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Santana Tandems - STATUS? 2021 European Bike & Cruise

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Santana Tandems - STATUS? 2021 European Bike & Cruise

Old 01-20-21, 04:39 PM
  #26  
conspiratemus1
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Originally Posted by CaliTexan View Post
Like many questions about COVID, firm and clear numbers are hard to come by. Most of what is believed is based on modeling, which always makes it less precise, and can be quite misleading. But you’ll find lots of studies/papers/models showing infections at a rate of 5-10 x number of confirmed cases. And we do have confirmed infections in USA of 23+ million. Here’s a quick sample from a quick web search just now.
. . ..
Thank you for the citations.
Minimally symptomatic infections might not count much in contributing to herd immunity, i.e., being useful in interrupting transmission so that uninfected and unvaccinated persons are protected. Unlike in polio, where asymptomatic infections were the overwhelming majority: only 5 in a thousand infections resulted in paralysis, yet all who were infected, once recovered, were protected lifelong from reinfection and could not transmit disease to others. Natural infection was a solidly immunizing event (but of course you had to pass through a period of risk for paralysis or death to get there.). This was in the pre-Salk era. The story after vaccination is more complex.

Anyway, we’ll soon see what the story is with Covid. Nobody is proposing to test for natural antibodies before giving Covid vaccine. That would be an unnecessary time-waster because there is no evidence that vaccine is unsafe in people already immune, and no evidence that, unlike with polio, that natural infection is as good as vaccine. So we’ll see vaccine immunity moving down from the top of the age distribution, where most people will still be susceptible because we’re been following “the rules “, and natural immunity moving up, driven by young people ignoring the rules. They’ll meet somewhere in the middle. We older people won’t care if natural immunity doesn’t prevent transmission from them to us because we’ll be vaccinated before they are. In turn, they won’t care any more, not that they care now, that their behaviour endangers us because they know we’ve hogged all the vaccine first and so should be immune.

If enough people over, say, 55, are vaccinated, it won’t matter if vaccine doesn’t prevent transmission, (still not known.) The people at risk of severe disease are (nearly) all protected. Herd immunity really only matters if you have a lot of high-risk people who can’t be vaccinated safely. I don’t see that with these vaccines except maybe in nursing home residents who might not get much vaccine response, as we see with other vaccines.

The United States and a few other countries, (not us) are vaccinating people at Warp Speed and the answers to these important questions should arrive sooner than most people would have thought. You have a lot to be proud of. Well done.

So everybody’s happy. Meantime, ignore any news story with “could”, “might”, or “experts say”, in the headlines, including anything I just said. Predictions aren’t facts until they happen.

Permission to enter foreign countries will depend on whether their public health authorities believe that a vaccinated visitor will not transit infection to locals. So this is Job 1 for the tourism industry to figure out. And we know how hard it is to prove a negative proposition. I am pretty sure there will be no elephants in my house in the next year. But mice? Spiders? Haven’t seen any of any of them lately is all I can say.

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Old 01-25-21, 01:19 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by CaliTexan View Post
Like many questions about COVID, firm and clear numbers are hard to come by. Most of what is believed is based on modeling, which always makes it less precise, and can be quite misleading. But you’ll find lots of studies/papers/models showing infections at a rate of 5-10 x number of confirmed cases. And we do have confirmed infections in USA of 23+ million. Here’s a quick sample from a quick web search just now.

