Makana Ferries Starts Operations in November

Blues and Blues Ltd. of Anguilla is scheduled to start with the inter-island trips between Statia, Saba and Sint Maarten on November 1, 2021. Preparations by an inter-island team are in full progress to be able to meet this date. Information on the fares and the exact schedule information will soon follow.

Blues and Blues Ltd of Anguilla won the tender for the inter-island maritime connectivity with the M/V Makana. Makana is a 72 inch Sabre catamaran fast ferry, capable of carrying 150 passengers across two decks. There is a lower deck, an upper (open) sun deck and an upper business class area. The lower deck and the upper area are both fully air conditioned and outfitted with two toilets and a bar.

The Makana will provide ample luggage and cargo functionality. The catamaran will cruise comfortably at an operational speed of 23 knots with maximum speed of 31knots. The trips will be approximately 45 minutes from Saba to Statia, 75 minutes from Saba to St. Maarten and 85 minutes from Statia to St. Maarten. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions in St. Kitts, the route to this island cannot be scheduled yet until further notice.  

Makana is the Hawaiian word for “Gift”Blues & Blues Ltd. welcomed the vessel into its fleet recently. Passengers can expect a friendly and reliable service complete with onboard WiFi and online customer services. The Makana will be stationed in Statia or Saba. Residents are encouraged to apply for vacant positions as crew members.

Samuel Connor, owner of Blues and Blues Ltd., said : “We are a family business. We strongly believe that we can contribute to the social and economic development of the islands via an interisland maritime connectivity including St. Barth, Anguilla and Nevis”.

Posted in: 2021 News, Blog, Destination News

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Belize Tourism Board to Host Adventure + Sustainability Virtual Travel Expo

Belize City, Belize – The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) will host its first virtual travel expo under the theme Adventure + Sustainability on November 17-18, 2021. This will be the initial of a series of virtual b2b niche-focused travel expos highly curated to connect the travel trade with its local hoteliers, ground operators, DMCs, and other tourism service providers offering Belize vacation package or services.

While a visit to Belize is the best immersion, the Adventure + Sustainability Virtual Travel Expo will provide a great opportunity for attendees to virtually experience the destination through videos and live presentations, allowing them to fall in love with the country without leaving the comfort of your home or office. Attendees can participate in dynamic panel discussions on how Belize is leading and evolving in sustainability.

Belize continues to be a pioneer in responsible tourism, which, now, more than ever, travellers are prioritizing. Visitors are looking for destinations that are truly unique whilst being mindful of their impact on the communities they are visiting. Belize is the perfect choice in this regard as we stand at the forefront of the sustainable tourism movement,” says Hon. Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations.

Agencies partnering with the BTB for this event include AFAR Media and major airline carriers such as Frontier Airlines and Alaska Airlines, just to name a few. These expos will entail an array of experiences: from engaging itinerary-building sessions led by local experts, to a virtual FAM experience showcasing top resorts offering unique experiences, to fun, happy hour with top Belize bartenders. To top these off, attendees will have many opportunities to win fantastic prizes throughout the event including six (6) chances to win an in-country familiarization tour to experience Belize.

The BTB invites travel advisors, tour operators, wholesalers and travel media from all over the world to attend the expo; cost is complimentary. Register today at: https://www.travelbelize.org/travel-trade/expo/registration/.

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Strong Start For New Service From Amsterdam To Barbados

Bridgetown, Barbados – A new European gateway is already showing promise for Barbados as the Grantley Adams International Airport (BGI) prepares to receive a new direct service from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) via KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

Months after the new service was announced, the first flight, scheduled for October 16, 2021 is already sold out. In addition to the exceptional response, it will be a historic moment for the country as KLM Royal Dutch Airlines was the first commercial airline to arrive at Seawell Airport in Barbados on October 19, 1938. Now, 83 years later, it is making history again with a sold-out flight from Amsterdam to Barbados.

Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator the Hon. Lisa Cummins described it as a major boost for the country’s tourism. “We look forward to welcoming KLM once more, two decades later, to our shores. As we look at the state of the global tourism industry, the fact that in the midst of this pandemic, our partners continue to demonstrate such confidence in the Barbados brand, with KLM adding approximately 20,000 seats from Europe to Barbados over five months, is heartwarming. More importantly, it is a reflection of the work that the tourism team serving Barbados has been doing as we signal the closure of more deals for new and expanded airlift and continue to bring our sector back to life in these extraordinary circumstances.”

