Coronavirus (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions

NOTICE: The situation with coronavirus (COVID-19) is continuously evolving. We will continue to update this page regularly.

Our staff in the U.S. and in Europe are working around the clock to gather and communicate the latest information about how these recent events might impact your travel plans. We ask that you bear with us as we work to quickly find solutions for each unique individual situation. Please know that we are doing all we can to answer calls and respond to messages as fast as possible. Your patience and understanding is greatly appreciated!

RECENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

November 18: Beginning on November 18, our physical office will be closed in compliance with the emergency order issued by the MDHHS.

During this time, our staff will continue to operate remotely during our usual business hours: Monday – Thursday | 10a – 4p.

The quickest way to reach us is by email– you can message individual staff members through our website (https://www.wittetravel.com/staff/) or send your email to . We will also be checking voicemails regularly and will return any calls as soon as we can.

Thank you for your ongoing support and patience as we adjust to the latest health and safety recommendations. 

June 15, 2020: Our physical office has reopened to staff and to visitors by appointment only. Please contact us if you’d like to make an appointment. Visitors will be required to wear a mask, follow social distancing guidelines, and comply with a few additional safety measures to protect the health of our team and other clients. Our hours of operation are Monday – Thursday from 10 AM to 4 PM

Vacation Department

Group Tours Department

Moving forward, our hours of operation will be Monday – Thursday from 10 AM to 4 PM. 

As we adjust to these new circumstances, know that we will do our best to respond to you as quickly as possible, and please bear with us while we seek solutions and options.

CANCELLATION PENALTIES FOR WITTE TOURS

On March 1, 2020, Witte Tours opted to freeze all cancellation penalties for Witte-operated tours departing in 2020. This means that all cancellation penalty fees* will not increase after March 1st, as was previously stated in each tour’s terms and conditions. Therefore, you can comfortably wait to make any decisions about your trip without fear of incurring additional costs. Learn more about our Peace of Mind booking policies.

*The cancellation penalty freeze noted above refers to the fee that Witte Tours would apply if you choose to cancel your booking. Special arrangements such as business class upgrades, flight deviations, or extended stays may incur additional penalties.

CANCELLATION PENALTIES FOR WITTE TRAVEL

If you’ve booked travel arrangements through a Witte Travel Vacation Consultant, any cancellations or changes may be subject to penalties issued by the travel suppliers holding your reservations. Airlines, cruise lines, and leisure tour operators are frequently adjusting their change and cancellation policies, so please contact your Travel Consultant for the latest information regarding any cancellation fees that may apply to your unique trip.

WARNING AGAINST SCAMS

It is an unfortunate truth that some unscrupulous individuals will take advantage of opportunities to scam travelers during times of uncertainty by preying on their fears. There have been reports within the travel industry that an anonymous phone number was calling travelers “on behalf of your local travel agent” to offer extended cancel-for-any-reason travel insurance for an upcoming trip. When the caller was asked to provide the name of the travel agent and the travel destination, the caller simply hung up.

Please be on alert for potential scams. If you receive any communication from Witte Travel & Tours that seems suspicious or unusual, we encourage you to ask questions before providing any information, or simply hang up the phone and contact our office for verification.

WHAT IS THE CORONAVIRUS?

Coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) is part of a large group of viruses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) list the following as symptoms of coronavirus, which may appear 2-14 days after exposure:

  • Respiratory symptoms
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Severe cases can cause more serious symptoms such as pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and kidney failure. (Read more about symptoms here.)

WHAT MEASURES IS WITTE TRAVEL & TOURS TAKING TO MONITOR THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS AND ENSURE THE SAFETY OF ALL PASSENGERS?

  • Our team is closely monitoring the situation by reviewing all travel warnings, recommendations, and advisories from the U.S. State Department, the World Health Organization, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • We hold daily staff meetings to ensure that all our staff members are properly briefed on the most current information.
  • We are in constant communication with airlines, vendors, and our network of in-country partners for the latest news and updates.
  • If we have any reason to be concerned that your travel plans could put you at risk, we will contact you to discuss your options.

DOES AIRLINE TRAVEL INCREASE MY RISK OF CONTRACTING THE CORONAVIRUS?

Because the cabin air on an airplane is circulated and filtered every 2-3 minutes using HEPA filters, most viruses and germs cannot spread easily, so your risk of infection is not higher on an airplane. However, it is still a good practice to use antiseptic wipes on tray tables and armrests and to use your hand sanitizer before meals.