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronav...ng-100-million

https://reason.com/2020/07/23/there-...fatality-rate/

https://reason.com/2020/11/18/a-new-...y-0-4-percent/

https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/down...05022020-1.pdf

https://www.statnews.com/2020/07/21/...ovid-19-cases/

https://baptisthealth.net/baptist-he...december-2019/

None of this means we should be complacent. Just that it’s a complicated topic, and the headline often doesn’t match the reality. BTW, we got our first dose of the Moderna vaccine last week. We’re vaccinating at a rate of something like a million a day this past week. I want to take that tandem tour in France as soon as it seems feasible and reasonable. As I said, that may be 2022.
Another study for your library.
https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-6976 The Proportion of SARS-CoV-2 Infections That Are Asymptomatic, Annals of Internal Medicine 22 Jan 2021
A review of studies looking at asymptomatic infection from various standpoints. The highest-quality studies (2 large nation-wide seroprevalence studies in England and Spain linked to symptom questionnaires) estimate that a third of infections have truly no symptoms at all, ever....at least no symptoms perceived as such. 3/4 of people who have no symptoms at the time a PCR test is positive will not have symptoms during sequential questioning.; the other 1/4 will develop symptoms in the next few days. (Of course it depends on why you do the test: worried well, contact of a case, ordered to by employer or day-care centre, hoping to win the Covid lottery and get quarantine pay/sick leave at home.)

The upside of this is that it makes the infection-fatality ratio just 2/3 of the case-fatality ratio, 2.4% in Canada, so it would "really" be [Edit: fixed typo]: 1.6% here. This is higher than in the U.S. because 3/4 of our deaths are in nursing homes and very few in people under 70. The U.S. has more cases (and deaths) than we do per 100,000 population, but more U.S. cases are younger and so your case-fatality rate is lower than ours. The CFR in our nursing homes is staggeringly high, way higher than in high-risk younger people.. Few nursing home residents want to go to hospital and are content -- or their families are -- to die in their beds.

The downside is that these asymptomatic infections are viewed not as feature: generating herd immunity (because there really aren't all that many of them, nowhere near enough to race ahead of the symptomatic cases and immunize the community) but as a bug: control measures have to be that much more draconian in order to try to keep these asymptomatic shedders from infecting others during their (brief) period of contagiousness.

We grind along.....

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Old 01-25-21, 08:55 PM
  #28  
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Thanks for the additional reference. It says at least 1/3 of infections are asymptomatic. US CDC and others say 40-50%. "Close enough for government work" as the saying goes.

I think the jury's still out on whether asymptomatic infections create the same amount of immunity, or better, or worse, than immunity from a full-blown case or an immunization. I'm going to assume its more or less the same -
https://www.reuters.com/article/heal...-idUSKBN28A2T5
https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/27/3/20-4543_article
https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/sc...le33444005.ece

As a layman, I'm not much interested in the CFR because its inherently misleading and unhelpful to the big picture. The inferred IFR gives a better picture, but is on even shakier ground in terms of certainty / reliability.

So, I've got more or less the same view of the statistics that I had at the beginning of the year, though any and all of this forecasting has lots of conjecture and assumptions. In USA, we're adding 30-60 million immunized people to the pool each month, some from infections and some from immunization. if you extrapolate current numbers (always a bit risky), we'll hit our 70% herd immunity target this spring, most likely by the end of the first quarter. Which - coincidentally I'm sure - is about a month before Biden's 100 day mask program ends.

Alas, Europe may be on a slower timeline, so maybe those European tandem tours will slide into 2022.

And, correcting a bit of the thread drift, I agree with most of these comments about Santana's tours, both pro and con. Bill and his style are either attractive to you or not. He's certainly not going to change. We swore we would never take another Santana tour, but then we were enchanted by the NZ trip, so we took it in November 2019. We're back to swearing we'll never take another one of his... and this time I hope we stick to our vow!

