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Travel News for Week of July 11

By July 11, 2021Blog

Hi Everyone,

It looks like the border between the US and Canada is going to remain closed for a while longer.  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday, “We need to continue to insure the safety of Canadians.  He said it is important that the past year of quarantine and restrictions “are not for nothing”.   Canada has eased some restrictions for their citizens but there is no plan to reopen their border to nonessential travel anytime soon.

For those looking to book on airlines with a track record of well-maintained aircraft and trustworthy crew in 2021, aviation safety site AirlineRatings.com has released its annual list of the top 20 safest airlines in the world. The site’s staff monitors serious safety incidents on 385 airlines to determine which carriers are among the 20 safest.    Additionally, all major U.S. carriers made AirlineRatings’ list for 2021, with Alaska Airlines the only one to break into the top 10. American Airlines, United, and Delta scored spots on this year’s list after not making the cut in 2020.

The full list of AirlineRatings’ top 20 safest airlines in the world are:  1. Qantas,  2. Qatar Airways,   3.Air New Zealand,   4.Singapore Airlines,   5.Emirates,  6. EVA Air,    7. Etihad Airways,    8. Alaska Airlines,   9.  Cathay Pacific,  10. British Airways,   11. Virgin Australia, Virgin Atlantic,   12 Hawaiian Airlines,    13. Southwest Airlines.    14. Delta Airlines.    15. American Airlines,             16. Scandinavian Airlines,   17. Finnair,    18. Lufthansa,  19. KLM,   20. United Airlines.   It is worth noting that all of these airlines have excellent ratings and there is not a great deal of difference between any of them.       The safest low cost airlines were also mentioned, though not ranked.  They are Air Arabia, Allegiant, EasyJet, Frontier, JetStar Group, JetBlue Ryanair, Vietjet, Westjet, and Wizz.

I just finished a very interesting article about passport renewal times and thought you might like to see the current recommended times for passport applications and renewals. –Courtesy of The Points Guy:

The State Department is currently advising both passport applicants and renewals to submit their applications at least six months prior to planned travel, citing “mail delays (that) are impacting when we receive passport applications for processing.” For reference, the typical processing time is four to six weeks. Routine service can take up to four-and-half months from the day you submit your application to the day you get it back. As a reminder, expedited service can take up to 12 weeks and costs an additional $60.

(Screenshot courtesy of the State Department)

A limited number of appointments are available for both emergency and non-emergency travel within 72 hours.   If your U.S. passport expires this year or in early 2022, do not wait. And remember, some countries require that your passport be valid for at least six months beyond the dates of your trip.

 

Current Trips 2021-2023*

We continue to shuffle tours around as the world situation changes.   If you have questions about any of the following trips, don’t hesitate to contact me.

 September 11-19, 2021 Uniworld River Cruise,    Paris and Normandy  This cruise begins and ends in Paris.
We have had word from Uniworld that they will begin to sail in France this summer so we are looking forward to this cruise. Some of the highlights of this river cruise are a visit to the home and gardens of Claude Monet,  the Normandy beaches, the American cemetery, and Honfleur.  See the spot where St. Joan of Arc was martyred in Rouen, take an excursion to Versailles, and finish with a panoramic tour of Paris.  Uniworld River Cruise

October 6-14, 2021 Autumn Colours     You will fly in and out of Boston so a nice, short flight.  Weave your way through the Freedom Trail with stops in Lexington and Concord.  You’ll travel through the towns of Pittsfield, Quechee, and Woodstock on the way to the White Mountains where you’ll stop in Conway and then up to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. On the way back to Boston you’ll work you way down the coast stopping in historic Portsmouth before returning to Boston for the flight home.  Waitlist. Call for Availability.    Trafalgar

October 30,-November 8, 2021   Sunny Portugal  This trip includes a special off season price.  Highlights of this trip include:  the Portuguese Riviera, Lisbon, Belem, Obidos, Intra, the Cork Factory (amazing), Winergy visit, Alentejo, Monaraz, Lagos, Algarve, Faro, Tavira, 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and Azeitao.    Check out the entire itinerary at http://gateway.gocollette.com/link/1011623     Collette Vacations

November 6-17  Spotlight on the French Riviera:  Special  off season rate.  Unpack and stay in one place!   Highlights of this tour include Nice, St. Paul de Vence, St. Trope, Vineyard Tour and Wine Tasting, Monaco, Monte Carlo Casino, Nice Flower Market, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, and Cannes.   http://gateway.gocollette.com/link/1011478           Collette Vacations

2022

April 4-15, 2022    Lynn and Lidia’s Sicily and Southern Italy tour with Sant’ippolito!   Join us as we fly to the Sicilian Capital of  Palermo.  where we will spend 2 nights exploring the city.  There will be an opportunity to take optional tours to Cefalu, Monte Pellegrino, and the goal market.    We will then travel to Taormina by way of  Agrigento  to visit the Valley of the Temples.   Once in Taormina we will take a walking tour of the Corso Umbreto and on to the Piazza for a panoramic view of the bay.  The next day, explore Taormina at leisure or maybe take an optional trip to Mt. Etna and Savoca, home of the “Godfather”.   We will then cross  the Straits of Messina and on to Calabria.   Here you will have an opportunity to visit  your family villages  located outside Cosenza.    After a stay in Calabria we head to Matera, Alberabello, and San Giovanni Rotundo to see the shrine of Padre Pio, and then make our way to Rome for our departure.  Call for availability.  Trafalgar 

