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This iconic beach destination just banned cruise ship arrivals until 2022

May 13, 2020
4 min read
This iconic beach destination just banned cruise ship arrivals until 2022
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Don't expect to cruise to the Seychelles anytime soon.

The sun-kissed beach destination in the Indian Ocean has banned cruise ships from visiting until 2022, citing fears of another wave of coronavirus cases, according to the Seychelles Nation, the archipelago's main newspaper.

The news outlet says the Seychelles minister for tourism, Didier Dogley, announced the ban this week as part of measures to prevent or minimize a second wave of COVID-19 cases.

Visit TPG’s guide to all coronavirus news and updates

The Seychelles has fared well so far during the global outbreak of the new coronavirus, with an initial wave of just 11 cases and no deaths. The country moved fast to ban cruise ship arrivals and shut its international airport after the first cases were discovered in mid-March. The airport remains closed with a reopening date currently set for June 1.

The cruise ship ban will block ships from stopping at Port Victoria, the gateway for arriving cruise vessels. A spokesperson for the Seychelles tourism minister did not immediately respond to questions about the ban from TPG.

The Seychelles is far from the biggest cruise ship destination, of course. Some of the biggest cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises don't have a single vessel that visits it regularly — if ever. But it's been growing as a port of call for cruise ships on long-distance voyages between Europe and Asia, as well as sailings focused on Indian Ocean destinations.

This year alone, nearly a dozen cruise lines including Oceania Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Holland America, Seabourn and Costa Cruises were scheduled to send vessels to the destination. The typical Seychelles stopover for a cruise ship lasts two or three days.

Often, a visit to the Seychelles is paired with a stopover in the Maldives or a visit to Sri Lanka.

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Related: 6 great cruises that will take you the Maldives

The Seychelles's cruise ban is the longest we've seen so far from a destination since the coronavirus outbreak began. But it's not the only extended ban to be announced in recent days. The tourism minister of the Cayman Islands said last week the destination would remain closed to cruise ships through at least September, and perhaps far longer.

“I don’t think that we’re going to see cruise vessels back in Grand Cayman [in the] second [quarter], third quarter or fourth quarter, to be quite honest,” tourism minister Moses Kirkconnell told the Cayman Compass.

Related: A country-by-country guide to when destinations will reopen to tourists

Argentina also has effectively shut down visitation from foreigners until at least September by restricting international airline flights to the country through Sept. 1. Australian leaders have discussed some sort of travel ban in and out of the country as far out as 2021.

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Additional resources for cruisers during the coronavirus outbreak:

Featured image by Image courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Lines

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Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more