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The Primus Line looks forward to the next year with hope

30.10.2020 | 14:27 Clock | Business
The Primus Line looks forward to the next year with hope

For Primus-Linie, 2020 was also not an easy year due to restrictions caused by the global Corona pandemic. But there is a very hopeful outlook for next year: "For 2021, we have added some of our popular trips like the fairytale family breakfast, the Skylight Tour or the Riversight Dinner to the program again and hope to be able to run them," says Marie Nauheimer, managing director of Primus Line. Of course, this depends on how the Corona situation will develop further. At the moment, the hygiene concept, distance rules and the other Corona measures are being implemented consistently on board. Marie Nauheimer also assumes that this will still be the case in 2021. "Major events are not expected to take place for a long time yet. However, we hope that the charter business will recover somewhat, as rentals to corporate and private customers have currently slumped away," she explains. The focus of Primus-Linie's programming, she says, continues to be on "holidays at home" as well as recreation on board with culinary delights from the galley. Overall, however, a preview as well as planning for the coming year is very difficult.

Looking back at the lockdown and the time after shows how difficult the situation is even for a company like Primus Line. For example, the company's ships were not allowed to sail from March 18 to May 16. "We used these eight weeks to get our ships back into shape. Maintenance work and cosmetic repairs were on the agenda," the managing director reports. In addition, she says, it was a time for creative ideas. In April, for example, the "Primus auf Landgang - Takeaway" was launched. This gave Main visitors the chance to enjoy fresh on-board cuisine from the ship's counter on weekends. "Our snacks such as sweet potato fries, wraps and waffles were particularly well received over the Easter weekend. With the takeaway, we were also present with our customers during the period of the lockdown," Marie Nauheimer knows.

Nevertheless, there was great relief when shipping could resume after the end of the lockdown on May 16 - albeit in a restricted form with fewer passengers and with many new regulations. "We have implemented all the specified hygiene and precautionary measures on board, and in addition the furniture on the ships is aligned in such a way that compliance with the minimum distances is not a problem," explains Nauheimer. The departure times of the trips have also been adapted to the current situation so that passengers can keep their distance when boarding and disembarking. The first to be reintroduced into the programme were the round trips through Frankfurt, followed by the day trips on the Main and Rhine. "What was and still is particularly troublesome is the patchwork of federalism: what applied in Hesse was not necessarily the case in Rhineland-Palatinate or in Bavaria, and we have landing stages in all of these federal states," says the Primus Line managing director. While trips to major events such as the Rhine in Flames were completely cancelled, event trips on board were redesigned. The After-Work-Shipping was converted into a chill-out and the Oktoberfest into a Bavarian Gemütlichkeit, whereby the party character was omitted from both events. "A large part of the guests understood the new regulations and were happy to be on the ships, as were our employees," says Marie Nauheimer and continues, "It was important to us that the employees reduce this as much as possible after two months of short-time work. Unfortunately, with a few exceptions, we were unable to rehire our seasonal employees."

Looking back at the 2020 season, Primus Line is down 68 percent in total revenue compared to the previous year. In the charter business, the decline is 95 percent. Scheduled trips are also down 57 percent, and event trips were down about 80 percent, as they were primarily during the lockdown period. Round trips and day trips are down 50 percent, and evening trips, such as after-work shuttles, are down 60 percent. For timetabled trips, restaurant sales are down 67 per cent.

Highlights 2020

In2020, Primus Line will celebrate two anniversaries: 140 years of Frankfurt passenger shipping and 45 years since the founding of Primus Line. Planned special events as well as the big celebration with invited guests unfortunately had to be cancelled, but a Primus mascot was created in the anniversary year. It is a seal and is called Linus, whereby both the children of the Primus Line employees and the customers were involved in the selection of the animal and name.

The passenger volume in the summer was also pleasing this year; July and August in particular were satisfactory. Many spent their holidays in Germany and complemented them with a cruise on Primus Line.

In addition, Winter Magic is the name of the company's new cruise, which will get passengers in the mood for the festive season on a few weekends in December 2020. A Christmas menu and a small entertainment program are included in the trips. Finally, the New Year's Eve cruise through Frankfurt, with which Primus-Linie traditionally brings the year to a close, is also festive.

Further information and bookings for all trips can be found at www.primus-linie.de

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