cruises

Museum Monday highlights from Viking.TV

Courtesy Kon-Tiki Museum

We’re setting off for Iceland in some weeks to enroll in Viking for one in all their Welcome Back cruises. So we were poking around the organisation’s internet site.

One impressive aid there for the general public is Viking.TV. It changed into created in reaction to the pandemic and this channel is chock full of motion pictures about art, way of life, records, meals, music, architecture, and destinations round the arena.

Our favorite function is Museum Monday. Stop in and you’ll see that there are actually more than 60 movies approximately museums and collections. consisting of a few top notch in the back of the scene excursions.

You’ll discover your very own favorites, however right here are some of the motion pictures that captured our interest and our imagination this week. We commenced with a visit to the Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo, Norway, domestic to Thor Heyerdahl’s authentic Kon-Tiki raft and the papyrus boat Ra II.

We also went down a rabbit hollow at London’s British Museum getting to know about how organized the museum for lockdown and toured the gathering of the Alaskan items on the Sainsbury Centre in Norwich, England.

Ready for a ‘vaxication’?

(This is a story we wrote for NBC News)

Ready to Travel?

A developing wave of comfortable restrictions, along with an increasing number of vaccinated Americans, is main to a surge in “vaxications” and other trips, after a year of pandemic-brought on lockdowns.

Mothballed eating places, resorts and sights, canceled cruise seasons, and record low airline passenger visitors are making way for a brisk uptick in journey plans. Around half of of Americans set to take a experience inside the subsequent three months, consistent with an analysis from the U.S. Travel Association.

“People have an 18-month deliver of occasions, visits and vacations to catch up on,” said Michael McCall, professor of hospitality enterprise at Michigan State University. “There is a tremendous pent-up desire to travel. Families have not hugged or hung out together.”

After greater than a yr of closure, Disneyland seems set to open in April, along side many other subject parks. Dollywood topic park, for example, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, opened for the season final weekend, simply in time for spring spoil, as is its lifestyle.

Live indoor tune has already returned to New Orleans, even though dancing inner clubs stays prohibited.

Business is brisk right now at Biloxi Shrimping Trip in Biloxi, Mississippi, which got hit tough during the pandemic. In March 2020, “we misplaced all our institution journey customers and walk-up commercial enterprise for the 12 months in just a few days,” stated owner and operator Mike Moore, “But the start of 2021 has been incredibly busy, even in comparison to final year. Our vessel has been working steadily with stroll-united states of americaand the telephone is starting to ring for businesses traveling in the fall and also for spring of 2022.”

Urban regions are seeing site visitors return, too.

“Since the beginning of February 2021, we have all started to see more travelers from outside our vicinity,” said Rudd Schupp, chef concierge at visitor facts center Visit Seattle.

While outstanding airfare offers have lured a few to Seattle from California, Utah, Montana and Texas, many visitors from the neighboring states of Oregon and Idaho “simply wanted to get in the vehicle and drive somewhere,” Rudd said.

Road trips were famous last summer, but even extra humans can be hitting the road this summer time. Travelers in a latest TripIt survey stated they will be geared up to head out on a avenue ride as early as June in a non-public automobile (83 percent) or in a rented car or RV (60 percentage), with more than 60 percent planning to power for Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day journeys.

Many of those journeys will include lodges stays, but many avenue trippers will stay in their RVs and in campgrounds.

Jon Gray, CEO of RVShare, a peer-to-peer RV condominium market, stated bookings for spring damage are already up by means of 114 percentage in comparison to final year.

Private and public campgrounds also are seeing an uptick in reservations, with some starting earlier than traditional this yr. Advance reservations have been already up by a hundred and fifty percentage as early as January at many campsites affiliated with the Jellystone Park franchise community, which has nearly eighty circle of relatives campgrounds throughout the U.S. and Canada. Campspot, a campground reservation software machine, stated guests are booking longer and more frequent journeys, with a nearly three hundred percent increase in visitors booking a couple of journeys.

Even the tough-hit cruise enterprise is hoping to salvage some of its 2021 season. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lifted its no-sail order in October, the restrictions in the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order that changed it have led maximum important cruise lines to voluntarily enlarge their crusing suspensions.