April 20-29, 2022 Tulips and Windmills during Tulip Time See everything from tulips to windmills on this journey during the season of rebirth.   From the canals of Amsterdam to the belfry of Bruges, you’ll discover the best of the Netherlands and Belgium. Stroll through colorful acres of tulips at Keukenhof Gardens to get a sense of the Netherlands’ extraordinary connection to these blooms. Then visit the 19 UNESCO-designated windmills of Kinderdijk to better understand how these mighty structures have been used to protect the Low Country from ever-rising water levels for hundreds of years. This ship is almost full.    Uniworld River Cruises

May 11-20, 2022   Shades of Ireland   This is one of my favorite trips: Enjoy Dublin,Kilkenny, Waterford, Killarney, Ring of Kerry,  the Cliffs of Moher, Limerick, and Galway. Ride a jaunting car, kiss the Blarney Stone,  and visit a family farm. Our last night’s stay is in a castle.  I have a few spaces left if you are interested.    Collette Vacations    http://gateway.gocollette.com/link/101529 

May 15-26, 2022  Alpine Lakes and the Glacier Express with Oberammergau Passion Play    This tour is being rescheduled from 2020.   I can only hold the few tickets I have for 30 days.   Your journey will begin at the beautiful Lake Maggiore.  You will then head to Zermatt, Switzerland.    The Glacier Express will take you into the Alps.  You’ll visit the beautiful towns of St. Moritz, Innsbrook and Salzburg. Enjoy a special Mozart Concert and its the Neuschwanstein Castle before heading to the famed Oberammergau Passion Play.   You will return home from Munich.    The passion play will not be repeated until 2030.  Check out the itinerary at https://gateway.gocollette.com/link/817395     Collette Vacations

June 18-26, 2022  Spectacular Canadian Rockies   We will begin this awesome tour in Vancouver, and travel to Victoria Island, Kamloops, Jasper National Park, the Athabasca Glacier, Lake Louise, and Banff National park.  Trafalgar

July 19-30 Alaska Cruisetour   Take an 11 day southbound cruise tour aboard Princess Cruises. Fly into Fairbanks, visit Denali Wilderness Lodge, Denali McKinley Lodge and then take the train to our cruise ship for a 7 night southbound cruise.   Experience the Hubbard Glacier, cruise through Glacier Bay National Park, and visit Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan before disembarking in Vancouver. This is an amazing cruise tour.  Sounds like the lodges may be full on this one.     Call for availability for other dates.    Princess Cruises

August 7-15   7 day round trip Venice, Croatia, andGreek Isles with Santorini, and  Mykonos. Call for pricing and availability. Norwegian Cruise Line

New!   September 7-15,  2022   Israel: Pilgrimage to the Holy Land    Join us as we embark on an extraordinary journey.   We will begin our journey in Tel Aviv  and then travel to the port city of Jaffa on our way to Caesarea. We next visit Nazareth, Cana, and our day in Tiberias for 2 nights.  We will take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. We’ll make a stop at the Mount of Beatitudes, Capernaum.  We will visit Bethlehem, Jerusalem, the Western Wall, and much more.  Optional extension to Petra.    Ready for booking!     Collette Vacations

September 18-30, 2022 Rhine, Moselle, and Blissful Baden-Baden    Spend 2 nights in the beautiful spa town of Baden-Baden and then board your ship for a cruise up the Rhine and Moselle rivers.  We will visit Strasbourg, Speyer, Frankfurt, Rudesheim, Boppard, Cochem Bernkastel and Trier before returning home from  Frankfurt. Uniworld Cruises

October 23-29, 2022   Southern Charm    Join us on this short 6 night tour as  we visit the beautiful cities of Charleston, Savannah. Visit St. Simon’s Island and spend a night on Jekyll Island.  End our tour in Jacksonville, Florida before heading home.  Collette Vacations

2023

April 29- May 10, 2023     Discovering Poland     We’ll visit Warsaw, Gdansk, Torun, Wroclaw, and Krakow.   Check out the itinerary at https://gateway.gocollette.com/link/902378      Collette Vacations

June 17-23, 2023New!! Viking  Cruise down the Mississippi   Join us as we cruise from Memphis to New Orleans on a cruise called Heart of the Delta.  I was only able to get 10 cabins as Viking usually does not do groups on this cruise as it is too popular.   I have very few cabins remaining.  Believe it or not, I could not get cabins for 2022.   We will begin our journey in Memphis,  and sail to Vicksburg, Natchez, St. Francisville, Baton Rouge, and Darrow, Louisiana before arriving in New Orleans. The cabins that I have are balcony cabins. Right now air is being offered for $399 per person out of Detroit.   Let me know if you are interested.  1 cabin remaining.

*Please note that Skip and I usually escort all our tours.  Because of the number of rescheduled tours in 2021-22 it will be impossible for us to be on every tour.  We will escort as many as we can,  but whether we are on the tour or not, we will make sure that you have everything you need for your tour and will work hard to insure you are well taken care of by your tour operator or cruise line.

Have a great week!

Lynn