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What's happening with Encore next summer?

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I just checked the SB website and all Encore cruises in the Med from mid-June and into September are listed as "Unavailable."  What gives?  I can't believe they are sold out.  Other Med cruises on the Ovation and Sojourn are listed and available.  


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Seabourn has placed a stop sell order on the Encore sailings in Europe that are more than 7 days.  They are not cancelled, they are just not selling them, for the moment.  There has not been an announcement of this.  I found out by calling them.

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I noticed they stopped selling the 14 day Med cruises. 7 days are still available.  I am on the 14 day Sojourn and called Seabourn before I booked my flights with miles. The rep said I would be fine in October with the 14 day. Who really knows at this point. 

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10 hours ago, wesport said:

Who really knows at this point. 


I think that whenever cruising resumes from a North American port and there is a 7 day cruise limit, we will see this "standard" be applied elsewhere in the world.  

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I booked the Encore from Rome to Rome 14 days in July,   hoping things would be close to normal by then. Perhaps we might have to wait until 2022, although Seabourn hasn't said anything up to now, but what the heck, safety must come first. 


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Although not a quick process, and might drag out for all of 2021, logic dictates Quantas to have it right for international travel, and simply hold off until passengers have been given a vaccine , as it makes sense for all the right reasons. 
   Once countries have a rollout schedule, cruiselines amd airlines can plan out their plans in a practical way. 
if sailing are to occur without vaccines in place, passengers would generally be off the ship prior to a major outbreak occurring while onboard, plus they can choose ports that they can control activities more closely, never mind five sea days thrown in. 
 Small ships will be fine, they just have to launch as passengers get their vaccines, one ship at a time. 

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On 11/27/2020 at 4:15 PM, cruisr said:

Seabourn has placed a stop sell order on the Encore sailings in Europe that are more than 7 days.  They are not cancelled, they are just not selling them, for the moment.  There has not been an announcement of this.  I found out by calling them.


Thanks for finding out.  We are booked in September and hope it will happen. Hopefully, we can get vaccinated by then.

I also don't see why the 7-day rule should be imposed in Europe. 

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3 hours ago, westmount said:

the WARP SPEED people say anyone who wants a vaccine will get one by June........so in my mind that means cruises start in May and passengers would need a vaccine certificate before bonding. 


I'm guessing it will take more time than that, but let's just assume that timing is correct. But lets' consider some other important factors:

  • You're only talking about passengers in the US. Passengers in other countries may have longer waits because Warp Speed distribution and contracted volume is for the US only.
  • Keep in mind that the earliest vaccines out of the chute require two shots two months apart, and probably a month or so after the second shot to build up enough immunity. So people who get their first shot in June will get their second shot in August and be clear for travel in September. 
  • Cruise lines will need to be able to get all their crew members vaccinated as well. It's not clear if that will be easy to do in all the countries where crew members live.
  • And it's not just passengers and crew -- the countries of embarkation, debarkation, and port stops must also have the virus under control with significant vaccinations. That includes airport workers, bus drivers, dock workers,  workers at tourist attractions, etc.

All the pieces have to fall into place in order for nearly fail-safe world-wide cruising; it't not going to be good enough just to have US passengers vaccinated.


I'm booked on a cruise to Antartica in December. I'm very hopeful my wife and I and the couple we're going with will be able to be vaccinated by the time we need to make a go/no-go decision in August. But will South America be open for tourists? Will commercial and charter flights be up and running? Will the cruise line be able to commit a ship to 4 months of Antartica cruise as of mid-October when the ship is scheduled to depart from Europe? We're hoping so, but just us getting our vaccines is only one piece in the viability of our trip. 

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A bit of clarity, based on what I have read in the international press and how the US and UK governments are interpreting scientific data:



There is no vaccine among the top 4-5 under development requiring 2 shots 2 months apart. It would be 3 or 4 weeks apart for many, with one vaccine in phase 3 trials possibly requiring only one shot. So that simplifies matters.


Distribution is key to when travel activities can start again with cruise lines and the public more comfortable about choosing when to participate. We are only a week or so away in the UK for a decision on one vaccine on vaccinating National Health Service workers, elderly in care homes and other most vulnerable categories, and this would start this month. I also see infrastructure being built to equip certain centers with the storage capacities for vaccines that do and do not require deep freeze environments. If you really want to keep score in your own countries, you can also learn how much of which vaccine is due to be delivered to governments this year and first half of 2021.


So with vaccinations underway in regional centers, chemists, possibly doctor surgeries etc backed by a government-sponsored tracking system, you can imagine that winter and spring will be busy times. In the case of the UK, there will be roughly 10 tiers of age groups/conditions that will open up successively and allow those who want to get vaccinated underway. The prime minister mentioned last week the milestone would be for Easter, early April, for the target! 


What can you glean around the world? Germany has coordinated that its 16 states will use large conference halls for mass vaccinations. What I have seen from the US is spotty but I have seen that CVS and Walgreens drugstores will play a major role.


On the other hand, the cruise lines logically won't open themselves to problems unless there is a balance between our uptake of the product and their ability to run comfortable "safer" cruises, and that implies that their staff must be vaccinated and the ports have a certain level of immunity and vaccinations recognisable by the Authorities.


My next big interest is to learn just what each of the leading vaccines does for us. Do they enable us to avoid the worst or most asect aspects of infection and at what efficiency? Do they inhibit or stop vaccinated people who contract it from infecting others?


We live in interesting times!


Happy and healthy sailing!


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Sorry, you're correct; I meant about a month apart, not two months.


Again, I think the big question is how availability of vaccines will be around the world where cruises aim to take us. The two earliest vaccines in the US already have most of their capacity committed through the first half of next year, and one requires special cooling and handling; it seem likely that widespread availability in around the world -- especially in poorer countries -- may need to await some of the next wave of vaccines which will become available later and may ramp up more slowly. There are too many variables to be able to accurately project how well-vaccinated different parts of the world will be by when, and when countries will decide to lift restrictions on travel and cruises. That picture ought to start clarifying over the next two months or so.


22 hours ago, markham said:

My next big interest is to learn just what each of the leading vaccines does for us. Do they enable us to avoid the worst or most asect aspects of infection and at what efficiency? Do they inhibit or stop vaccinated people who contract it from infecting others?


That's going to take longer. The clinical trials have just tackled the tip of the iceberg: do the vaccines cause bad reactions or illness, and do they prevent the virus? So far, so good. But each of these trials involved roughly 40,000 people, or 20,000 who received each vaccine and 20,000 who received a placebo. Of those 20,000, only about 170 got COVID-19. Only about 10 who received the vaccine got the virus -- so you just can't extract a lot of data about how the vaccine may have impacted just 10 people. When the vaccine is given to many millions of people, there will be a lot more data about how the vaccine affects severity of the disease in those who get it, rate of contagion, etc. And over more time, we'll start to get an idea how long the vaccine remains effective -- a year? two years? five years? longer?


It's also worth keeping in mind that the approvals that seem likely to be coming in the next week or two in the US for the earliest vaccines are Emergency Use Authorizations, which are released faster due to the urgent need. (The standard for an EUA is whether the “vaccine will cause more benefit than harm.”) It will just take more time until we know a lot more, just as it is taking time for doctors to learn about the long-term effects on people who have had the disease and recovered from the immediate accute symptoms. Time -- which we all wish we could just fast forward -- will bring much more knowledge about the disease, treatments, immunity, longevity, etc. 

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