Some cruise traces have introduced that once cruises return, all crew and passengers can be required to have evidence of bad Covid-19 exams and vaccinations. In the period in-between, “we preserve to look good sized hobby amongst cruisers in returning to sea,” stated Colleen McDaniel, editor-in-leader of Cruise Critic.

Based on a latest survey of our readers, 42 percent shared that they're currently looking to ebook a future cruise — and a majority of these are seeking to sail in the next 365 days. So, though they're now not but capable of sail, they’re eager to accomplish that whilst the time is right,” McDaniel said.

LAX Flight Path Museum airplane models

Air travel has already picked up considerably, with the Transportation Security Administration screening the largest wide variety of passengers final week for the reason that pandemic hit. While the numbers are nevertheless manner down in comparison to pre-pandemic times, site visitors is growing enough to provide airways self assurance to carry again many paused routes and introduce new services: Hawaiian Airlines simply launched a brand new nonstop provider from Orlando, Florida, to Honolulu; JetBlue Airways will quickly begin flying between Hartford, Connecticut, and Miami; and American Airlines announced 10 new, returning and seasonal routes out of Austin, Texas.

“Airlines are seeing more people looking for flights on their websites and they're getting more queries thru journey corporations. They are seeing reserving volumes construct,” stated Henry Harteveldt, president of Atmosphere Research Group. “Because global travel restrictions nonetheless exist among the U.S. and many nations, most of the demand is domestic or to the few countries where Americans are allowed to visit, which include Mexico and Costa Rica. But there may be hope on the horizon.”

Passengers whose flights or tour plans had been canceled at some stage in the pandemic are also sitting on billions of greenbacks of travel vouchers, a lot of which expire soon. “Airlines want you to use that credit score, so this could be a super summer time for human beings to get out on the road and into the skies,” Harteveldt stated.

Travel experts say all people wishing to take a journey must be exercise caution, specially in light of the CDC’s advice that journey be avoided where feasible, even for passengers who are vaccinated.

“If you’re thinking about tour someday this 12 months, it’s greater vital than ever to do your due diligence ahead of any trip to make certain it's miles secure and exciting,” stated Paula Twidale, senior vice president for AAA Travel.

How will the pandemic go away its mark on travel?

Dreaming about journey? Us too. But how will our trips be modified by way of the pandemic?

(This is a slightly specific version of a tale we prepared for NBC News.)

Sanitizing stations, “stand right here, now not there” ground stickers, and cotton swabs up the nostril have been no longer part of the travel enjoy earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic.

But as tourists edge their manner back into airports and accommodations and onto airplanes, cruise ships, and ski slopes, they will be dealing will all that – and greater.

But for a way lengthy? We requested some enterprise specialists to inform us which new tour traits, technologies, and protocols they assume will stick around.

Who will journey and what's going to they anticipate?

“Businesses are connecting with their clients virtually and entertainment tourists are discovering the thrill of staying neighborhood,” says Chekitan Dev, a professor at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration inside the SC Johnson College of Business. “Many commercial enterprise tourists will decrease their range of trips, and enjoyment vacationers will shift from ‘hyper-international’ to ‘hyper-local’ tour for the foreseeable destiny.”

For well into 2021 travelers can be predicted or required to put on masks and study bodily distancing. And airlines, airports, lodges, and cruise traces can be anticipated to hold making fitness, protection, and cleanliness a concern.

“People will look at a dirty condo automobile or bus or airport or airline cabin or resort room and surprise, ‘Uh oh, am I putting myself at chance?’ says Henry Harteveldt, a travel enterprise analyst at Atmosphere Research Group. “Travelers will hold to hold travel manufacturers’ feet to the hearth to maintain their facilities smooth.”

Entertainment

Once we move past this pandemic “we’re going to have amnesia about a number of this and possibly cross back doing the various identical things we used to do earlier than,” says Devin Liddell, futures and layout strategist with Seattle-based Teague worldwide design consultancy.

Theme parks, museums, and different sights will reopen, and Liddell says the great operators will retain structures put in location to orchestrate the drift of humans. For instance, “ski accommodations that require reservations will possibly create a higher experience for all and sundry at the elevate traces,” he says.

Hotels

Hotels will in all likelihood keep bendy cancellation guidelines and hold in vicinity the in depth protocols for cleaning guest rooms and public spaces.

