Travel

Travel brands making big commitments to health & safety

A gloved hand cleans a hotel sink

The world looks a lot different than it did just a couple years ago.

As more businesses start to open and people begin to resume normal activities, a lot is still going to be noticeably different. Luckily for consumers, many of those changes mean a renewed focus and elevated dedication to health and safety practices from businesses.

Travelers in particular will have a slate of new things to be aware of that wouldn’t have merited a second thought pre-coronavirus. With that in mind, AAA is highlighting our partners that are going above and beyond in their response to elevated standards of cleanliness and customer safety.

Abercrombie & Kent logo

1. Abercrombie & Kent

Luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent's more than 4 dozen local offices are working with travel partners such as hotels and restaurants to make sure they adhere to health and safety regulations. Their private and small-group tours feature private transfers and lend themselves naturally to physical distancing. The Resident Tour Directors in charge of each tour are knowledgeable about health guidelines and personally ensure that protocols are followed.

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2. African Travel, Inc.

This tour operator is taking advantage of Africa's beautiful open spaces to enable physical distancing, going so far as to say that when spending time in nature, "sightings of animals happen more often than seeing people." Safari vehicles are frequently disinfected and guests are spaced out within in. In addition, frontline travel sector workers in countries such as Kenya and Tanzania are required to be tested for COVID-19.

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3. AmaWaterways

AmaWaterways wants to reassure you that they are working with global health authorities and local governments in the U.S. and around the world to follow all the most up-to-date health and safety protocols. Their experienced staff and crew have undergone special training and will be advised and guided by a Public Health Officer. You will likely notice their crew cleaning public areas more frequently. Special attention will be paid to areas like staircases, public washrooms, armrests in the lounge and guardrails.

AmaWaterways uses hospital-grade disinfectants for continual surface cleaning in public areas. Additional deep cleaning will take place throughout the entire ship between each sailing. Your designated stateroom steward will clean your stateroom twice daily. As always, their crew will be on hand to take care of all the details so you can relax and enjoy your much-anticipated river cruise vacation.

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4. Azamara

Azamara is currently laser-focused on additional safety enhancements for their return to service. To develop their future boarding screening process and updated health protocols, they are collaborating with government health authorities, the Cruise Lines International Association, and their Healthy Sail Panel. These are not yet finalized, but when they are, Azamara will be sure to let you and your Travel Advisor know.

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5. Best Western

Best Western’s new commitment is called We Care Clean. This includes finding grab-and-go and pre-plated alternatives to buffet-style breakfasts, as well as advanced cleaning tech like electrostatic fogging, ozone generators, and ultraviolet devices. 

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6. Brendan Vacations

From dreaming, to planning, to booking, Brendan Vacations is with you every step of the way, giving you assurance and confidence to travel and explore Ireland and Scotland. In response to the changed world they’ve elevated their well-being protocols and offer risk-free booking terms. Their distancing and hygiene protocols include a dedicated always-on support team and 24/7 incident response, so you can travel with peace of mind and have an amazing time. What hasn’t changed is that you’ll still enjoy the ease of having everything taken care of, combined with rich and unique local experiences.

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7. Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises been hard at work developing new health and safety protocols to keep you Healthy at Sea. They’ve partnered with medical and scientific advisors from their Healthy Sail Panel; their Global Head of Public Health and Chief Medical Officer; and local health and government authorities to guide them in the development of their protocols. These measures include reduced capacities, enhanced cleaning and sanitization and physical distancing.

Guests 18 years and older must be fully vaccinated with all Covid-19 vaccine doses administered at least 14 days prior to sailing. Guests under 18 aren’t required to be vaccinated but if they are, they will follow guidance for fully vaccinated guests. If a guest is unable to be vaccinated, the guest will need adhere to the strictest testing guidelines. Celebrity is also working with local health authorities in their homeport countries to ensure guests meet current inbound travel requirements. As Celebrity Cruises return to sailing, your health and safety remains their top priority.

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8. Contiki

Contiki is very selective in who they work with, choosing only local experiences, accommodations, and partners that take the health and well-being of our travelers as seriously as they do. They have adapted group sizes to increase your personal space, and taken additional measures to further elevate sanitary practices and your access for personal hygiene.

