As the cruise lines in particular, and the travel industry in general, attempt to deal with the serious Coronavirus outbreak in China, it is especially important to keep a sensible perspective for areas of the world that remain unaffected. With the stringent measures now in place worldwide regarding travel to and from China, it is extremely unlikely that countries currently with zero cases will see that change.
Where is completely safe? Well, honestly, nowhere. There are risks in everything we do, every day, from getting in our cars, to shopping at the mall.
To quote AFAR magazine this week:
"Travel is not the problem—it’s the solution. Travel is what we love. It’s what makes us happy and gives us life. It’s good for us. It’s not something to fear but something to embrace that will help us cope."
We will ALWAYS place client safety above all else, and if you are fearful of travel we will listen and calmly talk facts with you in the hope of reducing any irrational fear. If that means you still think a trip should be postponed, we will respect that choice, it will always be your own personal decision.
I want to highlight some more unusual European cruises this week, and bear in mind there are currently no health issues at all with ships in Europe.
Top 5 - European Cruises You Don't Know About
1. Jewel of the Sea, Royal Caribbean 7-days Baltic Sea and Russia
Stockholm, Saint Petersburg/Russia, Helsinki, Tallinn, Visby, Stockholm
4 departure dates: Jun 28, Jul 5, 12, 19 2020
A great ship for family cruising and an itinerary to really highlight some spectacular cities in Northern Europe. St Petersburg (below) is currently in my own top 10 cities not visited yet, and I also have Tallinn (Estonia) in there. An amazing cruise therefore to expose your family to some very different cultures.
2. Rotterdam, Holland America 7-days Scandinavia & Fjords
Rotterdam, Eidfjord, Hardangerfjord, Stavanger, Kristiansand, Oslofjord, Oslo, Rotterdam
4 departure dates: May 23, Jun 13, Jul 18, Aug 8 2020
A glorious roundtrip route that leads you up the west coast of Norway and also lets you enjoy the capital city Oslo. The highlight of the fjords you'll experience is probably Eidfjord (below).
Seeing the Voringsfossen waterfall is a must before leaving Eidfjord. With a fall of almost 600 feet, the water cascades from the Hardangervidda mountain plateau down into the Mabodalen valley.
3. Celebrity Reflection, Celebrity Cruises 10-days British Isles and Iceland
Dublin, Greenock, Akureyri, Reykjavik, Belfast, Cork, Dublin
1 departure date: May 8 2020
Ooh... Ireland, Scotland and Iceland in one trip? Yes, a great itinerary from Celebrity whose premium level comforts and service are attracting more sailors every year. Take the opportunity for a pre or post cruise extension in Dublin and beyond to get the real flavour of Ireland. Sightseeing highlight will probably be the spectacular Akureyri, Iceland (below).
4. AmaDouro, AmaWaterways 7-days Douro River
Porto, Entre-os-Rios, Regua, Pinhao, Vega de Terron, Barca d'Alva, Pinhao, Regua, Porto
8 departure dates: Mar 28, Apr 4, 11, 18, 25, May 2, 9, 16 2020
The Douro increases in popularity every year as travelers become aware of Portugal's absolute charm and this fantastic river. Just take Pinhao (below), one of the ports of call as an example. The town is circled by terraced hillsides that produce some of the world’s best port – and some stellar table wines, too – and sits on a beautiful bend of the Rio Douro. Wineries and their competing signs dominate the scene. Even the delightful train station has azulejos (hand-painted tiles) depicting the grape harvest.
5. SS Joie de Vivre, Uniworld 14-days Seine River and Bordeaux
Paris, Vernon, Rouen, Caudebec-en-Caux, Rouen, Versailles, Paris, Port de Blaye, Pauillac, Cadillac, Libourne, Bordeaux
3 departure dates: Mar 29, Apr 19, 26 2020
This is the ship (above) we will call home for a week in just over a month's time. The longer 14-day river cruise itineraries are a growing trend, and can also be found on the Danube. It's a wonderful combination of Northern France and Paris on the Joie de Vivre before heading south to another ship and cruising a total of 4 rivers! Travel to beautiful Bordeaux and delight in the countryside of southwest France. Explore Roman Saint-Émilion (below), with its astonishing Monolithic Church, not forgetting ancient Blaye, with its famous citadel. And then of course, there is the wine...
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