WestJet, Air Canada, and More Suspend Flights to Mexico and Caribbean
WestJet and Air Canada, along with other Canadian carriers, announced that they would suspend international flights from Canada to Mexico and the Caribbean through at least Apr. 30 at the request of the Government of Canada.
Aside from WestJet and Air Canada, Sunwing and Air Transat have also agreed to cancel all Caribbean and Mexico service.
Other restrictions include forcing all international inbound passenger flights to land at Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, or Montreal; mandatory PCR testing at the airport for people returning to Canada plus a mandatory three-day quarantine at a hotel at the traveler’s expense; and a further quarantine at home “under significantly increased surveillance” if you test negative, and a forced quarantine at the hotel if you test positive.
Plans are also in place for everyone coming into Canada through the land border with the U.S. to show a negative test before entry.
France Closes Caribbean Islands, French Polynesia to Tourism
The French government has closed the borders of popular destinations Saint-Barthélemy and French Polynesia to tourism, as the rates of new coronavirus variants surge around the world.
No visitors will be allowed to travel to French overseas territories until further notice. This also includes the islands of Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint-Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon.
French Polynesia, home to tropical island favorites Tahiti and Bora Bora, will suspend travel for tourists from all origins until further notice. The government of French Polynesia has not put an end date to their tourism closure.
Travelers currently in French Polynesia whose return is scheduled during the first week of closure can end their stay normally. But beyond that, “it is advisable to contact your airline to check your flight schedule,” the notice said.
The islands will still allow essential visits, including for health, work, or family purposes. Those who do come will have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test from within 72 hours of their departure and complete a self-test four days after arriving in the country.
Canada Extends Cruise Ban for One Year, Dealing a Blow to Alaska Season
In a huge blow to the Alaska cruise season, the government of Canada extended its cruise ship ban for one year, until Feb. 2022.
The prohibition bans cruise vessels carrying more than 100 people from operating in Canadian waters. The order also prohibits passenger vessels carrying more than 12 people from entering Arctic coastal waters.
Unless the U.S. gives cruise ships relief from the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA), which mandates that foreign-flagged ships call on at least one foreign port on any US itinerary, the ruling would effectively end any hope for large ship cruising in Alaska this summer.
Large ships operating in Alaska come under the jurisdiction of both Canada and the U.S., and cruises either begin, end, or call in Vancouver and Victoria as part of Alaska itineraries.
The late summer Canada/New England season is also unlikely to operate unless by then the order is rescinded based on improving conditions.
Princess Cruises Introduces Sports Betting at Sea
Passengers sailing on Princess Cruises now will be able to place real-time sports bets while sailing.
Princess Cruises’ Ocean Sportsbook, available on the cruise line’s Medallion Class ships, will give bettors the opportunity to wager on a variety of sports including professional and college football, basketball, baseball, and hockey.
Passengers can log into the Medallion Class app and wager on games while ships are in international waters, or wherever else gambling is legally permitted. They can bet on live events and future games as well. Princess says it is the first cruise line to offer this option to passengers.
Ocean Sportsbook will be available on all Princess Medallion Class-enabled ships when they return to service. The app can be used from anywhere onboard, not just from the casino. Ocean Sportsbook fits in with the line’s existing Ocean Casino app that allows passengers to play games such as slots, poker, blackjack, and bingo digitally.
Because of parent company Carnival Corporation’s affiliation with the Miami Heat, passengers can’t bet on NBA games involving the team.
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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: Travelmarket Report, Travel Weekly, Cruise Critic, Sunny Land Tours