Mexico-US Border Closure Extended another Month
The Mexico-United States land border will remain closed for another month, according to officials from both countries. The reason given was the increase in COVID-19 cases in both countries.
Restrictions will remain the same as they have been since the crossing ban was initiated on Mar. 21 and remain in effect until Feb. 24, at which time it is likely they will be renewed for another month.
People with reasons considered essential, including those relating to business, health or emergencies, will still be allowed to cross. Flights between the two countries remain unrestricted.
However, there have been many claims that the ban is one-sided because Mexico allows travelers to enter the country from the U.S. side without restrictions.
President López Obrador raised eyebrows in December when he openly welcomed 500,000 Mexicans living abroad, mostly in the United States, who were expected to visit Mexico over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
López Obrador said that the half a million countrymen deserved to be received “like heroes” because they support Mexico, referring to remittances sent home by Mexican nationals. Remittances are expected to total US$40 billion in 2020, or 3.8 percent of Mexico’s GDP.
Kimpton Makes its Debut in Mexico
Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants made its Mexico debut with the Dec. 8 opening of the Kimpton Aluna Hotel in Tulum. Located within the Aldea Zama private community, the property features 72 standard guestrooms and six suites as well as a restaurant and rooftop bar, two outdoor pools, a swim-up pool bar and a spa and fitness center. Kimpton also plans to open two boutique hotels in Mexico City by late 2021.
Although it may not feel like the world is open to travel, there are actually dozens of international destinations ready to welcome travelers this winter. In many cases, travelers will need to complete a health form and present proof of a negative COVID-19 test result to gain entry, but requirements vary based on the country. Here are 20 places open to US citizens right now.
Antigua and Barbuda
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
St. Kitts and Nevis
Turks and Caicos
Emerald Waterways Wave Season Campaign
As part of Emerald Waterways’ “Explore the World with Us” wave season campaign, cruisers can take to the rivers of Europe and Southeast Asia on select sailings in 2022 and receive 10 percent off their fares when they book and pay in full at least 12 months in advance.
Additionally, deposits have been reduced by 50 percent, and passengers can choose from free or discounted roundtrip air or up to US$2,500 in savings on select voyages in Europe and Southeast Asia. These deals are available through Feb. 28.
Emerald Cruises’ first ocean-going ship, the Emerald Azzurra, was recently floated out in Vietnam. The 100-passenger ship is set to debut in January 2022 with a ‘Best of the Red Sea’ itinerary round trip from Aqaba, Jordan, and will also offer Mediterranean cruises in summer 2022. Emerald said 88 percent of cabins will have outdoor balconies; other features include three dining venues and a wellness center with a spa, gym, and sauna.
Crystal Extends Relaxed Booking Policies 2021-24 Bookings
Pack up your wanderlust and plan for a return to travel with Crystal Confidence 3.0: extended booking policies across all experiences by Ocean, River, Yacht, and Expedition. For all 2021 sailings, final payment and cancellation without penalty is now offered at 60 days prior to the first date of service.
For all voyages from 2021 through 2024, enjoy an extended “no money down” deposit window through Feb. 22 on new and existing bookings. Plus, reduced deposits of only 15 percent (normally 25 percent) and waived administration fees apply to all new bookings as well.
Deal of the Week
Princess BEST. SALE. EVER.
Includes premier beverage package, wi-fi, gratuities, stateroom location upgrade, and specialty dining. A value of at least US$700 per guest included on a seven day cruise!
Choose from 7- to 24-day Canada and New England cruises that showcase all the region has to offer—from lobster bakes to lighthouses. Follow in the footsteps of American history and encounter French Canadian culture.
Take a cruise through Greenland for an authentic travel experience in cities like Nuuk, Nanortalik, and Qaqortoq. See it all, from magnificent mountains and valleys to distinct wildlife and dramatic coastlines.
7-Day Canada and New England
Roundtrip from New York City to Bar Harbor, Maine, Saint John, and Halifax, Canada; Aug., Sep. and Oct. 2021; Sep. and Oct. 2022; from US$999.
10-Day Classic Canada and New England
Quebec City, Canada to New York City; includes port visits in Canada to Saguenay, Sydney, and Halifax; and to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; Bar Harbor, Maine; and Boston, Massachusetts. Aug. and Sep. 2022; from US$1599.
16-Day Greenland and Canada
Roundtrip from New York City to Halifax, Sydney, and St. John’s, Canada; and Nuuk, Qaqortoq and Nanortalik, Greenland. Aug. 15, 2022; from US$2539.
24-Day Canadian Adventure,
Round trip from London (Southampton), England (15 days at sea) visiting Sydney, Quebec City, Saguenay, Gaspe, and St. John’s, Canada; and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Sep. 18, 2021; from US$4259.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sources: El Sol de México, Travel Weekly, Travel Pulse, Crystal Cruises, Princess Cruises