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9. Cunard

Cunard is committed to delivering the highest standards of health, safety and well-being for their guests, crew, and the wider communities they visit. To achieve this: Every area of the ship will be rigorously and regularly cleaned and disinfected. Cunard will provide additional hand-sanitizing stations. Cunard has enhanced their on board ventilation systems to provide improved filtration and increased fresh air on board. They will adhere to approved guidance for every aspect of the vacation experience.

Everyone on board will need to follow the latest guidance regarding the use of face-coverings and social distancing, which will be in place in all public areas. Cunard will initially be operating with a reduced occupancy on their ships. They have plans in place, tailored for each ship, to manage medical needs, including dedicated cabin capacity for isolation should this be required.

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10. Disney Parks & Resorts

In California, Disneyland and California Adventure parks have officially opened and are operating at limited capacity.

In Florida, Magic Kingdom Park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios have reopened and are operating at limited capacity. Walt Disney World resorts in Florida have also updated their mask policy stating they no longer require guests to wear a mask outside in common areas and on pool decks. 2021 and 2022 tickets and packages are available for purchase. 

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11. Hertz

Hertz is rolling out a new program called Hertz Gold Standard Clean. It's a 15-point inspection that disinfects all contact surfaces in the vehicle, replaces items you wouldn’t normally think of, like wiper fluid, and more. How do you know your rental meets these standards? The door is sealed shut with a branded sticker to show that nobody has been inside the vehicle since the Gold Standard Clean. 

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12. Hilton

Hilton understands that their guests’ expectations for cleaning and disinfection have changed. That’s why Hilton has partnered with RB, makers of Lysol & Dettol, to help deliver an even cleaner stay for guests with the creation of the Hilton CleanStay program. It builds on their already rigorous cleaning standards to provide complete peace of mind when you stay with any of Hilton’s 18 brands. Their promise to you is to deliver the same level of reliable and friendly service you’d expect from Hilton, but with the added confidence of industry-leading hygiene practices created to keep you safe.

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13. Holland America Line

Holland America is staffing every high-traffic part of its ships with sanitizer stations. Utensils and any other self-service items will be refreshed every 30 minutes. All common areas will be deep-cleaned with foggers nightly.

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14. Hurtigruten

Your safety is Hurtigruten’s highest priority. As they prepare for the safe restart of their expedition cruises, they have introduced strict measures aboard all their Hurtigruten expedition ships to reduce the risk of COVID-19. Hurtigruten is sailing with reduced passenger capacity, and have changed how they run their restaurants, landings, and other amenities to give you more space. All of their crew members wear face masks and follow the strictest hand sanitation protocol. All crew members must show a negative COVID-19 test prior to embarkation. They regularly disinfect the entire ship, including all cabins, using certified cleaning products.

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15. Hyatt

Guided by their purpose of care and experience delivering world-class hospitality for more than 60 years, Hyatt's Global Care & Cleanliness Commitment builds on their existing rigorous safety and cleanliness protocols and includes: GBAC STAR™  cleanliness and training accreditation process through the Global Biorisk Advisory Council at all Hyatt hotels; trained Hygiene & Wellbeing Leader or team at all locations, responsible for their hotel adhering to new operational protocols and training; and a cross-functional panel of trusted medical and industry advisors—including experts from Cleveland Clinic—to help them fine-tune safety protocols and consider various aspects of the entire hotel experience

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16. Insight Vacations

Insight's Travel Directors have been newly trained in hygience and distancing, and will monitor travelers' well-being throughout their trip. They've been given additional protocols on what to do should an unexpected issue arise. Insight has instituted a strict sanitization regimen on their luxury coaches, which have fewer seats and more distance between travelers. They also only work with hotels, restaurants, and venues that they trust to adhere to their safety standards.