“So I want to commend the efforts of the entire team, in particular our teams at home here in the Ministry, GAIA, and our overseas markets in this case, specifically the  Europe team, who have worked tirelessly to make this a reality,” she said.

As one of the longest running airlines in the world, operating under its original name for 100 years, KLM is the largest long-haul carrier from Europe, serving 318 destinations in 118 countries with 80 code share partners. The new KLM service will provide greater access and seamless connectivity to and from major European countries and regions such as the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Scandinavia, via Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in The Netherlands.

Cummins added “This development will positively enhance Barbados’ efforts to re-establish its footprint in Europe and I am very proud that Barbados can boast strong partnerships with both KLM and Lufthansa, two established European carriers, as we approach winter 2021/2022. We are committed to keeping this thrust going through the rest of the season.

“Of course, we also expect that many Barbadians and Caribbean nationals will wish to take advantage of these efficient connections to Europe from Barbados and we hope that with strong demand, the airlines will consider extending the season,” she said.What we are also working on with our partners is balancing our tourism push for passengers with our trade agenda to provide for cargo shipments for goods in particular perishable goods. This is critical as part of our international transport portfolio and key to our economic expansion into new markets using airlift relationships.

Flights will operate non-stop from Amsterdam to Barbados, three days a week Monday, Thursday and Saturday on KLM’s modern, efficient fleet of Airbus A330-200 with 264 seats in three classes including business. Departing Amsterdam at 12:25 p.m. CET and arriving at BGI 4:45 p.m. AST, the service will run until March 31st, 2022.

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St. Kitts & Nevis Reduces Vacation in Place to 24 hours for International Air Travelers

Effective October 7, 2021, SR&O (Statutory Rules ad Orders) No. 38, reduces the Vacation in Place, quarantine from four (4) days to 24 hours for fully vaccinated international air travelers.  Within 24 hours upon arrival into St. Kitts and Nevis, travelers staying at their “Travel Approved” Tourist Accommodation (Condo, Hotel, Resort, Villa) will be tested. Upon receipt of a negative RT PCR test, travelers will be able to fully integrate into the Federation, including dining in restaurants, experiencing the vibe at one of the local beach bars on “The Strip,” visiting our unique and one-of-kind attractions, sailing the clear waters, hiking the volcano, shopping our local craft markets or just chilling at one of our beaches.

As announced on May 29, 2021 only fully vaccinated travelers will be allowed entry to the Federation.

  • Exemptions are in place for Citizens and Residents of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis and children under the age of 18 accompanying their fully vaccinated parents or guardians.
  • All Travel Protocols and Requirements remaining in place for the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis, including the submission of negative test results from an RT PCR test 72 hours prior to arrival
  • Please see  https://www.stkittstourism.kn/travel-requirements.

A traveler is considered fully vaccinated when two weeks have passed since receiving their second dose of a two dose vaccine series (Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/Oxford, Sinopharm or Sinovac), or two weeks after they have received a single dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson). Mixing of approved vaccines for St. Kitts and Nevis is accepted.

The previously announced travel requirements for non-vaccinated travelers are null and void.  Below are the travel requirements for fully vaccinated travelers:

(a)Proof of vaccination is a scanned copy of the traveler’s official COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card. Upon submission of their vaccination card and completion of their travel authorization form, once verified, international travelers will receive authorization of their vaccination card and a KN number.

(b)Traveler must complete the Travel Authorization Form on the national website (knatravelform.kn), including uploading your proof of vaccination and proof of booking at a Travel Approved hotel.

(c)Upon submission of a completed KNA travel form, the traveler must upload their official COVID-19 RT-PCR negative test result from a CLIA/CDC/UKAS approved lab accredited with ISO/IEC 17025 standard taken 72 hours prior to travel. There are no exceptions to the 72-hour timeframe. 

(d)Upon submission of the copy of their official vaccination card and copy of their COVID -19 RT-PCR test negative result, the traveler’s information will be reviewed and they will receive the approval letter to enter the Federation (letter as pictured below).

