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Coronavirus (COVID 19) - Book your holiday in total serenity!

The exceptional health context we are going through since a few months certainly leads you to wonder:

  • can I book my holiday in complete confidence?
  • what if my cruise is "impacted" by coronavirus?
  • will I be refunded in case of cancellation?

We answer all your questions, so you can prepare for your holiday with full confidence!

This information is likely to change under the new government guidelines, so consider consulting it regularly.

Questions & Answers


1. Is the French governments ‘health pass’ required for my boating holiday?

Since 21/07/2021, the French government has imposed the presentation of a health pass (a negative Covid test, a vaccination certificate or a certificate of recovery) when you visit cultural and leisure establishments where there are gatherings of more than 50 people. From the beginning of August this will also apply to cafes, restaurants, aeroplanes or long-journey trains.

Your cruise onboard our Nicols self-drive boats is therefore not affected: no health pass is needed to get on board.


2. Received a 100% refund if your boating holidays is canceled due to force majeure

Nicols agrees to reimburse you in full the sums already paid, if you have to cancel your cruise for one of the following reasons, considered as FORCE MAJEURE (described in the article L211.14 of the Tourism Code as: "exceptional and unavoidable circumstances occurring at the place of destination or in the immediate vicinity of it, with significant consequences for the performance of the contract or for the transport of passengers to the place of destination”) :

  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (or any other Government body) prohibits going to the region.
  • The border is closed (your country or country of destination).
  • You are not able to join the base because the authorities in your country are forcing you to be confined.
  • You are not able to reach the base because the authorities in your country impose a limited movement area on you (e.g. 100 km around the place of residence).
  • You are placed in quarantine at your destination (country where your cruise takes place) by the authorities or by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • You are placed in quarantine on your return (resident country) by the authorities or by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

If you are affected by any of the above cases, notify NICOLS as soon as possible in writing. Our team will offer you the following solutions:

  • If your cruise starts in less than 4 weeks you can:
    • either postpone the cruise or a keep a credit for sums already paid (your credit will be valid for 18 months!)
    • or receive a refund of the sums paid (1) (2). This refund will be made within 14 days of the cancellation and refund request. The request must be made in writing.
  • If your boating holiday is over 4 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 4 weeks before departure timeframe.

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

(1) Please remember - if you have been granted a credit note following a cancellation between 1st March and 15th September 2020 we will not make an immediate refund. As stated in Order No. 2020-315, you are required to use this credit amount within 18 months of cancellation. If you have not used this credit, we will make the corresponding refund once you have passed the 18 month period mentioned above.
(2) If your booking is less than 4 weeks away, then you may cancel and claim a full refund if there is a current government restriction that prevents you from travelling, unless the restriction is scheduled to end before your departure date.

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

If your cruise is affected by the closure of a Nicols base, we will offer you:

  • either a postponement of the booking (the freedom to choose another base, boat, holiday dates).
  • or carry forward of sums already paid in credit (these would be valid for 18 months).
  • or a refund of the sums paid. This refund will be made within 14 days of the cancellation and refund request. The request must be made in writing.

If you need to re-arrange your boating holiday then please contact our reservation team.

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

If you have taken out the cancellation insurance offered by Nicols (Centre Fluvial AXA) the note that this only applies to those crew members listed on the policy. Cancellation Insurance is activated if the illness formally prohibits leaving home, requires medical attention and prevents any professional or other activity.  If these conditions are not met then the insurance claim will be declined.

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

As soon as the waterways are once again open, and Nicols are permitted to welcome you aboard again, and there are no major external events that prevent you from going on your boating holiday as planned, then your booking cancellation is not a case of "force majeure” as stated in the Tourism Code (article L211-14). Therefore, if you wish to cancel your booking, you will be subject to the original rental conditions and cancellation fees (see section 8).

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

In the current circumstances our priority is ensuring the safety of both our customers and staff. So that we are in a position to welcome boaters back to our nautical bases we are implementing strict sanitary rules for the cleaning of our boats.
Joining forces with other businesses and organisations in the boating holidays/rentals industry, NICOLS has participated in the development of a health charter in collaboration with the FEDERATION DES INDUSTRIES NAUTIQUES. This charter has been approved by the French authorities. 

This health charter specifies in particular the conditions for welcoming customers to the base (one person at a time, social distancing rules, mandatory face mask, etc.); removal of hard-copy onboard documents and replacing them with digital versions (waterways guide, onboard instructions, etc.); protective measures for during your navigation instruction (only one person on board with the staff team member giving the instruction, compulsory face mask); strict boat disinfection rules (ventilation, cleaning, then systematic disinfection of surfaces, worktops, sanitary fittings, handles, dishes etc).

We also require the crew to take responsibility and will ask them to complete a “Good Health” certificate once at the base. Here they will confirm that the crew on the booking did not show any symptoms related to COVID-19 on the date of boarding and that they respected government health protection measures during the 14 days preceding the cruise.

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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