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Carnival CEO Defends Company Response to Coronavirus Pandemic



Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald defended the cruise line’s response to the global coronavirus pandemic, saying “Cruise ships are not a source for coronavirus,” during an interview Sunday night on ‘Axios on HBO.’

“We have hundreds of cruise ships out there. Very few had cases on them,” Donald said. “The one that had the most cases was very early on, when no one understood hardly anything.”

Donald and Carnival have been criticized for not acting quickly enough to suspend cruises in the wake of the growth of the virus, particularly with the Carnival-owned Diamond Princess. The ship left Yokohama, Japan, on Feb. 3 with an infected passenger. It decided to return to its home port partway through the journey, but coronavirus-carnival-ceo-cruise-ships-not-riskier-environment/2896725001/” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>705 passengers ended up being diagnosed with the virus before it was finally allowed to disembark on March 1.

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“20/20 hindsight, could everyone have done something sooner? Perhaps,” said Donald. “But it was an evolving, learning situation.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned on March 8 that Americans, especially those with underlying heath conditions, “should not travel by cruise ship.” Four days later, virtually every major cruise line suspended operations for 60 days.

According to USA Today, Donald was asked about Carnival’s decision to continue cruising, even offering passenger discounts, after health officials issued warnings on the spread of coronavirus. He said the company followed “every protocol in place.”

“All I’m suggesting is that a cruise ship is not a riskier environment. People perceive it that way. But the reality is, it’s not,” he said, noting that he believes cruising will come back stronger when the virus threat is over. “I think cruises ultimately will be even better than they were before. People love cruising. Up until the day we paused people wanted to cruise.”

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European Waterways Barge Cruises Are Ideal for Family Vacations



European Waterways offers the perfect solution to socially distant family travel in Europe.

As the coronavirus pandemic begins to wane and countries begin to reopen their borders to international travelers, families are expected to look to travel to reconnect with one another, and European Waterways is ready for the surge, offering the ideal opportunity for families to explore on private, chartered river barges.

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Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways, says that he is already observing increasing interest.

This isn’t surprising seeing as how these vessels offer ideal accommodations for families, with room for anywhere between six and 20 passengers. Guests can cruise Europe’s canals and smaller waterways as well as the less-populated countryside.

“Cruising with European Waterways has always been about taking ‘the path less traveled,’ so much of our outdoor activities already take our guests away from crowded tourist attractions to the more exclusive, less populated settings,” said Banks. “Until travel returns to normal, we are further committed to providing a safe and healthy onboard environment for our guests, with pre-cruise checks for all on-board and the implementation of more stringent cleaning procedures, among other policies.”

Social distancing will likely be the norm for a while in Europe and around the world, and these barges offer the chance to enjoy scenery while still remaining safe.

For the most part, meals are served on board by the master chef and cruises feature exclusive private tours of castles, aristocratic estates and vineyards, plus other excursions, tailored to avoid the crowds.

L’Art de Vivre is the ideal barge for a family vacation. The eight-passenger vessel once carried supplies during World War One. Now, the boat has been completely modernized and cruises the Canal du Nivernais in Burgundy, France.

Family-friendly excursions include a visit to the Caves of Arcy-sur-Cure, which features some of the oldest cave paintings in the world, a medieval castle under construction using traditional methods at the Chateau Guedelon; the age of the dinosaurs in Cardo Land; and the fun and wildly eclectic artwork on display at the Fabuloserie Art and Sculpture Museum.

Family charters can also incorporate activities such as tennis, ice-skating and mini-golf as well as kayaking, quad biking and horseback riding.

European Waterways’ Family Charters are available throughout France, the U.K., Ireland, Scotland and Italy.

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