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Destinations

US Virgin Islands to Reopen June 1

The U.S. Virgin Islands will reopen to leisure travelers on June 1, the territory announced Tuesday.

Commissioner of Tourism Joseph Boschulte said the destination is finalizing public health and tourism protocols to ensure a safe return for visitors. While the islands are preparing to welcome guests back in less than a week’s time, a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic will remain in effect through July 11.

The Department of Tourism has rolled out a comprehensive guide called the “Health and Safety Guidelines for the USVI Tourism Industry” for tourism stakeholders that include proper procedures for operating reception and concierge facilities; cleaning and housekeeping; managing dining rooms and providing technical and maintenance services.

The document, which will be updated frequently, also includes specific guidance for taxi, van, safari and limo services, restaurants, bars and hotels.

“Over the past several weeks, we have been building COVID-19 mitigation and response capacity, and preparing protocols to protect the health and safety of residents and visitors alike,” said Boschulte in a statement accompanying the announcement. “We did not want to rush to reopen in reaction to what other destinations are doing. Instead, we have engaged in data-driven, risk-based analysis, in conjunction with the Virgin Islands Department of Health and federal guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other stakeholders.”

Boschulte also pointed out that the demand for travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands has remained strong in the months since the destination was forced to close its borders due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“Throughout the pandemic, we were greatly encouraged by the outpouring of support and expressions of desire from friends around the world to travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands,” he added. “Even though COVID-19 caused us to temporarily close our doors, our hearts remained open. We now look forward to welcoming travelers back to their home away from home.”

The U.S. Virgin Islands will be among the first Caribbean destinations to reopen in the wake of COVID-19, with Puerto Rico recently relaxing some restrictions on beaches, restaurants and other amenities. Saint Lucia will also begin welcoming visitors back next week.

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Destinations

Could US Virgin Islands See Tourism Boost if New Marijuana Bill Passes?

U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Albert Bryan, Jr. resubmitted a revamped version of his proposed U.S. Virgin Islands Medicinal Cannabis Patient Act, which would enable travelers 21 and older to purchase marijuana in the destination.

While medical marijuana has been legal in the USVI since January 2019, government delays have hindered its implementation, according to Vibe High.

The revised act would be used to generate funds for the USVI’s Government Employees Retirement System (GERS) while also helping to jumpstart the economy when the coronavirus is suppressed.

It’s a move that travel agents and advisors have mixed feelings on, but many still see how it would be able to boost tourism if it passes.

“Honestly, the USVI [and other] Caribbean Islands would all benefit from legalizing weed. People are on vacation. They are there to relax. Drinking and weed are the go-to drugs,” said Katie Kapel of Mode Travel Agency. “I am not saying I necessarily agree with that, but that is the reality of legalizing marijuana. I mean, what country wouldn’t benefit from that from a travel and tourism standpoint?”

Ryan Doncsecz of VIP Vacations called the USVI news “all good to me,” adding that it would invariably help travel advisors make more sales while also putting a halt to “arresting people who are pretty much harmless.”

James Berglie of Be All Inclusive had a more tempered view. “I think overall our society is becoming more accepting of pot,” he said. “I don’t think it really has a big impact on where people choose to vacation, though. As we all know, in any destination just about any drug is fully available to those who will make it a priority to find them if they really want them.”

Sarah Kline of Time for Travel was more enthusiastic about the news. “I think legalizing marijuana in the USVI would be an enormous boost to that region. I live in Maryland where basically pot is legal and we have many clients ask about destinations that allow pot,” she said. “I’ve arranged trips for clients to Colorado and Alaska based on pot tourism. Jamaica is our No. 1 destination and for many, being able to buy and consume pot there is the big draw.”

In 2015, Jamaica approved a marijuana decriminalization law. Possession of two ounces or less is no longer considered an offense for which a person can be arrested, charged and tried in court.

Meanwhile, under the revised U.S. Virgin Islands Medicinal Cannabis Patient Act, adult-use permits of $25 would be required, and adult-use permit holders would not be permitted to grow cannabis.

Medical Cannabis Dispensaries would be allowed to sell no more than seven grams of medical cannabis, three grams of medical cannabis concentrate or 500 milligrams of medical cannabis products per day to non-residents.