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Old 01-28-21, 09:15 AM
  #29  
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I work for a European company that typically has a lot of employees traveling around the world. The guidance we've heard repeatedly is not to expect European travel to open up much, if at all, is 2021. I wouldn't hold my breath for them letting in a bunch of Americans to bike around this summer.
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Old 03-26-21, 04:57 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by reburns View Post
Summer 2019 we booked a trip for May 2021 with Santana. It became clear to me by this summer that we would not want to get on an airplane or cruise ship by May next year, so I asked Bill to try to resell our reservation. Not sure if he’ll be able to do that or not. I expect that he’ll end up postponing the tour if it can’t happen when scheduled, perhaps by a year, which is what he’s been doing with 2020 tours. We insured the trip, but the insurance won’t cover us if the trip happens as planned and we just aren’t comfortable going. Not sure if we would be covered if the trip is rescheduled. In any event, I’ve written off the cost in my mind, and will just be interested in seeing how things play out and responding as appropriate. I don’t plan on committing to any more non-refundable events in any event.
What has happened regarding your May 2021 trip? We are still receiving emails as if our July trip is still going on in July.....115 days from start.....even though France remains locked down.
Please, pass the KoolAid.
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Old 03-28-21, 12:32 PM
  #31  
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The trip we booked for May has now been moved to November. It is for Tahiti on a Windstar boat. November won’t work for us and Bill has offered to try reselling our booking and returning 90% of the price to us if he finds a buyer. I’d be happy to reassign our trip to a BF member for 80% of the Santana price to anyone interested in a Tahiti tour in November, if Bill hasn’t found another buyer.
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Old 03-28-21, 04:00 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by reburns View Post
The trip we booked for May has now been moved to November. It is for Tahiti on a Windstar boat. November won’t work for us and Bill has offered to try reselling our booking and returning 90% of the price to us if he finds a buyer. I’d be happy to reassign our trip to a BF member for 80% of the Santana price to anyone interested in a Tahiti tour in November, if Bill hasn’t found another buyer.
Too bad that won't work for you. When did they actually notify you about the change, i.e, how many days before scheduled departure did Santana finally notify you of changed dates?
When I look at upcoming 2021 cycling cruises on the Santana Adventures website I don't even see your November cruise to Tahiti being advertised to lure a possible buyer. Not to be disheartening but it would seem they have no incentive to resell it, other than goodwill, since they already have your money.
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Old 03-28-21, 07:12 PM
  #33  
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Merlin:
I appreciate your comments about a Santana tour. I had considered going on one, but they just seemed too structured. I now believe that we have made the correct decision.

When we are touring Mrs. Dan and I like to go to some very unorthodox places. Our last tour in Scotland we spent part of one day at the Kelvin Grove Museum and discovered a delightful bit of modern Kitsch called the Wellie Dog. Sorry, I couldn't find a public domain picture, but if you search for it you will see it in all its glory.

All of our tours have been done by touring an area on Google Maps, then using various web services, like Air B&B and regional B&B groups. Yes, we have been unsupported in France and the UK, and we have had some wonderful experiences. Mostly when things were going great, like that museum. Or any number of small local museums we have stopped at. But also when things are not going so well.

Like the Scottish hardware wholesale shop on Skye who wouldn't charge me for just one bolt, or the bike shop in Stornoway who only had our size tube in his rental spares, so since it wasn't in his VAT system he couldn't sell it to us. But he did give it to us! Or the bike shop in Besancon France who only had a sample bungee cord which they also gave us so we could carry the fabric that Mrs. Dan had just bought.

Or the French lads on Skye who lent me a pump when mine failed. We met them 4 more times in Scotland. Or the people in France who put our tandem in their van and drove us to the train after the wheel failed. I could go on, and on. Tea and biscuits at a museum on Harris because "You can't go out into that rain without a cupper!" And John Angus chasing us down to tell us how to get to his B&B that we were trying to find. Or numerous pints I have been given in Scotland.
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Old 04-01-21, 06:18 AM
  #34  
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Dan,

