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Flying By Colours

Flying By Colours

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My Personal Experience By Chris Lorenzo

Travelling To Greece In May 2021

Having had the privilege of travelling to Greece last week on an inspection trip, I thought it may be useful to share my experience for those of you who are wondering how it all works.

I was able to travel before the 17th May official travel opening date as my travel was for business reasons, but this restriction of course no longer applies. Having also completed both vaccinations ( I am showing my age here) I also avoided the need to have a PCR test pre-departure as Greece and Croatia both accept evidence of vaccination (completed at least 14 days before travel) which exempts you from the testing requirement. This can be an NHS letter of confirmation (available by calling 119) or on your NHS app. A word of advice here, It does take time to obtain these so don’t leave it till the last minute. I also had to complete the Greek Government PLF form at least 24 hours before travel (Croatia has similar) and produce evidence of this at the airport together with proof of the PCR test or vaccination.

Stansted airport was almost eerily quiet and the aircraft probably about 60% full. I noticed fellow passengers disinfecting their tray table and armrests with suitable wipes, though I chose to trust the airline’s cleanliness assurance. To see the same passengers take their masks off to eat and drink was something of a contradiction and given a roughly 3-hour flight, there was no risk of malnutrition or dehydration setting in, so my policy was to keep my mask on and forego the refreshments. Either way, with everyone either vaccinated, tested and mostly masked, it did feel safe.

The Greek immigration and customs procedure was quick and easy. As a ‘third country national’ my passport was stamped on entry. Airport officials did check both my PLF and vaccination proof and I was quickly through with no delay. You may be selected for a random test (if positive, your holiday will be in a COVID hotel paid for by the Greek taxpayer), although the percentage selected seems small.

Once through. it all felt quite reassuring. The warm sunshine helps and the open-air summer lifestyle with the obvious compliance with the various health protocols made me feel quite comfortable. Out and about in Greece, eating or drinking out in the open felt safe and everywhere seemed to be applying the rules. It is notable that you should wear a mask whilst walk around though.

Cruise vessel preparation observes the same strict hygiene protocols with the notable point that Variety Cruises has now arranged that all crew members have been vaccinared both for their safety and that of guests. I should add here that we have been monitoring the progress of the pandemic in all our key summer cruising areas in Greece and Croatia and at the local and regional level, the islands would all fulfill the criteria to be classified as Green within the UK traffic light system.

Flying By Colours - My Personal ExperienceOn the way back, the airline staff wanted to be sure we had pre-booked our day 2 and 8 UK tests, (Once destinations change to Green later, only day 2 is required ) plus the 72-hour pre-departure test which can be a rapid flow test (20 euros) and which we will organise towards the end of the holiday. (You could have one with you from the UK where your actual test is checked via video link – cost £33). They also wanted to see evidence of the UK pre-flight PLF form having been completed.

The flight home felt very similar to the flight out except that it was a much bumpier ride thanks to turbulence over the Alps. On landing, in the UK I was fortunate to be through passport control in less than 30 minutes at Heathrow this time, though that was with hand luggage only. The cheerful Borderforce staff checked my Covid test, PLF form and asked me to show them that PCR tests were booked for days 2 and 8. I noted that we were being separated from Red country arrivals which was reassuring, though possibly not possible everywhere.

The requirement to isolate on return did not bother me as I can work from home. Food shopping had already been secured through a home delivery order so we were set. I must say that the test to release option seems excessive to me when vaccinated and in possession of a recent negative test to be followed by another on day 2. On the other hand, my personal opinion is that it should be a requirement to have private transport organised, as it seems a contradiction that it’s OK to jump on a bus or train from the airport when you are required to isolate.

Flying By Colours - My Personal ExperienceAll in all, it felt safe and all the officials we came into contact with did their job quickly and efficiently, regardless of whether I agree with the process. Would I do it again? Yes, I certainly would and plan to do so very soon, it being a requirement of my job. However, I would also have no qualms travelling to an amber country for a holiday. The reality of the situation is that the Global Travel Taskforce deliberated over this issue on behalf of the Government for weeks. The amber category was introduced to make it difficult and keep the numbers actually travelling on holiday down (which it achieves). If the intention had been to not allow leisure travel to these countries, then there was no need for amber, Green and red would have been sufficient. We all know that it is not illegal to travel on holiday to an amber country, it is a matter of choice or affordability, period!

Chris Lorenzo
Managing Director

The Traffic Light System & Testing for Travel

The Traffic Light System & Testing for Travel

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To Book Or Not To Book...That Is The Question...

Following the official announcement of the traffic light system in England on May 10th, we would like to clarify and update you on the current situation for holidays this summer.

