Lisbon Gibraltar Barcelona restrictions

Are there any Tauck guests cruising next month (August) on Windsurf - Portugal/Gibraltar/Spain who view these forum discussions? There are strict Covid-19 restrictions in place for entry. Our final payment is due soon. I know there may be deletions to the itinerary due to Covid restrictions but no weekend entry to Lisbon allowed after Friday 3 pm will be in issue not to mention Gibraltar/Mallorca/Spain concerns and CDC recommendations. My flight is scheduled to arrive at 2:55 pm! How late will Tauck wait to cancel this tour?


  • Patrice,

    Lisbon's weekend curfew does not apply to those, including tourists, who test negative for the virus. Of course, things can change at any moment. Tauck will keep you apprised. Since you have not heard from them you should assume the tour is proceeding as scheduled.

  • Wind Surf is currently in the Netherlands where it has been since November. Windstar is selling Med. cruises on the Wind Surf starting on August 8th. The Wind Star is doing the Aegean itinerary right now, and we leaving to join the Star Breeze in St. Maarten on Thursday. We did this cruise in 2019 and loved it … but Mallorca is really hot this time of year. I think your cruise will go.

  • Sealord - thank you. I've never been on a Windstar ship. Comforting to hear from another Tauck traveler who has had a good experience with Windstar. It will be interesting to experience sharing the Wind Surf with non-Tauck guests. I think our most challenging weather day may be a scorcher in Seville which is more inland and does not get any sea breeze. Tauck gave each guest a souvenir metal water bottle to fill and take ashore on my 2019 Rhône cruise but additionally they provided ample chilled plastic water bottles. That practice may become rare as more countries have strict rules about plastic. I plan to pack my collapsible paper fan and my battery operated fan that hangs on a lanyard. Hope you are right that the cruise will be a go.

  • edited July 5

    Windstar Cruises (the company) has come a long way since its founding in 1984. In 1987 it was purchased by Holland America which was itself purchased by Carnival, before being purchased by Ambassador International in 2007. In a 2011 bankruptcy court Anschutz Corporation parent of Xanterra bid and won the cruise line. Those who have taken any of the Yellowstone tours may recognize the name Xanterra- they operate the park's lodging as well as lodging at several other national parks. Since 2013 Windstar has expanded and enlarged their fleet with the addition of (3) small cruise ships (Star series) which joined the (3) large sailing vessels of the Wind series. As part of their Star Plus Initiative the first two of the three Star series vessels (Breeze and Legend) have been cut in half and enlarged by adding a new 84' section. They have also received new engines and undergone a total refurbishment. You can read about here:

    see a time-lapse video of the actual process here:

    and see a computer simulation of the process here:

  • Fascinating video. Thank you AlanS

  • edited July 7

    We are on the first of the ‘stretched’ ships this week … the Star Breeze. Xanterra (Windstar) is actually owned by one man … a billionaire. I have read that he has kept everyone on the payroll throughout the pandemic. The ships were definitely ‘spruced’ up after Xanterra bought Windstar. Everyone has their personal tastes, but we love Windstar and have done fifteen cruises with them. Wind Surf is our favorite ship, and that is where we go most of the time. After this cruise we will have done all of the ‘Star’ boats. They were bought from Seaborn and they are “all suite” ships.

  • We just got our ‘entry permits’ for Sint Maarten. You have to upload a negative covid test taken within 72 hours of departure to their website to gain an entry permit which you have to show prior to your flight or they will not allow you on the airplane. They said it might take twelve hours to get the permit, but it was almost instantaneous. I filled out the forms and checked my email, and the permits had already arrived. Our boat is floating around by Simpson Bay probably to save docking fees.

  • Love reading fellow Tauck travelers' comments and tips on these discussion boards. Such valuable information. I think the Wind Surf is currently moored in Rotterdam and spent 5 days sailing from Lisbon. It's upcoming westbound tour begins in Barcelona and ends in Lisbon. Then (hopefully with me onboard) it will repeat the tour eastward back to Barcelona. Glad to hear your Covid testing process went smoothly.

  • It was interesting that our covid tests were only two weeks apart, but the sampling technique was different. The first time they took samples from the throat and through the nose half way through the brain. The second time it was only a swab fairly deep in the nose, but no where near as uncomfortable.

  • At least your test wasn't performed by a proctologist. :o:#:D

  • The US State Dept has changed the advisory for Spain & Portugal from level 3 "Orange-Reconsider Travel" to level 4 "Red-Do Not Travel". I don't think any Tauck guests on the upcoming 2 cruises departing Wind Surf Barcelona August 8 and then Lisbon on the 16th have posted on the forum. My travel protection document is 52 pages. I wonder if the insurance coverage is different for an insured traveler already in the country when the State Dept changes the advisory versus a traveler who enters a Red country after the warning/advisory is posted. The Tauck rep I spoke to yesterday did not know if the tour was/will be cancelled. Tauck contacts guests of cancelled tours "in chronological order" was the response. She also did not know if the coverage changes for a traveler who enters a red-level 4 advisory country.

