Covid Travel Update: August 2021
It’s August 2021, and we thought it was time for a Covid travel update.
As you might imagine, we have a front-row seat to the worldwide travel reopening.
And not only that, Carol and I have hopped in the ring (if you will) with our personal journeys to Cabo San Lucas, a few long weekend resort getaways with family in California, and next month we are headed to Bermuda.
Further, Joan and her husband will soon be headed to Portugal to enjoy a river cruise with our friends at AmaWaterways.
Are Cruises and Land Journeys Still Getting Canceled?
The top news story these days seems to be about the Delta Variant.
And because of this, we’ve been getting a fair number of calls asking if cruises and land journeys are again being canceled. Further, all of this talk about the Delta Variant is causing worry in the traveling public.
First of all, we want you to know that we are not seeing cancelations as a result of the Delta Variant. With vaccination numbers above 50% here in the U.S. and even greater in Europe, the Delta Variant seems to be primarily a danger for the unvaccinated.
According to this article from the CDC, more than 163 million Americans have been vaccinated and the number of reported vaccine breakthrough cases currently stands at 6,587. That is .00004041%.
So while we hate to see even one breakthrough case, the simple fact of the matter is that the vaccines are doing their job. Further, in the very few breakthrough cases that we are aware of, the symptoms have been very minimal.
We’ve had scores of clients traveling abroad since the beginning of June when cruise lines began sailing first in Iceland.
Since the first of our clients sailed with Viking, here is what they reported:
- Viking has a PCR lab on each of its ocean ships
- A full vaccination is required to sail with Viking
- A PCR test is given prior to boarding
- A PCR test is given each and every morning to all guests and crew. This happens with a simple saliva test and you hang a vial on your stateroom door to be collected every morning.
- Every passenger is required to carry a contact-tracing device on their person while sailing with Viking.
- If a Covid case were to be found, the infected person is put into isolation and retesting occurs with all of the folks that your contact-tracing device shows that you came into close proximity with.
- Further, the deep-cleaning is performed on the ship on an ongoing basis. You can read more about this at this link.
- To further guard against the virus, the ship is in constant communication with each of the countries and ports that you may visit. If there is a concern with infection in a particular port, you may be required to mask up and stay in the Viking bubble onshore.
While there have been a few bumps along the way during this reopening, our client’s feedback forms have been very positive. They felt safe. They felt like the cruise line was protecting them from harm. And most of all, they were all very happy to be traveling again.
Further, I feel confident that as the vaccination rates continue to increase, we’ll begin to see the coronavirus become less of a problem in our daily lives.
You know, the State Department’s travel warnings have always been a bit of a conundrum to me.
For example, the State Department currently warns against travel to Antarctica with a Level 4 DO NOT TRAVEL warning.
What, we’ve going to get Covid from a penguin?
So, while I think it is important to be informed, I take these warnings with a grain of salt and force myself to do a little more due diligence on my destination.
The State Department recently put a Level 4 travel warning on Greece. As we have clients currently traveling in Greece, this is what they reported to us:
Here is another report from one of our clients currently traveling France:
“Allo, we have finished the 1st river cruise, on the Rhône, Viking Delling, and are now in a hotel in Avignon before returning to Paris for the Seine cruise. A few thoughts on travel in France, may be of use to other travelers. Or not, things do change almost daily. We are glad that we chose to stay in one country only, we heard some issues from others crossing within Europe. The New York Times yesterday had a really good article on Europe travel, may be of use to you.
As you can see, these two intrepid travelers are glad to be traveling. Sure, there are bumps along the way in the reopening process, but as our second client commented, there are no crowds!
Note: our clients were kind enough to type out these comments from their cell phones. We copied their comments directly with no edits. 🙂
Should I Travel Now?
Some of our clients won’t travel if they have to wear a mask. While others are happy to put up with the inconvenience to explore without all of the crowds.
If you are one that isn’t inclined to roll with a few punches, then book your travel in 2022. However, if you’re willing to be flexible, this is clearly a wonderful time to explore Europe without all of the crowds.
In a few weeks, we’ll be sharing reports from Joan and her husband in Portugal. Stay tuned for that.
For more information about travel during the reopening, please call Roaming Boomers Travel Services at (480) 550-1235 or use our convenient online information request (click here) and we’ll reach out to you.
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