Greece & Croatia are both open to tourists from May onwards, although they have both unfortunately been placed in the UK’s Amber category, everything points towards them changing to Green by some point in June. With infection rates coming down and good recent progress with their vaccination roll-out, we are confident of this.

There has been much confusion created by the Government’s ambiguous stance over whether leisure travel is allowed to amber countries.  In common with other tour operators and airlines we have made the decision to commence holiday operations to Greece and Croatia in line with our cruise operator partners and  local government regulations. To be clear on the matter, leisure travel to amber countries is not illegal. The Government announcement on this by the transport minister in his written statement to parliament was very clear (read here). The Global Travel Taskforce deliberated over this for several weeks on behalf of the government and came up with the amber category as a way of limiting numbers travelling to these countries, since the requirement to quarantine on return and pay for PCR tests on day 2 and day 8 limits the number of people who are willing and able to undertake all this. That is why the category was introduced in the first place. As for the science, it is actually the case that the infection rates in our key destinations in the Greek  Isles and the Dalmatian islands in Croatia are well within the criteria for inclusion within the Green category. In our view, everything else said on the matter is nothing more than playing politics. For those already booked, if quarantine is not an issue for you on return and you are happy to do so, then you will be able to travel. If it is an issue, then you will be covered under our flexible booking terms allowing deferral of your holiday. (See this link).

The issues that appear to be worrying people are what tests are needed and what this will cost. We have put together this useful table below for what tests you will need.  Prices for packs of tests have started to come right down, with discounted packages bookable through various airlines. We also have negotiated a discounted test package  through selected suppliers for our guests with details of these provided with departure documents.

REQUIREMENTS FOR TRAVEL FROM & TO THE UKGREEN COUNTRYAMBER COUNTRYRED COUNTRY HOLIDAYS WILL NOT OPERATE
Complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) from your destination country 2-3 days pre-departure, Complete a UK PLF 48 hours before you’re due to return.
We will provide links to these in your departure pack.
YESYESYES
Take an antigen (rapid flow) test before you begin your journey homeYes, this should be no more than three days before your return date.Yes, no more than three days before your return date.Yes, no more than three days before your return date.
Take a PCR test no more than 72 hours before departure and a test /tests after you get home.Yes, one before you depart on your holiday (unless you have a vaccination certificate) and one within the first two days of your returnYes, one before you depart on your holiday
(unless you have a vaccination certificate)
and further tests on days 2 and 8 after your return.
Yes, on days 2 and 8 after your return.
Self-isolate at homeNOYes, for 10 days, unless you opt into the Test to Release scheme.N/A
Quarantine in a hotelNONOYes, for ten days after arrival - your arrival day counts as ’day 0’
Test to release option - take a second PCR test earlyNot applicableYes, on day 5 after your return - if this test comes back negative, you’ll be able to end your self-isolation.NO
Is my holiday going ahead?Yes holidays to Green countries operate as normalHolidays to Amber countries can go ahead.
If you are unable to self-isolate at home on your return, you have the option to change your booking to another date or a different destination with no admin charges.
No - Holidays will not be operating to countries classified in the Red category

What is a safe assumption given the vaccination roll out and stringent testing regime being applied, is that the latter half of the season will be without restrictions in our main destinations. Our advice is therefore to book now if that’s when you plan to go as availability is already quite tight. The same applies to certain popular dates like the half term or school holidays next summer, so the advice is to get in early to ensure you secure your first choice of holiday for summer 2022. What’s more, you can still book summer 2022 at 2021 prices (…less your repeat booker’s discount) and since prices have to go up next year, it’s another good reason to act now. For this choosing to travel whilst destinations remain amber, there are some great special offers with big savings available which more than cover the costs of testing and more.

I have already sampled the procedure having travelled to Greece and will travelling again soon doing my rounds, so I hope to see you there.

Chris Lorenzo
Managing Director

Managing Director

SeafarerCrusing & Sailing Holidays Small Ship & Mega Yacht Cruises

Coronavirus Update

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Last Update 8th May 2021

Dear Fellow Seafarers

We are providing regular updates on this page for those of you concerned about the Coronavirus situation and the possible impact on your holiday.

Cruises  Re-Start on 28th May

In line with UK Government advice, Departures will resume from the UK after the17th May with our first 2021 departure scheduled for 28th May in Greece.  In summer 2020 in line with official advice on travel to selected countries within the EU as well as that of the authorities in our host countries, Meditteranean Island hopping yacht holidays operated normally with weekly sailings since July 2020 and we are pleased to advise that all sailings operated without a single case of Covid 19 arising, demonstrating in practice that the precautions and protective measure in place were effective, whilst our guest and some prominent journalists who joined our cruises reported their satisfaction with these measures which they report had no real impact on the enjoyment of their holiday. With the majority of guests and crew being vaccinated and with the tried and tested protocols in place, we look forward to a successful return to weekly cruises from the end of the month.

