All travel news.

ROUND-UP:Nov. 30-Dec. 4, 2020

Canada extends travel restrictions, Allianz announces virtual care, the latest cruise postponements, and more.

NEWS

Canada has extended the Mandatory Isolation Order and temporary travel restrictions for all travellers seeking entry into Canada from a country other than the US, until Jan. 21, 2021. Travel restrictions for US citizens and foreign nationals arriving from the US remain in place until Dec. 21, and may be extended at that time.

Effective Dec. 15, the British government has laid out a plan to reduce England’s 14-day quarantine requirement for travellers from destinations not deemed safe to as little as five days if they test negative for COVID-19. Travellers can reduce the 14-day quarantine period by paying for a test from a private firm on or after Day 5 of their arrival at a potential cost of around £100. Results normally take a day or two.

CRUISE

Royal Caribbean Group has announced it is further extending the suspension of some sailings as follows:

Royal Caribbean International: Most global sailings suspended through Feb. 28, 2021; Australia sailings through April 30, 2021; Spectrum of the Seas China sailings through Jan. 20, 2021. Quantum of the Seas is resuming service in Singapore.

Celebrity Cruises: All global sailings suspended through Feb. 28, 2021, and South America sailings through April 7, 2021.

• Silversea Cruises: Suspended through April 1, 2021, except for the Feb. 6, 2021 sailing of Silver Origin.

• Azamara: Suspended sailings through March 20, 2021.

Carnival Cruise Line has cancelled all cruises from Miami, Port Canaveral and Galveston through Feb. 28 and is moving the inaugural sailing of Mardi Gras until April 24, 2021.

And… Norwegian Cruise Line has also announced that it is extending cruise cancellations at least until the end of February.

AIR

Starting this month, Air Canada is adding two more Mexico routes options for westerners with flights departing from Calgary. Effective Dec. 18, flights to Puerto Vallarta will operate twice a week on Fridays and Sundays and on Dec. 19, Calgary-Cancun will operate twice a week on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Customers who book return economy tickets to Dubai on Emirates from by Dec. 23 for travel before March 2021 will receive a complimentary one-night stay at the five-star JW Marriott Marquis on their first night in the UAE city. Travellers booked in First and Business Class will receive two complimentary nights’ stay from the day of arrival.

INSURANCE

Allianz Global Assistance has introduced a new Virtual Care service that enables travellers to consult with a doctor in real time via video or tele-conference, accessed through a customer’s mobile device, tablet or laptop; service may include a consultation, medical advice, diagnosis, and issuance of a prescription, which is sent directly to the pharmacy nearest to the patient’s location. Also new is online Claims Portal for an enhanced claims experience.

DEALS

Sunwing is offering up to $2,500 per couple off last-minute holiday escapes departing in January to sun destinations such as Cancun, Punta Cana and Varadero. Bookings must be made by Dec. 18 to qualify for the savings.

For a limited time, travel agents can take advantage of a new “Canadian Resident Offer” with Rocky Mountaineer to entice their clients to book travel for 2021. With this promotion, Canadian residents can save up to $1,400 per couple on qualifying 2021 vacation packages of five days or more or $1,000 per couple on Classic Rail packages. The offer is available until Feb. 26, 2021.

TOURS

Canadian Rockies

For Canadians facing closed borders, the Globus family of brands says it is intent on opening-up opportunities for safe, experiential travel – not across borders or oceans, but across the country. After a successful launch of the “Canadian Rockies Escape” tour in October, two new escape tours – in Canada for Canadians – are being launched by the company: “West Coast Escape” is a five-day excursion to Vancouver and Victoria, while the six-day “Rockies Escape” departs from Edmonton to Jasper and the mountains.

Insight Vacations’ newly released “Europe & Beyond” collection features 120 itineraries and 100 unique experience across Europe, Africa and Asia. New to the collection are “Make Travel Matter Experiences” on 30% of the tours, which aim to advance 11 of the United Nations’ “global goals.” Tour styles include small and private groups and feature a well-being director to ensure safety and hygiene standards. Early-bird discounts apply for bookings and payments made by Dec. 17.

HOTELS

Engleberg, Switzerland, will welcome its first five-star hotel next spring. The Kempinski Palace Engelberg will feature 129 elegant rooms and suites, ample gastronomic choices and a spa and wellness area with infinity pool with a panoramic view over Engelberg. Historical features of the former building dating from 1904 have been preserved.

