River Cruise Newsletter
Below is a copy of our current river cruise newsletter.
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Please note that the FastDeals are subject to availability and sell out quickly.
Dear Vacations To Go Customer,
This week, I am happy to report that new cases of COVID-19 are plunging
in the U.S. and around the world.
As seen on Worldometers.info, the 7-day moving average of new cases in
the U.S. was 255,311 on January 11 and has fallen by 73% to 69,005 cases
as of February 21. Click
to see current stats and follow in the future.
Similarly, the 7-day moving average of new cases in Canada peaked on
January 9 at 8,885 and has fallen 68% to 2,838 as of February 21. Click
to see Canada's numbers.
The peak and decline began before the rollout of vaccines had any
significant impact, but now nationwide inoculations are contributing to
major progress against the virus.
According to Bloomberg.com, 63.1 million doses have been given in the
U.S. to-date, and last week an average of 1.33 million doses per day
With more vaccine approvals coming soon and the delivery of vaccinations
accelerating, we have every reason to be optimistic about the global
travel industry reopening this year. The exact timing will depend on the
destination and the form of travel, and it is increasingly clear that
some types of travel will require proof of vaccination until the threat
from COVID-19 has substantially subsided.
Four cruise lines have now announced that their guests must be
vaccinated in order to cruise: American Queen Steamboat Company
(AQSC), Victory Cruise Lines, Crystal Cruises
and UK-based Saga
Victory Cruise Lines
sail on rivers, on the Great Lakes and in coastal regions of the U.S.
and their vaccine requirement applies to sailings departing after July
1. Customers who are booked now for a departure after July 1 but who are
unwilling to take a vaccine will receive a refund. Customers who are
unable to receive both doses of the vaccine before their scheduled
sailing can move to a later departure.
in Europe and will require all guests to be vaccinated at least 14 days
before the cruise.
Saga Cruises, which sells exclusively in the UK and caters exclusively
to a 50+ clientele, will also require travelers to be vaccinated at
least 14 days before sailing.
These new policies will enable a safe and prompt return to service for
all four cruise lines. Passengers will not have to worry about catching
COVID-19 onboard and the cruise lines will avoid the costly measures
needed to quarantine and care for passengers infected with COVID-19.
As of today, no other cruise lines have announced a vaccine requirement
for their guests but Norwegian, Regent Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean,
Celebrity and Silversea
have announced that they will require all
crew members to be vaccinated before boarding their ships.
In the escorted tour industry, the Globus family of brands
(Globus, Cosmos, Monograms and Avalon Waterways) announced that all
travelers will be required to provide evidence of a COVID-19 vaccine, a
negative test or virus immunity in order to travel. The new rule goes
into effect for all trips starting in April.
While these developments have given the travel industry reasons to be
optimistic, most cruise lines and tour companies have not yet been able
to announce a firm restart date and travel restrictions in the U.S. and
other countries remain in place. We will let you know in this newsletter
of any breaking news on these fronts.
Finally, in an unexpected move, the Canadian government extended its ban
on most passenger cruise ships to February 28, 2022, apparently ending
the 2021 Alaska and Canada / New England cruise season for mainstream
cruise lines. However, cruise lines have not yet canceled any departures
because they, the state of Alaska and other stakeholders are still
negotiating with Canadian officials in hopes of finding a solution.
While no progress has as of yet been announced, industry experts have
suggested common-sense workarounds such as allowing cruises departing
from Seattle to call on Victoria, Canada without disembarking
passengers, thereby satisfying Canada's COVID-19 health rules while also
enabling these vessels to satisfy the U.S. Passenger Vessel Services Act
requirement that foreign-built cruise ships visit a non-U.S. port before
disembarking passengers in a U.S. port.
Cruise lines are advising guests booked on an Alaska itinerary not to
cancel their cruise until a definitive statement about their cruise is
released by the cruise line. I will let you know when that
Since river cruises are not yet operating, a resort vacation is a great
alternative for customers looking to get away. However, we'd like to
make sure you're aware of the COVID-19 testing requirement that the CDC
recently announced for international travelers.