Foreign Office Advice

It is clarified that the specific foreign office advice against cruises did not apply to yachting holidays and it should be noted that these holidays are very different to cruise ship holidays, not only due to the size of the vessel and the smaller number of guests and crew on board, the largely ‘al fresco’ onboard experience and very different facilities and service compared to cruise ships, but also because the island hopping trips we promote generally stay within a single country (mainly Greece, Croatia and the Seychelles) and did not generally cross international borders.

Long Haul Travel

With the exception of the Seychelles from August, all other long haul departures are currently suspended, though we can now confirm that our cruises in the other long-haul destinations we feature will resume in November 2021. We are contacting all those guests whose holiday has been affected individually to discuss the various alternatives on offer. In most cases, we are encouraging our guests to re-book at a later date in 2021 or 2022, all with no cancellation penalties or change fees, though it is noted that your flights or cruise may be more expensive according to the new date chosen .

The Mega Yacht island-hopping voyages Variety Cruises will re-start their first departure in the Seychelles in August 2021, with destinations such as the Caribbean, Costa Rica/ Panama, The Red Sea, Rivers of West Africa and Cape Verde, starting from November onwards. The Tall Ships of Star Clippers will restart in the Caribbean and Far East in November. Thereafter, programmes are expected to return to normal and operate weekly.

Mediterranean Departures

Departures from late May 2021 in Greece with Variety Cruises are scheduled to operate normally with weekly departures from may 28th.

Since the announcement of the UK Government’s road map and new Traffic Light System for international travel, leisure travel is now possible for residents of England from the 17th May. Our main destinations of Greece, Croatia, France  and Italy have been designated amber initially requiring 10 days in quarantine at home on return and a PCR test on days 2 and 8, with the possibility of reducing quarantine with a ‘test to release’ on day 5.

This we understand will be reviewed in three weeks and we remain optimistic that key destinations such as Greece will subsequently be designated Green and quarantine requirements lifted in time for the main season, thanks to the progress being made with inoculation programmes.

We await a further Government announcement at the end of May on updates to the Green list of countries with no quarantine requirement on return and a single PCR test on day 2. We acknowledge that restrictions on leisure travel remain in place for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and our flexible booking policies do make allowances for this. We note that all departures to Turkey have been suspended till further notice, while any scheduled cruise calls to Turkish ports will also be changed to a suitable alternative. We continue to monitor the situation closely, liaising regularly with our trade associations and where possible, also the authorities both in the UK and in our main destinations.

Where travel is not possible, we will contact you individually in good time to discuss your options which can include deferring the holiday to a later date, or if travel subsequently proves impossible, then we acknowledge your right to a full refund.

Pre Departure Testing Required In 2021

One thing that is certain to remain a requirement this summer is a negative PCR Covid 19 test within 72 hours of travel for those passengers who have not been fully vaccinated.  For Green designated countries this will be only on the outbound leg, with the requirement for one more PCR test after return on day 2.  Those that have already had the vaccine having completed both jabs at least 14 days before travel, will either need to obtain a certificate (which we understand will be via the NHS app – further info awaited on this) or take evidence of receiving both vaccinations such as your vaccination card with you, as this will allow you to avoid the pre-departure PCR test if travelling to Greece or Croatia and is likely to further facilitate travel.

For those wishing to book or who are already booked, we summarise here the main elements of our flexible booking policy applicable during this time.

Green list destinations 

PCR test or proof of vaccine required pre-departure, no quarantine on return with PCR test on day 2 – standard booking terms apply with regards to deferment or cancellation.

Amber list destinations

PCR test or proof of vaccine required pre-departure, 10 days quarantine at home on return, with PCR tests on days 2 and 8, option for ‘test to release’ on day 5.-  Travel is possible, or you can postpone or defer your holiday with no admin fees charged by Seafarer.

Red List destinations

We will not operate departures from the UK to red list destinations. You can postpone or defer your holiday with no admin fees.   If travel subsequently proves impossible, we acknowledge your right to claim a full refund.

Whilst we will endeavour to keep this page updated, current information on the regulations and testing requirements can be obtained from the www.gov.uk website.

Flexibility Guaranteed

We have always been flexible at Seafarer, but should you be unable to travel due to official restrictions staying in place or being unexpectedly re-introduced, we will allow you to defer or re-schedule your booking at no cost. This will apply where either the UK authorities or those at the overseas destination restrict or advise against travel, or where they introduce a quarantine requirement for more than 24 hours upon arrival overseas.

The same applies if quarantine is required on return, where this is combined with negative foreign office advice for travel to the specific destination.

