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May 8 updates: A-Rosa to resume river cruises by end May, Plantours eyes restart with short routes, SMM postponed

PHOTO: A-ROSA CRUISE A-Rosa vessel.jpg
A-Rosa looks to begin sailing on the Rhine and Danube rivers
In addition to feature story coverage, here's a quick read of some of today’s coronavirus-related cruise news and announcements.

Keep checking back. This is being continuously updated.

A-Rosa to resume river cruises by end of May

With the easing of lockdowns underway or planned in both Germany and Austria, A-Rosa Flussschiff hopes to resume cruising on the Rhine and Danube rivers by Pentecost Weekend at May/June turn.

Specialist team to oversee new health regime

A-Rosa's announcement comes as tourism is about to restart in parts of Germany and Austria. During the rest of this month, restaurants, hotels and holiday apartments will gradually be authorised to open under strict hygiene regimes and often with capacity limits. A-Rosa is attempting to adapt its operations to these requirements on short notice.

The company is working on health and hygiene concepts to ensure compliance with social distancing requirements and achieve a safe 'new normal' for its crews and passengers. A-Rosa CEO Jörg Eichler stressed particular responsibility in that respect. He said an expert health and hygiene team is in place, comprised of internal and external specialists. 

With regard to its operations in Portugal and France, A-Rosa said new information is expected in the next few days.

Plantours looks at restart with short Germany itineraries

Despite the improved COVID-19 situation in Germany, no restart date for ocean cruising is in sight.

However, Bremen-based Plantours & Partner, operator of the 400-passenger Hamburg, this week communicated they are investigating possible short itineraries from German ports to exclusively German cities and islands as an approach to restart cruising as early as possible.

Hamburg is undergoing an upgrade at Blohm+Voss that includes cabins and public spaces. This modernisation had been planned for some time but was brought forward and assigned to Blohm+Voss as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

SMM Hamburg rescheduled to February 2021

SMM, the world's leading maritime fair for shipbuilding and ship technology, has been postponed to February 2021 as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Scheduled to take place at Hamburg Sept. 8-11, the event is now going to be hosted Feb. 2-5 next year, Hamburg Messe und Congress confirmed.

Although covering all aspects shipping, the event in recent years has increased relevance for the cruise sector, focused on shipbuilding, ship technology and technical approaches to reduce the environmental impact of cruise ship operations.

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