Temptation, Desire, Adults-only Resorts Reopening
Original Group has announced the reopening of two of its adults-only resorts, both implementing new sanitation and safety protocols. The Temptation Cancun Resort reopened June 10, and Desire Riviera Maya Pearl Resort in Puerto Morelos will reopen July 1.
Initiatives include health screenings and temperature monitoring of employees and guests, mandatory face mask use for staff (guests will be furnished resort-branded masks for optional use), and operating restaurants and bars at 50 percent of capacity.
Celestyal Cruises Extends Suspension to July 30
Celestyal Cruises announced the further suspension of its sailings until July 30, 2020, due to the ongoing travel restrictions and temporary port closures within the region in which the cruise line operates. The Greek government recently announced that the Greek tourism season will gradually recommence in the next few weeks with international flights from select countries resuming in July.
Victory Cruise Lines Suspends Service for Remainder of 2020
Victory Cruise Lines, operated by American Queen Steamboat Company, announced it will cancel all planned itineraries for the remainder of the 2020 season due to prolonged governmental restrictions and uncertainties of future travel through Canadian waters. VCL says it will focus efforts on the upcoming 2021 season, which includes the debut of the Ocean Victory in Alaska and new itineraries on the Great Lakes, Canadian Maritimes, New England, and the Southeastern U.S.
Virgin Voyages Cancels Sailings Through October 15
Virgin Voyages stated it will be canceling all sailings through October 15, 2020. The first sailing is currently scheduled for October 16. For guests (or “sailors,” as Virgin Voyages calls them) impacted by this change, the cruise line will be auto-crediting double the amount guests have paid to date toward their voyage fare.
MSC Cruises Further Extends Pause in Operations
MSC Cruises announced that it will further extend the temporary fleet-wide halt of its cruise operations through July 31, 2020. MSC Cruises’ U.S. guests impacted by the canceled cruises will automatically receive a 125 percent future cruise credit of the original cruise fare paid by June 19 to be used on a sailing on or before December 31, 2021.
Princess Cruises Extends Pause in Cruises
Princess Cruises is also extending its pause in cruise operations with respect to the following voyages:
- All cruises sailing in and out of Australia through mid-September on Sea Princess, Majestic Princess, Sun Princess, and Sapphire Princess
- All cruises in and out of Vancouver and Seattle in September and October on Coral Princess, Emerald Princess, Grand Princess, Royal Princess, Ruby Princess, and Star Princess
- Pacific and California coast seven-day roundtrip cruises from San Francisco departing in September and October, 2020, on Star Princess
- All roundtrip cruises from Keelung, Taiwan, departing August 2020 on Majestic Princess
Royal Caribbean Cancels Sailings into October Due to Closure of Canadian Ports
RCL has cancelled Alaska, Hawaii, and Canada/New England cruises through October. Cruises with itineraries touching on a Canadian port have been suspended after the country banned cruises and ferries carrying more than 100 people in its waters through October 31.
Cruise lines cannot legally offer sailings because of U.S. cabotage laws that require foreign-flagged vessels leaving from a U.S. port of call to first call on a “distant foreign port” before returning to the United States.
Disney Cruise Line Cancels 2020 Alaska Season
Due to Canada’s cruise ship ban through October 31, 2020, Disney canceled its 2020 Alaska cruising season. It canceled Disney Wonder sailings scheduled to embark and/or debark in Vancouver through September 14, 2020. It is also evaluating the Disney Magic sailings scheduled to visit Canadian ports this October but has not made changes to any itineraries at this time.
Trump Administration Ends Marriott’s Cuba Operations
Almost exactly four years since it became the first U.S. company to run a hotel in Cuba, Marriott International has been ordered to end its business in the island nation. The Four Points Sheraton in Havana told Reuters it had been ordered by the Trump administration to wind down its operations by August 31.
Marriott rebranded the former Hotel Quinta Avenida in Havana’s Miramar district in June 2016 through an arrangement with local owner Grupo de Turismo Gaviota S.A., one of the oldest military-run organizations in Cuba.
Marriott received notice its government-issued license would not be renewed. The license was issued during the 2014-2016 U.S.-Cuban detente pursued by former President Barack Obama, which President Donald Trump has since rolled back.
President Trump’s actions could reward him with greater support across the large Cuban American community in Florida, a state considered vital to his re-election chances in November.
Words of the Wise and Well-traveled
We are the opening verse of the opening page of the chapter of endless possibilities.—Rudyard Kipling
Deal of the Week
Trip to Plan a Year in Advance
Let’s face it. With so much uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus outbreak, jetting off a week after you plan a trip simply isn’t an option right now. It’s more realistic to look at trips that must be planned in advance—way in advance. Here’s a great trip that must be planned at least a year in advance:
A Safari through Botswana
If 10 days on safari sounds like your ideal vacation, head for Botswana to camp near the wildlife (the best time to visit is from May to September). Don’t miss the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, offering “some of the best summer wildlife viewing in Africa,” and also be sure to visit the Makgadikgadi Pass, where some 30,000 wildebeest and zebras pass through during the Great Migration.
Spend time with a “colony of habituated meerkats” while you’re there, and, upon your arrival at the Okavango Delta, make the most of the diverse environment, which you can explore via game drive, bush walk, and canoe. 10 days from US$10,695 per person.
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 Newell for further information on Travel News topics and around-the-world travel. Cell phone 415 111 8765; Vonage 949 300 3682; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sources: Travel Weekly, Travel Agent Central, Travel Market Report, CruiseRadio.net, Hotel Motel Management, Condé Nast Traveler