Punta Mita Reopened
Punta Mita, the resort and residential community in Riviera Nayarit, opened its doors in July. All entities, including the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita and The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, four beach clubs, and the new El Surf Club, are open. Also accessible to visitors are the Punta Mita Golf Club, Tail of the Whale Restaurant, Punta Mita Tennis Club, and the Punta Mita Golf Academy.
Kenya’s Tourist Sites Open for Visitors
Kenya’s president has said the country is ready to receive tourists and encouraged local and foreign travelers to take advantage of the prevailing low rates to visit the country’s famous tourist sites.
“We have also opened up our skies, and we welcome all those who choose to come,” he added.
Hotels in the Masai Mara are fully booked for the current high season, mostly by local tourists, and Kenyans and foreign travelers are encouraged to visit destinations across the country.
Virgin Atlantic Files for Bankruptcy Protection
Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic is the second Virgin Group airline to file for bankruptcy protection. Virgin Australia filed for voluntary administration—a form of bankruptcy in Australia—in April.
London-based Virgin Atlantic, 49 percent of which is owned by Delta Air Lines, flies exclusively long-haul international routes.It has filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection in the U.S., a move the company hopes will help it survive the impact from COVID-19.
Chapter 15 is part of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code that allows U.S. courts and foreign courts to cooperate when assets are in two different countries and is different from traditional Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It allows U.S. courts to recognize Virgin’s restructuring in a foreign country.
Virgin announced that it would run out of cash in September unless it gets approved for a U.S. $1.6 billion private rescue package that it announced in July. Delta, according to U.K. law, is not able to increase its stake. Richard Branson, the Virgin Group founder, has offered his private island as collateral for a bailout or loan.
Should Virgin not get approval, executives said it would be forced to start selling its Heathrow airport slots, which would cause the carrier to fold.
Crystal Cruises’ Parent Halts Payments on Debt of US$3.4 Billion
Genting Hong Kong, parent company to Crystal Cruises and two of Asia’s largest cruise lines, suspended payments to creditors on almost US$3.4 billion, citing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Genting, which owns Asia-based Dream Cruises and Star Cruises in addition to Crystal, told the Hong Kong stock exchange that it would “temporarily suspend all payments to the Group’s financial creditors.” News of the suspension sent Genting’s stock price down more than 40 percent.
Crystal Cruises has canceled all remaining ocean and river voyages through the end of 2020.
Majestic Line to be First Cruise Line to Restart Cruising in the U.K.
The tiny Scottish cruise company Majestic Line is the first to offer cruises in U.K. waters, when it restarted operations August 29.
The four-vessel line will operate its two newest vessels—Glen Shiel and Glen Etive—on six-night cruises with a reduced capacity of 10 passengers on board, as opposed to 12. The line has been cleared to sail by the Scottish government and will operate strict new enhanced health and safety protocols.
The line will be running two of its most popular cruises, “Mull and Her Inlets and Islands” and “Skye and the Inner Hebrides,” plus one-off cruises “Captain’s Choice” and “Isles of Clyde and the Southern Hebrides” on the two ships.
The line will become the first cruise line to offer sailings in U.K. waters since the coronavirus pandemic began. A second Scotland-based line, Hebridean Island Cruises, has canceled all cruises until next year, despite recently buying a second ship.
It joins a growing number of lines gradually restarting operations, including Variety Cruises in Greece, and a number of river cruise lines across Europe that have resumed operations.
Deal of the Week
Emerald Waterways Offers Deals and New Itineraries on 2021 European River Cruises
Emerald Waterways opened the books on its 2021 river cruise season with complimentary or reduced airfare deals on all European sailings, plus a slew of new product offerings.
The upcoming season will feature the newly launched Emerald Luna, new land extensions to Istanbul and the Transylvania region, and several fresh itineraries on some of Europe’s most popular rivers. All 2021 river cruise bookings also now include Emerald Waterways’ Deposit Protection Plan at no extra charge.
Guests booking a river cruise of eight days or longer will receive free, roundtrip airfare to Europe from U.S. gateways, while those booking any of the new five-day Christmas Markets sailings will receive roundtrip air for US$695 per person. In lieu of air, guests may opt to receive a discount on their booking, with US$1,000 or $500 off per person, respectively.
New for 2021, Emerald Waterways is offering three five-day itineraries to the Christmas Markets on the Rhine River (Basel, Switzerland‒Frankfurt, Germany), the Danube River (Vienna, Austria‒Budapest, Hungary) and, for the first time, on France’s Rhone River between Avignon and Arles.
For guests sailing on the “Enchantment of Eastern Europe” cruise on the Lower Danube, two new land extensions are available to Istanbul and the Transylvania region.
The three-night land extension to Istanbul includes tours of the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, the Spice Market, and a Bosporus sightseeing cruise to the spot where Europe meets Asia.
A four-night extension to Transylvania within Romania’s mountain region includes a tour of the iconic Dracula Bran Castle in Brasov.
Emerald Waterways, whose parent company is Emerald Cruises, operates nine branded StarShips offering river sailings in Europe and on Southeast Asia’s Mekong River, as well as fully chartered river ships along Russia’s Volga River and on Egypt’s Nile River.
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. Cellphone 415 111 8765; Vonage 949 300 3682; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sources: Travel Agent Central, CGTN, Travel Market Report, Travel Weekly, Cruise Critic, Emerald Cruises