if you want to try a supported tour that still has some flexibility, you might look at Backroads. Typically Backroad trips offer multiple route options and lengths each day, with different opportunities for stops along the way depending on your interest. Still not as free as doing it yourself, but much more flexible than our experience with Santana.
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Old 04-01-21, 02:10 PM
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Thanks for the input. I think that we are probably too free spirited to fit into the group tour environment. Backroads sound like they at least try to be accommodating.
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Old 04-02-21, 08:44 AM
  #36  
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I know you aren't supposed to advertise on here, but check out Adventures In Tandem. My wife and I run it. We do small tours (10 couples max), and only allow tandems. Structurally, we are pretty similar to Backroads, but our tours are longer and at a lower price point (and we don't provide bikes like Backroads does). Besides Santana, we seem to only have one other competitor in the tandem only touring business. We think touring with tandems only, rather than a mix of singles and tandems to be a much better experience.
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Old 04-23-21, 04:18 PM
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A new email from Santana came this week. It's all bubbles, rainbows and unicorns and the trip is STILL ON for July 20, though we were all advised to buy refundable airline tickets and, oh yeah, you can't get in the country and the port authorities aren't granting docking permits for river ships.
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Old 04-25-21, 01:47 PM
  #38  
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We are scheduled for one of their trips next February, with trip insurance thru travel guard.
I have my doubts on it happening and we will still have to eat some cost with the insurance.
As with any of their cruises you are on your own dollar for cost. They have no control over other countries, ports, travelers warnings, weather etc..
We go every couple years if it’s somewhere we want to see and know the ups and downs of the cruise style trip.

We will keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.
Please keep us posted on the trip and the pre trip communication issues.
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Old 05-04-21, 09:20 AM
  #39  
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Vaccine "passports" likely neede for Europe

Most recent update from Brussels indicates that tourism from U.S. to Europe this summer will be possible for those who have been vaccinated against Covid. One small step for vaccinated Man.
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Old 05-10-21, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Paluc52 View Post
Most recent update from Brussels indicates that tourism from U.S. to Europe this summer will be possible for those who have been vaccinated against Covid. One small step for vaccinated Man.
My understanding is that France intends to allow US citizens into the country beginning June 9, if they are vaccinated or have a recent test. June 30 is the date for unlimited number of people gathering at events. While admission into the EU and the ability to gather (and cruise) is one part of the travel issue, here are some others;
State Department -still has a DO NOT TRAVEL advisory for France.
CDC- ditto the above, and recommendation to avoid all cruise ships
Mandatory COVID test within 3 days before you can get on the RETURN plane. A false positive could ruin your whole month....and your bank account
Wearing a friggin mask pretty much all the time except when you're cycling or eating...I guess.

It will be interesting to see how it goes, for sure. I'll keep the folks here posted.
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Old 05-12-21, 09:08 PM
  #41  
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Greek Isles and Dubrovnik to Venice 2021

Like many of you we are signed up for Santana trips. We had been looking forward to two trips in two different years, not two trips with 2 weeks gap between that can not do with new dates.
Santana changed the Greek Isles October 2021 dates last fall to fit the 2020 postponed trips. We can not make the new dates. We are on the resale list. Of course our Travel Guard insurace does not cover this. I have asked about swapping to another trip and they will not accommodate our request.
So if you are interested in Greek Island trip 10/2021 let me know!
Our 10/2020 Dubrovnik to Venice was moved to 10/2021 also. On resale list for this trip as well! I imagine others are in similar predicament.
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Old 05-13-21, 05:19 AM
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Originally Posted by SeatoSun View Post
Like many of you we are signed up for Santana trips. We had been looking forward to two trips in two different years, not two trips with 2 weeks gap between that can not do with new dates.
Santana changed the Greek Isles October 2021 dates last fall to fit the 2020 postponed trips. We can not make the new dates. We are on the resale list. Of course our Travel Guard insurace does not cover this. I have asked about swapping to another trip and they will not accommodate our request.
So if you are interested in Greek Island trip 10/2021 let me know!
Our 10/2020 Dubrovnik to Venice was moved to 10/2021 also. On resale list for this trip as well! I imagine others are in similar predicament.
So, let me get this straight; they cancel your trip; move it to a date that wonít work for you, and your only remedy is to try to resell it to someone else.

Their terms of service may allow them to do this, but it appears to be horrible customer relations.

By contrast, I was booked with Two Wheel Travel for the Haut Routes Alps in August 2020. When that canceled, I had the option of a cash refund, a credit for 2021 or 2022.