If you are unable to travel due to a positive PCR test within 72 hours of travel or being required to self-isolate, this is a risk for which you should be covered under your travel insurance. It is important to make sure you obtain travel insurance at the time of booking and it is noted that not all policies will cover you in such instances, though we have identified several reasonably-priced policies that do. See the Q & section below on this and should you need further advice, we can assist by pointing you in the right direction.

Full Responsibility Whilst You Are Overseas

As is always the case, as your tour operator we will provide assistance should there be any disruption whilst you are on holiday with us. We recommend you book the full package with us, since those booking a full package including flights will benefit from financial protection with ATOL cover for the entire package, whilst as a tour operator, we will take full responsibility for your accommodation and repatriation travel arrangements in the event of any disruption whilst abroad.
We also note that should a PCR test be required before the return flight to the UK, we will provide assistance and facilitate this to ensure you can board your flight without problems. It is clarified that any required tests will be at your expense, though costs in places like Greece and Croatia are considerably lower than those in the UK

The Seafarer office is open as usual, though with some of our staff working from home and still able to answer calls thanks to our IT and telephone system set up.

We will update this page as more information becomes available.

If you wish to discuss your arrangements, please contact us, and we will happy to advise on the current situation and what we can do to help.

The Seafarer Team

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Holidays Booked For Summer 2021

We operated island-hopping voyages in Greece and Croatia successfully in 2020 and are pleased to report that the season was completed with zero cases of Coronavirus, demonstrating the effectiveness of the enhanced hygiene and other protective measures in place. Furthermore, guests reported that they felt reassured by the measures in place and that these did not adversely affect the enjoyment of their holiday.

Given the pre-departure testing and other protective measures that have been introduced by the airline and travel industry for 2021, the aim is that the 2021 summer season will operate normally with UK departures starting from 28th May onwards. However, in the event that exceptionally some disruption to departures occurs, we have proved from our track record this year, that we have the experience and appropriate policies in place to deal with such situations.

What If My Holiday Is Affected?

Our commitment to a personal service doesn’t end with your booking – If there is any disruption to your arrangements pre-departure, we will do our best to offer you the maximum flexibility possible – this will vary from booking to booking, and our team will work to offer you the best option for your holiday and circumstances.

In the event that exceptionally some disruption to your holiday occurs whilst you are abroad, we have proved from our track record, that we have the experience and appropriate policies in place to deal with such situations. Those booking a full package with us including flights will benefit from ATOL cover for the entire package, whilst as a tour operator, we will take full responsibility to provide suitable accommodation and organise appropriate repatriation travel in the event of any disruption.

Deferring Booked Holidays

If your holiday in 2020 had to be canceled or deferred due to COVID 19 related disruption, we recommend that you rebook early to ensure you are not disappointed, since availability for late summer and Autumn sailings is already tight.   If your holiday is scheduled to go ahead but you subsequently wish to defer, please note that you may incur penalties if there are no official restrictions in place. Where restrictions are in place, deferring your holiday will usually be penalty-free (they there may be price differences on the new travel date chosen). We work with many suppliers, vessel owners, hotels, airlines, and agencies – talk to us about your booking and we will give you the latest information on what is possible in your case.

Flight Cancellations

If your flight is booked through us and is canceled or changed, we will contact you and will do our utmost to secure suitable alternative arrangements. If you have booked your own flight and this is cancelled or changed, please get in touch and we will do our utmost to assist and work out alternative arrangements for you.

You Are Ill Or Self Isolating And Can’t Travel

If you can’t travel due to illness or restrictions, please get in touch and we’ll look at possible amendments to your holiday. Alternatively, if the holiday is still scheduled to go ahead, you may be able to claim on your travel insurance if the cancellation is for medical reasons.

What Is The Situation With Refunds

Given the very large number of holidays that had to be curtailed in 2020 and over the winter due to official restrictions during this unprecedented crisis, we have been encouraging guests to re-book for a later date or if this could not be decided yet, to accept a credit note which can be applied to a later booking. The credit note still benefits from financial protection under the ATOL and ABTA schemes and does not disqualify you from receiving a refund later if you change your mind or are subsequently unable to travel. This is in line with ABTA guidelines recognising that payment of large numbers of refunds immediately would have been unsustainable for the industry.

How We Are Keeping Your Money Safe

We would like to remind you our flight inclusive package holidays are ATOL protected. More information can be found on that ATOL website: https://www.caa.co.uk/ATOL-protection/Consumers/About-ATOL/

How Is Seafarer Coping In These Circumstances

2020 was our 25th year and whilst it will certainly be a year to remember, the way we successfully weathered the crisis it is indicative of our long experience and our strength and resilience, given the many international crises we have had to deal with over the years.

