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*WHEEL OF (mis) FORTUNE*

Updated: Oct 1

The other day I managed to catch a few minutes of that decades old game show Wheel of Fortune in which contestants armed with scant pieces of the puzzle attempt to fill in the blanks in their quest to paint a complete picture and ultimately walk off with the prize.

And it dawned on me that our own game show – Let’s Get Travelling – is not much different.

Other than Vanna has a set number of blanks to be filled in over at Wheel of Fortune and upon completion – the phrase appears.

In Let’s Get Travelling however, Vanna simply adds more blanks once you think you’ve secured the prize and thus it takes on the appearance of Stevie Wonder playing Pin The Tail On The Donkey.

*Can Canadians Travel to the US?*

That depends.

By vehicle, vessel or rail – no – unless you are deemed an essential traveller such as a front line worker, government employee on government business, or an individual travelling for essential reasons such as a verifiable medical appointment.

A more comprehensive list of allowable and exempted categories can be seen at https://ca.usembassy.gov/travel-restrictions-fact-sheet/

Flying from Canada to the United States however is currently permissible with far fewer restrictions other than the very limited number of flights operating.

A couple of very important notes however to anyone contemplating a flight to the United States.

1- Individual states *may* require either a mandated quarantine period for out of state travelers *or* proof of a Covid negative test taken 72 hours prior to boarding your flight. Given that current Covid testing does not always produce results within that 72 hour time frame – the decision to purchase a non-refundable flight gets a bit more risky.

2- With the Government of Canada’s web-site currently recommending that all non essential travel outside of Canada be avoided – insurance companies at this time will *not cover* any claims arising from a cancelled trip should a traveler opt to disregard the advisory.

*Winter 2020/2021 Cruise Programs*

As optimistic as cruise lines were to get up and running after mothballing the fleet back in March 2020, one obstacle after another has pretty much *prorogued* ( we Canucks do love that term don’t we?) the cruise industry in North America through until the end of December 2020.

And with Vanna standing in the wings with an armful of blank squares – it’s not clear when cruises originating out of US ports will be given the green light.

That’s not to say there aren’t cruises operating ( or scheduled to operate) in and out of non US ports such as the Caribbean, South Pacific, Mediterranean etc.

It will all hinge on a combination of health protocols in play at the various ports of call coupled with consumer confidence in the ability of the best laid plans achieve mutually desired outcomes.

An update published Aug.19 through Cruise Critic may be seen at https://www.cruisecritic.com/news/5016

*Mexican/Caribbean Resort Getaways*

While popular destinations such as Mexico, Caribbean, Cuba, Dominican Republic and Costa Rica are *in the works* for a resumption starting this Fall, what remains to be seen is which of these destinations will be available on a direct basis out of Calgary.

Air Transat has already announced their withdrawal of direct service from Western Canada to sun destinations for the 2020-2021 season and I suspect Sunwing, Air Canada and Westjet are carefully examining anticipated demand/return on investment before committing to a firm Winter program out of Calgary.

While it is *anticipated* that each of the 3 will offer nonstop programs to a selection of sun spots out of Calgary – the next month or so should lay out a little more clarity.

*Government of Canada Travel Advisories*

Always a good idea to look from time to time at https://travel.gc.ca/?_ga=2.205377941.401295826.1597860797-1344725075.1597860797 which updates issues on a daily basis.

*My Gut Feel*

By the end of 2020 Canadians will have had enough of lockdowns and the unprecedented pent up demand for an escape hatch will result in many of us cautiously dipping a toe in the water to test the temperature.

There will be those for whom a 7 day getaway to a Mexican beach property will see the void filled.

A number of us however are going to be looking at options that keep us as far removed from mass tourism as our own definition of safety protocols require.

Whether that be a boutique class 100 passenger expedition vessel, a 12 guest National Geographic Private Tour, a high end capacity controlled River Cruise ,or a private villa rental in a non mass market gated beach destination – a number of quality suppliers are stepping up to the plate to offer products that meet the new post Covid demands of Canadian travelers.

We have and will continue to remain open (by appointment or by e-mail/phone call) throughout.

Summer hours are reduced a bit – Monday-Thursday 10AM-4PM however we will continue to return calls/e-mails pretty much 7 days a week.

And with no disrespect intended – Vanna – if you plan on heading this way with an armload of blank squares – please don’t.

We’ve got our hands full here at the puzzle palace.

Adios until next time


Dave Heron


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Pace Setter Travel & Tours (1995) Inc.

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