Greetings from Madeira!
Somehow our Madeira experience is already at the halfway point, which would be shocking to me if we didn't already know the relationship between the speed of time and having fun. We've been blessed with lots of great weather, great food, and many laughs, and I anticipate all of those to continue into the latter part of our trip.
I took a few minutes to shoot this week's video blog from the galleon we sailed on to go whale and dolphin watching because things are changing very quickly in the travel world and this has some important ramifications for you to consider if you're keen to travel in the not-to-distant future.
If you've been following travel news (highly likely if you're reading this), you may have seen a lot of reports of countries reopening or reducing restrictions, and the subsequent surge in people looking to book trips abroad. This is certainly the case in Canada, as travel companies across the country are seeing a huge uptick in bookings and inquiries as the Canadian government relaxes restrictions for travellers.
Over the course of the last few years I've mentioned several times about 'the surge and the squeeze' when travel finally returns, and as we are seeing beginning of the surge, so too begins the squeeze.
I've had a number of our operating partners in countries around the world reach out to me recently asking us to either confirm or release our allotted space with them, as demand is spiking for them and they can't hold on to things much longer for us.
This is the case for our South Africa & Seychelles program happening in October; we have just a few weeks to confirm or release our space there, so if you're thinking about joining us there, the time is upon us for decisions.
In other cases, hotels are limiting the amount of space they'll give to groups, as we're seeing in Samui; once we've sold all of our allotted spaces, we will definitely try and get more, but there are no guarantees in the current climate.
You may remember we recently had to either give up our rooms or charter the whole ship for our October cruise along the Adriatic Coast - we chose to charter the ship, sold out all the cabins with a wait list, and although I've tried in vain to get a second ship, we are unsurprisingly out of luck.
(We are working on getting a charter for a May 2023 sailing of the program...stay tuned.)
So although all of this was predictable, it doesn't make it any easier to deal with - the window to get things booked is closing quickly as space everywhere is filling fast, and adding new space will not be able to keep up with demand for quite some time.
My suggestion for you then is, if you'd like to get a trip in this year or in the first part of next year - whether with us, on your own, or with another travel company - put your name in the hat as soon as possible so you can secure a spot before things fill up.
I empathize with all of you who have been through the emotional ups and downs of trip cancellations over the past few years, and I acknowledge it's still a possibility here. That said, trying to avoid that pain now risks being on the inside looking out, while those quicker to the punch are out enjoying themselves.
We will of course do our utmost to a) run all of our trips and b) get you on the trip you've been dreaming about; that is my commitment to you and this community and I couldn't be happier that the time long promised may almost be here. I certainly prefer the challenges of this kind of wave over the ones of the past two years!
I appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate uncertain seas, and as we work through the uptick in booking inquiries coming our way. Most of all, I look forward to sharing sunsets and smiles on a trip together in the near future 🙂