We have a very experienced and dedicated team who have been working hard to keep our guests up to date and change holiday arrangements where required liaising with airlines and our various overseas suppliers and partners. This was often very difficult with long waits on the telephone often being required when calling suppliers as well as fast-changing official restrictions and advice. We have been coping with all of this well and our guests generally find it easy to contact us either by telephone or email.

How Soon Are Holidays Expected To Return To Normal

We saw the situation return to normal across most of Europe from July 2020, albeit with sensible protective measures in place, with Greece in particular, having been almost COVID free up to that point.  Most airlines operated their full flight schedules to our main destinations of Greece, Croatia, France, and Italy and the same is planned for summer 2021 with flights scheduled from May, or in some cases June. The UK Government’s road map to re-opening has been announced with leisure travel re-starting from May 17th.  The requirements for pre-departure testing and exemptions if vaccinated as well as required testing on return have been published, whilst enhanced hygiene routines and other protective measures have been well proven in all our destinations during the 2020 season. These measures will be continued for as long as proves necessary, whilst always operating in line with UK and host country advice and guidelines.

What Additional Precautions Are In Place For Holidays In 2021

With the restart of operations, whilst the virus is still active a negative PCR test will be required within 72 hours of departure (unless you have proof of being vaccinated) for each passenger and this will be at your expense. Additionally, guests and crew will need to complete a health questionnaire prior to travel. On-board, the cruise operators have implemented an enhanced and comprehensive cleaning and sanitization regime on all vessels, ensure regular testing of crew members as well as daily temperature checks for crew and guests. All this has proved to be effective in 2020 having been implemented successfully on all our affiliated vessels. The safety of guests and crew is a top priority for us and any holidays and cruises that do operate will be in line with the advice of the WHO, FCO, and the authorities in our host countries. For info on the type of precautions and protective measures in place on our sailings click here

Should We Travel To Specific Destinations Against Foreign Office Advice

In 2020, the introduction of quarantine requirements on return to the UK from certain countries and destinations was accompanied by a change in foreign office guidance, advising against all but essential travel to those destinations. This was however advice and was not compulsory at that time, leaving it to the individual to decide what was essential travel for them and whether they would travel anyway and quarantine on return. Subsequently, over the winter, travel for leisure purposes became illegal, though it is now clear that this will not apply after 17th May when the UK’s Traffic  Light System is introduced and the previously required declaration of your reason for travel being abolished. Last year, we established that infection rates in our key cruising areas in Croatia and Greece remained very low. Furthermore, these same destinations were unrestricted for travellers originating from some other countries, hence our decision to stay open for those who still wished to travel, even in those places where the requirement for quarantine on return was introduced. This year our policy is that we will stay open where EU and local regulations permit, for those destinations on either the Green or Amber country list.  We will continue to monitor regulations advice in the coming weeks and update this information accordingly. We will also contact you in good time, should your holiday be affected in any way.

 What Is The Situation With Travel Insurance

Where there is negative foreign office advice on travel to certain destinations, many travel insurance policies will not cover you if you travel there. Some will not cover you if you contract the virus or fail a PCR test before departure. However, we have identified several policies that will cover you to travel and also cover you if you contract the virus or fail a PCR test before you travel, with cover if you are unable to travel due to having to self-isolate in certain circumstances also.

See the links below for two examples or speak to one of our advisors for more info: 

Staysure Travel Insurance.
Post Office Travel Insurance

   We hope you found the above information helpful, however. if you have any additional questions, concerns or wish to           discuss your arrangements with us further, please give us a call during office hours (09:00-18:00 hrs daily and 09:30-17:00     hrs on Saturday) and one of our experienced consultants will be happy to help.

We Look Forward To Welcoming You On Board Soon.

Brochure Now Available

New 2021 – 2022 Brochure Out Now

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Variety Cruises 2021 – 2022 Brochure Now Available

It’s that time of year again – the month we wrap up all of our cruises for the forthcoming 15 months or so with departure right up until 2022

We are featuring our biggest ever range of destinations, from the Greek isles, Croatia & Montenegro, plus Spain & Portugal in the Med, to far away places like Costa Rica & Panama, The Seychelles, Thailand & Malaysia, The Cape Verde Isles, The Rivers of West Africa plus in the Far East, Bali & The Indonesian Islands, plus the islands of French Polynesia.

As ever, Variety Cruises award winning formula of destination focussed cruises on their unique mega yachts is winning new friends. Indeed with their informal friendly atmosphere, open seating dining and typically just 30-50 guests on board, you will be cruising amongst friends.

We look forward to welcoming you on board

If you would like a hard copy to grace your coffee table simply request one here and we’ll pop it in the post. You can even ask us to send one to a friend.

