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Alerts & Updates - Events that may affect your travel plans 

We are receiving Daily Updates about status of airports, cruise ports, cruise itineraries, resorts and hotels.  If you have a concern or question, please contact us. The Caribbean is Open!  Napa Valley is Open!   Vegas is Open! And our airport is busy this holiday season!

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(11/20) Nashville International Airport Provides Thanksgiving Travel Tips - Heavier Passenger Departure Days Expected for Nov. 22 & 26

As the holidays approach, Nashville International Airport (BNA) is preparing for a busy travel season. Anticipated heavier passenger departure days will be Wednesday, Nov. 22, with approximately 21,000 departing passengers and Sunday, Nov. 26, with approximately 23,000 departing passengers. The 2017 passenger projections are a six percent increase over the previous year.   On a typical day at BNA, approximately 19,000 passengers are screened at the security checkpoint. BNA’s current single day record is 25,024 departing passengers, which was set Monday, June 12, 2017, following the conclusion of Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival and CMA Music Fest.

 

Travel Tips:

 

  • Pack smart by knowing what to pack before you depart. Visit tsa.gov for tips.
  • Check flight status before heading to BNA.
  • Arrive inside the terminal at least two hours before a scheduled flight.
  • Be sure to check your boarding pass before entering the security check point to see if you’ve been selected to participate in TSA Pre™ for that particular flight.
  • Check Security Checkpoint Wait Times at flynashville.com and on flight information monitors in the Ticket Lobby.
  • Mobile boarding passes are accepted at BNA. Passengers can use their smartphones and mobile devices to show their boarding passes and for check-in.  For more information, contact your airline carrier.
  • Visit www.flynashville.com for more information and tips.

Read the full press release here.

 

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(11/14)   Las Vegas is a community where the number 1 employer is tourism.   If you were thinking about a trip to Vegas, now is the time to go to support our fellow Americans, again. The Oct. 1 mass shooting just off the Las Vegas Strip has dealt a substantial blow to travel bookings.  This is a tragic situation -  What has happened to the victims of the shooting is absolutely shocking and tragic. One also feels sorry for all those people who work in Las Vegas too. They are dedicated to showing visitors a good time, and it must be very hard to keep doing that in such awful circumstances.   We must not let these terrible tragedies destroy even more lives, the families of the employees - consider booking a trip to Vegas! 

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(11/6) Although the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and its tourism sector were deeply affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September, the Tourist Board can now proudly proclaim that we’re still sailing as of Nov. 1.

The BVI Tourist Board and government have been fully dedicated to restoring the territory to its luxurious allure. While many of the landside accommodations are currently closed, the BVI is thrilled to announce that the yachting sector will begin welcoming visitors in November. The following charter companies intend to resume sailing for the Winter 2017/2018 season – many of whom are bringing new yachts to the BVI for the first time. A sailing enthusiast’s delight, the BVI is excited to once again host the highly-anticipated Anegada Lobster Festival on Nov. 25 and 26. Guests are encouraged to stop by the event to indulge in delectable and authentic seafood offerings, entertainment and fun.  “We remain energized and optimistic that the destination’s tourism industry will rebound. Guests of the BVI have come to expect a luxurious, personalized experience in terms of the islands’ natural beauty and our unparalleled hospitality. When they return, this product will only have gotten better,” Director of Tourism Sharon Flax-Brutus said.

Diving enthusiasts can enjoy the BVI’s vast marine life at the Wreck of the RMS Rhone, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, or at the new BVI Art Reef. Dead Chest, Peter Island, Norman Island and the Indians are also great places to experience underwater beauty. Meanwhile, the dive operator sector is focused on rebuilding efforts to become fully operational.  Starting November 1, Dive BVI will operate initially from their main base at Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor while Sunchaser Scuba (Bitter End) and Sail Caribbean Divers (initially from the Moorings base) will begin operations the following month.

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(11/3) Thanksgiving Day Travel Forecast  Thanksgiving air travel is notorious for crowds, bad weather, delays and flight cancellations.  It’s easily one of the most challenging times of the year to fly. We all think that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the worst day to travel - not so – it is actually the Sunday before, and the Tuesday before is the second worst day of the year to travel!  The risk of a delayed flight is higher at Thanksgiving than at any other time of year.  Best day to fly with the least number of delays – Thanksgiving day it self!

