Travel News of the Week

Theme Park News


Disneyland Resort


The magic is coming back with the announcement that the Disneyland Resort theme parks will be reopening as of April 30, 2021, with limited capacity!



Guests will soon be welcomed back to enjoy unforgettable attractions, see beloved Disney friends, shop for the latest merchandise, savor the world-famous food and drinks, capture fun photos and cherish special magical moments.


Guests can get ready to once again experience favorite attractions at both parks, from thrilling adventures like the new Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and the Incredicoaster to family-friendly experiences like Peter Pan’s Flight and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree. New magic will be unveiled, too, as the reimagined Snow White’s Enchanted Wish opens to guests for the very first time.


Because theme park capacity will be significantly limited to comply with governmental requirements and promote physical distancing, the Disneyland Resort will manage attendance through a new theme park reservation system that requires all guests to obtain a reservation for park entry in advance. To enter a park, both a park reservation and valid admission for the same park on the same date are required for guests ages 3 and up. Theme park reservations will be limited and subject to availability and, until further notice, only California residents may visit the parks in line with current state guidelines. More details about this new reservation system will be available soon.


In the days leading up to the public opening on April 30, Disneyland Resort will invite cast members and members of the local community to be the first theme park guests after more than a year of closure. A Touch of Disney, the limited-time ticketed experience which has sold out, will go on as planned from March 18 through April 19.


Guests will also have the opportunity to stay in the middle of the magic as the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort plan to welcome guests once again, with a phased reopening. Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa plans to reopen on April 29, with limited capacity. Disney Vacation Club Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa will plan to reopen May 2. Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel and the Disneyland Hotel will reopen at a later date.


Upon reopening, certain parks, hotels, restaurants, attractions, experiences and other offerings will be modified or unavailable, will have limited capacity and will be subject to limited availability or even closure, and park admission and offerings are not guaranteed.



Disney Destinations has made further announcements of how they are enhancing the original story of the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland park and Magic Kingdom Park. They're adding more humor, wildlife and skipper heart to the classic attraction, and as part of a much larger effort, this updated experience will welcome new characters from around the world.


The enhancements include several new scenes guests will experience along the river, all interconnected. The world-famous skippers will continue to share the unique adventure and interactions guests expect on the Jungle Cruise.

The new scenes will heighten skippers’ legendary comedic tone, beginning with a trapped safari party that finds itself up a tree after their journey goes awry. Unexpected scenarios along the way will give the jungle and animals the last laugh! For those looking to dive deeper, they're also expanding the attraction’s backstory, centered around Alberta Falls, granddaughter of world-renowned Dr. Albert Falls, as the proprietor of the Jungle Navigation Company Ltd.


Jungle Cruise fans might be familiar with her name; however, Disney has recently uncovered a copy of an interview with Alberta Falls that was featured in a 1938 issue of The Daily Gnus about her and the World-Famous Jungle Cruise.

photo credit: Disney Destinations


In the World News


The Department of Homeland Security announced in a Tweet, 'To prevent the further spread of COVID-19, and in coordination with our partners in Canada and Mexico, the United States is extending the restrictions on non-essential travel at our land borders through April 21, while ensuring continued flows of essential trade and travel.' The land borders from the U.S. to Canada and Mexico have now been closed for a year.



Adventures by Disney


For 2021 Adventure Season trips currently booked through March 31, 2022, Adventures by Disney is temporarily extending final payment until 65 days prior to the start of the trip. This means that those Guests who have not yet reached their final payment due date can wait until up to 65 days prior to their Adventures by Disney trip to pay for their vacation.

New bookings for the 2021 Adventures by Disney season, including Land Adventures, Escapes and River Cruises booked through June 30, 2021 for travel through March 31, 2022 are eligible for fully refundable deposits up until the final payment date. Disneyland Resort and Southern California Escape departures beginning in March 2022, all Buenos Aires Escape departures and all Expedition Cruise sailings are excluded from this modified cancellation and final payment policy.


Las Vegas


Virgin Hotels Las Vegas will be opening on March 25, 2021. The hotel will feature 1504 well-appointed Chambers, Grand Chamber Suites and Penthouse Suites. There is also a 60,000 square foot, a fully-renovated casino, multiple pools over five acres, world-class restaurants, lounges and bars, including new nightlife venues and the brand’s flagship space, Commons Club, as well as numerous meeting and convention spaces.


Located just off the famous Las Vegas Strip, Virgin Hotels Las Vegas will be a destination for locals and guests alike, offering premier food, beverage, and entertainment experiences.


photo credit: Virgin Hotels


Hawaii


Kauai has been approved by David Ige, Governor of Hawaii, to reenter the state's Safe Travels Covid-19 testing program on April 5, which would lift the mandatory quarantine requirement currently in place. Out-of-state arrivals will be able to travel to their island destination immediately upon arrival with proof of a single negative Covid-19 test from a state-approved provider taken within 72 hours prior to entering Kauai.