All travelers ages two and older on international flights to the U.S.
will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test (NAAT or
antigen) taken no more than three calendar days prior to the flight. As
an alternative to a negative test result, travelers may provide proof of
a positive COVID-19 test taken no more than 90 days prior to the flight
and a signed letter from a healthcare provider approving the individual
The required test results or signed letter may be in paper or electronic
format and will be checked at the international airport by airline
personnel. Travelers may also be asked to present this information upon
arrival in the U.S. To see frequently asked questions about this CDC
Travelers who test positive for COVID-19 before the international flight
will be required to quarantine in the destination until they either 1)
receive a negative result from a subsequent COVID-19 test or 2) get a
signed letter from a healthcare provider approving them to travel that
would be used in conjunction with the positive test result.
Of all the international resort destinations we offer,
has been the most convenient option for travelers seeking a sunny
getaway, since last summer. Mexico is still the easiest choice now, as a
wide selection of all-inclusive resort companies there have arranged for
COVID-19 tests to be administered to guests, at no charge, at the hotel.
Many companies are even covering the cost of quarantining at the hotel
(including accommodations, meals and nonalcoholic beverages) if a guest
tests positive. We have compiled a list of companies offering these
helpful programs, and you can view them
Here are this week's Top 10 River Cruises
. All prices are per
person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability.
9 days with American Queen Steamboat Company. Begins and ends in New
Orleans. Save $1,000 per couple, plus receive a free $140 per cabin
Starting at $1,999. Departs April 3 and November 27,
Charms of the South
9 days with American Queen Steamboat Company. Travels between Memphis
and New Orleans. Save up to $3,000 per couple, plus receive a free
$140 per cabin onboard credit.
Starting at $1,999. Departures from
April 17 through December 12, 2021.
The Douro River, the Spirit of Portugal
8 days with CroisiEurope. Begins and ends in Porto. Starting at $2,031.
Departures from October 24 through November 9, 2021.
Venice & the Gems of Northern Italy
8 days with Uniworld Boutique River Cruises. Begins and ends in Venice.
Save up to 30%, plus receive an additional $400 per couple discount.
Save an extra $1,000 per couple off airfare and get a free private car
transfer from the airport to your ship.
Starting at $2,749.
Departures from May 9 through October 17, 2021.
Jewels of the Rhine
8 days with Emerald Waterways. Travels between Amsterdam and Basel.
Fly from $295 per person or save $2,000 per couple. Plus, receive
$250 per couple in additional discounts.
Starting at $2,995.
Departures from June 6 through October 23, 2021.
Colors of Provence
8 days with AmaWaterways. Travels between Avignon and Lyon. Save up
to $1,500 per couple.
Starting at $2,999. Departures from May 20
through December 23, 2021.
8 days with AmaWaterways. Begins in Vilshofen and ends in Budapest.
Save up to $2,000 per couple.
Starting at $3,099. Departures from
May 3 through December 27, 2021.
Paris to Normandy
8 days with Avalon Waterways. Begins and ends in Paris. Fly from $299
per person and save $1,000 per couple.
Starting at $3,399.
Departures from May 4 through November 2, 2021.
Columbia & Snake Rivers
8 days with American Cruise Lines. Travels between Clarkston and
Portland. Save up to $1,200 per couple.
Starting at $4,075.
Departures from April 23 through November 3, 2021.
Gems of the Danube
8 days with Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours. Travels between Budapest and
Nuremberg. Fly for free or save $2,400 per couple. Plus, get $300 per
couple in additional discounts.
Starting at $4,195. Departures from
June 7 through October 13, 2021.
Customers in the US and Canada can call us toll-free at 800-510-4002. For a list of our other toll-free numbers worldwide, click here.
Please e-mail me your comments, suggestions and questions at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will respond the same day.
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