The Lake District, Cumbria’s most popular “paid-for” attraction has resumed cruises on England’s longest lake, with the new, “We’re good to go” seal of approval certificate from VisitEngland.
Windermere Lake Cruises catered for 1.63 million passenger journeys last year, before the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in the temporary closure of all tourism-related businesses in March. As a result, no services have operated on the lake for more than three months.
That unprecedented period of time has not been wasted however, with Windermere Lake Cruises among the hundreds of businesses using the lockdown period to review all of its facilities and vessels, and to ensure the best safety precautions are in-place for when sailings begin to resume.
As part of Windermere Lake Cruises’ phased Covid-secure re-opening plans, 60 minute sailings will take place each day, on circular routes from the attractions three main piers from 10am each morning. This means passengers will only be able to leave the boat at the same location they stepped on-board.
Cruises will regularly depart from Bowness and Ambleside, with cruises from Lakeside departing every 90 minutes – the latter of which will also offer a combined ticket for passengers to enjoy a journey on the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway.
Seats must be booked in advance online, with spaces allocated for each passenger. The attraction’s Covid-secure plans mean once seated, passengers are politely reminded they must not change seats during each journey.
Cleaning routines both onboard and at onshore facilities have also been reviewed, with extra measures in-place to ensure surfaces like handles, railings and counters are regularly disinfected. New for 2020, Windermere Lake Cruises is also offering a brand new service: A privately-skippered traditional wooden launch vessel from Waterhead and Bowness, which can be hired by the hour for larger family groups who are able to travel together and therefore do not need to socially distance from each other.
Nigel Wilkinson, Managing Director of Windermere Lake Cruises, says, “We have been working very hard to adapt our business to ensure that we are following the latest UK Government guidance on how to re-open in a Covid-19 Secure manner. The safety and comfort of our passengers and staff has always been our top priority, a fact which has taken on even more importance in recent months. Obviously, this is a continually evolving situation and we will continue to monitor changes in requirements and will vary our policies, procedures and operations to ensure continued compliance.
“We operate a number of different kinds of craft, and our team has carefully analysed each vessel to ensure the appropriate procedures are in place to put our passengers’ minds at ease. With enhanced cleaning procedures, reduced capacities and clear social distancing measures in place, we hope that our guests will feel safe and secure and will be able to sit back, relax and enjoy the experience of once again being able to sail on Windermere”.
Meanwhile, Windermere Lake Cruises’ fleet of smaller, self-drive motorboats remain available to book online, which are ideal for families/social bubbles departing from Waterhead and two piers in Bowness at 15 minute intervals.
Further information is online at www.windermere-lakecruises.co.uk/