It's over a year since Covid-19 locked us down and prevented us from traveling.
Most of us are anxious to get out in the world again to relax, explore and discover new places.
With many people already vaccinated, travel reservations are on the rise with people anxious to see the world again. But even though cruise lines and tour companies are still hoping to begin soon, not all destinations will be open.
Here are some of the best bets for this year.
With Canada closing its borders, many Alaska cruises have already been canceled.
The large ship cruise lines are still hoping to sail this year, but things are looking doubtful because they have to travel through Canadian waters.
However, small ships will still be allowed to sail. Uncruise, American Cruise Lines and American Queen Steamship company are 3 that will be sailing to Alaska this summer. If you prefer big ships with lots of dining and entertainment options, you may want to wait until next year. But if you’d enjoy a more exclusive and personal journey, small ships are for you.
MEXICO AND THE CARIBBEAN
Mexico, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic, as well as other Caribbean islands have been accepting visitors for months. Some require no testing to enter, but you must test before returning to the US. Many resorts have free Covid testing on site. Others require a negative test and special paperwork. Check to make sure venues such as spas and restaurants are up and running. Different islands have different requirements and protocol.
EUROPE CRUISES AND TOURS
Cruises and tours have been cancelled mostly through June. The major cruise lines are hoping to resume Caribbean and European cruises this summer. But European ocean and river cruises may have to continue to pause until borders reopen. The same goes for independent and escorted tours through Europe.
ICELAND- anyone who has been vaccinated again COVID-19 will be allowed to travel to Iceland without being subject to PCR testing and quarantine, and that includes United States citizens starting this month. You must provide proof of full vaccination. If you provide valid proof of prior infection, that will be accepted as well.
MALDIVES- a negative Covid test is required of all visitors and must be done within 96 hours of departure. This must be attached to the Traveler Health Declaration form submitted online within the 24 hours prior to arrival.
FRENCH POLYNESIA- including Tahiti, Bora Bora and Moorea. This is one of the few exotic destinations that opened and accepted tourists very early on in 2020.
They shut down borders in February due to rising infections but hope to reopen again soon. Stay tuned.
EGYPT- you need to present physical proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival. No quarantine for American travelers but there may be some restrictions on travel within the country.
BELIZE-present a negative test taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure.
BRAZIL- they are accepting US citizens who can show proof of a negative test within 72 hours of boarding the plane. However, there is a Level 4 advisory because of the country’s growing number of cases, so I wouldn’t advise it.
SEE THE USA
This is a great time to explore this great country of ours. American Cruise Lines and American Queen Steamship have already started operating on the rivers if you like cruising. Escorted tours are available of many areas of the country including the National Parks, or you can also explore a new destination on your own. Whether you like the action of Vegas or the breathtaking scenery of Sedona, there are options for everyone.
LUXURY CRUISE BARGAIN
Luxury brand Crystal Cruises has just announced 7-night sailings out of Nassau to the Bahamas from July through October. They are requiring all passengers and crew to be vaccinated against Covid and will test throughout the cruise as well.
Health and safety protocol, reduced capacity, and ports that are less populated contribute to the safest way to travel right now. This itinerary is all about the beach, with beach clubs at each port, as well as many opportunities for touring and water adventures such as snorkeling and swimming with the pigs. Starting at $1999 per person for oceanview and $2499 for veranda staterooms, these cruises are all-inclusive, plus they include a $125 shipboard credit. With the highest guest space ratio of any ship cruising the Americas in 2021, this is a great way to try a luxury cruise at a great price in a very safe environment. Space is going quickly, so book soon so you won’t be disappointed. Reservations open now with a refundable deposit not due until April 5.
NOTES FOR TRAVELING THIS YEAR
• Book early as pent-up travel demand is producing record-breaking bookings
• Borders are opening and closing, so make sure to get current information
• Take out travel protection insurance
• Know penalties for cancellations
• Check entry requirements
• Book with a reputable travel agent
• Many ships and destinations will be requiring vaccinations in order to travel so make sure you know the requirements.
For more information on cruises, tours, destinations and entrance
requirements call Diane Ross at Kingsbridge Travel.
813 972-3400 or 877-223-4030