IF I CHOOSE TO CANCEL MY TRAVEL PLANS, WILL I GET A REFUND?

Refundability depends on different factors specific to your trip or tour. It is best to contact your Travel Consultant for your specific trip’s information. Generally speaking, it is unlikely that you will receive a full refund if you cancel your trip due to the fear of contracting COVID-19, even if you have purchased travel insurance. Cancellation due to government travel advisories or travel bans, or due to concerns relating to a viral outbreak, are not eligible reasons for coverage under most standard travel insurance plans. If you purchased a “Cancel for Any Reason” plan, refer to the terms of your insurance plan or contact the insurance provider to determine whether cancellation benefits apply. 

My travel plans were cancelled– when can I expect a refund?

We are doing the best we can to issue refunds in a timely manner under these unique circumstances. However, due to the high volume of requests that we and our supplier partners are experiencing, it may take at least 8-12 weeks for your refund to be processed.

WILL MY TOUR BE CANCELLED? IF SO, WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT?

We are monitoring the situation very closely, and are making operational decisions about tours on a case-by-case basis. In cases where we feel that it is in the best interest of our passengers to cancel or postpone a tour, we will notify all registered passengers of those changes in detail. Unless we’ve told you otherwise, you can assume that your tour will continue to operate as scheduled.

Do I need to make my next scheduled payment?

Witte-Operated Tours: If your tour is scheduled to operate as planned, continue to make payments as outlined in your tour brochure. All cancellation penalties for tours departing in 2020 have been frozen, so you can be confident in receiving the rest of your money back if your tour does not travel. Learn more about our Peace of Mind booking policies.

All Other Travel: Some travel providers have modified their payment plans to extend final payment deadlines. If your final payment is due within the next four weeks, contact your travel advisor to see if there have been any revisions to your payment schedule; otherwise, continue to make payments as planned. If your final payment is not made by the due date, you could risk your booking being canceled for non-payment.

CAN I RESCHEDULE MY TRIP / TOUR?

This will vary for each individual trip/tour scenario. It’s best to contact your Travel Consultant directly for more information about the options available in your specific situation.

WHAT CAN I DO TO AVOID GETTING SICK?

Coronavirus disease is primarily spread person-to-person between people who are in close contact (within 6 feet) or through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It may be possible to contract the virus from a surface or object that has the virus on it, and then touching the face—but that is not believed to be the primary method of contraction. (Read more about how the virus spreads here.)

The CDC recommends that the best way to prevent illness is to minimize your exposure to COVID-19 with a few simple but effective measures, such as:

  • Maintain at least six feet of distance between yourself and other people whenever possible
  • Wear a mask in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household. The mask should cover your nose and mouth, and it is meant to protect other people in case you may be infected.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available.

(Read more about prevention and treatment here.)

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DO GET SICK?

If you develop a fever or symptoms of a respiratory illness (such as a cough or difficulty breathing), call ahead to a healthcare professional immediately and inform them of your symptoms. They will determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19 and will provide further instructions for preventing the spread of the virus to others.

If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 or experience symptoms that you suspect may be related, it is important that you take every measure to prevent the disease from spreading to other people around you. Read more about what to do if you are sick here.

MY HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN OFFERS MEDICAL BENEFITS WHILE TRAVELING. DO I STILL NEED TO PURCHASE TRAVEL INSURANCE?

If you are planning an international trip, we strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance to protect your investment and to provide you with coverage overseas in the event of an accident or illness abroad. Even if you have health insurance back home that offers some benefits while traveling internationally, the coverage may not be enough. There are three types of travel insurance that you should consider if you are planning an international trip:

Trip Cancellation – Trip Cancellation insurance protects your financial investment in your trip, such as the cost of your flights, cruises, or other travel arrangements. Depending on the specifics of the policy, it may provide cancellation benefits if you must cancel due to a covered reason as defined by the policy.  Some policies also provide a “Cancel for Any Reason” upgrade option, which provides more flexibility. Contact your Travel Consultant for policy details and for information about “Cancel for Any Reason” upgrade requirements. 

Travel Health Insurance – When you are planning an international trip, it’s wise to be prepared in case of a medical emergency. Should you need medical care overseas, you may be required to pay out-of-pocket for services, which can be very expensive. If you have health insurance in the United States, find out if your plan will cover medical emergencies or expenses incurred while traveling abroad. Ask if your policy has any exclusions for preexisting conditions, and whether your policy will make payments to hospitals directly. If your health insurance coverage is not adequate, consider buying a supplemental travel insurance policy with medical benefits.

