Travel News


By Judy Newell

Mexico News

Crocodiles Flood Beach Closed to Tourists

When the tourists are away, the crocs will play. Crocodiles have taken over the beach at a popular Mexican resort that was shut down due to the coronavirus and is suddenly devoid of tourists for the first time in decades.

Photos from the lagoon beach at La Ventanilla in Oaxaca, an ecotourism resort on Mexico’s southern coast, show several crocs sunning without a single tourist in sight—some were even caught surfing the waves—the Mexican news agency reported.

The resort has been closed since early April, when government officials ordered all of the nation’s beaches shut down to halt the spread of COVID-19.

International News

US Government Agrees on $25 Billion Bailout for Airlines

The US government agreed on a US$25 billion bailout for the beleaguered airline industry on April 14 as the coronavirus pandemic brought travel to a virtual standstill.

Passenger airline companies are receiving direct aid as part of the US$2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (Cares Act) economic relief package in order to allow them to continue paying salaries and benefits to employees in the coming months.

With the coronavirus now spread across more than 100 countries and every continent except Antarctica, air travel has all but ground to a halt.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts that airlines will lose US$314 billion in revenue this year, almost three times the amount it forecast in a “worst-case scenario” after reassessing the hit to the global economy it expects.

The grants to major airlines including American, Delta, Southwest, JetBlue, and United will probably come with strings attached. According to the Wall Street Journal, the airlines had wanted the loans to be forgiven, but Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told carriers that 30 percent of the assistance would need to be repaid and that airlines would have to offer stock warrants—giving the government the right to buy shares in the companies—on a portion of those funds.

There was widespread criticism after the last recession when the US taxpayer bailed out some of the US’s largest banks and the auto industry but did not gain from their eventual recovery.

NYC Hotels will House 6K Homeless

One-third of New York City’s single adult homeless population±—approximately 6,000 people—were projected to be in hotels by April 20, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced. Thousands of hotel rooms will be added to move the homeless from crowded shelters and to shield the elderly and other vulnerable groups from the coronavirus.

Cruise News

As of April 10, all cruise ships over 250 passengers and crew that operate in US waters have been put under a no-sail order by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC issued the no-sail order for cruise ships for 100 days, which would end in late July. The order will remain in place until COVID-19 is no longer a public health emergency and supersedes individual cruise line dates for a return to service.

Either the CDC director would have to rescind the no-sail order “based on specific public health or other considerations,” or the Department of Health and Human Services secretary’s declaration of a public health emergency would have to expire.

Viking to Launch Vessel on the Mississippi River

Viking is heading to the mightyMississippi. The company’s first custom vessel,Viking Mississippi, will debut in August 2022 and will sail voyages on the lower and upper Mississippi, between New Orleans andSt. Paul.

The inaugural sailings of Viking Mississippi’s 2022-2023 season are now available. Purpose-built for the Mississippi and currently under construction in Louisiana, the five-deck ship will be the largest and most modern cruise ship in the region. It will carry 386 guests in 193 all-outside staterooms.

Also on the horizon: Viking Expeditions will sail to Antarctica. The first 378-guest, purpose-built expedition ship, Viking Octantis, launches in January 2022 on voyages to Antarctica and then North America’s Great Lakes. A second expedition vessel, Viking Polaris, will debut in August 2022, sailing to Antarctica and the Arctic.

Celestyal Cruises Suspends Operations until June 29

Celestyal Cruises, which specializes in the Greek Islands and the Mediterranean, has extended the suspension of its sailings until June 29, 2020. Currently, cruises will resume on this date with the four-night “Iconic Aegean” sailing round trip from Athens.

For all named and fully paid individual guests impacted by this temporary suspension, Celestyal Cruises is offering a future cruise credit valued at 120 percent of the original booking value. Guests will have until the end of December 2021 to redeem their future cruise credit against any of Celestyal Cruises’ itineraries in 2020, 2021, and 2022.

Words of the Wise and Well-traveled

If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place. – Nora Roberts

Deal of the Week

Family Coppola Hideaways Announces “Dream Now, Travel Later” Deal

Francis Ford Coppola’s Family Coppola Hideaways in Belize and Guatemala (Blancaneaux Lodge and Turtle Inn in Belize and La Lancha in Guatemala) are offering a new deal, “Dream Now, Travel Later.” The deal includes a US$100 resort credit, which can be used on food and beverage, tours, the spa, and more for stays of four nights or more.

Also included in the offer is 20 percent off published rates and free upgrade at the time of booking (subject to availability).

The booking policy requires one night’s deposit at the time of booking. Any cancellation 14 days prior to the check in date are fully refundable.

The “Dream Now, Travel Later” deal is available for any new future booking (not including festive dates 2020 and 2021). Bookings must be made from now up to June 2020.


Perfect Journeys Office Is Closed

The office of Perfect Journeys, located in Rancho Los Labradores on the Car. a Dolores Hidalgo, temporarily closed on April 1. It is planned that the office will re-open in the same location. Meanwhile, Judy is working from her home and requests that clients contact her by telephone or email for help with any future travel planning.

Judy Newell, an international travel consultant since 1971, heads Perfect Journeys and specializes in unique travel experiences to destinations around the world. She custom designs journeys that are tailored to suit your interests, physical abilities, and budget. Please contact Judy for further information on Travel News topics and around-the-world travel. Cell phone 415-111-8765; Vonage 949-300-3682; email


Sources:Fox News, The Guardian, Spectrum News/New York, Cruise Critic, Travel Age Central,Recommend