Get ready for Summer 2020, we’re back!
As a business, we are following Government Guidelines and have updated all of our company policies, risk assessments and ways of working to ensure our customers and staff’s safety for our COVID-19 comeback. Throughout this blog post, we aim to clarify our response strategy so you will be able to enjoy your punting experience with us to the fullest. For customers who may have used our services before, our new way of working will appear slightly different to accommodate all the changes we needed to make to adhere to Government Guidelines. We have taken every step to minimise COVID-19 risk to our customers and staff.
Details of our COVID-19 comeback
One of our top priorities is to make sure that the social distancing guidelines requested by our government are maintain throughout our operations. So in order for this to happen our Shared and Private chauffeured punt tours have had to be adjusted. We are restricting each boat to a maximum of 2 different households/support bubbles. For our Private Punt Tours you can still purchase online our up to 6 and up to 12 seat option. If purchasing online you will have to be from one household/support bubble, however if there are multiple households/support bubbles wanting to go punting at the same time then please contact us, as we can separate the punt with perspex screens to act as a barrier between groups.
On the other hand our Traditional Shared Cambridge Punting Tours are no longer available, we have a new tour online under the name of COVID-19 Shared Punt Tour. Instead of purchasing an individual seat on a shared boat, customers now have the ability to book a Private Section on a shared boat. This means that we will be selling tickets by the row of up to 3 or 6 people. Again, the punts will include perspex screens located between the different groups on the punt. All this information can be found on our shared and private punting tour pages. If you have any questions when booking please don’t hesitate to call our sales office as they would be more than happy to help!
We have created a new messaging service to avoid crowds and queues on the day of your punting trip. This service has been setup to ensure social distancing is maintained before embarking on your chauffeured punt tour. In order for this to happen both Private and Shared Tours will now be booked in for a specific departure time before arriving on the day. Our friendly staff in our sales office will help you to get booked in for your preferred departure time. If you arrive on the day without a departure time, then please expect a longer waiting time in order for our staff to get you and your group out on the next available tour.
This new service will inform each group when to arrive at our departure point. Therefore, on the day we are highly advising all customers to socially distance themselves on Jesus Green near to where we operate 10 minutes before their scheduled departure time. You should then wait until you receive a text message (which also includes a Google Maps link to the location) before making your way over to get on your punt.
Safety and Hygiene onboard
All staff members will be wearing appropriate PPE when deemed necessary, and the punts could include perspex screens to act as a barrier, depending on the tour that has been booked. These measures have been put in place to enable social distancing to be maintained and mitigate the risk of COVID-19. As a company, we are also including a high level of cleaning at the start of each day and after every tour, we have also replaced the rugs with wipeable cushion covers to minimise contamination and transmission.
At the Traditional Punting Company we have always cared about our planet, so we wanted to upcycle our PPE were possible and also opt for biodegradable and compostable goods when reused and recycled materials were not possible. We will be using environmentally friendly disposable gloves, and have reused plastic beer kegs from local breweries to hand make our own face visors and washable face masks (yes we have still been very busy during the lockdown) to reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible.
Our Cambridge Tours audio app can be downloaded from the Apple and Android App store. The app is currently available in English, Mandarin and Cantonese (more languages coming soon). Due to the safety measures in place at present (in response to COVID-19) it may be the case that the tour guides’ voice is somewhat obstructed by safety screens and/or masks.
We suggest that customers download the free app in advance of their booking. On the day we will provide our customers with an access code which will provide free access to all content should you wish to listen to the audio tour (remember don’t forget your headphones). This is a GPS based app so it will spot your location throughout the tour to synchronise the audio with the famous Cambridge University sight that you are seeing.
Find more about our app here.
Overall feedback on our COVID-19 Comeback
Our response to COVID-19 aims to be effective in migrating the spread of the virus, whilst still making sure our punting experience is as enjoyable as it always has been for our customers. Our main goal is, still, to provide the most informative, fun, traditional and unique chauffeured punting tour along the River Cam. To accomplish this, we ensure that our new messaging service along with our other protective measures that we have put in place will not affect our high standards of customer service. There will always be members of staff happy to help on the day, as well as our 9 am to 5 pm office team that are available, over the phone, every day, to help with any enquiries.
In case you want to book on the day, you can purchase a ticket through our website or our sales representatives at the Quayside. The website is indeed the cheapest option to book with, and in case you need support you can always call us and can we help you to book over the phone.
Last but not least, we urge our customers to display common sense when coming punting with us and it is important to note that no one should come punting if they or anybody in their household has COVID-19 symptoms or has been told to self-isolate by the government’s Test and Trace programme. In this case, customers can contact the office to reschedule/refund their booking.
We look forward to welcoming you back onto our punts this summer with all of our COVID-19 measures in place to keep you and our staff members safe during this time. This way you can enjoy the River Cam and what it has to offer without the worry. Cambridge Punting this Summer 2020 is back on, we are taking bookings for the 4th of July and onwards.