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(11/1) Update on the Florida Keys – The Keys are open – have been since Oct 1.  1 million cubic metres of debris was removed from Key West – the section of the Keys from MileMarker 5 – 40 was most badly affected.  That is an area from approximately 5 miles outside Key West heading towards Miami for 35 miles.  News from the Florida Keys and KeyWest Tourism Office:

"Every day, things are improving in the destination and we are very proud of that.  With lots of rain after the storm, the foliage is returning, and the cleanup crews have, and are still, working tirelessly to get the Florida Keys looking as beautiful as ever.  The harder hit areas will take a little longer to get completely cleaned up, but overall, the destination is looking great and is open for business." 

  How can Americans help? Come to the Keys. 50% of the residents of the Keys are employed in the tourism business.  If you have reservations for a vacation in the Keys – Don’t cancel, and if you are thinking about a Florida vacation, a week or a weekend, – think about the Keys and support your fellow Americans!    

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(10/24) St. Maarten  - Minister of tourism Melissa Arrindell-Doncher said there will be activities for cruise passengers, including Segway tours, dining, shopping and tour buses to local attractions and beaches.  Most of the island has had power and water restored.  "We are open now but visitors have to realize we have come through an enormous, powerful storm and the island is in the midst of recovery. Those who have been to St. Maarten before will certainly see a difference, but we are well on our way toward full recovery. I see progress from one day to the next," Arrindell-Doncher said. By February or March, "We will have a very nice tourism product to offer to our visitors," she said.  On schedule is the annual Heineken Regatta, March 1-4, and a music festival, March 14-18.

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(10/23)  Puerto Rico says it is on a quick path to recovery - just 4 weeks after the storms,  The international airport is fully operational, the  cruise ports are open and RCCL has returned,  More than 80 hotel properties are open and taking reservations. For an update on the hotels Click Here.  Many key attractions are open,  Bacardi Tours opens November1,   El Morro and other historic sites in San Juan will be opening in the coming weeks. 

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(10/19) US Virgin Islands Update  Please consider vacationing in the USVI as a way to support our fellow US citizens. Call us to find out how. Tourism is the major component of their economy and represents so many jobs that support local families.  Properties on St. Croix are now or will be open soon for guests.  Some of the largest hotels on St. Thomas and St. John will be closed for hurricane repairs and renovations until 2019, but many of the smaller properties will be reopening sooner.

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(10/19) Napa Valley Wildfires - The Napa Valley itself was mostly spared from the firestorms. The wildfires mostly affected the eastern and western hillsides surrounding the valley floor.  Many of the hotels, wineries, restaurants and other businesses have remained open or are reopening this week to welcome visitors.  Many of the wineries are holding fire relief fundraisers to support those who were affected by the wildfires, "Dine and Donate"  "Dollar for Dollar Match" "25% donation on wine sales and tasting fees"  "20% of On Line Sales" Click here and then scroll down to find out about the many different ways you can enjoy wine and support the local relief effort.

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(10/17) Adventure of the Seas (Royal Caribbean) will return to St. Thomas on Nov 9.  It is expected that most restaurants, shops, bars, and excursions, including boat and catamaran will be operating by then.   Grandeur of the Seas will return to Port St. Maarten on Nov 5, according to that town's facebook page. 

(10/17) Hurricane Ophelia affected Ireland and Northern England with such strong winds that brought sand from the Sahara Desert, it turned the sun red!   In the south west of Ireland. where the hurricane made landfall, trees were uprooted, cell and internet service were lost for a day or so. There were power outages and a few flight cancellations but  most everything is back to normal now.  Confirm with your airline for specific carrier information.

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(10/13) Carnival Fascination chartered to FEMA and cancels San Juan departures through Jan 28, 2018.   Other cruise lines such as RCCL and  NCL will be visiting San Juan.  Consider booking a cruise that visits San Juan - the port is open, the old town is lovely and Puerto Rico really needs your business as a way to help our fellow American citizens on the road to full recovery .

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(10/12) The Caribbean  Hotel and Tourism Association has a very easy website on which to check the status, island by island, 25 islands are open, 11 islands are on the road to recovery

(10/12)  Updated - After the Storms - Whats Open - Whats Closed in the Caribbean    Most of the Caribbean is Open and really needs your support to rebuild and ensure jobs for the people of these beautiful islands.  

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(10/11)  Beaches Resort (by Sandals) Update - The Turks and Caicos Sandals Beaches is scheduled for re-opening on December 14 after the hurricane damage.  The resort was already scheduled for renovation and maintenance so no bookings or guests were signigficantly impacted.   Book now in this wonderful resort for families.  

