Volaris to Launch Merida-Oakland Route
Mexican airline Volaris announced that as of January 18, 2021, it will launch a new international route between Yucatan state capital Merida and Oakland, CA. The carrier will fly Airbus A320 planes on the route, which will operate every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
Volaris now is operating six domestic Mexico routes to Yucatán. The Oakland service will be the carrier’s first international route to Mérida. The state will now enjoy connectivity with the U.S. via three regional points: On the East Coast with Miami; the Midwest and South through Houston; and the West Coast with Oakland.
NCL Extends Cruise Pause for All Brands
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., parent of Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, announced that it has again extended the suspension of global cruise voyages for all three of its brands.
Voyages are cancelled for all Norwegian Cruise Line sailings that embark between January 1 and February 28, 2021 and select voyages that were slated to depart in March 2021. The extended suspension of operations also impacts Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, as all voyages slated to depart between January 1 and March 31, 2021 are cancelled.
Guests who are currently booked on cancelled voyages on Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises or Regent Seven Seas Cruises are asked to contact their travel advisor or the cruise line for more information.
Virgin Voyages and Cunard Line Cancel More Voyages
Two more cruise lines—Cunard Line and Virgin Voyages—have announced further delays in their restart of ocean cruises.
Cunard Line extended its pause in operations—which resulted in the cancellation of Queen Mary 2’s cruises up through and including May 28, 2021, and Queen Elizabeth’s voyages up through and including June 4, 2021. Departures on Queen Victoria remain unaffected and are set to resume May 17, 2021
Guests on a cancelled voyage should talk with their travel advisor. Cunard is providing an automatic 125 percent Future Cruise Credit (FCC) for the cancelled voyages. That can be used on any new booking made by the end of December 2021 and on any voyage available at the time of booking.
Currently, the line has posted schedules for cruises as far out as early 2023. If guests prefer a refund, the form is available on Cunard’s website.
“Our extension to the pause in operations is the result of the ongoing restrictions on cruising in the U.K. and around the world and recognizes the significant lead times to return to service once those restrictions are lifted,” said Cunard’s president in a press release.
Virgin Voyages’ first ship, the 2,700-passenger Scarlet Lady was delivered just prior to the global pandemic shut-down. While it operated a few special cruises, the ship wasn’t able to sail its regular line-up in 2020. A sister ship, Valiant Lady, is still in the final stages of outfitting. Both ships are currently in Genoa, Italy.
But their restart is delayed again, given the pandemic. Sir Richard Branson, founder, Virgin Group, posted a message on the line’s website, informing guests of new restart dates. He stated: “We’re thrilled to be making plans for Scarlet Lady to set sail on May 9, 2021, and Valiant Lady on November 14, 2021.”
Those booked guests who are impacted should contact their travel advisor. An onboard offers page on Virgin’s site also allows guests to rebook or request a full refund until January 28, 2021. Guests who book before March 31, 2021 for any 2021 departure are covered by Virgin’s flexible booking policy, which allows cancellation up to 48 hours before departure with a full refund by the line.
Royal Caribbean Group Extends Suspension of Cruising
While Royal Caribbean Group continues to work with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and government authorities around the world toward the shared goal of safely returning to cruising, the company announced it will be extending the suspension of some sailings.
The following schedule reflects adjustments to upcoming itineraries.
Royal Caribbean International:
- Most global sailings suspended through February 28, 2021
- Australia sailings suspended through April 30, 2021
- Spectrum of the Seas China sailings suspended through January 20, 2021
- Quantum of the Seas is resuming service in Singapore for residents
- All global sailings suspended through February 28, 2021
- South America sailings suspended through April 7, 2021
- Suspended through April 1, 2021, except for the February 6, 2021 sailing of Silver Origin
- Suspended sailings through March 20, 2021
Deal of the Week
Journey through Central Asia: The Five ‘Stans
More than 2,000 years ago, the great trade routes linking Europe and China opened Central Asia to foreign cultures, customs, and religions. Join a modern-day caravan on an epic journey to five of these exotic countries – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.
Duration: 22 Days
Trip Type: Small Group, maximum 16 guests
Apr 3 – 24
Apr 17 – May 8
Aug 14 – Sept 4
Sept 4 – 25 Limited space available!
Sept 11 – Oct 2 Limited space available!
Oct 16 – Nov 6 New departure!
Tour, double occupancy US $8,195
Plus internal airfare US $350
Single supplement US $1,395
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 4151118765; Vonage 949-300-3682; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sources: Travel Agent Central, MIR