Well, here we are in week 5 of the UK lockdown, the numbers are still high, the government say that they can see a levelling, but it’s very slight, we honestly can’t see the lockdown being lifted for some considerable time yet. Some states in the USA have started to relax restrictions, but the rest of the world thinks they’re mad!
Our friends around the world,(in the same boat, excuse the pun) are all having the same discussions with themselves as we are, like, “even when it does lift what sort of state is the cruising community going to be in” and “these little island communities/countries, what sort of state are they going to be in, will they have the infrastructure in place”. It is a daunting thought that these beautiful little islands both in the Bahamas and the Caribbean will probably be on their knees both from a financial and functional perspective, so many of these places rely heavily upon tourism, for some, it’s all they have, many who rely on the cruise liners will probably be the last to return to normality as holiday destinations and flights will be way down the list of peoples priorities.
As a worldwide recession kicks in many people will have lost their jobs, any funds they had will have been severely depleted, so as well as being people not being able to afford travel and holidays, the other issue that will affect everybody and certainly us going forward is Insurance. The insurance companies seem to have become more and more risk-averse of late and now even more so with the Covid-19 outbreak and only want to insure certainty, which means that there will be so many Covid-19 clauses in their offerings of cover that it won’t actually be worth having travel insurance whilst this dreadful virus is with us.
This immediately affects our plans both now and going forward, without health insurance, we cannot risk continuing cruising in places where health insurance cover is required, ie the USA, the Caribbean ultimately further-afield, if we were younger maybe we could consider not being insured and just rely on getting a flight home as many cruisers do, but it’s not really an option for us.
It is with this sad dilemma, admittedly coupled with a few other factors, that we really do not have a lot of choice but to curtail our cruising in this part of the world and any thought of travels to any other far-flung destinations.
So next week on the 28th April Allegrini will be lifted onto a large ship along with several other yachts (including our mates’ yacht Silhouette who ironically crossed the Atlantic with us) and bought back to the UK and dropped off in Southampton on or around the 24th May here we will sail her down to Plymouth where she will stay until a vaccine is discovered or restrictions regarding cruising to the Mediterranean are lifted.