AmaWaterways on Wednesday announced that, because of international travel restrictions impacting North Americans, it will not resume operations until at least after Nov. 15, 2020.
“The U.S. and Canadian markets make up 95% of our guests, and there are still many restrictions affecting North American residents’ ability to travel internationally. As a result, we have extended the suspension of our regular program of river cruises in Europe, Africa and Asia through November 15, 2020,” AmaWaterways president and co-founder Rudi Schreiner said in a statement announcing the news.
The river line will continue to sail its chartered Rhine sailings, which were launched in July in collaboration with German tour operator, e-hoi. Those sailings, because of their success, will be extended through the end of the year.
“We continue to monitor government and health authorities, including European Union restrictions which are updated every two weeks. Our ships and crew remain on standby to welcome travelers on our regular scheduled sailings once these restrictions are lifted,” he added.
AmaWaterways is again offering guests on the impacted sailings a future cruise credit (FCC), worth 115% of what a guest paid. The FCC can be used for any sailing through the end of 2022 and is transferable, too.
Still, earlier last month, Schreiner, along with co-founder Kristin Karst, told reporters in an update that the future is still bright for both AmaWaterways and the river cruise industry and that they were anxious to get guests back onboard.
“We have a bright future ahead of us,” Schreiner said. “We’re building three ships, and continue to innovate new approaches.”
New ship designs will focus more on wellness space, and dining, he said. There could also be less passengers onboard. “Over the last 25 years since I’ve been doing this, the number of guests has really dropped, while the space has doubled. We have increased per person space on board, this is where I see the future of luxury cruising going.”
Next year, the AmaDalia will debut on the Nile River in Egypt September 2021, and Karst said it’s already more than 65% booked. The AmaKristina will also move to the Rhone River.