In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, it can be hard to envisage a time when international travel will be possible once more. But sooner or later, the virus will be controlled, an effective vaccine will be widely available, and journeys to distant lands will return as one of the more agreeable aspects of life. Right now, making plans for such an indeterminate future may seem delusional. However, travel companies have a huge incentive to make reservations as risk-free as possible.
For example, all the major upscale cruise lines currently offer guarantees and incentives. At the time of writing, Silversea allows passengers to cancel a cruise up to 48 hours prior to departure, whereupon they receive a 100 percent “Future Cruise Credit.” Seabourn and Crystal have similar offers, as does Regent Seven Seas Cruises, which adds a $1,000 shipboard credit for good measure.
Similarly, hotel companies such as Belmond, COMO and Four Seasons are eliminating restrictions, as well as providing generous rates. So planning now for a vacation in 2021 is not quite as crazy as it seems. With risk removed from the transaction, it may be possible to secure an advantageous deal, while helping businesses that are struggling to retain their employees. And in the case of safari firms such as Singita and Wilderness, it will allow them to continue to fund the conservation work and community development projects that are a crucial part of their mission.