Beaches Resort (by Sandals) is home to the Caribbeans first  Autism-Friendly Kids Camp.. Beaches is the first resort company in the world to have completed the rigorous Autism Certification.  Beaches welcomes Julia - a Sesame Street character - a sweet and curious 4 year old with Autism.

(10/10) Status Update - California Wine Country Fire Damage 

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(10/9) Rebuilding Puerto Rico - For travellers who would like to help the relief and recovery process in Puerto Rico, UnitedForPuertoRico.com is a domestic non-profit brought forth by the First Lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Rossello, with the purpose of providing aid and support to those affected on the island.   For anyone with further questions about the rebuilding process in Puerto Rico, the tourism department has provided a phone number (787-522-5960) which will give people information and updates.

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(10/6)   Tropical Storm Nate will impact the Yucatan Peninsula Saturday and the current trajectory has landfall in the US between Mobile AL and Tallahassee FL as a Cat 1 Hurricane.

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(10/3) Whats Open, Whats Closed,  A Map of the Caribbean and the recent Storm Tracks

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(10/2)  Jet Blue, Puerto Ricos largest airline, makes significant philanthropic commitment.  With its 100x35 initiative, the carrier has 35 ways it plans to aid Puerto Rico over the next 100 days and beyond. The name pays homage to Puerto Rico's size of 100 miles long by 35 miles wide.  JetBlue said it would continue to aid the island in six broad categories: charitable airlift services, relief pricing, fundraising, deployment of its emergency personnel to the island, providing for unmet needs by supporting programs such as free meals and care package deliveries; and by supporting rebuilding efforts.  Other U.S. airlines, including Southwest, American, United and Delta have also aided Puerto Rico by carrying supplies to the island and by flying evacuees out of the U.S. territory free of charge.

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 (9/29)

Puerto Rico Update - Dramatic sattelite images that show the extent of the power outages on the island, as well as the US Virgin Islands and Tortola. The top image shows the islands at night before Hurricane Irma and Maria, the lower image is dated on Sept 24 2017, a week after Maria.

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(9/28) Great News - Florida Keys opens for tourism October 1 - sooner than expected

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(9/27) Open or Closed ? A Port-By-Port Look after Irma and Maria (as of 9/25)

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(9/27) Islands NOT IMPACTED By Hurricanes Irma and Maria and OPEN NOW to Receive Guests

Jamaica                  Aruba           Curacao        St.Lucia         Barbados

Cayman Islands     Grenada       Haiti              Trinidad & Tobago

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(9/27) Islands MINIMALLY IMPACTED by Hurricanes Irma and Maria

The Bahamas: Hotels, airports, and marinas are open on Nassau and Grand Bahama as well as most out islands. Most of the damage from Hurricane Irma happened on the small southern out islands. As of Friday, Sept. 22, Hurricane Maria is expected to pass northeast of the Bahamas through Sunday.

Antigua: The island only experienced some minor wind damage in Hurricane Irma. Although the entire population of Barbuda has been evacuated to Antigua, all hotels and airports are open.

The Dominican Republic: The island did experience some structural damage, flooding, and fallen trees in Hurricane Maria. The country’s major tourist destinations, including Punta Cana, Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata, and Samana are operating normally.

 

Islands  IMPACTED  by Hurricanes Irma and Maria

Turks & Caicos: There was major damage to hotels and roads during Hurricane Irma. Just as rebuilding started and the airport  re-opened, the core of Hurricane Maria passed about 90 miles north of Grand Turk Island on Friday, Sept. 22, bringing an estimated 16 inches of rain to the islands. Club Med expected to open 

Cuba: The north coast of the island received a lot of wind damage from Hurricane Irma, mostly in Los Cayos. Wind damage, power outages, and major flooding in Havana has made travel difficult although some hotels are open.

St. Croix: Largely unscathed by Irma, the western and southwestern areas of the island were damaged by Maria, and much of its power is down. The island’s medical center was breached and patients were evacuated.

St. Kitts and Nevis: While Nevis is mostly without damage following hurricane Maria, there is some damage to structures and roads on St. Kitts. 

 

Islands SEVERELY IMPACTED by Hurricanes Irma and Maria

Anguilla: Most of the island’s buildings were damaged or wiped out in Hurricane Irma. The airport is open only for emergency flights carrying supplies. Clean-up, renovations, and rebuilding has started all over the island.

