Friday, January 29, 2021

Travel's future: COVID makes a huge gash in industry. What's next?

 

While hundreds of cruise ships have been docked in 2020, there's good news for smooth sailing
on the horizon for 2021.  Many lines plan to return to the seas, with many changes.

WHEN WILL WE FLY AND CRUISE AGAIN? TRAVEL INDUSTRY GEARS UP WITH NEW REGULATIONS IN THE STORMS OF COVID 

STORY By CHRISTENE MEYERS
PHOTOS By BRUCE KELLER
Airline passengers will find new distanced seating protocol
and masking, during the entire flight.


THE TRAVEL industry has suffered a mighty blow these past 11 months. Slowly, in parts of the world, ships are returning to the high seas.
Airlines are beginning to schedule more flights, with strict health regulations.
Beginning this week, on Jan. 26, U.S. airlines began to require a negative COVID-19 test or documentation of recovery for all incoming international travelers, including U.S. citizens.
America's leading cruise lines have battened down the hatches due to COVID and many are not sailing mid-to-late 2021. Some lines have sold off old ships which are resurfacing in small new cruise lines. 
Lovers of cruising will find fewer options and
more limited ports of call in the next year.

President  Joseph Biden on Monday reinstated the COVID travel restrictions that our former president lifted  on non-US citizens who have been in Brazil, Ireland, the United Kingdom and much of Europe.
Biden also extended the restrictions to travelers who have recently been to South Africa.
SO WHAT does all this mean for the millions of us feeling travel deprived?
Fliers will find their wings clipped, with more safety regulations both prior to boarding and once checked in.  Cruising -- locked down in North America and much of the rest of the world -- will likely not make a serious comeback until late-2021. Many older ships have been sold off and the "new cruise future" will offer fewer options, less shore excursions and tight rules on touring.
Keller and Cookie enjoy a promenade aboard Queen Elizabeth.
   
The long-awaited return of the ships will begin slowly in late April, and continue through summer and into autumn and winter as the vaccine programs continue and people feel more confident to set sail again.
POLICIES are changing frequently and dramatically, so savvy travelers are planning ahead and checking the fine print. Know the rules before you go. If you're cruising, don't plan to venture off on your own. That's become risky, particularly in foreign countries.
Royal Caribbean saw an overwhelming response to its trial sailings but canceled all departures through the end of April, with the exception of sailings out of Singapore and China. The line began limited sailings out of Singapore for Singapore residents only on Dec. 1.
A cruise ship anchors off the coast of Malta.
CUNARD canceled all departures through mid-May with Queen Victoria scheduled to return to service on May 17. Sailings on Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth are canceled through May 28 and June 4, respectively. The venerable old line also halted sales for cruises eight days or longer that include a call at a U.S. port through November.
Crystal canceled its river voyages until late April and its ocean cruises into June. he line also has delayed the debut of its sleek new expedition ship, Crystal Endeavor, until mid-September.
OCEANIA, NORWEGIAN, Regent and many other lines have canceled sailings through the end of April and Regent scratched its long awaited world cruise for 2021.
A cruise ship pulls into a berth in Skagway, Alaska, which
will not see a return of the full season's cruising until 2022.
Princess has canceled sailings through May 15. The line has canceled cruises in Japan through June 26.
While we travelers are anxious to get back out on the water, we are also aware of the dangers and would rather be safe than sorry. So we wait.
Many of us have canceled trips to favorite Greek Isles and other enticing Mediterranean locales. We've postponed vacations to Ireland, Norway, Iceland, Russia, Chile, Brazil and the Far East.
MANY LINES have canceled or postponed their Alaska 2021 seasons. Several are still touting roundtrip cruises from Vancouver and Seattle  


to Alaska, hoping to be able to make port visits in Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan. Carnival Freedom is still scheduled to make its roundtrip voyages to Alaska from Seattle beginning April 27, 2021. Cunard Line cancelled its planned 2021 Alaska season last June, opting instead to redeploy its 2,081-passenger Queen Elizabeth on voyages from the UK
 While a majority of Americans -- 53 percent-- would wait to take a cruise until it was safe, 11 percent said they would probably sail again right away and 23 percent said they would sail as soon as possible. 
American Cruise Lines with its all-domestic ports and routes will offer "premium, personalized services" with reduced capacities, sanitation touch points and assurance of responsible precautions to prevent the spread of COVID.
  For more:  latecruisenews.com; cruiseindustrynews.com; cunard.com; celebritycruises.com; royalcaribbean.com


Actors Jeff Kober, left, and Wally Kurth share
a moment in the "General Hospital" studios.
UP NEXT: Two Montana born actors are entertaining faithful fans on television's "General Hospital," one of history's longest running and most popular soap operas.  Wally Kurth and Jeff Kober didn't realize each was from Montana until friends told them -- and they met and even shared scenes on the set of the popular melodrama. Created in 1963, the storylines intersect and spin off with every manner of twist and turn. For a fun read about two talented men and their different paths to the long-running soap opera, tune in next week. Meanwhile, explore, learn and live and catch us Fridays for a fresh look at the arts, nature, travel, family, health and more: whereiscookie.com

 









 

 


3 comments:

  1. Tennessee TravelersJanuary 29, 2021 at 9:22 AM

    Even with all the postponements, your update gives us hope!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great to see travel making a comeback!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Cincinnati CruisersJanuary 31, 2021 at 9:04 AM

    We're so anxious to be traveling again, but as you suggest, it will be a while and we must all be patient. Thanks for the encouragement.

    ReplyDelete