The health and safety of our clients is always our very highest priority. As a family-owned travel company, AdventureSmith Explorations and our partners throughout the world take very seriously our responsibility to understand how the evolving coronavirus pandemic affects our travelers. We are monitoring the situation closely, staying in daily contact with our destination partners, local operators and governments to bring you the most up-to-date information from reliable sources. Below is a primer on some of our most frequently asked questions and advice, and our team will continue to update this page as more information and updates arise.
Changing, Rescheduling or Cancelling Your Travel
As the pandemic develops, we will assist you in rescheduling your trip or canceling your plans if necessary. Note that we are working diligently to respond to recent announcements and assist our most immediately affected clients, and we appreciate your patience if your trip is scheduled farther out. Airlines, cruise lines and local travel service providers around the world are modifying their payment terms and cancellation penalties considering the global concern about the coronavirus, and waiting to time your decision may benefit you if you have flexibility.
And postponing vs. outright canceling is often what’s on offer and what helps sustain the small-capacity, wilderness lodges, ships, communities and conservation organizations we are proud to partner with. You not only get to keep the dream vacation you were looking forward to (when the demand for travel will likely be higher) but you’re also helping sustain these operators/communities as well as their humanitarian and conservation efforts through this tough time by showing them you will be there for them. We appreciate your understanding that our travel partners in every destination are operating under different circumstances and policies. Therefore, individual questions about travel, as well as requests to postpone or cancel a trip, must be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
The CDC’s No Sail Order & the Small Ship Difference
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s April 9th extension of their No Sail Order for Cruise Ships banned most cruises departing or visiting the United States for 100 days (through approximately July 23, 2020), unless lifted or amended by the CDC director or if the COVID-19 pandemic is no longer declared a public health emergency. On June 19, members of the Cruise Lines International Association announced the voluntary suspension of all their operations out of U.S. ports until September 15, 2020.
But it’s important to note that these directives and suspensions apply only to ships with more than 250 passengers and crew on board, operating within the waters of the United States. 99% of AdventureSmith’s partner small cruise ships fall well under this capacity range and are thus exempt from the order. This has always been the true hallmark of our style of small ship cruising—there is a big difference in the experience, naturalist guiding, sustainability and logistics versus what you will find on ships with multiple hundreds and thousands of passengers aboard. Our primers on the topic listed at the end of this page can further inform.
COVID-19 & Travel Insurance
According to our partners at Travelex Insurance, coronavirus is being treated the same as any other illness. If you or a traveling companion (or an immediate family member) contracts the coronavirus or is quarantined while your policy is in effect, then trip cancellation/trip interruption coverage as well as emergency medical and evacuation coverage is in effect. It is important to note that fear of travel or travel advisories are not covered risks on standard policies. Travelex Insurance policies purchased within 21 days of initial trip payment also cover the financial default of an airline, cruise line, common carrier or tour operator. Unfortunately, the Travelex Insurance Cancel For Any Reason coverage upgrade was recently discontinued as of 3/18/20. However some travel insurance providers are still offering Cover for Any Reason policies. We suggest you review SquareMouth Travel Insurance comparison engine to review and purchase an policy that meets your needs. If you have questions about travel insurance or your specific policy or situation, we suggest you contact Travelex Insurance or your travel insurance company.
Working with clients to solve complex travel challenges has always been at the core of our business.
We Are Here for You
We cannot anticipate how long the effects of the coronavirus pandemic will last. In times like this, we reflect on the travel experiences we’ve had and how they have connected us to one another. We have received countless calls from travelers concerned about their plans, eager to proceed when the time is right and understanding of the circumstances regarding this unprecedented event. Working with clients to solve complex travel challenges is at the core of our business, and rest assured we are here for you—to be your advocate and trusted resource—during this difficult time.