Cruises EBooklet

Small Is Safer

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Cruising post Covid-19

As small ship cruising operators we are in the fortunate position of being able to respond to the ‘new normal’ of cruising post Covid-19. As such, we have quickly been able to take the required measures that allow us to start cruising responsibly, whilst bigger operators still need to keep their vessels in harbour. To keep our passengers fully informed, and manage their on-board expectations, we have produced an e-booklet detailing the precautions and protocols we have put into place in order to resume cruising from July 24th 2020.

Cruises EBooklet

COVID-19 INVOKES DUNKIRK SPIRIT IN SMALL SHIP RESCUE

Rescues Fellow Seafarers From Coronavirus

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COVID-19 INVOKES DUNKIRK SPIRIT IN SMALL SHIP RESCUE

With people around the world talking about the Covid-19 Pandemic putting countries on a war footing, it’s good to know the spirit of co-operation and resilience in the face of adversity still extends to the high seas. This was certainly the case when the 25 cabin Variety Cruises vessel Panorama ‘rescued’ 19 Cuban seamen and women from a large passenger liner in Barbados and made a special 14 day diversion to repatriate them.

COVID-19 INVOKES DUNKIRK SPIRIT IN SMALL SHIP RESCUE

Having finished a winter season cruising off the coast of Costa Rica and Panama, Panorama was empty other than crew, en route to a summer of cruising in the Mediterranean. Stopping to bunker in Barbados prior to crossing the Atlantic, she berthed near the MSC Prezioza, a vessel that carries up to 4,360 passengers and 1,300 crew. The photo above (taken in Kotor, Montenegro) shows the size of Panorama in comparison to one of Prezioza’s sister ships.

19 of the crew were Cuban and, given the constraints of Covid-19, keen to return home but with no realistic option for doing so. Following a request from Cuban Government officials, Panorama’s Captain, Vasilis Mazarakis, agreed to repatriate the Cuban crew members to Havana, a cruise taking 7 days. Health declarations were provided by the Captain of MSC Prezioza and the Barbadian medical authorities, and the new complement of passengers was thermo-scanned prior to boarding and on every subsequent day of the journey.

Captain Mazarakis

The Cuban Government covered the cost of the fuel, otherwise no charge was made. Upon disembarking his charges on April 4th in Havana, Captain Mazarakis said of his courteous act (which you might think is another reason to vote for us in the Silver Travel Awards – see below):

‘During these difficult times we are facing, it is important to help each other. Knowing that we were helping fellow seafarers by getting them back to their families makes us all happy. We wish and hope that all stranded crew and passengers alike manage to get home to their loved ones and that the world will return to normal soon.’

The world returning to normal is a sentiment we all share at Seafarer and Variety Cruises so, if you would like to do something normal now like booking for the coming winter season which starts in November, along with a full Summer 2021 season, we would love to hear from you.

Anchors aweigh,

SUZIE SEAWORTHY

Variety Cruises 2020 – 2021 Preview Brochure Now Available

2020 New Brochure

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Variety Cruises 2020 – 2021 Preview Brochure Now Available

It’s that time of year again – the month we wrap up all of our cruises for the forthcoming 15 months or so with departure right up until March 2021.
We are featuring our biggest ever range of destinations, from the Greek isles, Croatia & Montenegro, plus Spain & Portugal in the Med, to far away places like Costa Rica & Panama, The Seychelles, Thailand & Malaysia, The Cape Verde Isles, The Rivers of West Africa plus in the Far East, Bali & The Indonesian Islands, plus the islands of French Polynesia.

As ever, Variety Cruises award winning formula of destination focussed cruises on their unique mega yachts is winning new friends. Indeed with their informal friendly atmosphere, open seating dining and typically just 30-50 guests on board, you will be cruising amongst friends.

We look forward to welcoming you on board

If you would like a hard copy to grace your coffee table simply request one here and we’ll pop it in the post. You can even ask us to send one to a friend.

Cruise Ship Captain takes plastic problem personally

Cruise Ship Captain takes plastic problem personally

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Bali beach Clean up story

Cruise Ship Captain takes plastic problem personally – and is joined by his passengers on beach clean-up in Indonesia.

Captain Leontios examining detritus on the beach at Flores Island, Indonesia

Captain Leontios examining detritus on the beach at Flores Island, Indonesia

Seeing the problems caused to oceans and beaches by plastic bottles and other flotsam and jetsam prompted Captain Antoniou Leontios, Master of the Variety Cruises vessel Panorama II, to take the issue of cleaning-up beaches into his own hands. Currently cruising the waters of the Flores and Bali Seas in Indonesia, he decided to dedicate a few hours every week to dropping anchor in a bay, venturing ashore with some crew members and filling as many bin bags as possible with rubbish which he then stowed on board and disposed of properly at his next port of call.