CHRISTMAS GIFTS

Don’t know what to get someone special for Christmas? A new survey of 1,500 Canadians by Sunwing reveals that 55% would be delighted to receive the gift of a future vacation or travel certificate this holiday season. What’s more, nine in 10 (89%) indicated they would be interested in being gifted an all-inclusive getaway. The survey results suggest 18- to 34-year-olds are most interested in receiving a future travel gift (59%), as are residents of Alberta (64%), BC (58%), and Quebec (57%); among 35- to 54-year-olds, 93% wish for an all-inclusive vacation – the same percentage as Ontarians in general.

ATTRACTIONS & THEME PARKS

Universal Orlando Resort’s “next level” Universal’s Holiday Tour is a specially guided tour filled with exclusive access to holiday experiences across the theme parks. Available on select dates this holiday season, the guided experience will give guests priority access to Universal’s Holiday Experience Featuring Macy’s Balloons, a tour of the first-ever Holiday Tribute Store, meet and greet with The Grinch, an exclusive showing of “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle,” plus a themed gift. The tour is available through Jan. 3 and advanced reservations are required.

FAMS & INCENTIVES

The Canadian sales team for the Jamaica Tourist Board will be playing Santa Claus every day until Dec. 18 by hosting a series of amazing prize giveaways each day on the JTB Canada travel agents Facebook page. Throughout the ‘12 Days of Jammin” Christmas’ contest, Facebook group members will have the chance to win a new round of gifts and goodies each day. There will be 78 prizes in total up for grabs, including retail gift cards, luggage sets, cozy winter essentials, food and drink baskets, and air seats on an exclusive agent FAM trip to the destination.

A trip to Antigua and Barbuda sounds pretty good right about now and a free one would be ever better. For a chance to do, enter the tourist board’s ‘Your Space in the Sun’ Sweepstakes, which offers a prize of free airfare for two and four nights stay in a Diamond suite at the all-inclusive Royalton Resort in beautiful Antigua. The sweepstakes will run until 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 31 and the winner will be chosen at random. Enter HERE.

EVENTS

Dec. 8: The Hawaii Tourist Board, Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations are hosting a webinar to discuss the latest developments in the islands, flight schedules, new entry requirements, and more. The event takes place Dec. 8 at 11 a.m. Register HERE.

PEOPLE/APPOINTMENTS

The Travel Corporation has announced the reorganization of its dedicated Canadian sales team. Representing the Trafalgar, Costsaver and Brendan Vacations Canada brands are the following BDMs: Ken Nickerson – Atlantic Canada, Manitoba, Ontario (Ottawa and Toronto), and Quebec (ken.nickerson@trafalgar.com); Jodine Clement – Alberta, BC, NWT, Saskatchewan and Yukon (jodine.clement@trafalgar.com); and Lora Hamre – Ontario, excluding Ottawa and Toronto (lora.hamre@trafalgar.com).

BY THE NUMBERS

A new gondola from Grindelwald to Switzerland’s Jungfraujoch “Top of Europe” attraction opened Saturday. The Eiger Express runs for 6,480 m. with 58-mm-wide cable at an incline of 1,385 m. and shaves 45 minutes off the journey to the top (now about 90 minutes).

DESTINATIONS
Towering 55 m. above Bayside Marketplace, Skyviews Miami (photo) is an enclosed, climate-controlled gondola ride offering unparalleled views of Biscayne Bay, Bayfront Park, and the Downtown Miami skyline. There are 42 gondolas, including one VIP gondola that features leather bucket seats, a custom LED lightshow, and a glass-bottom floor. The attraction is be open year-round and offers 15-minute rides, or special event rides that can last up to 45 minutes.

This month Germany is celebrating the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven. The German National Tourist Board (GNTB) has produced a series of podcasts to add to the list of activities that form part of its Discover Beethoven campaign. A new episode will be posted online at the campaign’s microsite every week and on Dec. 17, the day of the official anniversary, a compilation of all six episodes will be made available as an audiobook. The six episodes portray the life of the great German composer, humanist and visionary while also highlighting Germany as a travel destination. Check it out HERE.

Send info to baginski@travelindustrytoday.com

 

First published at Travel Industry Today

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