- show the symptoms fever, cough, shortness of breath and/or breathing problems;
not to participate in the trip.
In order to protect guests and the crew on board, we have taken a number of measures in line with the generally recommended measures:
- wash hands regularly with soap (min. 20 sec.) by everyone on board
- coughing and sneezing in the bend of the elbow
- using paper handkerchiefs and throwing them directly in the trash after use
- wash hands with soap (min. 20 sec.) when returning on board (after a walk) and before and after meals
- avoid physical contact (such as shaking hands, etc.)
- on board we keep 1.5m distance from each other. This does not apply to people who form a household together*
- in situations where there is not enough space to keep distance, we will make way for each other or wear mouth-nose-masks
- avoid crowded places when visiting land and keep at least 1.5m away from others
- extra cleaning of surfaces such as door handles and handrails
- all meals are served (no buffets)
- interior spaces are supplied with fresh air 6x per hour using mechanical ventilation
* In Germany, persons from two households are allowed to meet without keeping distance. This means that we can place two people from different households together in a cabin. If your booking confirmation states that you share a cabin with someone else and you object to this, please contact us to discuss the possibilities.
The coronavirus affects the entire world and the consequences are enormous. We hope that you are and remain healthy, that is what is most important now. These are difficult and uncertain times for everyone and we do not know how the near future will turn out. It is a time when we need each other and your understanding reactions are very helpful to us. Together we will make it!
Fortunately, we, our employees and our families are healthy. That means we were able to work very hard on maintaining the Avatar this past winter. The ship has never looked so good and is completely ready for the new season. Like us! We are therefore very sad that the corona virus is forcing measures to postpone the planned start of the season. We would have liked to receive you in April on board the Avatar in top condition for a wonderful sailing trip.
Unfortunately, this also has financial consequences and we would like to explain its background to you. Your deposits for your sailing trip are used in winter for the maintenance of the ship and its inspection. This maintenance is very important, because it guarantees the good condition of the ship and this is the basis of our sailing trips. This maintenance results in high costs and comes back every winter. Just like the obligatory expensive annual inspections, which give you the assurance that you are traveling with a solid and reliable ship.
In addition, we have to deal with a number of fixed costs during the season, such as insurance, crew and mooring fees. These costs are also high and persist even if we cannot sail.
You will understand that free cancellation in this situation of force majeure has major financial consequences for us. And that also applies to rebooking free of charge to a later trip this year or next year. An important part of our travels consists of time and time is not preservable. We cannot set the time aside for you and add it to our (new) season at a later date. Postponing your booking to next year would be at the expense of another, new booking and therefore costs us 100% turnover.
We will try as much as possible to reschedule the package travel trips that are now to be cancelled due to the corona virus to a free period later in the season or to combine them with a trip that still has enough space. If this is not a solution for you, we would like to ask you to meet our fixed high costs. According to article 12.4 of our general terms and conditions, in a situation of force majeure, we may deduct the costs incurred by us for carrying out our trips from the travel sum. These costs amount to 40% of the travel sum. If rebooking is not an option for you and you want to cancel, we kindly ask you to waive from (part of) refund of your deposit, so that we can cover part of our costs.
All citizens worldwide are called upon to cooperate in preventing the spread of the corona virus. That is something that can only succeed through joint efforts. Nobody can do anything about this situation and we therefore believe that we should also share economic losses together. It cannot be the case that the entrepreneurs have to bear this alone.
We also find it very disappointing for you and do everything we can to find the best possible solutions for the trips that are forced to fall out. On this page we will keep you informed of the developments and of course we will contact you personally, as soon as it concerns your trip.
Stay healthy and take care of each other. We are thinking of you and hope to see you on board again soon.
The Avatar team: André, Evelien, Tijs, René, Sasha and Da Vinci
Photo selection of the maintenance winter 2019-2020