As an Australian company with unrivalled experience, awards for excellence, and a collection of comprehensive domestic travel options, the APT Travel Group always has the safety and wellbeing of guests’ front of mind, and now even more so in this COVID-19 era.
To give travellers assurance that they can travel with confidence, APT have implemented a number of new measures to elevate their health and hygiene protocols. Read on to find the information you need specific to APT's trips - including pre-departure screening, Australian touring, land touring, river cruising and Adriatic coastal cruising, and ocean cruising.
APT have enhanced pre-boarding health screening and reporting for all guests and crew. Pre-departure, all travellers are required to complete a more detailed Health and Safety form. High risk passengers are not permitted to commence any tours.
Guests who have travelled from, visited, or transited through any country listed as high risk by the governing bodies applicable to each destination within 14 days of their trip commencement, regardless of nationality, will not be allowed to begin a tour or board vessels.
In the case of any passenger being denied boarding due to suspicion of infection, special arrangements will be made for quarantine (as required by governing bodies) and crew will assist with the situation in all ways possible. All crew will undertake training in areas of health and hygiene protocols in line with all governing body requirements.
APT’s Australian classic coach tours will adhere to social distancing requirements where applicable and have a maximum of 24 guests* on their large capacity coaches (48 guests).
Pre-travel health screenings with specific COVID-19 health assessment forms and reporting will be introduced for all guests and crew. Any guest who does not meet the criteria will not be allowed to begin the tour.
With a focus on sanitation, there will be increased cleaning of frequently touched surfaces with hospital grade cleaning products. Hand sanitiser will always be available on all APT tours and cruises and face masks will be available guests on request.
All staff and crew will undertake industry recognised Covid-19 training in areas of health and hygiene, while all suppliers used on tour will need to meet COVID regulations.
APT’s small group tours align themselves with social distancing, with fewer guests in communal areas at one time, such as small groups on zodiacs. In terms of dining, self-serve buffets will no longer be offered.
*Social distancing requirements will be adhered to as necessary. APT are continuing to monitor all directives in the regions they operate and will comply with the Government regulations applicable. They may make changes to this protocol as required and increase guest numbers if and when they are able to resume usual touring procedures.
In all destinations on their land tours, APT are liaising with their suppliers to ensure their health and safety protocols are of the highest standard, such as hotel sanitisation, coach cleaning processes and more. On international coach tours, APT will adhere to social distancing requirements as applicable in each destination.
As for Australian tours, enhanced pre-departure processes are in place for all guests and APT will adhere to the increased safety measures at all country entry points. All crew and staff members are also subject to these measures to ensure everyone on the tour is healthy.
Increased sanitisation measures will be introduced on coaches before and after each service, and all buses and private transfer vehicles are cleaned and wiped with hospital grade disinfectant before each use. Extra hand sanitising measures have been put in place and masks will be available on request for all passengers. APT are also working very closely with their hotel partners globally to ensure they are actively engaged in the highest level of sanitisation and hygiene practices.
Tour Directors receive professional health and hygiene training and are trained in escalation practices should a guest fall ill on tour. Local Operations Team are also available to provide support. In case of any passenger being denied touring due to suspicion of infection, special arrangements will be made for quarantine and staff and crew will assist with the situation.
APT are also adhering to all requirements and recommendations of IG RiverCruise (the industry association representing European River Cruising) to assure the highest level of passenger and crew health and hygiene on their European River Cruises.
As with their land tours and cruises, enhanced pre-boarding processes are in place for all guests undertaking a river cruise or Adriatic coastal cruise. All non-essential visitors to the ship (including contractors, guides and coach drivers) will be not be permitted to board the vessel.
These new processes include all passenger luggage (handles) is disinfected before loading. The ship personnel will wear suitable personal protective equipment during the loading of suitcases. All crew receive professional health and hygiene training and are trained in escalation practices should a guest fall ill on a river cruise. Local Operations Team are also available to provide support.
On the ship, all public areas and outside railings are disinfected regularly and all air-conditioning filters are cleaned and disinfected on each embarkation day before rooming takes place. During the trip, all staterooms and suites are thoroughly cleaned on a daily basis. Masks will be available on request for all passengers.
All guests and crew are required to sanitise their hands when entering public spaces and before all meals. No self-service buffets will be available, all meals will be served by crew. There will be no shared items such as table spices, cutlery baskets or communal baskets.
Where it is necessary to dock alongside another river ship, embarkation and disembarkation will occur via the sundeck to minimise exposure to other vessels. All buses and private transfer vehicles are cleaned and wiped with hospital grade disinfectant before each use. Guests will be required to sanitise their hands coming back on board the ship after excursions.
Any guest who exhibits symptoms of any respiratory illness while on board will be subject to additional screening and on board staff will assist in escalating the situation and undertaking isolation quarantine and disembarkation where necessary. APT Travel Group staff and crew will assist with these situations.
All crew and staff members are also subject to the above measures.
For all their cruises, APT and their ocean cruising partners such as Holland America Line and Ponant cruises, have adopted the recommendations of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), including increased health screenings and protocols for all cruises, both prior to boarding and on board for all passengers and crew, working with the local authorities and their own staff to ensure this is being adhered to.
Onboard, additional cleaning and disinfection protocols have been established and these will be enforced in addition to the already rigorous sanitation standards in place. There will be increased sanitisation practices with a hospital grade disinfectant in common areas including hand rails, gangway planks and all staterooms will be thoroughly cleaned on a daily basis.
Hand sanitiser is available throughout the journey and masks will be available on request for all passengers. Crew wash hands frequently when handling guest luggage and disembarkation luggage is kept separate from embarkation luggage to avoid cross-contamination.
All crew receive professional health and hygiene training, including information on how to look for symptoms. Medical screening for COVID-19 will be provided to all individuals who visit the onboard Medical Centre with symptoms of respiratory illness or fever. Further, all cases of fever and respiratory illness, and any patients with suspected COVID-19 infection, will be reported to local health authorities.
Regular health reporting will be implemented for all crew and any crew member who exhibits symptoms of any respiratory illness while on board will be subject to additional screening and may be subject to potential isolation and disembarkation.
In case of any passenger being denied boarding due to suspicion of infection, special arrangements will be made with local health facilities for quarantine and such a situation will be managed by the APT Travel Group staff and crew.
These measures will remain in effect as long as needed, and APT will continue to adapt as they evaluate the situation and continue to consult with government health authorities, CLIA, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the relevant local authorities in all of the areas we operate around the world.
APT know that their travellers will venture out into the world again and are pleased to be enacting these measures to give you peace of mind that they are providing the best Safe Travel Protocols across all our tours and cruises to allow you to travel well with the APT Travel Group. You can book your next APT holiday with confidence that your health and wellbeing will be looked after.