Monday, May 2, 2011

Worldwide Travel Alerts Issued

In the wake of Sunday's counter-terrorist activity, the U.S. Department of State issued a very unusual Worldwide Travel Alert which is in effect now through August 1, 2011.  

"The U.S. Department of State alerts U.S. citizens traveling and residing abroad to the enhanced potential for anti-American violence given recent counter-terrorism activity in Pakistan. Given the uncertainty and volatility of the current situation, U.S. citizens in areas where recent events could cause anti-American violence are strongly urged to limit their travel outside of their homes and hotels and avoid mass gatherings and demonstrations. U.S. citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times. This Travel Alert expires August 1, 2011. "

The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office is also expressing concern. It has not issued an official alert but has released a statement advising British travelers to be cautious abroad: "We have advised British nationals overseas to monitor local media, remain vigilant and exercise caution." 

It is important to note that the alert doesn't make any reference to a specific threat, but rather just encourages American citizens to be vigilant and stay informed of current news as they travel.   This is common sense which should be exercised regardless of whether or not an alert has been issued.

One of the more important ways that U.S. Citizens can keep informed while traveling abroad is by  enrolling in the U.S. Department of State's STEP service.

The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country.

STEP allows you to enter information about your upcoming trip abroad so that the Department of State can better assist you in an emergency.

Additional travel information can be found on International Travel (static tab on blog) and Travel Tools (on our website).   We encourage all cruise passengers to be familiar with travel alerts, warnings, tips, and country specific requirements before leaving home.  Make sure that you leave your itinerary with someone at home and that you are adequately protected by travel insurance.

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