In 2020, the first question asked by our clients is no longer, "Which river should I sail on?" but, "How safe is it to take a river cruise?" While stringent safety and sanitation protocols have always been in place, enhanced procedures have been established to ensure the health and wellbeing of the guests throughout their cruise.
New embarkation procedures offer guests a safe start to their vacation including:
With travel temporarily on pause, we are all searching for ways to fill that void. While we still can’t be on a river cruise to explore the world in person, we can do the next best thing-virtually. After a full day of sightseeing, many passengers head to the lounge for a relaxing Happy Hour before dinner.
So while we are all at home, there’s no reason you can’t indulge your thirst for river cruising by hosting a virtual "Sip 'n' Sail Hour." All you need to do is invite your family, neighbors, and friends to a Zoom, Facebook Live, or other sharing platform to a designated time.
Here are some featured cocktail recipes from river cruise lines. Just assemble the ingredients and imagine you are onboard sipping one of these signature cocktails with fellow passengers.
AmaWaterways Peach Mojitos
· Crushed Ice
· Fresh Mint leaves
· ½ oz Rum
· 1 ½ oz Peach Liquor
· Lime (cut into quarters)
· Sugar to taste (optional)
1. In a tall, sturdy drink glass, combine lime, sugar, and mint leaves.
2. Muddle together the mint and lime to release the mint oils and lime juice. Be sure your muddle is taller than your glass!
3. Once muddled, add crushed ice
4. Top with rum and peach liqueur
5. Stir and sip to taste.
Let me introduce myself: As Vice President of the Cruise Center, as well as being Scooter's husband, I've been very, VERY far in the background of the day to day operations of running our travel business. Mostly, my job is to carry the bags when we go on trips. I'm in an enviable position - receiving the benefits of my professional status in the travel industry, including professional credentials and all the travel perks that come with that, while at the same time avoiding the challenges of day-to-day operations that occupy Scooter's time and attention. The benefits over the years have filled my memory bank to overflowing of so many trips with family and friends to destinations all over the world on sea, land, and rivers.
Many of you have been asking about your upcoming travel plans. I want to assist you with your questions, but first, a few words about more important matters.
We find ourselves in interesting times, where much of the normal functioning of our daily lives seems out of order. However, there are also a great many certainties. While we are all engaged in our various pursuits to earn a living and raise our families, we are also neighbors and friends. We want to say we are here for you. Things will at some point return to normal, we will get on with the routine we sometimes complain about but for which we are now a little nostalgic. Until then, know beyond being your “travel agent,” we are neighbors, friends and family. From questions regarding current travel advisories and restrictions to rescheduling of upcoming trips and much more, your safety is always our top priority. As we move through the next few weeks, be strong and maintain your conviction in those things that have always sustained you, whether that be your faith, your family, your pets, or your own sense of integrity. We will all get through this together.
Last month my husband and I experienced a unique perspective on one of the most exotic regions of the world--the legendary Mekong River Delta with Avalon Waterways. It was an unforgettable intermingling of ancient temples, colorful markets, authentic cultural encounters, and the warm, welcoming spirit of both the onboard staff and Vietnamese and Cambodian people.
Our northbound cruise-tour began in Ho Chi Minh City, still known as Saigon to many. Our stunning hotel, The Reverie Saigon, was our home for the first three nights of the journey.
After a restful night in our spacious hotel room with its spectacular view of the Saigon River and memorable breakfast our group of 25 set off for a classic walking tour entitled Motorbikes, Monuments, and Mouthwatering Cuisine.
Travel solo and connect with new destinations, cultures, and friends. Deciding to travel unaccompanied can be daunting for some. But on a river cruise, there are no unexpected add-ons and there is a Cruise Manager to help with any problem that might arise. Single travelers are especially drawn to the social and casual on-board atmosphere, where it is easy to make friends and bond over the love of exploring new places. All of this, plus the various choices of excursions will help you feel that you can travel solo.
Typically, river cruise pricing is based on two people traveling together in one cabin. When you book select 2020 or 2021 river cruises, the single supplement may be waived or reduced.
A choice of daily excursions, scrumptious dining, beverages, airport transfers, even pre-paid gratuities are included on many river cruise lines. When so much is included, you can leave travel stress and your wallet at home.
1. Six Months Passport Validity Rule
International travelers know a valid passport is required for visiting foreign countries, but did you know that with only six months validity remaining on your passport, it is of limited use? Many popular visa and non-visa destinations require a passport with at least six months validity, without which airlines may not permit boarding and government officials can deny entry upon arrival.
2. Mobile Passport (https://mobilepassport.us/.) This new program, based on a smartphone app, is now in place at 27 airports and four cruise ports~Miami Cruise Port, West Palm Beach Cruise Port, San Juan Cruise Port, and Port Everglades Cruise Port. The app is sponsored by the U. S. Customs and Border Protection (Department of Homeland Security) and by Airport Councils International (an airport association).
Currently, the app works at the following airports as of the day of publication — Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Houston Hobby, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Newark, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Raleigh Durham, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San José, San Juan, Seattle, Tampa, Washington Dulles and West Palm Beach. The updated list can be found on the website as well.
Upon landing, follow the Mobile Passport Control signs, set up your profile for future trips, and use a kiosk for your reentry into the US. It is easy, private, and free.
Profiles can be set up for entire families that contains everyone’s passport numbers and other necessary data. Answer some question about your trip — the same that are asked today. Features:
The best travel values of the year have arrived! Our Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sale features a carefully curated collection of unforgettable travel experiences that you are certain to love.
Are you looking for a hot beach vacation that will satisfy the entire family? We’ve got plenty of them! How about a ski vacation loaded with plenty of fresh powder and over-the-top accommodations? We’ve got those too! And if it’s an unforgettable cruise getaway they’ve been longing for, we can’t wait to show you what we have lined-up especially for you.
The Oberammergau Passion Play, one of Europe’s greatest pageants and tourism draws, is held every 10 years in the German town f Oberammergau. Describing Jesus Christ’s final days, the dramatic performance will be presented 103 times between mid-May and early October of 2020. The most celebrated religious drama in the world will entice the devoted to a charming Bavarian village that honors a commitment townspeople made centuries ago. The Passion Play is a local production, performed entirely by amateur actors who have been residents of the village for 20 years or more.
Have you seen the newly released Downton Abbey? I can verify that the movie was a brilliant extension of the much-loved PBS six-year series that ended in 2015. Viking River Cruises became a household name by sponsoring the Emmy Award-winning television series. Now, Viking is thrilled to announce that the partnership continues their long history with Downton Abbey and their expanded programs with Highclere Castle and the Carnarvon family.
Watch the movie trailer.
Scooter Tessari, MCC, owns The Cruise Center, Inc. in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and operates the website Tasteful Journeys devoted to enrichment vacations with a culinary accent and featuring cruises, tours, and custom designed vacation packages.