But rather than home tasks best upon request or under no circumstances at some point of a live, “optionally available housekeeping can be extra about supplying guests with an smooth ‘opt-out’ of home tasks offerings,” says Bjorn Hanson, adjunct Professor at New York University’s Tisch Center of Hospitality. 

Cruising

Most major cruise traces are preserving – and extending – the voluntary suspensions of sailings until sometime in 2021.

When sailings resume there can be adjustments onboard.

“The buffet will circulate faraway from the greater traditional self-serve method toward a more group-served style – some thing that lines have already said will likely be a extra permanent alternate,” said Colleen McDaniel, Editor-in-Chief of Cruise Critic. And “adjustments to muster drills could also stick around beyond the pandemic. Rather than mass occasions that placed all passengers in small spaces immediately, we’ll retain to look this extra self-driven.”

Airports

At airports, “the pandemic has dramatically multiplied the adoption of countless new technologies and protocols to hold human beings healthy and secure and streamline the entire air journey experience,” says Kevin Burke, president and CEO of Airports Council International-North America.

“Many of those adjustments will out survive COVID-19,” he provides.

Those technologies and protocols consist of sanitizing robots, restrooms that alert renovation crews while cleaning is needed, contactless test-in, bag test and credential authentication, and the increased capacity to reserve and pay for food or obligation-unfastened gadgets from a mobile tool and get hold of a contactless delivery everywhere inside the airport.

The cutting-edge pandemic will trade destiny airports as well.

“We plan to enforce many public health processes into the design of our new terminal constructing,” scheduled to open in 2023 stated Christina Cassotis, CEO at Pittsburgh International Airport, “It will be the primary publish-pandemic terminal to open within the us of a with a view to be designed with these problems in thoughts.”

Materials in airports are going to alternate, too, says Luis Vidal, president and founding partner at Luis Vidal + Architects. “The use of recent photocatalytic devices primarily based on antibacterial, antiviral, and ‘autocleaning’ fabric, consisting of titanium dioxide, silver or copper, in high-use areas will become the norm.”

Airlines

(PRNewsfoto/United Airlines)

Airlines will maintain stringent cleaning and sanitizing protocols. Generous rebooking and cancelation policies might also stretch out for some time. But maximum airlines will soon forestall blocking center seats.

Coming again soon: the entire variety of in-flight services, specifically on the front of the aircraft.

“The touring public is not happy with the naked bones on-board enjoy right now,” says Harteveldt of Atmosphere Research. “They apprehend the need for limits, but human beings are announcing they won’t accept deciding to buy a premium experience and getting something that is subpar.”

Vaccines, Travel Corridors, and insurance 

As the COVID-19 vaccine turns into to be had, it could turn out to be a ‘need to-have’ for tourists.

The new everyday for global travel may additionally include digital fitness passports showing a tourist’s vaccine or negative check popularity and, by spring, tour corridors (additionally called journey bubbles) that permit travel between international locations with low COVID-19 infection prices, says Fiona Ashley, VP Product & Solution Marketing SAP Concur.

While there are some incredible fare deals being provided right now, as demand returns, so will better costs.  And going ahead, vacationers will in all likelihood want to thing inside the introduced costs of COVID-19 exams and travel coverage.

“Travel coverage may additionally turn out to be a non-negotiable as locations keep to require medical health insurance, and travel suppliers tighten their refund regulations,” said Megan Moncrief Chief Marketing Officer of tour insurance evaluation website Squaremouth

“The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the vulnerability of the worldwide journey industry. I think tourists can be extra careful approximately making an investment in high-priced trips with out insurance.”

What now? A new week of coronavirus travel alerts

News related to the unfold of coronavirus and its effect on travel seems to be coming quicker than we will maintain up with it.

On Sunday, the U.S. State Department issued a be aware urging U.S. citizens no longer to travel by cruise deliver.  

The CDC is likewise discouraging older adults and anyone with underlying fitness problems from taking long plane trips and spending time in crowded locations.

Airports could be counted as crowded places. Although with such a lot of flights canceled and so many tourists staying domestic, airports are far much less crowded than usual.

But for individuals who are travelling, airports and airlines are persevering with to clean facilities and share facts approximately what they’re doing to preserve passengers secure.

