A meeting worth the wait

VSOVID has caused so much pain and loss. I know canceled vacations don’t compare to serious illness and unemployment, but missed moments with loved ones are important events. Milestone birthdays, weddings, births and reunions – these are some of our most precious moments. How to quantify joy?

Among the celebrations I had planned for 2020 was a AmaWaterways river cruise on the Danube with dear friends to mark our 40th college reunion. Rather than returning to campus, we would sail from Budapest to Bratislava, Slovakia; head to Vienna, Dürnstein and Linz, Austria; and end in Passau, Germany. Nine of us signed up to remember and reconnect as we sailed through some of Europe’s most scenic landscapes.

But the pandemic – and its resulting closures and cancellations, vaccines and COVID tests – would require professional help to navigate. Our travel advisors at Judy Perl Trip have been invaluable, helping to resolve issues such as: What do we do with our original canceled reservations? When can we reprogram and navigate? We were all fortunate enough to get vaccinated in the spring of 2021, and we were so excited when AmaWaterways announced in June that they would start cruising the Danube on July 21 and intended to continue cruising throughout. the season.

I spoke with Kristin Karst, co-owner of AmaWaterways, shortly after. “We are dancing the happy dance as we prepare for our return to the rivers of Europe in July! she said.

“It is important for us to get back to sailing as soon as we can safely, in accordance with local regulations,” she added. “We want to do it for our employees, we want to do it for our travelers and we want to do it for the destinations we visit. Kristin and her Ama co-owner Rudi Schreiner were both named AFAR Travel Vanguard winners in 2019 for their extraordinary efforts to navigate in the most sustainable way possible. Like so many others in our industry, they do it because they love what they do and the places they go, and they believe that acting responsibly can make a constructive difference.

At AFAR, we strongly believe in the power of travel to have a positive impact on the world. The experiences we have away from home can enrich our lives so deeply. Our trips can also support the communities we visit, especially when we make special efforts to do so, such as choosing hosts who share our values.

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