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17. Marriott

Marriott hotels are committed to providing guests with a safe environment that aligns with expert protocols for working to defeat COVID-19. Consisting of in-house and outside experts in food and water safety, hygiene and infection prevention, and hotel operations, Marriott’s Cleanliness Council is redefining cleaning and safety standards, and will continue to evolve solutions to ensure a continued focus on the health and safety of our guests and associates. Guests will notice a number of additions to the company's regimen designed to set an even higher standard of cleanliness for the hotels. Specific areas of focus include face coverings; surface areas and public spaces; guest contact; food safety; and contactless service. 

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18. Member Choice Vacations

Member Choice Vacations tours will be operating with fewer guests to allow for empty seats and more spacing. Motor coach surfaces will be santized frequently, and rooms and areas like restaurants, fitness centers, etc. will be deep-cleaned regularly, with rooms disinfected thoroughly between guests. A private sedan service means your ride to the airport will be socially distanced and disinfected after every passenger. Member Choice Vacations also offers a Travel Protection Plan that financially protects guests if they cancel or move their trip to another date for any reason.

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19. MGM Resorts

Been wondering what Las Vegas will look like in this new reality? MGM is getting a start by adding sanitizer stations near all commonly touched services in its resorts, and applying its Seven-Point Safety Plan created with medical and scientific experts. This includes daily employee health screenings, updated HVAC systems, employee facemasks, plexiglass at interactive gambling stations, and more.

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20. Norwegian Cruise Line

One of the first cruise lines to start rolling out their new safety protocols, Norwegian is installing all-new air filtration systems on their ships. Recent reports indicate coronavirus is more likely to spread through respiratory means than physical contact, so a new system of medical-grade filters that remove 99.95% of airborne pathogens is essential for anyone ready to venture back on the open sea. Beyond that, you’ll see increased sanitation frequency, enhanced medical resources on board, and the other measures you expect in this new era for luxury travel. 

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21. Ocean Cruises

Oceania Cruises’ vision is to be the vacation of choice for everyone around the world. That’s why they’ve enhanced their commitment to health and safety with their SailSAFE program. To protect their guests, crew and communities they visit, they have developed a robust and comprehensive health and safety strategy with new and enhanced protocols to create multiple layers of protection against COVID-19.

Initial voyages will operate with fully vaccinated guests and crew, combined with preventative health and safety measures which they believe will provide a uniquely safe and healthy vacation experience. Oceania Cruises’ science-backed plan for a safe and healthy return to cruising was developed in conjunction with a diverse group of globally recognized experts and will be continuously evaluated using the latest science and technology.

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22. Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises is in the process of finalizing all required COVID-19 protocols for guests. Public areas and staterooms will be thoroughly and more frequently disinfected. Their highly-trained medical staff includes doctors and nurses capable of caring for a broad range of medical conditions, including COVID-19. Ships will feature enhanced air filtration with upgraded HVAC systems designed to replace air in public spaces and staterooms every 5 to 6 minutes.

Faster, contactless boarding is yours when you get OceanReady. Receive your Medallion before you leave home and use the app to fill out your pre-cruise health questionnaire. You’ll then be able to select your preferred time to arrive at the port to help stagger boarding. Physical distancing will be maintained throughout check-in and embarkation. Your stateroom door will even unlock as you approach.

With OceanNow, you can control physical distancing like never before. Order wherever you are, and the food, drinks and items from our shops will find you, even if you move. With MedallionClass, guests can get a real-time view of attendance in lounges, theaters and other areas, and bookmark activities of interest, noting attendance limits.

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23. Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ SailSAFE Health and Safety Program is dedicated to providing guests and crew with the ability to travel and enjoy the world while doing everything to make that voyage as safe as possible. A robust and comprehensive health and safety strategy with new and enhanced protocols creates multiple layers of protection against COVID-19. Their science-backed plan for a safe and healthy return to cruising was developed in conjunction with a diverse group of globally recognized experts and will be continuously improved and refined using the best available science and technology.

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24. Rocky Mountaineer

Rocky Mountaineer train cars feature air filtration system that ensure a constant intake and circulation of fresh air and capture of 99.9% of airborne particles. You’ll also be sharing those spaces with fewer comrades, so there will be more space to relax and move about. Movement between trains and motorcoaches will be limited such that you travel with the same group of guests each time, to reduce exposure. 