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/before-you-go/your-health-abroad/insurance-providers-overseas.html

Medical Evacuation – Medical Evacuation insurance is especially important if you are traveling to a remote area or to a place where healthcare may not be up to U.S. standards. If you get sick or injured while traveling, medical evacuation coverage will pay for emergency transportation to a high-quality hospital.

Learn more about the CDC’s recommendations and the US State Department’s recommendations related to travel insurance.


SOURCES

CDC – Advice for Travelers: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/traveler-information-center

CDC – (COVID-19) Travel FAQs: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/faqs.html

WHO – (COVID-19) Advice for the Public: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

WHO – (COVID-19) Travel Advice: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/travel-advice

WHO – Updated recommendations for international traffic in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak: https://www.who.int/ith/2019-nCoV_advice_for_international_traffic-rev/en/

Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins CSSE: https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

State Department – Before you Travel: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/before-you-go/your-health-abroad.html 

The REAL ID Act

Flying after January 22, 2018?

Be prepared, identification rules are changing on domestic flights.

(Note this information is up-to-date as of 11/10/2017)

Who is affected by this?

Everyone.  If you are flying within the United States you will need to be aware of the new rules.

What is changing?

Anyone traveling domestically will need a REAL-ID compliant state-issued driver’s license or ID to pass security and board an airplane, otherwise, alternate forms of identification are needed.

What is a REAL ID?

A REAL ID is a state-issued form of identification that passes certain security standards set by Congress. The purpose of REAL ID is to make our identity documents more consistent and secure.

Do I have a REAL ID?

If your driver’s license or ID card has a gold star in a circle on it you have a REAL-ID compliant driver’s. Most often this is found on the top right. Enhanced driver’s licenses are also REAL-ID compliant.

Do the rules apply to me?

Not if you live in Michigan.  Michigan has an extension to October 1, 2020. If you live in another state you can check your state’s compliance deadlines here.


FURTHER INFORMATION

Does this just affect flights?

No. After the deadline, a REAL ID-compliant license or ID will be required for domestic air travel or entering a military base, nuclear power plant and certain federal buildings.

What happens to my Standard License or ID after the deadlines?

Nothing.  You can still use your standard driver’s license for driving.  Both standard licenses and state ID’s will still be accepted as identification for voting, applying for or receiving Federal benefits, cashing checks, renting vehicles, purchasing alcohol and tobacco, or entering casinos.

What do the different cards look like?

You can see images of a Michigan standard card, a REAL ID-compliant card, and an enhanced card by clicking here.

How do I Apply for a REAL ID?

If you are applying for your first Michigan driver’s license or ID card visit a Secretary of State office and provide the proper forms of identification required.
If you are renewing a Michigan driver’s license or ID card check your renewal notice, it will say whether your card is REAL ID compliant. If your renewal notice says you are compliant your new card will have a star printed on it.  If your renewal notice says you are not compliant you will have to visit a Secretary of State office to provide more forms of identification.  Read your renewal notice carefully to see what documentation you will need to bring with you.  You cannot apply for a REAL ID online or via mail.

What does a REAL ID cost?

In Michigan, if you are up for a standard license or ID card renewal or are applying for your first card, standard driver’s license and ID card fees apply.  If you apply for a REAL ID-compliant license or ID outside of your normal renewal cycle a correction fee will be charged.

Do minors need a REAL ID?

TSA doesn’t require children under 18 to provide identification if they are traveling with a companion.  The companion will need acceptable identification.

What if I have a passport card?

TSA considers passport cards an acceptable form of identification.  After the deadlines, you can use this instead of a REAL-ID for domestic travel.  Click here for a list of other acceptable forms of identification.

For the latest information visit the Department of Homeland Security REAL ID Act website. 

Island Route Tours

Island Routes is a Caribbean Tour operator and a member of the Sandals Group of Companies.  It was founded by a group ofCaribbeanpeople whose mission is to showcase the culture, beauty and natural resources that define each unique island destination.  Currently, Island Routes operates over 140 tours inJamaica,St. Lucia, Antigua, theBahamas, Turks and Caicos, andBarbados.  Island Routes recently received the 2010 World Travel Award for “World’s Leading Caribbean Attraction Company” and has set the tour industry standard by becoming the only tour company to receive a prestigious Six Star Diamond Award from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences.