For residents, the requirements would be one ounce of medical cannabis, 10 grams of medical cannabis concentrate or 2,000 milligrams of medical cannabis products.

“Consideration of this proposed bill is exigent given that the principal benefit of the revenues derived from [it] are directed to assisting the stoppage of the hemorrhaging of the GERS,” Bryan said, noting that 75 percent of the funds would be distributed GERS.

“It is also important that we utilize the present time while we are putting our economy back together in readiness for the post-COVID pandemic environment, to put this revenue mechanism in place,” he said.

All things considered, destinations that have legalized or decimalized cannabis are developing lucrative revenue streams from marijuana tourism—a case in point being Colorado.

For agents and advisors, the burgeoning marijuana tourism industry is a viable way in which to increase their revenues as well.

Arguably, it’s a win-win for travel advisors and destinations alike.

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Destinations

Bahamas Targeting July 1 to Resume International Travel

The Bahamas is targeting July 1 in its latest plans to reopen its borders for travel.

“We are looking at a possible date for commercial travel on or before July 1 of this year,” Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced. “These dates may change depending on the circumstance. I want to repeat, however, that this date is not final.”

“It will be adjusted if we see a deterioration of the COVID-19 infection trends or if we’ve determined that the protocols and procedures are not in place sufficiently to warrant this opening,” added Minnis.

The Bahamas is entering phase 2 of its reopening strategy, with the fifth and final stage allowing its to resume international travel and tourism operations.

“Our resorts, our airports and our seaports are finalizing the health and safety protocols that will be necessary for us to provide for a re-opening,” said Minnis. “Taking into account what is being done within the region and around the world, these extensive guidelines will be designed to provide for reasonable assurance that travel and leisure are generally safe. Any such reopening to commercial-scale traffic will also be dependent on the ongoing stabilization of the COVID-19 outbreak in the Bahamas.”

The Prime Minister also announced plans for a COVID-19 travel card that will be used to facilitate domestic travel throughout the islands. The administration has relaxed restrictions on more Family Islands, permitting the resumption of commercial activity on Cat Island, Long Island, Abaco and Andros. However, Exuma, San Salvador and Eleuthera are still awaiting the green light.

Elsewhere in the Caribbean, officials in Saint Lucia recently announced plans to begin reopening the island’s tourism industry in phases starting on June 4.

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Destinations

Hawaii governor plans to extend quarantine through June 30

Via live broadcast on Facebook, Hawaii Gov. David Ige announced May 14 his intention to extend both the state’s “safer-at-home” regulations and mandatory 14-day quarantine for all arrivals to the Islands through the end of June. 

While there are plans to gradually loosen restrictions on businesses and some activities, Ige and other state and county officials announced, much of the system put in place to restrict the spread of Covid-19 in the Aloha State will remain in place for at least another six weeks. 

The governor said he would be looking at ways to reopen “medium risk” businesses, including hair salons, barber shops and indoor dining at restaurants. 

“The next round of businesses deal with more risky activity, and so I’m working with the mayors to establish policies of how to move forward in that regard,” Ige said, while adding that he is not yet prepared to allow large gatherings. 

As of March 14, Hawaii had 637 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 17 deaths, and more than 90% of the infected people have been released from isolation, according to the state health department. The last time the agency reported double-digit new confirmed infections in a single day was April 18, and the rate of new cases in Hawaii appears to be steadily declining.

Since March 26, everyone arriving in the Aloha State has been subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine at their home or accommodation. Violators can be fined up to $5,000 and face up to a year in jail.

Retail stores on Oahu started reopening May 15 with social distancing guidelines, and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said during a May 14 press conference he would also extend the general stay-at-home order for the county through June 30 while moving to allow more activities and lifting some restrictions on restaurants. Caldwell suggested restaurants could reopen as soon as June 5 depending on the state’s progress in containing the pandemic after retail businesses return.

“If there is an uptick and it’s significant, we have time to adjust and recalibrate whether we open up restaurants or not,” Caldwell said.

There will be new health requirements in place for restaurants, including face coverings for employees and diners when they are not eating, seating placed 6 feet apart, more single-use materials, increased sanitization and other procedures. Caldwell is also moving to incrementally ease restrictions on outdoor sports, drive-in and religious services, and other activities in the coming weeks.

