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Punting in Cambridge during COVID-19

Find out about our response to COVID-19!

Posted by on June 16th, 2020.

Get ready for Summer Punting, we’re back!

As a business, we are following Government Guidelines, updating all of our company policies, risk assessments and ways of working to ensure that punting in Cambridge is safe during COVID-19. Through this page 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.

Punting in Cambridge during COVID-19

Private and Shared Tours

One of our top priorities is to maintain social distancing throughout our operation. In order for this to happen our Shared and Private chauffeured punt tours have had to be adjusted.

For our Private Punt Tours you can still purchase online for up to 2, up to 6 and up to 12 people. If purchasing online you will need to be from one household/support bubble (depending on Government Guidelines), 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.

For our Shared Punt Tours we are offering a Distanced Shared Punting option. Instead of purchasing an individual seat, customers now have the ability to book a private seating area on a shared boat. This means that we will be selling tickets by the row of up to 2, up to 3, up to 6 and up to 9 people. Again, the punts will include perspex screens to separate groups when social distancing is not met.

All this information can be found on our Distanced 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!

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New Messaging System

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. You can book your departure date and time online for both tours. We also provide dynamic pricing online, so customers can receive the best rate possible for those off-peak times.

This new service will inform each group when to arrive at our departure point.  On the day we highly advise all our customers to socially distance themselves on Jesus Green near to where we operate 10 minutes before their scheduled departure time. You should then enjoy the green until you receive a text message (which also includes a Google Maps link to the location) before making your way over to embark on your punt.

Safety and Hygiene onboard

All staff members will be wearing a face covering when required, 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, replacing 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 up-cycle our PPE were possible and also opt for biodegradable and compostable goods when reused and recycled materials were not an option. We will be using environmentally friendly disposable gloves, reused plastic beer kegs to hand make face visors as well as hand making washable face masks to reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible.

Audio Tour App

Our Cambridge Tours audio app can be downloaded from the Apple and Android store. The app is currently available in English, Mandarin and Cantonese (more languages coming soon). Due to the safety measures in place it may impede you hearing the chauffeur, so a Free Audio Tour is available to all our customers. 

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 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 sights 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 providing an incredibly enjoyable punting experience, 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 together with the protective measures that are 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, and in case you need support you can always call us and can we help you book over the phone.

Last but not least, we urge our customers to display common sense when joining one of our punt tours. It is important 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 Track and Trace. In this case, customers can contact the office to reschedule or 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. You can enjoy the River Cam and what it has to offer without the worry. Cambridge Punting this Summer,  is back on, we are taking bookings from March the 29th and onwards.

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