 Islands Routes has tour desks in all of the Sandals and Beaches properties as well as the Grand Pineapple locations; however, guests staying anywhere on the islands (or cruise passengers visiting the islands) can book tours with Island Routes.

TSA Statement on New Security Measures for International Flights to the U.S.

article courtesy of the Transportation Security Administration

Today, the Transportation Security Administration issued new security directives to all United States and international air carriers with inbound flights to the U.S. effective January 4, 2010.

The new directive includes long-term, sustainable security measures developed in consultation with law enforcement officials and our domestic and international partners.

Because effective aviation security must begin beyond our borders, and as a result of extraordinary cooperation from our global aviation partners, TSA is mandating that every individual flying into the U.S. from anywhere in the world traveling from or through nations that are state sponsors of terrorism or other countries of interest will be required to go through enhanced screening. The directive also increases the use of enhanced screening technologies and mandates threat-based and random screening for passengers on U.S. bound international flights.

TSA Guidance for Passengers on Heightened Security Measures in Place Following Dec. 25 Incident

Article courtesy of the Transportation Security Administration website.

On Dec. 25, 2009, an individual on board Northwest Airlines Flight 253 set off a device and was subdued by passengers and crew. TSA wishes to acknowledge the heroic efforts of those individuals.

As a result of this incident, TSA has worked with airline and law enforcement authorities, as well as federal, state, local, and international partners to put additional security measures in place to ensure aviation security remains strong. Passengers traveling domestically and internationally to U.S. destinations may notice additional screening measures.

The American people should continue their planned holiday travel. TSA encourages passengers to remain observant and aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious behavior or activity to law enforcement officials.

Read a statement about the incident from Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Q: What additional security measures is TSA taking domestically?
A: TSA has a layered approach to security that allows us to surge resources as needed on a daily basis. We have the ability to quickly implement additional screening measures including explosive detection canine teams, law enforcement officers, gate screening, behavior detection and other measures both seen and unseen. Passengers should not expect to see the same thing at every airport.

Q: What additional security measures are being taken for international flights to U.S. destinations?
A: TSA issued a directive for additional security measures to be implemented for last point of departure international flights to the United States. Passengers flying into the United States from abroad can expect to see additional security measures at international airports such as increased gate screening including pat-downs and bag searches. During flight, passengers will be asked to follow flight crew instructions, such as stowing personal items, turning off electronic equipment and remaining seated during certain portions of the flight.

Q: Do passengers need to do anything differently to prepare for checkpoint security procedures? Has anything changed in terms of what passengers can bring in their carry-on or checked bags?
A: At this time, security checkpoint requirements for passengers departing U.S. airports remain the same. Passengers do not need to do anything differently, but they may notice additional security measures at the airport.

Q: Should passengers plan to arrive at airports earlier than normal?
A: Passengers traveling within the United States should give themselves extra time to check in and proceed through the security checkpoint before their flight, especially during the busy holiday travel season. TSA advises that passengers traveling on international flights to U.S. destinations allow extra time for security and arrive an additional hour earlier.

Q. How long will these measures remain in place?
A: TSA will continuously review these measures to ensure the highest levels of security.

Carnival Cruise Lines to Resume Port Calls in Mexico

Carnival Cruise Lines will resume visits to Mexican ports of call based on the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, which is no longer recommending against non-essential travel to Mexico. Once all voyages with previously modified itineraries are completed, those vessels will revert to their original routes featuring stops in Mexico.

Most itineraries were modified through mid-June with the exception of the Holiday which was modified through late May.

Please rest assured that the health and well being of our guests and crew is our highest priority and we are returning to Mexico after careful evaluation and consultation with the CDC. It is important to note that the concentration of H1N1 flu cases in Mexico has been inland rather than in the coastal resort areas where our ships visit.

The cruise industry works closely with U.S. public health officials in the CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program in developing and complying with extensive policies and procedures that are effective in mitigating illness aboard cruise ships. Carnival will continue to follow CDC guidelines for cruise ships which include pre-boarding health questionnaires for all guests and crew, along with secondary screening by shipboard medical professionals as necessary. Additionally, all Carnival ships stock influenza test kits and anti-viral medications for treating type A influenzas.