At times, dueling regulations from the counties and state have caused confusion; for example, over what activities are allowed at beaches, which are currently only open to access the ocean or for exercise. Caldwell said he would ask Ige to fully reopen state beaches, while the governor said he would work to come up with cohesive guidelines with county officials. 

“I’ve told the mayors that my intention is to extend the safer-at-home mandate through the end of June. We will be looking at different components of what that means,” Ige said in his Facebook live announcement. “Certainly we will be extending the 14-day mandatory quarantine for all travel into the state until the end of June, but there are other businesses and activities that we’ll look at reopening.”

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Holiday

5 reasons to take a family safari after COVID-19 – A Luxury Travel Blog

All across the world, people have experienced fundamental changes in their lives due to the COVID-19 outbreak.  We have been plunged into a new ‘normal’ that, for most of us, is very different from what we were used to. These shifts in our lifestyles have made us realize how much we may have taken things for granted, including the freedom to travel into wild places freely and safely.

Chances are that by now you and the family have already adapted and settled into your new daily routines. The many platforms from which to travel virtually allow us to imagine we are somewhere other than our living rooms, at least for a while. But the entertainment of armchair safaris can only last so long and no number of wildlife documentaries can prepare you for the exhilarating experience of being in the African bush.

So, once this pandemic abates – because, yes, this too shall pass in time – and the lifting of travel bans makes regional and international holidays with your family safe again, there is good reason to head to the wilderness to revel in the wide open spaces and a refreshed perspective. In fact, we have found at least five reasons to take a family safari in Africa once COVID-19 is over.

Connect deeply with nature

Considering what we know about the consequences of trading and selling wildlife for human consumption – highlighted once again by a coronavirus outbreak – the emphasis on truly valuing and respecting nature is important now more than ever. Cultivating a sense of wonder and appreciation for the natural environment and the myriad wildlife that rely on it has always been one of the effortless outcomes of a safari, for both adults and children.

An immersive experience in nature can reignite imagination and creativity, giving you a fresh pair of eyes with which to take in a new place. Discovering the unexpected wonders of the bush helps to cultivate an inquisitive mind for adults as well as children, who are often already naturally interested and curious. Going on safari offers you and the family a special chance to really reawaken your senses by connecting with nature, yourselves and each other.

Make a positive difference

One of the sectors across the world most hard hit by the pandemic is travel and tourism. Tragically, millions of people have lost their jobs almost overnight and there has been a huge decrease in funding for wildlife conservation and community empowerment work. This is because a large part of the resources come from guest visits to the national parks and game reserves as well as the safari camps and lodges.

The vAcuum of funds resulting from local and international travel bans  – all completely understandable and necessary – means fewer rangers on the ground to patrol parks and reserves, leaving Africa’s endangered species highly vulnerable to poaching and theft for the illegal wildlife trade. Communities are left without the support that helps them manage both economically and socially, which if relating to healthcare, is a major concern during this time. So choosing to take your family on a safari after COVID-19, means contributing to these projects that are critical to the survival of the continent’s animal and human communities.

See the bigger picture

Whether it is learning about a different culture to yours and beginning to see the world through the eyes of others, or observing wild animals in their natural habitat where they should be, these are experiences that remind you that there is more to life than your everyday routine. They wake you up by offering a perspective that is possibly different and broader to that which you are used to.

Without being able to escape even into our own area’s countryside currently, we have realized how much we miss and need nature in our lives. The stories of animals taking their own journeys into the now quiet towns and cities reminds us who our other ‘neighbours’ are. Being in the remote wilderness on an African safari is an excellent way to expose your kids to the inter-connectedness of nature, wildlife and humans, whilst also enjoying some downtime together as a family.

Build resilience

During a time when we have been socially distanced from each other, we have still connected with our loved ones in other ways. As the world navigates this difficult experience collectively, we have all firmly become citizens of the global community. The acts of joyful creativity and deep compassion that have been shared in various ways across the world have shown us how powerful shared experiences can be in building resilience and support for each other.

If you have never visited an African country or been on a safari in the wilderness, doing so might be asking you and your family to step out of your comfort zone. Taking the leap and doing so, however, is so worth it as it will help build your and perhaps more importantly your children’s courage, resilience and ability to adapt to challenging circumstances. Something that they and you are already familiar with having gone through this current life-altering experience.

