Coronavirus and the measures associated with it have been all over the news lately. Tom and I have been paying particular attention to it, but not for the usual reasons. We had a big trip scheduled to begin April 22: a four-month cruise to Europe. We had been planning and paying for the trip for the last 18 months.
The plan went like this. We get on the Holland America cruise ship Veendam on April 22 in Fort Lauderdale and head to Europe. The first leg of the trip takes in the Azores, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. From May 11 to May 21 we sail around Great Britain. Then we head to Scandinavia, Iceland and Russia, with lots of time in Norway, until July 5. We spend another month in the United Kingdom, part on land and part on the ship. Finally, on August 7 we board the Holland America ship Zaandam for a trip back to the U.S. via Iceland, Greenland, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia.
Sounds like the trip of a lifetime, doesn’t it? We had been eagerly looking forward to the trip for a long time. Everything was in place and all lined up. And then the coronavirus strikes.
The coronavirus is a terrible thing, and I feel so bad for the people who have been affected by it. Tom and I are doing what we can to decrease our risk to the virus, as I’m sure you are doing. We wash our hands more often and sanitize the Visitors Center at Fort Frederica every day. We are doing our best to separate media hype from actual risks. And, when the cruise lines announced shutdowns through April 15, we canceled our trip.
No place is safe from the coronavirus, but we are more isolated here at Fort Frederica than we would be on a cruise ship in Europe. And who knows when the cruise lines will start running again? I think we will still be social distancing and canceling big events at least through the end of summer.
I am disappointed about not being able to take this trip. But there are some positives. Tom and I are able to get more than 90% of our money back from what we paid for our trip. We hope to book a similar trip for next year. And, if people can start moving around again, we plan to travel a little in the late summer. Meanwhile, we wash our hands frequently, keep our six feet away from others, and enjoy working on beautiful St. Simon’s Island.
Stay safe out there. Don’t take unnecessary chances with your health. It will take a while, but we will get through this.