June 15, 2021 • COVID-19, News Announcements
Post updated: June 15, 2021 (originally posted March 19, 2020)
Much has happened since our last update at the end of March 2021. The U.S. is seeing large numbers of its population getting vaccinated, and with that comes the gradual reopening of many things here at home. It also means that many people are feeling excited about planning for that long awaited return to our favorite ocean exploration spots. Unfortunately, while things at home have quickly turned a corner, the rest of the world is struggling to get and administer vaccine doses to the millions that need them. As such, many places to which we travel are still closed, and their reopening to vaccinated international travelers may yet be delayed until the fall or winter of 2021. For example, Tonga has just announced that it will not be reopening until March of 2022.
On the plus side Belize, Bahamas, and the Galápagos Islands are all open to international tourists and in May, Palau, one of our most popular destinations, reopened. By the end of the summer, Palau should be back to its pre-COVID flight schedule out of Guam, and we expect to be able to run our trips there in November and December of 2021. Those trips are booking up quickly as many people are interested in getting back out to the coral reefs.
We have space on our October Raja Ampat (Indonesia) liveaboard trip, and we are holding out hope that this and other fall Indonesia trips will be possible. That will depend, however, on whether Indonesia is able to reopen to tourism this summer. We do expect that all of our 2022 trips will go as planned, and we do have some openings on our small group expeditions to Raja Ampat in early 2022.
We are offering some domestic day and multi-day trips out of San Francisco, our home base. The whale sightings have been amazing so far this year.
We also continue to work on private family and friend-group trips. Right now I am busy planning a Kenya safari for a couple for this September, and another safari for a family of four in August 2022. Some of the places we can plan private trips include Belize, Borneo, Palau, Costa Rica, Kenya, and Galápagos.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch with questions or to plan your next adventure. We are getting more and more calls each week and many of our 2022 trips are already filling up. We look forward to helping you select a trip that will get you safely back out in nature. As of August we will be requiring all of our trip members to present proof of vaccination in order to participate in any of our trips (excluding California whale watching trips). At this point, all of our staff members and guides are vaccinated. And, because the tourism sector has been prioritized for vaccination in many countries, in most cases the employees of the ships and hotels we use have been vaccinated too.
We are excited for the weeks ahead and more countries reopening to tourism, and cannot wait to share with you all, the glorious beauty of the seas. At this time, the information below from our earlier posting remains true and may still be of assistance in your travel planning. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Wayne or Pei (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any travel related questions or private group travel planning needs as you contemplate planning your next adventure. We can answer many questions for you, and many of our expeditions can be customized or offered as private trips for families or groups of friends that may have been quarantining together. In the meantime, you may find the links below helpful as you decide whether to plan a trip in 2021.
UPDATED BOOKING POLICIES – WHAT IF YOU NEED TO CANCEL A BOOKING?
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOUR CURRENTLY SCHEDULED EXPEDITION IS POSTPONED BY OCEANIC SOCIETY DUE TO COVID-19 TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS?
You will be able to choose between the following options:
SOME ADDITIONAL RESOURCES THAT WE RECOMMEND
With best regards from all of us,
Rod, Wayne, Pei, Brian, Nicole, Linda Sue, Chris, Ashleigh, Lindsay, Rosie, Amanda, and Huntley