Celebrate life fully

Going on a safari as a family is a transformative experience. Spending time in a famed destination like the Maasai Mara in Kenya teaches you about celebrating life and living it to the full. After months of various limitations that have affected many aspects of our lives, the days spent tracking big cats on game drives, floating over wildebeest-covered plains in a hot air balloon, and being led through the bush on foot by red-robed Maasai warriors, will be nothing short of epic.

The wilderness becomes a huge outdoor classroom with the bush guides being some of the most inspiring and insightful teachers you and your children will ever have. Whether out on an adventure in the safari vehicle or learning on foot about the language of the bush from those that know it best, the entire family will be kept enthralled and engaged throughout a safari. It is also a time where the family can find beauty, tranquility and joy in nature together.

Bust myths of Africa

Unfortunately, when it comes to Africa, misconceptions and generalizations have long been perpetuated to the public through media and popular culture. These stereotypical representations are not only unfair but lack factual evidence. It is worth visiting a country or region of this continent to really understand just how incredibly multi-faceted it is.

Geographically, the landscapes within countries and across regions are so diverse and are reflective of the habitats and inhabitants of the ecosystems that fill them. There are dozens of independent nations, each one with a completely different history, culture, cuisine and identity. The cultural nuances, international influences and immense environmental diversity is best experienced up-close.

If journeying into the Africa bush piques your family’s interest, particularly during this time of being cooped up indoors for the most part of each day, then consider a safari for your post-COVID-19 holiday together.

Calvin Cottar is Director and Owner at Cottar’s 1920s Safaris. Cottar’s 1920s Safaris is an award-winning luxury 1920s safari camp and private bush villa located in the famous ‘seventh’ natural wonder of the world, the Maasai Mara in Kenya, and owned and managed by the oldest established and continuing safari family in Africa.

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Travel

Ovation to Offer Special Care Kits to Its Travelers

WHY IT RATES: Ovation is hoping to provide travelers with a peace of mind as they embark on future trips. —Codie Liermann, Associate Editor

While many states are removing or reducing stay-at-home orders to re-open their economies, Ovation Travel Group is revealing today that it is prepping special care amenity kits designed to enhance the safety of its travelers once they resume their travels.

As one of the largest independently owned travel management and luxury leisure travel companies headquartered in the U.S., Ovation will offer “Standing with You” kits that include a variety of essential health care items. At the time of booking, Ovation’s corporate and leisure clients may request the complimentary kits.

“Maintaining the trust of our clients has never been more critical, so in our efforts to assuage their concerns about their health and safety as much as possible, ‘Ovation: Standing with You’ amenity kits will enhance their peace of mind when they get back on the road,” explained Paul Metselaar, Chairman and CEO of Ovation Travel Group.

“While travel will not come back overnight, we are already seeing demand increase among some of our clients. They are not only scrutinizing how the airlines and hotels are working to mitigate health risks, but they are seeking our counsel on their best options. Yet, we want to go one step beyond in our efforts by providing them with complimentary kits that will increase their safety while helping reduce their stress and anxiety.”

According to Metselaar, “Ovation: Standing with You” kits will include:

—Face mask.

—Hand sanitizer.

—Disinfecting wipes.

—Tissues.

—Thermometer.

“While no one can ever fully anticipate every possible scenario a traveler will face during his or her journey, we are always here for our clients from the time they book their travel until the time they return safely home,” noted Metselaar. “The health and safety of our clients is always our number one priority. We hope that our ‘Ovation: Standing with You’ kits will help our clients feel safer and more secure.”

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Cruises

Crisis nearly derailed plan to sell agency

Don and Karen Wood, the owners of Gold Key Travel in Longmont, Colo., were ready to retire and sell their agency this year. The husband-and-wife team have worked at the agency — founded by Don’s mother, the late Muriel “Mitzi” Wood, in 1966 — since 1979.

Their son Eric, the agency’s president, told them in February that after 11 years at Gold Key, he wanted to pursue a different path. Don and Karen both turn 65 this year. They planned on retiring anyway, so selling Gold Key seemed like the natural decision. A few agencies in Colorado were interested.

“And then March hit, and then everything changed,” Don Wood said.