Cruise News


Disney Cruise Line


During a recent earnings call, Bob Chapek made a statement regarding the return of Disney Cruise Line sailings. “We’re very anxious to get our Disney Cruise Line business back up and running,” Chapek said. “As of right now we don’t have any definitive information.” With the current trends for the Coronavirus and vaccines, he further stated that Disney is hoping to have limited operations of their cruise ships by the fall. It will be likely they will have the same strict guidelines as in the theme parks.

Disney Cruise Line has announced itineraries for summer 2022. Highlights include new ports in Greece, Portugal, Latvia, Norway, Sweden and Dominica, plus first-ever summer sailings from Miami to the Bahamas.

  • The Disney Magic’s grand tour of Europe begins with sailings through the Greek Isles and Mediterranean before heading to northern Europe for cruises to the Baltic, the British Isles, Iceland and the Norwegian fjords.

  • The Disney Wonder will return to Alaska for the 2022 summer season to explore the region’s breathtaking natural vistas, glaciers and wildlife.

  • The Disney Wish is scheduled to sail its maiden voyage in summer 2022. Information on itineraries and bookings for this ship will be released at a later date.

  • Disney Cruise Line Guests can extend the magic of their cruise vacation in Europe with a pre-cruise escape in select cities from Adventures by Disney, a leader in family guided group vacations.


Norwegian Cruise Line


Norwegian has announced that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact communities around the globe, they have made the decision to further suspend all voyages through and including June 30, 2021. All guests with current and active bookings affected by this suspension will receive a 100% refund of the fare paid, back to the original form of payment. Monetary refunds will be processed automatically by NCL within 30 days. For those reservations paid via a previously issued FCC, 100% of the FCC used will be re-applied to the guests’ Latitudes account within 7 days. Guests with current and active bookings affected by this suspension may receive a 10% OFF discount on their next NCL cruise, valid for all published sailings through and including December 31, 2022.


To provide additional peace of mind and flexibility to those guests who are planning and booking their bucket-list cruise vacations they will be extending their Peace of Mind policy for new and existing bookings made by April 30, 2021, for any voyage with an embarkation date through and including October 31, 2021. With Peace of Mind guests are free to cancel anytime up to 15 days in advance of embarkation. This policy applies to individual and group bookings. If guests choose to cancel via the Peace of Mind policy, they will receive a full refund in the form of a Future Cruise Credit.


American Queen Steamboat Company


American Queen Steamboat Company's debuted the American Countess, their fourth paddlewheel ship, in New Orleans. After a year delay, the ship was christened by its godmother, Angie Hack, to launch its official inauguration.


All guests were required to arrive in New Orleans the day before sailing to be tested for Covid-19 before boarding. As of July 1, all American Queen Steamboat Company guests will be required to be vaccinated to board their ships.


The American Countess can hold 245 guests, and she will sail along the Tennessee, Ohio, Cumberland, and Mississippi rivers. Her sleek, contemporary design offers plenty of open space for gathering and sharing the fun, and she features great forward-facing windows and a portside bar with an 80-foot view.


photo credit: American Queen Steamboat Company


Celebrity Cruise


Celebrity Cruise has announced the Celebrity Millennium® will be relocated from Alaska and the Pacific Northwest to homeport in St. Maarten with cruises for vaccinated passengers, beginning June 5, 2021. Since the CDC is not allowing cruise ships to leave from a US port at this time, this change will allow for the reinstatement of cruising for Celebrity. Celebrity Millennium will feature two itineraries, one will visit Aruba, Curacao and Barbados, and the other will visit St. Lucia, Barbados and Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Celebrity Cruises will therefore be suspending all Alaska, Pacific Coastal, Canal and Transatlantic sailings, departing June through September 2021, aboard Celebrity Millennium®.


Bookings for the new cruise itineraries will open on March 25th, and the sailings will be open to vaccinated adults and children under the age of 18 with negative Covid-19 test results within 72 hours of embarkation. St. Maarten requires vaccinated adults will need to bring negative test results within the same timeframe. The ship's crew will also be vaccinated..

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line


Beginning in June 2021, departures will resume for Adventure of the Seas® from her new homeport of Nassau, Bahamas. Offering weeklong getaways, vacationers can enjoy a day in Cozumel, Mexico, as well as an island-hopping sampler of popular Bahamian ports — including Grand Bahama Island and two consecutive days at their very own private destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay.


photo credit: Royal Caribbean


These exciting new itineraries will set sail June through August 2021, inviting fully vaccinated guests 18 years of age and older, as well as children under the age of 18 with proof of negative COVID-19 test results.


Consequently, the Adventure of the Seas 2021 Europe season has been cancelled. Individuals currently confirmed on sailings departing June 5 — October 14, 2021 can elect to one of two options. First, they may choose a refund of all funds paid, or guests may accept a 125% Future Cruise Credit to be redeemed at a later date. All impacted guests will soon receive an email notification to outline the compensation options in greater detail.

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