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Is Anyone Vacationing these days?

Susan Wolfson

Amidst the pandemic and the associated travel restrictions, it seems like no one is vacationing these days.  Is that really true?

OK, there's the easy stuff.  Lots of folks have gone on their favorite beach vacation.  And there's the usual day trips in your local area.  But I'm talking about the type of vacations you need a travel agent for.  Are any of the usual suppliers operating as of October 2020?

Celebrity is not yet sailing, but others are

Ocean Cruises

Believe it or not, there ARE ocean cruises that are operating.   

  • Carnival Cruises operates the AIDA and Costa brands and both are sailing.  AIDA, a German based ship operator, is operating in the Mediterranean as is Costa, the Italian brand. 
  • Hurtigruten Cruises, was one of the first lines to reopen, and is cruising around Norway. 
  • MSC, the large European line has operated in the Mediterranean as well since September
  • Paul Gauguin (now part of Ponant) is sailing out of Tahiti and  Ponant is currently sailing out of France.  

Of course due to travel restrictions, none of these are available to Americans

Europe on a River Cruise

River Cruises

  • AmaWaterways is operating, but only for German guests.  This provides an opportunity to practice their post pandemic procedures and changes.  For example, they are offering room service so passengers don't need to dine (maskless) with others.

The Caribbean

French Polynesia

Most hotels and resorts in the Caribbean are open for business. There will be continued retrofitting however.  For example, the Four Seasons Resort in Anguilla will open on Nov 19th 2020.  They've consulted with Johns Hopkins to come up with safety protocols including employee training including on sanitation and mask wearing, advanced food handling procedures (complete with digital menus), enhancements to ventilation systems and limited face to face interactions between guests and staff.

Here's a list of opening dates  for each Caribbean Island

Land Tours

Land vacations through companies like Collette, Globus, CIE, Trafalgar are very spotty right now.  Since air travel for Americans is basically restricted, they are emphasizing US vacations only.  Virtually all trips have been cancelled through 2020.

The issue

Tahaiti

The issue of course is that air travel to far off lands is generally not available to Americans right now.  The CDC is advising Americans to avoid ALL non essential travel to virtually all locations.  And of course many European nations are still not allowing US citizens through their borders.  Looking at their COVID 19 risk assessment map, only a few areas in the world are NOT at a level 3 (high) risk level:  Greenland, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and several small islands in the South Pacific.  Of course, just because you CAN travel doesn't mean you SHOULD travel.

Dream and plan

OK so the reality is that if you're an American, there's not too many opportunities to travel on vacation. But that doesn't mean you can't plan and dream.  Many in the travel industry are optimistic that vaccines will be available in 2021 which would allow some opportunities to travel.  So now's the time to plan ahead.   African safari?, European river cruise? Exploration of Antarctica?  Visit  antiquity in the Middle East? Do a deep dive into Japanese or Vietnamese culture? Go down under in Australia and New Zealand? Explore the Galapagos and Machu Picchu?  So many possibilities await.


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