Covid-19 caused a virtual halt to travel. It also halted Gold Key’s discussions with potential buyers. Negotiations hadn’t yet begun, Don Wood said. He and his wife thought they would take their time with the sale. With a number of larger groups on the books, it was going to be the agency’s biggest year ever, a good one in which to sell.

But the potential buyers were grappling with layoffs and focusing on their own agencies, he said, so adding to an already complex situation with an acquisition didn’t make sense.

Here’s how to meet legal and business obligations if you decide to close up shop.

And on top of that, none of Gold Key’s 15 current employees were interested in taking over the agency.

The Woods decided to send a notice to their database of 4,000 that they would retire and Gold Key’s doors would close. They started to look for options for their employees who wanted to continue selling travel, like affiliating with a host.

“But then, when word got out, some people approached us that they were interested in buying the agency, and that’s where we stand now,” Don Wood said.

The potential buyers, which include a young couple, have experience owning small businesses. Don Wood said he believes they will have a successful career at Gold Key. He also said now is an especially good time for them to get into the business: With the halt in travel, they can spend time getting up to speed and learning the industry.

He also believes when travel does return, the industry in general will benefit from a huge amount of pent-up demand — demand he is pleased his family’s travel agency will be able to fulfill for its community.

“It’s kind of what I’ve always dreamed of,” Don Wood said. “We came in as quite young people in our 20s. It’s just been a wonderful business and lifestyle. We really appreciate all the benefits that we’ve gotten from this business.”

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Destinations

Now, you can drive to Kailash Mansarovar from New Delhi

New Delhi: India is completing the first road connectivity to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in Uttarakhand to ensure smooth ride of pilgrims to Kailash Mansarovar, the Ministry of Defence said on Friday.

The Border Road Organisation (BRO) completed the 80 km stretch connecting Ghatiabgarh and Lipulekh on April 17. After the trials were successful, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh opened the road by video conferencing on Friday.

“Delighted to inaugurate the Link Road to Mansarovar Yatra today. The BRO achieved road connectivity from Dharchula to Lipulekh (China Border) known as Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra Route. Also flagged off a convoy of vehicles from Pithoragarh to Gunji through video conferencing,” Rajnath Singh tweeted.

He also said that the BRO team has done “tremendous work in the recent years and played a significant role in connecting the border areas”. The road will also help in troops movement to the LAC.

The road ends at the 17,000 feet high Lipulekh pass. From there, Mount Kailash is located around 97 km north of the pass in Tibet. The Lipulekh pass, close to the Tri-junction of India-China-Nepal, is the lowest point in this section of the high Himalayas.

A senior Defence Ministry official said that with the construction of the road, pilgrims can travel to Lipulekh from Delhi in two days. The distance from Delhi to Lipulekh is 750 km.

Interestingly, the major travel would be in India — 84 per cent — and only 16 per cent in China.

The 80 km Ghatiabgarh-Lipulekh section has been made under the directions of the China Study Group (CSG) and it is funded by the Indo-China Border Road (ICBR).

The road was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) in 2005 at a cost of Rs 80.76 crore. In 2018, the CCS approved a revised cost of Rs 439.40 crore.

This route will reduce the usual travel time for the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra by some six days.

The other route for the yatra via Sikkim is 2,780 km. It involves taking a flight to Bagdogra (1,115 km from Delhi), thereafter 1,665 km of road travel, including 1,490 in China.

Another existing route is via Nepal. It involves taking a flight to Kathmandu in Nepal, 1,150 km from Delhi, and thereafter a combination of two flights with road travel (1,940 km total) or two flights and one helicopter sortie (755 km) or total road travel from Nepal (840 km). The distance excludes 43 km on foot in China.

The new route via Uttrakhand will reduce a lot of time for the pilgrims. It would be the shortest and cheapest route and also one fifth distance of road travel as compared to the other routes.

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Holiday

5 things to eat in Vietnam (and one you might not want to) – A Luxury Travel Blog

Part of being an adventurous traveler is getting out of your comfort zone, trying new things, and embracing the fact that you may not find the foods or creature comforts that you are used to. It’s hard to be completely immersed in a new culture without sampling the cuisine, and in Vietnam, you’ll want to try everything, trust me. If you only try the first 5 dishes on this list, you’ll have a good sampling of the delicacies Vietnam has to offer, and if you are adventurous enough to try #6, you’ll have earned bragging rights!

