Tour Operators Express Solidarity With France, Operations Continue
Photo courtesy of AmaWaterways
Several tour operators expressed solidarity with Paris and France as a whole, posting statements on websites and social media, as well as sharing updates with the press. Here is an update from several major tour operators who either had clients in Paris at the time of the attacks or regularly conduct tours there:
Insight Vacations, which did not have a tour operating in Paris, shared the following:
“Our hearts and minds go out to those directly affected by this tragedy,” said Phil Cappelli, company president. “Currently, there are no Insight Vacations’ guests or trips in Paris at this time. The safety and well-being of all of our guests and team members is our top priority. We are monitoring the situation very closely and will provide updates as necessary.
"Insight Vacations is deeply saddened by these recent events in Paris and expresses its sincere condolences to everyone affected as a consequence of this most heinous act. Our hearts and thoughts are with the people of France as we join them in mourning their losses and sending well wishes to those injured in the atrocities. The entire Insight Vacations team extends its support and solidarity for France at this exceptionally difficult time."
Trafalgar had been in contact with all of its clients within the city at the time of this story:
Paul Wiseman, Trafalgar president, also expressed his sincere condolences to those affected by the attacks, and added, “Our operations team has confirmed that all Trafalgar guests have been accounted for in Paris. All guests have departed as planned, either via ferry to London or flights from Charles de Gaulle International Airport. Guests with planned extended stays all chose to remain in Paris. We have been in contact with every traveler and they all are doing well.”
Wiseman noted that the safety and well-being of guests is of paramount importance to Trafalgar and the company is closely monitoring the situation on the ground. Any Trafalgar guests due to travel to Paris in the next 14 days who wish to cancel or postpone, may do so without penalty.
AmaWaterways, which had two river cruise groups in Paris, said that all passengers are now accounted for, according to Kristin Karst, executive vice president and co-owner of the river cruise line, who is hosting a wine cruise on the Rhine river.
Karst said that Paris airports remain open, though there are reports of delays and more stringent security procedures. But she also said AmaWaterways has already had some cancellations from customers who don't want to fly through Paris on their way to their European river cruises.
Collette was in contact with its staff and guests in Paris.
“We did have tours operating in Paris during the times of the attacks,” said Paula Twidale, executive vice president of Collette. “We have been in contact with our team in Paris and all Collette travelers and employees are safe. We will continue to monitor the events closely to maintain the well-being and security of our guests and employees. Presently, our hearts and prayers go out to all the families who have suffered losses resulting from this senseless violence. As more information becomes available, we will advise guests of any changes that may affect existing travel plans.”
Globus shared the following update about its guests, which was also shared on their Facebook page:
“After the tragic events in Paris last night, we are grateful to confirm the safety and well-being of all of our travelers. Many have now been escorted to the airport for flights home. For those still in Paris, local authorities have requested residents and tourists alike stay inside, for the time being. We have relayed this information to our travelers and have cancelled excursions planned for the day (offering compensation for missed activities). In addition, on-site and on-call support is available for our travelers for the remainder of their time in Paris.
We will continue to closely monitor the situation and provide additional updates, as necessary. In the meantime, our thoughts continue to be with Paris and those families who have lost loved ones in this senseless act of violence. If you have questions specifically related to this incident, call (866) 397-6593 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection did not have operations in Paris at the time of the attacks but expressed condolences and said, "we are monitoring all of our cruise operations in France and will provide updates, as necessary, on both our website and Facebook page." The company also indicated they will be providing updates regarding future cruises.
Here is an overall status of Uniworld’s three itineraries in France:
Paris & Normandy: The last main season cruise ended on the Seine Nov. 8. There are Holiday Season cruises scheduled to begin operating Dec. 6.
Burgundy & Provence: The last cruise is scheduled to end on Nov. 15 in Lyon.
Bordeaux: Uniworld has a cruise ending on Nov. 15 and will operate its last cruise of the season in Bordeaux from Nov. 15 to Nov. 22.
All of Uniworld’s cruises are currently scheduled to operate as normal. Its staff in Europe will provide any necessary assistance to guests transiting through Paris to either join a cruise or make their way home. Should guests have questions about their cruise, they can contact their travel agent or call (800) 733-7820.
David Cogswell and James Shillinglaw contributed to this report.
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