Cruise Ship Captain takes plastic problem personally

Captain Leontios and passengers with their haul of rubbish from one beach on Flores Island

According to Variety Cruises UK’s MD, Chris Lorenzo, environmental responsibility is part of the cruise line’s ethos:

‘We have already started eliminating single-use plastic from our fleet,’ he explained. ‘As for the beach clean-up program, our vessels are uniquely placed to do something practical – we only have small ships of 50-70 passengers so we can get close up to beaches and moor anywhere. Overall our philosophy is ‘small is beautiful’ and that’s not just about the size of our ships but about doing the small things that can add up to a big difference.’

 WHERE SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL FOR 2020

Captain Leonntios’ actions have  inspired similar initiatives from other captain’s within the Variety Cruises fleet, so our thanks and applause        to the Captain and all the crew and guests who volunteered their assistance.

SeafarerCrusing & Sailing Holidays

is the UK representative and General Sales Agent for Variety Cruises.

Open: Mon – Fri 9:00-19:00 & Sat 9:30 – 17:00 Bank Holidays 10:00 – 16:00

M/Y Pegasos The Flying Horse Renovation

M/Y Pegasos The Flying Horse Renovation

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WHERE SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL FOR 2020

If you want to get closer to the sun for summer 2020 then a cruise on a vessel called Pegasos (the Greek spelling) must be a good starting point. The fact she cruises the Seychelles year-round is another hint that you’re in for the most clement of weather – the temperature in this island paradise, often known as The Garden of Eden, ranges between 24°c and 32°c. It’s altogether lovely.

Pegasos is typical of the Variety cruises fleet – only 21 cabins and a maximum guest complement of 44 passengers. She is specially designed to handle these shallow island waters in the Indian Ocean (hence her shape) and we have just finished extensive renovations.

The 21 Pegasos cabins, and guest hallways, have been completely transformed to feature new bedding, soft fabrics, wallpaper, wood floors and carpet design. Ensuite facilities have undergone complete modernisation featuring marble and stone flooring. Overall there is a brand-new look with turquoise, blue and soft grey tones reflecting the Indian Ocean.

When it comes to public areas the Indoor Bar & Lounge and Dining area on the Upper Deck were completely renovated with new furnishings, re-upholstered furniture, soft fabrics, a new carpet design, flooring, and wooden blinds. On the sundeck we have totally transformed the bar area with new lounge furniture and a wooden bar reading “Seychelles”.

To find out more about cruising the Seychelles on our flying horse of a vessel click the button.

Seychelles Cruises in the Garden of Eden
the perfect destination to experience a unique island-hopping voyage

SeafarerCrusing & Sailing Holidays

Small Ship & Mega Yacht Cruises

*Seafarer Cruising & Sailing Holidays is the UK General Sales Agent for Variety Cruises.

Open: Mon – Fri 9:00-19:00 & Sat 9:30 – 17:00 Bank Holidays 10:00 – 16:00

If you would like to reserve a place online, fill in your details and we will contact you as soon as possible

BALI & THE ISLANDS OF PARADISE

BALI & THE ISLANDS OF PARADISE

Categories:

INDONESIAN ISLANDS CRUISE & STAY OFFER

13 Nights from £2995 departing July 27 & August 12

It’s all in the name with this trip which will certainly live up to your expectations. Our 13 night package starts with a 5 night stay at the stunningly located Hilton Bali. On the Saturday, we transfer you to our sleek and comfortable 25 cabin sail cruiser Panorama II for an unforgettable 7 night island hopping cruise exploring a selection of the Indonesian islands. Our great value package includes flights from London and all transfers.

Day-by-Day Itinerary

Benoa Bali - Vihara Satya Dharma Temple

Benoa Harbour

Transfer to Bali’s Benoa harbour for an afternoon embarkation of Panorama II sailing at 8PM for Karamat

Keramat Island

Keramat Island

Late morning arrival. Ample time to relax, enjoy the beach or go snorkelling. Open air BBQ, Overnight at anchor

Satonda Island

Satonda Island

We sail early in the morning for Satonda, a volcanic island with a salt lake caldera. Join the walking excursion and explore the volcanic  salt lake.

Rinca Island

Banta Island and Rinca Island

First we stop at Banta for time to swim and snorkel followed by a beach BBQ, then onwards to Rinca island in the Komodo National Park for late afternoon arrival. Overnight at anchor.

Komodo Dragon Komodo National Park

Rinca Island and Komodo Island

In the morning take the optional excursion in search of the famous Komodo Dragons. Sail at noon for Pink Beach on nearby Komodo Island. Far from the crowds, this remote and beautiful beach gets its name and colour from a trick of the light, interacting between the red coral and yellow sand. Time for swimming and snorkelling – overnight at sea.