(e)For their trip, the traveler should bring a copy of their COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card and their negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test. Please note, acceptable COVID-19 RT-PCR tests must be taken by nasopharyngeal sample. Self-samples, rapid tests, or home tests will be considered invalid.

(f)International travelers will undergo a health screening at the airport which includes a temperature check and a health questionnaire. Upon arrival, if a fully vaccinated traveler is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 during the health screening, they can be required to undergo a RT- PCR test at the airport at their own cost (150 USD).

(g)Fully vaccinated international travelers arriving by air will be asked to Vacation in Place at a “Travel Approved” hotel for 24 hours.

(h)During the Vacation in Place period, all fully vaccinated international travelers arriving by air are free to move throughout the “Travel Approved” hotel, interact with other guests and partake in hotel activities only.

(i)Fully vaccinated international travelers arriving by air will be tested within the first 24 hours of their stay (USD 150 visitors’ cost) and once their test is negative, they may integrate into the Federation.

Effective May 1, 2021, fully vaccinated international travelers arriving by air are required to submit an exit RT-PCR test (150 USD traveler’s expense).

(j)Travel Approved hotels for international travelers are:

  • Four Seasons
  • Golden Rock Inn
  • Marriott Beach Club
  • Montpelier Plantation & Beach
  • Paradise Beach
  • Park Hyatt
  • Royal St. Kitts Hotel

International travelers who would like to stay at private rental home or condo must stay at a property that has been pre-approved as a quarantine housing at their own cost, including security. Please submit request to [email protected]

Travel restrictions for Brazil, India and South Africa remain in place, with persons from the aforementioned destinations denied entry into the federation at this time.

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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – Grenada Has A Fix With Increased Airlift For Winter

St. George’s, Grenada W.I. – October 12, 2021 – The Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) announced today the destination will become even more accessible with increased airlift from the United States and the resumption of service from Canada. The timing comes just ahead of winter, officially the time of SAD and when the Caribbean is especially appealing for North Americans who are already dreading early darkness and frigid temperatures.

“As people re-engage their passion for travel, our airline partners recognise the value of providing connectivity to our special island. We are truly a slice of paradise with a low-key vibe, warm and welcoming people, and offerings that connect visitors not only with nature and amazing water adventures, but also with a fascinating culinary journey” said Petra Roach, CEO, Grenada Tourism Authority. “New and expanded air service helps Grenada regain its position as a highly attractive destination for visitors seeking a distinctive Caribbean experience.”

A roundup of airlift updates include:

From the U.S.

  • JetBlue offers daily service from John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) to Maurice Bishop International Airport (GND). The carrier’s premium Mint aircraft operates on Saturday
  • American Airlines offers service, twice a week, from Miami International Airport (MIA) to Maurice Bishop International Airport (GND) on Wednesday and Saturday
  • Starting November 2, service operates three times a week (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday). Daily service begins December 1
  • Starting November 27, service from Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), operates once a week on Saturday

From Canada

  • Air Canada Mainline will resume direct service, twice a week, (Wednesday and Sunday) from Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) to Maurice Bishop International Airport (GND) starting October 31
  • Sunwing is expected to offer service once a week from Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) to Maurice Bishop International Airport (GND) starting November 7

PURE SAFE TRAVEL

The health and safety of Grenada’s citizens and its visitors has been at the forefront of the development of the island’s Pure Safe Travel protocols. All persons entering Grenada either by air or sea must be fully vaccinated at least two weeks with a WHO-approved vaccination and present a negative PCR test result, taken within three days of arrival. The cost for the PCR test, which was originally $150 USD, has been reduced to $50 USD, effective October 6th. Exemptions to fully vaccinated status include citizens, residents, persons under 13, diplomats and airline crew on layover.

A ‘Pure Safe Travel Authorization Certificate’ is needed by each traveler, including children, arriving in Grenada. Fully vaccinated travelers are only required to quarantine until clearance is received from Health Officials within 48 hours, pending a negative PCR test on entry. Attractions are open to visitors and dine in at restaurants is available to fully vaccinated persons. For more information on travel protocols, visit: www.puregrenada.com/travel-advisory/

For more information on Grenada or to plan your getaway to the destination, visit www.puregrenada.com.

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