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25. Royal Caribbean

The safety and wellbeing of Royal Caribbean’s guests, crew, and the communities they visit is their top priority. In response to COVID-19, Royal Caribbean is evaluating every last detail of their operations to develop unprecedented standards that will keep you safe and healthy. That’s why they have assembled the Healthy Sail Panel, a group of the best minds and leaders in public health, biosecurity, epidemiology, hospitality, and maritime operations.

The panel will work alongside their new Public Health & Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Calvin Johnson, who will lead the company’s public health initiatives and oversee their response to health crises. Their collective efforts will be shared with the cruise industry and other industries that may benefit from their findings—because we’re all in this together.

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26. Seabourn

Seabourn's highest priorities are compliance, environmental protection, and the health, safety and well-being of their guests, crew, and the extraordinary destinations they visit. When you sail with Seabourn, you can also enjoy the small-ship advantages that come with fewer guests on board, including: Some of the most generous space-to-guest ratios in the industry; all ocean-front suites most with private furnished verandas; multiple dining options that offer outdoor and indoor seating; easy-to-make private arrangements for shore excursions, car transfers, dining reservations, and more; and a Book with Confidence policy for worry-free planning.

Seabourn has consulted a panel of eminent virologists, epidemiologists, engineers and public health experts, and tasked them with assessing physical facilities and procedures and suggesting any enhancements or changes to further reduce the risk of contagion. Their suggestions have been incorporated into the training, operation and supervision of their onboard sanitation routines.

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27. Silversea Cruises

At Silversea, their top priority has always been to safeguard the health and safety of their guests, crew, and the communities they visit. Partnering with leading medical experts and governmental authorities from around the world, the Royal Caribbean Group formed the Healthy Sail Panel to ensure that their guests can travel in luxury with unwavering confidence.

Silversea Cruises has introduced a comprehensive, multi-layered set of science-backed protocol, which, informed and approved by the Healthy Sail Panel, will help to safeguard guests. Silversea will continue to work closely with relevant governing bodies and health authorities to evolve its health and safety procedures, as new health recommendations are issued and as the fluid situation advances.

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28. The Parking Spot

The Parking Spot is undertaking daily sanitizing of all shuttles and will run them at 50% capacity to allow for social distancing. All employees will be required to wear protective equipment, and hand sanitizer will be available on shuttles for both employee and guest use. In addition, guests can get a touchless entry and exit experience by using Fast Exit on the Parking Spot App.

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29. Trafalgar

Trafalgar has trained its Travel Directors on enhanced hygiene and physical distancing procedures. Travel Directors will monitor the tour to make sure safety standards are being met. Trafalgar's customized luxury coaches will have all their surfaces disinfected regularly, and there will be hand sanitizer freely available while onboard. They'll also vet restaurants and hotels ahead of time to ensure they adhere to physical distancing and hygiene guidelines.

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30. Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Orlando Resort has already opened much of its downtown shopping and entertainment district, Universal CityWalk. On June 5 they will re-open all three theme parks—Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Universal’s Volcano Bay—with limited capacity. In accordance with CDC guidelines they have enhanced sanitation procedures and implemented additional measures for distance spacing and screenings.

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31. Uniworld

Uniworld is taking all the steps you’d expect to clean and sanitize its ships, including the removal of shared items, available sanitation equipment, and a highly-screened staff. Uniworld is also working with partners and vendors to ensure any excursion off the ship is just as secure for your health.

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32. Viking Cruises

As the leading small ship cruise line with 190-guest river vessels and identical all-veranda 930-guest ocean ships, Viking takes you closer to the heart of the places you want to visit. For more than 23 years, they have always had the highest standards for health and cleanliness, and their new protocol enhancements make Viking even safer.

Developed in coordination with an international team of scientific and medical advisors, the Viking Health & Safety Program is one of the most well-researched and comprehensive COVID-19 prevention and mitigation plans in the travel industry. Measures include frequent quick and easy non-invasive saliva PCR tests for all guests and crew, processed in full-scale Viking-dedicated laboratories; new air purification technology installed on all Viking ships, which have always featured independent air handling units for all guest staterooms; and additional health checks, sanitization and physical distancing to protect Viking guests and crew at all points of the journey.

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