Spring rolls

This classic Vietnamese appetizer is on every lunch and dinner menu. Fresh, cold spring rolls (goi cuon) consist of pork or shrimp and vegetables that are tightly wrapped in rice paper (banh trang). The fried version, cha gio, may look similar to an egg roll from your local Chinese restaurant but are SO. MUCH. BETTER. We learn to make spring rolls on our tour’s cooking class, which begins in a bustling market. We learn about the different uses of fresh noodles and how to recognize the freshest ingredients, and we end with a feast of our own making.

Pho

The famous noodle soup is traditionally eaten for breakfast but can be found on restaurant menus for every meal. Rice noodles and broth make up the base while beef or chicken and herbs add to the flavor. The types of noodles and herbs vary depending upon the region, so you can have two very different but equally delicious phos in Ho Chi Minh City in the south and in Hanoi in the north.

Cao lau

This rice noodle dish is native to central Vietnam’s Hoi An city. What makes it so special is that the noodles are made from rice soaked in lye water, which gives a distinct taste that can’t be replicated elsewhere in Vietnam or abroad. Meat (typically pork), bean sprouts, and various herbs & greens make up the rest of the dish.

Banh mi

Banh mi is the Vietnamese word for bread, but it’s used to refer to a sandwich that consists of a baguette (there’s that French influence!) filled with meat, vegetables, and herbs. This might not sound like anything to write home about, but this is a special sandwich that many people go bananas for. There is a famous banh mi shop in Hoi An (reportedly featured on one of Anthony Bourdain’s TV shows), make sure you make a reservation because the line is usually out the door.

Egg coffee

Coffee was introduced into Vietnam supposedly in 1857 by a French Catholic priest. The Vietnamese proceeded to enthusiastically embrace the drink, and coffee shops are everywhere in the country. Coffee beans are grown in Vietnam in the central highlands, and apparently, Vietnam is the second largest producer of coffee in the world. The Vietnamese have created two coffee oddities—weasel coffee and egg coffee. The controversial and expensive weasel coffee is made from coffee beans that have passed through a weasel’s digestive system intact, then collected from the weasel poo, cleaned (obviously) and roasted. Many think this process produces a smoother and more aromatic taste. Egg coffee, however, is more affordable, appealing (in my opinion), and doesn’t involve any animal exploitation. Egg yolk and sweetened condensed milk are mixed in to produce a thick, sweet drink. Our guide also took us to a famous coffee shop in Hanoi to try their egg coffee. I thought it was delicious, and I don’t drink coffee!

Crickets

While not a part of North American diets, in many places in the world, including Vietnam, insects are consumed as a wonderful source of protein. There are cricket farms open to the public where you can see how these critters are rasied and, if you’re so inclined, taste some deep friend ones. As you might expect, they are super crunchy!

Matt Holmes is the Founder & President of Boundless Journeys. Boundless Journeys is an award-winning tour operator that goes off the beaten path for immersive and authentic travel experiences.

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Cruises

Carnival using ships to bring home its workers

Carnival Cruise Line will send nine ships to points around
the world to repatriate more than 10,000 crew members. The employees remain
onboard due to global travel restrictions that have limited their flight
options. 

Sister brands Princess Cruises, Holland America Line and
Seabourn are also repatriating crew by sailing them home.

The Carnival Spirit, Splendor and Panorama are already en
route to the Philippines and Indonesia or awaiting clearance to debark crew there.
Other ships will sail to South America, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Panama,
East Asia, South Africa and India.

Carnival said 18 ships that have been at various U.S.
homeports will rendezvous in the Bahamas over the next several days as final
plans are put in place for the journeys. Carnival will move crew from ship to
ship using water shuttles off the coast of the Bahamas.  

Carnival said all 10,000 crew members have undergone a health
check and declared fit for travel by Carnival’s medical team. They have had
their temperature taken daily and will do so again during the debarkation
process.

Prior to Carnival’s operations pause that started on March
13, its fleet of 27 ships had nearly 29,000 crew members — 10,000 have already
repatriated via flights. Another 6,000 will be repatriated by air charters or
on the three ships that already departed. 

“Given the pause in our operations, we are committed to
getting our crew members safely home to their families,” Carnival president Christine
Duffy said in a statement. “We sincerely thank them for their hard work,
patience and understanding during this process.”

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