Mexico is one of our most popular destinations and we look forward to once again providing your clients the opportunity to enjoy its many wonderful sites and attractions. We are very pleased to be returning to Mexico and would also very much like to thank you for your understanding and patience during the past few weeks.

Article courtesy of Carnival Cruise Lines

MLT Vacations Confirms: NWA WorldVacations to Become Delta Vacations

As the Delta-Northwest merger progresses, the two package vacation brands combine to support the world’s largest airline.

MLT VacationsSM confirmed today that the NWA WorldVacations® brand will integrate with the Delta Vacations brand on July 6 when the company assumes management of Delta Vacations.

“This is the logical time to transition our NWA WorldVacations business to the Delta Vacations brand,” said Ken Pomerantz, President and Chief Marketing Officer for MLT Vacations. “The merger of the two airlines is progressing quickly, and we are confident that the integration of NWA WorldVacations with Delta Vacations will be seamless for our customers and partners, ” he added.

MLT Vacations launched the NWA WorldVacations brand 20 years ago to support the sales and marketing efforts of Northwest Airlines. The NWA WorldVacations brand has since become one of the largest package vacation brands in the industry. In 2008, MLT Vacations became a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta Air Lines as part of the merger with Northwest. In January of this year, Delta announced that MLT Vacations would take over the management of Delta Vacations.

“When we integrate the two vacation package brands, our customers will still find the same great travel products with the same great service they have come to expect from MLT Vacations over the past 20 years,” said Pomerantz. “What will be different is the fact that with the Delta Vacations name and support from Delta Air Lines, we will offer even more flights and vacation options to the world’s best-loved vacation destinations.”

Pomerantz says the Delta Air Lines route network allows MLT Vacations to market and sell the new Delta Vacations to travel agents on a national scale, with appealing flight options from hundreds of cities to destinations all around the globe. The company is in the process of adding many more hotels and tours and excursions to better support the anticipated growth of the business.

Travel agents will book Delta Vacations (beginning July 6) the same way they book NWA WorldVacations today – the phone number will remain the same, as will access through the company’s travel agent only website. Travel agents will continue selling NWA WorldVacations until the July 6 transition date. All NWA WorldVacations bookings made prior to July 6 will receive the full support and service from MLT Vacations.

Princess Announces 2010 Alaska Cruise and Cruisetour Program

Season Features Widest Array of Cruise Itineraries, More Options to Visit Glacier Bay National Park, Simplified Cruisetour Choices, and Convenient New “Seattle Air Advantage” Package

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – Princess Cruises’ 2010 Alaska program will offer the most diverse array of opportunities to experience the “Great Land,” with a simplified lineup of cruisetour options, more sailings that include the “must see” destination – Glacier Bay National Park – and a new “Seattle Air Advantage” package that turns every cruisetour into a convenient roundtrip journey.

The lineup will continue to offer passengers the company’s hallmark Alaska experience, whether at sea on board amenity-filled ships or on land with Princess’ signature wilderness lodges and exclusive Direct to the Wilderness program, where guests step right from their ship onto luxury railcars that transport them directly to magnificent Denali National Park.

Next summer the Princess fleet will offer a total of 112 Alaska sailings aboard seven ships offering four itinerary options during the May to September season. The lineup includes Diamond Princess, Coral Princess, and Island Princess traveling on the line’s popular “Voyage of the Glaciers” route through the scenic Gulf of Alaska; Golden Princess, Sapphire Princess and Sea Princess sailing the Inside Passage from Seattle and San Francisco, and Royal Princess offering the line’s small ship experience on an extended 14-day Connoisseur voyage to some of the state’s less-visited ports.

Princess cruisetours will offer passengers the opportunity to enjoy an immersive Alaska experience, combining a seven-day “Voyage of the Glaciers” cruise with three to eight additional nights on land exploring Alaska’s interior. All Princess cruisetours include the company’s exclusive wilderness lodges, rail travel, plus the two top attractions in the state – Glacier Bay National Park and Denali National Park, where visitors spend at least two nights exploring the wonders of this area.

“Alaska is indeed ‘The Great Land’ with a myriad of ways to experience the state, so we wanted to simplify the choices, and make it easy for our passengers to find the perfect itinerary including the breathtaking scenery and wildlife they came to see,” said Charlie Ball, president of Princess Tours and senior vice president of Princess Cruises. “And we’re also making it easier than ever to travel to Alaska by introducing a new Seattle roundtrip package for cruisetours, eliminating the need for one-way airfare in or out of the state.”