Mojo Island

Moyo Island

Off the beaten track and un-commercialised, take an optional trip around the island and see spectacular waterfalls. We end the day with a beach BBQ

Lombok

Our visit to Lombok  should whet your appetite to return and spend much more time here. Blessed with wonderful beaches and a lush interior as well as a live volcano and the second highest peak in Indonesia, the optional day trip is well worth the effort. Evening farewell dinner on board.

Lombok

Benoa, Bali

We dock early in the morning, disembarkation after breakfast between 7 and 9:30. If extending your stay, transfer to your chosen resort.

Benoa Bali

Ports of call: Benoa - Keramat Island - Satonda Island - Banta Island - Rinca Island - Komodo Island - Moyo Island - Lombok - Benoa

Your vessel: The M/S Panorama II

Panorama II was first launched in 2004 and like her sister ship the Panorama is one of very few cruise vessels capable of sailing under wind power alone when conditions permit. The vessel was fully refurbished in 2012, and further upgraded in 2015. With her sleek lines, spacious accommodation and aft swimming platform, Panorama II is the perfect vessel in which to enjoy exploring these stunning waters.

Panorama II

Home at Sea

  • Single seating dining Indoor & Outdoor Lounge – Bar
  • Indoor & Outodoor Restaurant
  • Audiovisual in Lounge
  • Mini library
  • Beach Towels
  • Snorkeling equipment
  • Kayak
  • Board Games
  • Swimming Platform
  • Wi-Fi

Comfort Zone

  • Windows: Upper & Main deck cabins
  • Portholes: lower deck cabins
  • Triple Occupancy cabins: Category B
  • Flat-Screen TV
  • Mini Safe
  • Mini Fridge
  • Individually controlled A/C
  • En suite bathroom with shower
  • Hairdryers
  • Telephone for internal use
  • Central music
Panorama II Category c

Category C:

Lower Deck – (Double Bed)

The category C cabins are located on the lower deck featuring portholes and bathrooms with showers. The cabins are equipped with individual controlled A/C, piped music, TV (Satellite channels), telephone for internal use, mini safe box, mini fridge and hairdryer adapters (voltage: 220 V).

Panorama II Category B

Category B:

Lower Deck – (Twin Beds or Triple Beds)

The category B cabins are located on the lower deck featuring portholes  and bathroom with showers. The cabins are equipped with individual controlled A/C, piped music, TV (Satellite channels), telephone for internal use, mini safe box, mini fridge and hairdryer adapters (voltage: 220 V).
Panorama II Category A

Category A:

Main or Upper Deck – (Twin or Double Bed)

Category A cabins are located on the main or upper deck offering windows and bathroom with showers. The cabins are equipped with individual controlled A/C, piped music, TV (Satellite channels), telephone for internal use, mini safe box, mini fridge and hairdryer adapters (voltage: 220 V).

Panorama II Category P

Category P:

Upper Deck – (Double Bed)

Category P cabin is located on the upper deck offering a large window and bathroom with showers. The cabin is equipped with individual controlled A/C, piped music, TV (Satellite channels), telephone for internal use, mini safe box, mini fridge and hairdryer adapters (voltage: 220 V).

Panorama II Lounge Area

Lounge Area

The public areas include a main lounge with deep pile carpet and comfortable sofas.
Panorama II Dining Area

Dining Area

The bar and restaurant area at the Lower deck is the perfect setting for your meals or drinks, with generous buffet space and seating. Special meal programmes (e.g. vegetarian meals) are available on request.
Panorama II Sun Deck

Sundeck

The aft area at the Upper deck provides generous semi covered or sun exposed areas with loungers & chairs.
Panorama II Upper Deck Outside Bar and Lounge

Upper Deck Outdoor Bar & Lounge area

The Upper Deck provides generous semi covered or sun exposed areas where passengers can enjoy meals “al fresco” with magnificent views of each destination visited.
Panorama II Swim Platform

Swimming Platform

The swimming platform on Panorama II stern enables you to swim when weather and anchorage conditions permit.

Prices

  • Category C: £2995pp
  • Category B: £3195pp
  • Category A: £3375pp
  • Category P: £3495pp

    Single Supplement (any category cabin): £100Departs 27th July | 12th August

What is included:

Flight | Five-night Hotel Stay @ Hilton Bali | Transfers | Cruise

SeafarerCrusing & Sailing Holidays

Small Ship & Mega Yacht Cruises

*Seafarer Cruising & Sailing Holidays is the UK General Sales Agent for Variety Cruises.

Open: Mon – Fri 9:00-19:00 & Sat 9:30 – 17:00 Bank Holidays 10:00 – 16:00

If you would like to reserve a place online, fill in your details and we will contact you as soon as possible

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