Frankly, this doesnít surprise me. As a smaller operator, they may have such financial pressure that refunds or more extended credits would be difficult. But itís also consistent with the ďSantana Proper MethodĒ
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Old 05-13-21, 09:05 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by SeatoSun View Post
Santana changed the Greek Isles October 2021 dates last fall to fit the 2020 postponed trips. We can not make the new dates. We are on the resale list. Of course our Travel Guard insurace does not cover this. I have asked about swapping to another trip and they will not accommodate our request..
The Santana agreement does specifically give them the right to change the dates, postpone, or reschedule and does not constitute a new reservation. Next to last item in their terms of service. think a year change is a little unreasonable myself.

Are you saying Travel Guard will not cover a one-year change of dates for a refund? And, that said, did you purchase the "CFAR - Cancel For Any Reason" top of the line coverage?

We had another email yesterday and I'll follow up in a day or so after I've considered it.
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Old 05-13-21, 09:18 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Monoborracho View Post
The Santana agreement does specifically give them the right to change the dates, postpone, or reschedule and does not constitute a new reservation. Next to last item in their terms of service. think a year change is a little unreasonable myself.

Are you saying Travel Guard will not cover a one-year change of dates for a refund? And, that said, did you purchase the "CFAR - Cancel For Any Reason" top of the line coverage?

We had another email yesterday and I'll follow up in a day or so after I've considered it.
We only purchased Silver level with Travel Guard back in Jan. and Nov. 2019 when we made original 2 reservations. Now we know how valuable that CFAR option really is!
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Old 05-13-21, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by SeatoSun View Post
. Now we know how valuable that CFAR option really is!
Actually itís a really bad investment. Like any insurance youíre transferring risk from yourself to the insurance company. Not being a eelemosynary institution,the insurance company gets paid to take this risk. In order to stay in business, they have to cover their cost of doing business and make a return on capital. Thus in the long run the amount collected by the insurance company, plus investment return will exceed the payout to policy holders. If that were not true, the insurance company would cease doing business. Definitionally itís a losing bet for the policy holder.

Thus, the first principle of buying insurance: Do not insure against risks you can afford to absorb. We buy homeowners insurance because the loss of a house is a loss most people canít afford to absorb.

A lost vacation from a financial point of view is totally absorbable. In fact your money for the trip is gone as sone as you purchase the trip. In fact if you donít take the trip, youíll be ahead financially because you wonít spend on the other incidentals you havenít paid for yet, such as meals, taxis, etc. It hurts to lose a deposit, but it doesnít materially affect your financial well being.

So if you stop buying this type of insurance, and invest what you would have paid in premium in the long run youíll be richer, even if occasionally you have to eat an unpleasant but not ruinous loss.
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Old 05-13-21, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Actually itís a really bad investment. Like any insurance youíre transferring risk from yourself to the insurance company. Not being a eelemosynary institution,the insurance company gets paid to take this risk. In order to stay in business, they have to cover their cost of doing business and make a return on capital. Thus in the long run the amount collected by the insurance company, plus investment return will exceed the payout to policy holders. If that were not true, the insurance company would cease doing business. Definitionally itís a losing bet for the policy holder.

Thus, the first principle of buying insurance: Do not insure against risks you can afford to absorb. We buy homeowners insurance because the loss of a house is a loss most people canít afford to absorb.

A lost vacation from a financial point of view is totally absorbable. In fact your money for the trip is gone as sone as you purchase the trip. In fact if you donít take the trip, youíll be ahead financially because you wonít spend on the other incidentals you havenít paid for yet, such as meals, taxis, etc. It hurts to lose a deposit, but it doesnít materially affect your financial well being.

