An early end to Europe river cruising season?

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The Amadeus Queen sailing through Passau, Germany. Amadeus River Cruises still plans to sail holiday itineraries but said those plans could change.
The Amadeus Queen sailing through Passau, Germany. Amadeus River Cruises still plans to sail holiday itineraries but said those plans could change.

Rising Covid-19 cases in Europe may bring an early end to the Continent's already limited river cruise season.

Several of the European lines that have been sailing during the pandemic have canceled their November sailings. And new restrictions threaten plans for Christmas and New Year's cruises.

Pamela Hoffee, managing director of Avalon Waterways, said they have canceled their planned festive season sailings for Canadian and U.K. customers because of new quarantine requirements in Germany.

Likewise,  Rudi Schreiner, president and co-founder of AmaWaterways, said their last charter with a German tour operator ends on Nov. 2. He said they had discussed continuing those through November and December, with Christmas and New Year's sailings, but abandoned those plans when German chancellor Angela Merkel called for Germans to stay home.

Amadeus River Cruises, meanwhile, which has been sailing about half of its fleet for regional travelers this summer,  said that is was already wrapping up its regular season this week, so the lockdown has not impacted its immediate plans.

"We are currently still planning our Advent and Christmas cruises starting in December of this year, but a final decision will depend on the status and results of the lockdowns and government measures in November," said Marcus Leskovar, executive vice president of Amadeus.

"Also, we are happy to report that we were able to keep all passengers healthy and safe during our reduced season (July to October) this year and are glad to have achieved a proof of concept for our health and safety plan onboard," Leskovar said. "That concept was developed and deployed under supervision and constant monitoring of an epidemiologist that we hired earlier this summer and who has led this effort since we started cruising in July."

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