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Coronavirus (COVID 19) - Questions & Answers

Whether you’ve already booked a boating holiday with Nicols or you might simply be considering booking one we expect that you’ll most likely be worried about the impact of the coronavirus, especially due to the situation evolving day-by-day.

Given the huge media coverage the coronavirus is getting we completely understand any concerns you might have. We too are taking the situation very seriously and are being extra vigilant with protection measures against the coronavirus – after all the wellbeing and safety of our customers and staff teams is extremely important to us.

The update below will hopefully provide you with some reassurance about the situation. 


1. Is the region of my boating holiday affected by the coronavirus?

Currently, on the advice from governing bodies, Nicols bases are affected as follows:

  • In France: bases closed until 20/04/2020 (until 15/05/2020 for the Lot valley).
  • In Germany: bases closed until 20/04/2020.
  • In Portugal: bases closed until 30/04/2020.
  • In Hungary: bases closed until 30/06/2020.
  • In the Netherlands: bases closed until 04/04/2020.

These dates are subject to change according to new advice we may be given and we will update the list accordingly.


2. If all Nicols bases are closed, what happens to my holiday booking?

If your boating holiday has been affected by the closure of Nicols bases then the following terms from our rental conditions are applied:

§11. Navigation interruptions or restrictions

  • The rental company cannot be held responsible for interruptions or restrictions to navigation due to reasons beyond their control (works, floods, drought, strikes, administrative directives, lock closures etc).
  • In situations where these events prevent the cruise, the rental company can either change the location and dates of the cruise with an equivalent or larger boat; or the paid sums can be given as a credit for a cruise at a later date, to be agreed by both parties. If this cannot be agreed then the paid sums will be kept by the rental company.


In recognition of the exceptional circumstances faced, Nicols will honour changing your holiday for both the 2020 or 2021 boating holiday season.

To re-arrange your holiday please contact our reservation team. Please note that our priority will be with those bookings that are departing within four weeks. We thank you in advance for your understanding.


3. If my boating holiday destination and starting base is open can I still cancel my booking?

In accordance with the new ordinance of 25/03/2020, in case of cancellation due to Covid-19, Nicols will no longer offer the refund but an credit note of the sums already paid, valid for 18 months.


4. What if I need to cancel the booking due to one of the crew being ill?

If you have taken out the cancellation insurance offered by Nicols (Europ Assistance) the note that this only applies to those crew members listed on the policy.


5. What if my holiday region is accessible but I’m unable to go? What happens now?

If you are in any of the following positions...

  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (or any other Government body) advises or prohibits going to the region.
  • The border is closed between your country and the country where you are holidaying.
  • Your flight is cancelled due to the coronavirus.
  • You or a member of your crew has contracted the coronavirus.
  • You are placed in quarantine by the health authorities or on the advice of a Government body.


...then Nicols will offer you the following solutions:

  • If your boating holiday is less than 10 weeks away then we will offer postponement of the holiday. This postponement is valid for 2020 and 2021 and allows a both a change of travel date and/or starting base.
  • If your boating holiday is over 10 weeks away then we suggest for now you monitor the situation. Then, should you need it, our offer of postponement above would be available to you as you reach the 10 weeks before departure timeframe.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss the various options available to you.


6. Are any extra measures being taken to counter the threat of the coronavirus?

Nicols have reviewed procedures to see what can be done to help minimise both the risk and spread of the coronavirus. Our QSE (Quality-Safety-Environment) Department has issued precise instructions to all of our bases giving additional cleaning measures for every boat. These include complete disinfection of all surfaces, worktops, handles, bathroom facilities etc and this will be undertaken between each crew also.

This means that you can step on board all Nicols boats knowing that everything possible has been done to ensure a healthy and happy holiday can be enjoyed by all – cruising in the cleanest and safest conditions possible. 


Let’s end on a positive! Don’t forget, the nature of a boating holiday means that you are going to be away from areas of mass tourism and large crowds of people, so if you are travelling then by enjoying a boating holiday there is less risk of exposure compared to if you were visiting large cities or staying in hotels complexes.

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