  • The CDC should be … No one should tell you where to travel except the country you intend to travel. If you are vaccinated and use common sense you can be comfortable anywhere. We recently traveled to four countries and a cruise ship using masks and protocols where appropriate. No problem. The CDC has assumed more power than has been bestowed. Level four should not exist.

  • The State Dept lists Beirut, Lebanon at "level 3 orange" travel advisory. They have been in turmoil for a year since the bombing, with power outages, lack of civil order, and serious food shortage. Yet Spain & Portugal are listed at level 4! Makes me seriously question the usefulness and veracity of the coding system.

  • Speaking for myself, just because I am vaccinated doesn’t provided me with confidence to travel anywhere (especially level 4 locales). Common sense only goes so far - it cannot protect you from the variants that are ravaging worldwide. The unvaccinated need to take responsibility - perhaps taking away privileges will induce more to become good citizens.

  • Vaccinated people are not dying. Two of the people I met on our recent Windstar cruise had had covid. He lost thirteen pounds and she lost seventeen pounds. They obviously survived and later got vaccinated and then went on a cruise. Fearful people will stay home wearing masks even alone in their cars. Some of the rest of us will get out there and live our lives. The choice is yours.

  • edited July 29

    As of today all Tauck travelers to Europe must be vaccinated. On our recent cruise ‘everyone’ aboard was vaccinated. We still wore masks when not eating or drinking. Even the hotel manager agreed that that policy made no sense in a 100% vaccinated environment … but fear is the driving force. They are afraid of being shut down again if covid pops up … so they are going ‘overboard’ , pun intended. I understand it, and we wore the masks as directed. But, does it make sense? No. Yes, you could be stuck by lightening on the fifth deck of a cruise ship … but it is unlikely. (;-). (We were also tested for covid five times while aboard.)

  • Good to hear your update, Sealord. And I appreciate all forum discussion contributors. I've only taken 1 Tauck tour (river cruise) so I'm always seeking tips and advice from the pros. Tauck sent an email this morning to all guests scheduled on Europe tours to warn them of the August 1st vaccine requirement. My cruise already required guests and all Wind Surf crew to be vaccinated so it did not affect my tour. I just made my required PCR test appointment this morning for Portugal entry.

  • Sealord: yes, all guests and crew were vaccinated. However, when you were in a port, you were undoubtedly exposed to others who may or may not have been vaccinated. And even vaccinated individuals can carry and spread virus. I adhere to the adage: Best to be safe than sorry. I’m wearing my mask.

  • Unless you are wearing an N95 mask or better, your mask probably does nothing but hide your face, and make it difficult to understand what you are saying. It might protect others from you if you were covid positive, but it probably does nothing for you. As said, all of the ‘crew’ on our ship were masked up all of the time.

    Even though Spain and Portugal are now CDC level four, the “Wind Surf” has departed the Netherlands for Barcelona. It should arrive on the 4th of August. That is the first time the “Wind Surf” has moved since November. I keep track of her … she is our favorite ship.

  • Sealord - Having just completed the Iceland tour aboard the Le Dumont D'Urville I can say that the Ponant protocols were similar to what you describe. We witnessed the ship doctor during initial boarding interviews provide 'approved' masks to one couple because what they were using were insufficient. They were basically just an unlined cloth mask. So Ponant took the protocols serious enough to ensure everyone used compliant masks. The ship doctor interviewed every person prior to initial boarding of the ship.

    It might protect others from you if you were covid positive, but it probably does nothing for you.

    Protecting others is a good thing, right.

  • I prefer facts over propaganda.Daniel Horowitz is not medically trained - he’s merely a spokesperson for the Conservation movement.

  • SeaLord, what you say is totally untrue. N95 masks are not necessary for the general public. A WELL FITTING tightly woven double layer fabric, covering nose and mouth that are worn by as many people as possible are extremely effective. I know you don’t wear good masks, I’ve seen pictures of you in a bandana mask on the forum.
    Considering the continued downplaying you seem to have of the Pandemic, you were certainly first in line for the vaccine.

  • Shoot the messenger. Look at the graphs. Those are facts. We wear surgical masks where masks are required. We wore scarves outdoors where masks are nothing but a placebo. You go to a restaurant and wear a mask from the front door to your table. Who is ‘smart’ enough to think that does anything? The virus is smaller than the openings in any commonly used mask … useless.

  • I cannot disagree with you more. I understand that you have been vaccinated. Great but many have not. And they are the problem. Perhaps the best solution is to restrict the activities of unvaccinated—preclude them from sporting events, offices, hospitals, shops, restaurants, airlines, hotels, museums etc. That way no one will need to wear a mask. Sealord - this would work for you inasmuch as ‘masks are useless’ (according to you).

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