Cruises – Princess offers four ways to experience the awe-inspiring glaciers, historic towns and scenic waters of Alaska, with sailings from seven to 14 days.

  • Voyage of the Glaciers – The line’s famed Gulf of Alaska route between Vancouver and Whittier features calls at Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway with daylight cruising in Glacier Bay and the 16 glaciers of College Fjord (or Hubbard Glacier on southbound sailings). Three ships, Diamond Princess, Coral Princess and Island Princess, will sail on 54 sailings throughout the season.
  • Inside Passage from Seattle – Golden Princess and Sapphire Princess offer convenient seven-day roundtrip itineraries from Seattle with calls at Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria, B.C. In addition, passengers will enjoy dramatic glacier viewing in Tracy Arm or Glacier Bay National Park. The two ships will sail on 37 departures.
  • Inside Passage from San Francisco – Sea Princess returns to the City by the Bay to offer 13 voyages from San Francisco on 10-day roundtrip cruises to Victoria, Juneau, Ketchikan, and either Skagway, Haines or Icy Strait Point, plus Glacier Bay National Park or Tracy Arm.
  • Connoisseur Voyage – The intimate Royal Princess takes over this extended Alaska route featuring a small ship cruising experience on a 14-day voyage from Seattle, featuring the less visited ports of Kodiak, Icy Strait Point and Seward, plus Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria, B.C., with daylight cruising of Tracy Arm and Glacier Bay. Royal Princess will sail on eight Connoisseur voyages.

Cruisetours – Princess introduces a new simplified cruisetour lineup, making it easy for passengers tochoose the perfect land/sea Alaska experience with itineraries ranging from three to eight nights. All tour options feature at least two nights in the Denali National Park area, stays at Princess’ own riverside wilderness lodges, and a seven-day Voyage of the Glaciers sailing including Glacier Bay National Park.

  • Direct to the Wilderness – Princess’ exclusive direct rail service between the Whittier cruise terminal and the dramatic Denali wilderness features seven itinerary options offering multiple nights at Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and/or Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge.
  • Explorer – These itineraries enable travelers to explore both Denali and other scenic areas, including the Kenai Peninsula at Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park with stays at Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge. Passengers can even choose to venture to the state’s far north into the Arctic Circle and Prudhoe Bay.
  • Deluxe Escorted – Three cruisetour options offer the services of a professional tour director and additional time for passengers to experience the Great Land. Most meals are also included in these extended vacations.

New Seattle Air Advantage– With this new package, any Princess cruisetour can become a convenient roundtrip vacation from Seattle. This package includesmotorcoach transportation between Seattle and Vancouver, airfare between Alaska and Seattle, and an overnight stay in a Seattle-area hotel. All passengers will need to do is make arrangements to get themselves to and from Seattle.
Gulf of Alaska cruises and cruisetours for 2010 are available for reservations on May 7, 2009. Launch Fares begin at $749 for seven-day voyages, and $1,649 for cruisetours.

U.S. Set to Implement Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative

Article courtesy of travelpulse

The U.S. Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and State (DOS) have announced that their efforts have enabled the departments to jointly certify to Congress that all statutory criteria have been met prior to implementing the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) at land and sea borders on June 1.

WHTI is a joint DHS-DOS plan to implement a core 9/11 Commission recommendation, which Congress subsequently passed into law in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. Upon implementation of WHTI, travelers will be required to present a single WHTI-compliant document denoting both citizenship and identity when seeking entry into the United States through a land or sea border. Children under the age of 16 will need to present an original or copy of their birth certificate or other proof of citizenship. Standardized, secure and reliable documentation will enable U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers to quickly and accurately identify travelers at land and sea ports of entry. The WHTI secure document requirement is already in place for all air travelers, and applies to travelers entering the United States who were previously exempt, including citizens of the U.S., Canada and Bermuda. These land and sea document requirements will be effective June 1, 2009.

Many cross-border travelers already have WHTI-compliant documents such as a Passport, Passport Card or a Trusted Traveler Card (NEXUS, SENTRI, and FAST), or an enhanced driver’s license (EDL) currently issued by the states of Washington, New York and Vermont and the Province of British Columbia. The State of Michigan and additional Canadian provinces will be issuing EDLs in the coming months—all of which are options specifically designed for land and sea border use. For more information, visit the Department of Homeland Security.