Dominica: After the island was battered by Hurricane Maria, its prime minister posted an impassioned plea for help on Facebook stating that nearly the entire island had been destroyed. 

Puerto Rico: This American territory was mostly spared any major damage from Hurricane Irma, but the eye of Hurricane Maria made a direct hit on this island. Still facing dangerous flooding and months without power, the island started receiving military and rescue flights on Friday, Sept. 22. A failed dam is causing several towns to evacuate.

St. Thomas: There was sweeping damage all over the island after Hurricane Irma, with many residents in shelters or evacuated to the U.S. mainland. The tourism board of the U.S. Virgin Islands is discouraging visitors from coming at this time. 

St. John: The smallest and most remote of the U.S. Virgin Islands was stripped of most of its signature beauty by Hurricane Irma as trees and parks have been demolished. Half of the population has evacuated. As with St. Thomas, the tourism board of the U.S. Virgin Islands is discouraging visitors from coming at this time. 

Barbuda: This idyllic, tiny island had 95% of its structures knocked down and all of its population evacuated after Hurricane Irma.

St. Martin/St.Maarten: Battered into a heap of cracked facades and uprooted trees by Hurricane Irma, the shared French and Dutch island has very little water or power.

St. Barts: The former luxury playground has been reduced to bent palm trees and rubble by Hurricane Irma but reports that electricity and water have been restored mean that rebuilding will begin soon.

British Virgin Islands: Large-scale destruction from Hurricane Irma has wiped out most of the island’s infrastructure but re-building has already started. The islands were spared the worst from Hurricane Maria but received high winds and rain.

 

 

 

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Maria-Ravaged Puerto Rico Grapples With Island-Wide Power Loss

(Click here for an audio update from a resident reporter - 9/21/2017)

 

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STATEMENT REGARDING SEPTEMBER 19TH EARTHQUAKE IN CENTRAL MEXICO
The sympathies of the Mexico Tourism Board, and the entire Mexican tourism industry, go out to those affected by the earthquake in Central Mexico on September 19, 2017.Mexico’s Federal, State and Local Governments have activated response plans in order to support the individuals impacted as well as to assess damages.

According to the latest information, damages have been reported in parts of Puebla, Morelos, and Mexico City. Tourist attractions remain open and functioning in these destinations. While the international airports in Mexico City and Puebla suspended operations as a standard precaution yesterday, both airports reopened within 4 hours and are now fully operational.  Additionally, we are thankful to report that no other international tourism destinations in Mexico have been affected and are operating normally.  Given these facts, there is no reason for visitors to cancel travel plans to Mexico. The Mexico Tourism Board, and the entire tourism industry, are focused on ensuring visitors in affected destinations receive any assistance necessary while continuing with their existing travel plans.  Updates on the situation will be shared as new information becomes available.
Mexico Tourism Board --  "Support Mexico by keeping your travel plans"

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The Realities of IRMA – and how you can help. (Click here for an audio update from a Caribbean Tourism official)

We have all seen the pictures, the loss and  devastation of the homes of the people who are left with practically nothing.  How are they going to rebuild their lives?  They need to go back to work -  their jobs are mostly supporting tourism on thier islands.   For the most part, the resorts and hotels are still standing and were unaffected.  If the  tourists return, fill those rooms, eat at the restaurants, shop at the local stores, then the local people will be working again, and then they can rebuild their homes for their families.  Can you help?  The areas most affected by the Hurricane Irma were St Thomas, St John, and St Martin and many of their resorts will be closed at least through the end of the year.  On the other hand, many resorts in Antigua, for example, will be reopening sometime in October after clean up. Resorts on other islands further south were not affected at all.   Let Brandywine Travel help you find a destination  where you can help bring jobs back to the people, and at the same time relax, enjoy a vacation, and know that you are helping those in need. 

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Hurricane Irma Keeps Travel Agents Nimble and Very Busy

 Hurricane Irma kept travel agencies busy trying to accommodate clients in advance of the storm, and promises to keep them almost as busy in its wake fielding calls from travelers with plans to head to an affected area.

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Post - IRMA  Guide to Caribbean Vacationing 

For updates on the affected islands and properties

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Cruise Lines Aid Hurricane Irma Relief

As Irma, now a tropical storm, continues to pass near northern Florida and into Georgia, the cruise industry is sending ships to help those affected by the storm in the Caribbean. Norwegian Cruise Line reports it has deployed the Norwegian Sky to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands to......... click on photo for more information

 

Is it not wonderful how we come together during disasters such as Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma!!!