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JUNE 2nd 2020 - From Thursday 4 June, Stromma Netherlands will resume the canal cruises through the Amsterdam canals. After consultation with the Safety Region, the tourist company has been given the green light to reopen to the public in June. First there will be two days of testing, after which Stromma's guests will be able to come and enjoy Amsterdam from the water again from 4 June. After eleven weeks at anchor, the boats are back in business.
To guarantee the safety of all guests and employees, Stromma uses the 'Safely Together’ protocol, drawn up in consultation with the Club van Elf (Dutch Day Attractions association). 'Safely Together’ offers three guarantees regarding the 1.5 meter distance between households, adequate information provision and extra hygiene measures. "It's finally here: the reopening we've been looking forward to for so long," says Carola Hoekstra CEO of Stromma Netherlands. "With our team, we have been working intensively for weeks on all the preparations on our boats, in the shops and moorings. Now it’s safe to say: welcome aboard, we are ready for it!
Tickets can only be purchased online and must be booked in advance. This is due to the reduced capacity on board to apply the 1.5 meter measure. There may therefore be fewer guests on a boat. To prevent row formation in the public space as much as possible, there are separate pick-up and drop-off locations and marked walking routes. There are also strict rules for boarding and disembarking, whereby guests must follow the instructions of the staff. For example, disembarkation according to the last in, first out principle.
Of course there are strict hygiene measures in place, such as cleaning boats and disinfecting audio cabinets after every trip, disinfection columns at the boarding locations and no toilets may be used on board or on the mooring. It goes without saying that if guests do not feel fit, Stromma requests them to stay at home.
The changed situation demands adaptability from all guests but also from the staff. Carola Hoekstra: "Luckily I have an enthusiastic and resilient team, there is a lot of unity and decisiveness and together we are dealing with this new reality". In order to find out in practice whether all the measures are being properly applied, trial days are held with their own staff before the official reopening.
The tourism company expects Dutch day trippers and Amsterdam families in particular to be on board in the near future. To welcome them, children will sail at a discount and they will also get an ice cream. What will not change is the cruise itself. "Our well-trained team is eager to take to the water", says Hoekstra. "Amsterdam is always beautiful from the water, but especially this time of year!"
Stromma Netherlands is part of the Swedish Stromma Group (Strömma Turism & Sjöfart). With a long history starting in 1912 with Rederij Bergmann and Meijer's Rondvaarten (1920s), the company grew from the oldest and largest shipping company in Amsterdam to a tourist company. Stromma Netherlands carries the brands Canal Tours Amsterdam, Canal Tours Utrecht, Hop on-Hop off, Amsterdam Excursions and Amsterdam Pass with distribution channel Stromma.com. Last year, the company receives one and a half million guests for the ultimate Amsterdam experience on 31 tour boats, 15 sloops, a saloon boat, more than 100 pedal boats and 6 Hop on-Hop off buses.
Stromma Group has been active in shipping and tourism in Northern Europe for two hundred years. With fifteen destinations in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands, Stromma Group is a leader in sightseeing. The name refers to strömma, the Swedish word for electricity. The company considers sustainability of paramount importance, which fits in well with Stromma Netherlands, which has the Green Key certificate. The impact on the environment is further reduced where possible by the increasing use of electricity to replace natural gas and hybrid diesel-electric engines. For more information, see www.stromma.com.
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