Here are only a few messages from the past few days.

World’s first hybrid electric powered-powered cruise deliver arrives in North America

When it comes to the environment and sustainability, cruise ships and plenty of cruise ship operators get failing grades in relation to controlling carbon emissions, recycling and treating water, waste and sewage.

But thanks to new technology and the scrutiny of passengers, government companies and environmental organizations, the tide is beginning to turn in desire of the earth.

Norwegian cruise operator Hurtigruten is on the leading fringe of that effort with the arena’s first hybrid electric-powered excursion ship, which currently made history as the first ship of its type to traverse the Northwest Passage.

The 530-passenger MS Roald Amundsen is called for the Norwegian explorer who turned into the primary person to navigate the Northwest Passage via boat and the primary person to pass Antarctica and attain the South Pole.

Hurtigruten’s sustainability guidelines encompass a ban on unmarried-use plastics and the purpose of being definitely emission-free inside two decades. The Roald Amundsen movements the employer toward that aim with the aid of proposing a hybrid working device that uses big banks of batteries to supplement the energy of the principle engines, which run on low sulfur marine gasoline oil.

“Excess, unneeded electricity from the engines is stored inside the batteries and when the engine desires greater power, we draw it lower back from the batteries and feed it into the engines,” Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam advised NBC.

That reduces gas usage, permits the engines to function at their premier tiers and lowers CO2 emissions by means of 20 percent.  

The ship additionally has the choice to run on battery strength by myself for confined intervals, at some stage in which time it makes use of no fuel and creates 0 emissions.           

Charging the batteries from the ship’s extra strength is crucial, said Skjeldam, because there are presently no energy charging stations for ships to plug into in port.

The employer’s subsequent hybrid ships will be unique, he says.

Those ships could have plug-in functionality and be capable of recharge at energy stations Skjeldam expects to be installation alongside the Norwegian coast and someplace else.

The international’s first hybrid-powered cruise ship set sail from Norway in July and is now in Vancouver, B.C. preparing for a season of excursion cruises in Antarctica. Hurtigruten will debut a second hybrid-powered ship, the MS Fridtjof Nansen, in 2020. A 0.33, yet unnamed hybrid-powered deliver can be added in 2021.

Hurtigruten’s next era of hybrid ships, at the side of a 1/2-dozen of its retrofitted current ships, will run on a aggregate of battery strength, liquified herbal fuel (LNG) and biogas crafted from natural waste, which include dead fish.

“Bio-fuel is like a Kinder Egg of gasoline; it is like those chocolate eggs with treats interior,” stated Skjeldam. “Passengers on our ships will eat fish. The waste from that fish and from the fish farming enterprise will go into a production plant that generates gasoline for our ships and creates fertilizer for the agriculture enterprise.”

Skjeldam says that, for now, Hurtigruten’s hybrid ships and its dedication to some distance-accomplishing sustainability practices is an steeply-priced proposition.

“We anticipate the technology to be inexpensive in the destiny. But we understand passengers don’t need to go to stunning, pristine places on an operator that isn't taking the nature they sail to seriously. Some cruise strains say they’re green, however passengers can inform the difference.”

Other cruise traces do their part – or now not

The global’s biggest cruise corporation, U.S.-based totally cruise ship operator Carnival Corp., became in court docket this week to cope with charges that it maintains to violate environmental legal guidelines by discharging plastics, meals, or “grey water” into included areas.

“Compliance, environmental protection, protection — it’s the first factor,” Arnold Donald informed the court. “Without it, we don’t have a commercial enterprise.”

On the positive side, although, Norwegian Cruise Lines Partners lately announced that it's far on the right track to reach its intention of changing all single-use plastic bottles across its fleet by way of Jan. 1, 2020.

Lindblad Expeditions announced its purpose to become a carbon-impartial organization starting this 12 months by means of making investments to offset one hundred percent of its emissions.

And the global cruise industry is running as a set to fulfill a purpose the Cruise Lines International Association announced in 2018 of decreasing the charge of carbon emissions throughout the enterprise fleet by using 40 percentage by way of 2030.

(My story about the sector’s first hybrid electric powered-powered cruise deliver first regarded on NBC.com)