Q – 10.8.23  Our bucket list number 1 is Israel. We are extremely well-traveled and have been saving the Holy Land for a one or two-month sojourn done in style and privately in the next four months. We are looking at Jordan, Israel, followed by a top-end Nile River Cruise in one of the better staterooms. A cruise to Indonesia might be the alternative.  We are in our early seventies and rather fit.  I suppose our question boils down to what, if any, of the trips I have described do you think is bookable and doable next winter or early spring? The news is awful and I hope you will not shy away from taking on questions such as ours.

A – You are writing to us at a time when the comprehensive devastation of this new type of terrorism is only starting to come into focus given the horrors of yesterday’s events. We have been involved in numerous policy and “what if” scenario discussions but it is far too early for anything like a credible response to your question.

The fact is that all day today, tomorrow and in the days and weeks following, travel industry executives, tour operators, cruise line operations teams etc. will be in meetings trying to determine current policies and procedures as Israel prepares to be on a war footing. This is our current best guess – a rather hopeful assessment that could, should others join this fight to the finish, be outdated by the time you read it:

Israel tours throughout the remainder of 2023 will be canceled and guests will/should receive full refunds. We do think that planning travel to Jordan followed by time in Egypt on a Nile cruise is not only possible but also a bit of a challenge. The better staterooms on most Nile river cruises for the first half of next year are going to be fully booked so it is best to get on this as soon as possible.