Due to the on-going COVID-19 global public health emergency, World Cruising Club are mindful that our rallies should only take place where it is safe to do so for our participants, our staff and the residents of our host nations.
Factors including quarantine and social distancing restrictions, the availability of international air travel and opening up of hotels and restaurants are all relevant. It is also becoming clear that there are variations between countries as to the pace of, and the restrictions necessary for, the re-introduction of international tourism to their economies. Therefore we are continuing to monitor the situation in the countries we visit on the routes of our various rallies.
The 2020 rally fleet are currently laid-up in French Polynesia pending easing of movement restrictions along our Pacific route. It is still possible that restrictions will be lifted in time to allow the rally to continue with an amended format, on towards Fiji and Australia. However, given the distances involved and the need to be safely across before the onset of the cyclone season in the western Pacific, there is a time element to be considered. Some 2020 participants have already opted to wait until next year to continue their World ARC journey onwards from Bora Bora with the 2021 fleet. Participating skippers are being regularly updated, with a further update due to be issued at the end of May.
ARC/ARC+ and Caribbean 1500
We anticipate that the current travel restrictions will be lifted in time for the ARC and Carib1500 rallies to take place in November, although it is likely that shore-side activities will need to be reimagined to accommodate social distancing. However, we also recognise that crews need sufficient time once restrictions are eased, to get to their boats and to prepare them properly for ocean sailing and to position them at the start ports in the Chesapeake Bay and in Gran Canaria in time to make the crossing in November. Therefore we will be issuing updates at the end of June by when we hope to have more information available.
A revised timetable with a late August departure has been issued for our trans-Biscay route. A final decision is still waiting on confirmation that marinas in northern Spain, and in Portugal are open to international visitors, and that our UK host port is able to accommodate the rally within UK social distancing rules. An update on the route will be issued at the end of June.
For those current rally participants wishing for certainty for their planning, World Cruising Club is permitting transfers to 2021 routes on request.