June 22, 2020
As our country and others around the world start to reopen, we are prayerfully confident that the time is coming when it will be safe to travel again and experience more of God’s glorious creation. We know the desire for exceptional, faith-enriching experiences is as strong as ever. Many of our ministry partners and travelers have told us as much.
Each crisis is different, and the current situation surrounding COVID-19 changes daily. We know that some of our travelers are concerned—while many others are determined to continue traveling. With this in mind, and after thoroughly reviewing advice from the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. State Department and the World Health Organization, we are continuing to work alongside our travel and ministry partners to determine the safest and best actions to take for their individual travel events.
Information For Cruises
We have made the decision to postpone all our 2020 cruises to 2021. Consider booking one of these 2021 sailings
online or by calling us at 800 247 1899
between 8:30AM and 5:00PM PT Monday through Friday.
When cruising resumes, most cruise lines will reduce passenger counts to help maintain social distancing on ships. Cruise lines already have extensive boarding and cleaning protocols to protect every traveler, crew member and shoreside staff. They are hypervigilant and acutely focused on cleaning, with hand sanitizing stations throughout. Travelers can expect this to increase (including sterilization robots!
Self-serve buffets and beverages may become a thing of the past to minimize shared utensils and surfaces. Cruise companies may also begin sanitizing luggage and scanning passengers’ temperatures prior to boarding. You can read about specific cruise line updates here:
Information For Israel Tours
Israel has begun the four-step process of easing its coronavirus-related restrictions. Tourist sites and national parks have reopened and gatherings of up to 100 people are now permitted. Schools, outdoor parks, pools and many hotels have also reopened. Over the following weeks, restrictions will continue to be lifted, and on August 1, 2020, limited flights to and from Israel are expected to become available and tourists will be welcomed from countries where the virus is under control. We praise God with our friends in Israel as we look forward to a return of the freedoms we now appreciate more than ever.
Through all of this, Israel has proven it is well equipped to handle crises, both medically and with tourism. In fact, an independent analytics organization recently rated Israel as the No. 1 country on its COVID-19 Safety Ranking
list. We remain in consistent contact with the Israel Ministry of Tourism for travel updates, and we are continuing to video call a number of our key network providers in Israel to discuss and prepare for the future.
At this time, out of an abundance of caution, we have canceled or postponed all tours to Israel through the end of September 2020. We fully anticipate being able to travel at that time and will continue to keep you updated. To see all our upcoming tours, click here
Information For Airlines
Major airlines are updating their boarding and seating procedures to ensure passenger safety. Prepare to see both passengers and crew wearing masks as air travel resumes. At first, middle seats may be blocked or unavailable. Expect deep sanitization every 24 hours and surface cleaning after every flight. At the airport, places like ticket counters, baggage drops and gate areas will have six-foot-distancing reminders and hand sanitizing stations. Here’s a helpful post
breaking down the new policies from individual airlines and links to specific airlines below:
Information for TSA
Moving forward, hand sanitizing stations have been increased throughout the security line. Lines will be marked to increase the distance between individuals at security checkpoints. TSA officers will be wearing facial protection, and travelers are encouraged to wear face masks to each checkpoint.
TSA officers will no longer handle tickets; passengers will be responsible for scanning their boarding passes and holding up their IDs for review. All frequently touched surfaces will be routinely cleaned and disinfected. Be advised: Reduced staffing and new procedures may make the security process lengthier. You can read more about the updates here:
Information for Hotels
Hotels are increasing cleaning frequency and have reduced overall capacity, following guidelines introduced by the American Hotel & Lodging Association. Major hotel companies like Hilton, IHG and Marriott have begun implementing these recommendations. Many are also adding virtual check-ins and check-outs, front-desk partitions, distancing floor markers and updated elevator and dining instructions that adhere to new social distancing guidelines. This blog post takes a look
at some ways hotels will continue innovating and adapting to ensure guest safety.
Postponing or Cancelling Reservations
If Inspiration postpones or cancels your event:
If your event is postponed until a later date, you may easily transfer your reservation to the future dates.
If the new travel dates don’t work in your schedule, you may transfer your reservation to any other Inspiration event without additional fees.
If your event is completely canceled and not rescheduled, all funds previously paid to Inspiration will be returned in the original form of payment. We ask that you be patient and allow 4–6 weeks for the refund process.
If you would like to cancel your reservation:
- If you choose to cancel your reservation, terms will apply. If you cancel and then change your mind before the event travels, we will rebook you to the same event with no additional fees.
The Final Word
Please know we are eager to answer questions or assist you with making reservations for future events. We will also continue to keep you informed on updates from cruise lines and Israeli authorities on this page. You can reach us by calling 800 247 1899 between 8:30AM and 5:00PM PT Monday through Friday.
Inspiration has been fulfilling the travel dreams of Christians for more than 35 years, and during that time we have weathered multiple storms—including environmental disasters, economic downturns, wars, terrorism and other health crises (e.g., SARS, bird flu, H1N1, Ebola). Each has impacted our travelers, our ministries and our staff. Yet, our accumulated expertise from these experiences informs our plans for every new challenge.
The current situation is still evolving and Inspiration will continue to post updates as needed. Please know that Inspiration’s global network of partners, suppliers and vendors is closely monitoring all developments for the latest updates to take appropriate actions. Our dedicated team is committed to the safety and care of our guests.