We hope you are having a good week. Hang in there…it feels like we are getting closer to good times!
Finally, there is news on the Air Canada front! As you may already be aware, the Canadian Government has agreed to a loan program, and to buy some shares in AC, protecting jobs, some new plane orders, and allowing for customer refunds to flow. There are stipulations around the refunds – this is what came in from Air Canada today:
Air Canada announced today that eligible customers who purchased a non-refundable ticket for travel on or after February 1, 2020 but did not fly can now obtain a refund from the carrier by submitting a request online or with their travel agent. The revised COVID-19 refund policy covers tickets and Air Canada Vacations packages purchased before April 13, 2021 for flights cancelled either by the airline or by the customer for any reason.
In addition to the expanded refund policy announced today, customers will continue to have the option of accepting a fully transferrable Air Canada Travel Voucher (ACTV) with no expiry date or converting the value of their ticket to Aeroplan points with a 65% bonus. Customers who have already accepted an ACTV or Aeroplan points will have the option to exchange these for a refund to the original form of payment, including for the unused portion of any ACTV issued or in cases where a partial refund was provided.
If your Air Canada flight was booked with CruisePlus, it was likely booked thru a consolidator. We are waiting to hear from them regarding how they expect to handle the refunds.
Timing for refunds to begin to flow and the duration of this process have not been disclosed.
Talks with other airlines are ongoing and we hope they get something settled soon.
In other news…
Florida is suing the CDC to allow cruising to resume immediately. This comes as some of the cruise lines are moving homeports out of the US and general travel restrictions have been loosened for vaccinated travelers, including with carriers where space is limited and there may be close contact during travel. It has been noted that Americans can easily fly to embark on the cruises that are homeporting elsewhere, and pent-up demand is such that some of them are selling incredibly well.
Alaska is reportedly thinking of a similar case against the CDC.
Meanwhile in Canada….we have no idea when or under what conditions our travel advisories may be loosened up. We are all hopeful that vaccines will change this landscape.
On that note, Silversea Cruises, with whom we did a webinar last week, has announced that they will require guests to be fully vaccinated upon their restart. If you missed it, you can see the webinar video here: Click Here
Windstar Cruises has also announced that all guests must be fully vaccinated. Observationally, many guests are also saying that they will not travel unless all guests and crew are fully vaccinated…
Most of us have likely seen coverage of La Soufriere, the volcano on St. Vincent, erupting. With incredible gusto…wow! The volcano had been dormant since 1979, and is still acting up. The Carnival Paradise, Legend, Celebrity Reflection, and Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas are all participating in evacuation efforts. (I will just say that I autopiloted and typed that they are participating in vaccination efforts…this has been way too long!) 😊
Porter Airlines has announced that they hope to restart on June 21st.
We still recommend that we hang tight and stay close to home. Hopefully, that can change in the near future! In the meantime, we hope you are getting access to vaccines and are feeling a bit more secure.
Best wishes, all.
Shelley, Dave and the CruisePlus Team
PS: We have some hilarious humour from Kalulu Airlines out of South Africa ...Click Here