travel

Shifting plans

Lots of people have had plans change in light of a global pandemic. Trips cancelled, obviously. Weddings postponed or held virtually.

Which makes it not terribly surprising that our summer cruise plans are… let’s call them…. Postponed.

I’ve wanted to go on this trip for ages. The cruise I picked was very specific. There are lots of cruises to Scandinavian countries but not that many that hit all of them.

And bless her heart, S was willing to go with!

As of the time I started writing this, cruises in our travel month were not yet cancelled. But based on CDC guidance, the chances were good.

Plus, we were sailing from the UK, which is in a mirror nightmare re coronavirus. Getting in and out was likely to be a problem.

Then the Scandinavian countries themselves: Denmark closed its borders quickly, they might have had this under control by our sail day but it was unclear if they’d be letting cruise ships into port. Sweden didn’t do a lockdown and their death rates are 10x the surrounding countries and that doesn’t add up to anything like good news for them (Lord have mercy), let alone for the chances of cruise passengers getting in or out of there.

Plus Russia’s outbreak is such that St Petersburg wasn’t looking good either…

I would expect that even if cruises were going on for our dates, it’s very likely that some ports wouldn’t be open to cruise ships, or would not be open to passengers coming from particular ports – and how each country is dealing with coronavirus was going to be a factor in those decisions. As in, I wouldn’t expect any place to let us in after we’d been anywhere with an active outbreak. (Possibly not even home.)

So even if the cruise happened, with limited port visits… to revisit the premise: choosing this (slightly more expensive) cruise was grounded in seeing all the countries. A cruise that can’t hit all the countries is expressly not the point. And that was looking less and less likely.

So while we were still hoping for the best (I can actually hear my sister shaking her head that I had avoided all outside contact with anyone at all and yet would even consider traveling) — we were also waiting to see what might develop and what it would mean for credit/refund options.

But in case you missed that part up top and you haven’t guessed from all the past tense in this post – our trip has been cancelled.

And that’s deeply disappointing, if not terribly surprising in the circumstances.

But it’s not a tragedy. There’s plenty of tragedy to go around, but this isn’t it.

Travel will happen again. Cruising will return – perhaps even with renewed thought to managing onboard contagion. Flying will return, also probably with improvements in airport (wash the dang security bins!) and plane cleanliness. Possibly even a rethink of how close (cramped) together people should be expected to sit.

So, we will see. And in due time, God willing – we will go.

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