So if you stop buying this type of insurance, and invest what you would have paid in premium in the long run youíll be richer, even if occasionally you have to eat an unpleasant but not ruinous loss.
Excellent economic point. My irrational risk aversion and sunk cost fallacy is at play, haha. Also recalling story from person on a previous bike tour who had crashed during one of his previous bike tours (but was back at it!). Anyway, he was very happy he had the insurance for that as it involved all sorts of costs and logistics for medical, catching up to tour. But you are right, money is gone once spent and there would be even more spent I future. Thanks for giving me a new perspective!
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Old 05-13-21, 04:26 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
So if you stop buying this type of insurance, and invest what you would have paid in premium in the long run youíll be richer, even if occasionally you have to eat an unpleasant but not ruinous loss.
I can certainly agree with Merlin on pretty much all the points. I'm part of the buy term and not whole life group. I've carried term insurance in tranches since I was in my 30's, depending how much business debt I had. I never buy an extended warranty. I don't carry collision insurance on our 20 year old Chevy Suburban, even though it only has 120,000 miles on it. I carry a very high deductible on my real estate. I don't insure much of my business property. Yes, if you can absorb the loss you'll be money ahead to never buy insurance. But there are times when you might want to consider a travel policy and everyone has their own risk assessment in deciding. This is especially true on a trip planned for 2 years down the road. For my age group you might have an aging parent that might cause a change. Grandchildren could be coming along and there could be a difficult delivery (I have an atty friend for whom this situation happened and the trip insurance paid off). One of the tandem team may have chronic health problems. So if the cost is only a small percentage of the trip cost, it might be worth it.

An overseas evacuation for medical reasons would probably be at the top of the list as a reason for trip insurance unless you have some other coverage. So if you consider it as catastrophe/umbrellla policy there is a different view. Three years ago a friend of mine and his wife were in Hungary on their tandem. Both were injured, seriously, and he nearly lost a leg. They ran up a pretty good six figure before getting home. Just something to consider.
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Old 05-13-21, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Monoborracho View Post
I can certainly agree with Merlin on pretty much all the points. I'm part of the buy term and not whole life group. I've carried term insurance in tranches since I was in my 30's, depending how much business debt I had. I never buy an extended warranty. I don't carry collision insurance on our 20 year old Chevy Suburban, even though it only has 120,000 miles on it. I carry a very high deductible on my real estate. I don't insure much of my business property. Yes, if you can absorb the loss you'll be money ahead to never buy insurance. But there are times when you might want to consider a travel policy and everyone has their own risk assessment in deciding. This is especially true on a trip planned for 2 years down the road. For my age group you might have an aging parent that might cause a change. Grandchildren could be coming along and there could be a difficult delivery (I have an atty friend for whom this situation happened and the trip insurance paid off). One of the tandem team may have chronic health problems. So if the cost is only a small percentage of the trip cost, it might be worth it.

An overseas evacuation for medical reasons would probably be at the top of the list as a reason for trip insurance unless you have some other coverage. So if you consider it as catastrophe/umbrellla policy there is a different view. Three years ago a friend of mine and his wife were in Hungary on their tandem. Both were injured, seriously, and he nearly lost a leg. They ran up a pretty good six figure before getting home. Just something to consider.
I totally get buying coverage for health care, medical, etc. Making sure you have what you need health care wise, and avoiding astronomical costs of a medical evacuation back to the US, falls in the category of paying to cover losses that would be difficult for most people to absorb.

So it comes down to details. Insurance that provides me emergency medical coverage that would be extremely expensive, and potentially difficult to arrange, is something I would consider paying for, depending on the numbers. Paying to cover a lost deposit not so much
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Old 05-13-21, 11:57 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by SeatoSun View Post
So if you are interested in Greek Island trip 10/2021 let me know!
Our 10/2020 Dubrovnik to Venice was moved to 10/2021 also. On resale list for this trip as well! I imagine others are in similar predicament.
My interest is piqued, but I know nothing about Santana trips. I do own a 90s Santana though. What kind of setup do they run?
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Old 05-14-21, 08:02 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
My interest is piqued, but I know nothing about Santana trips. I do own a 90s Santana though. What kind of setup do they run?
Their trips are bike tours to wonderful places. Their operation is unique as they are on cruise, so can unpack and settle in.These trips are on a chartered Crosi ship. Primarily tandem riders but some singles (we ride singles). Website has details on all trips at santana adventures .com . Since not refundable or exchangeable even if they change dates I am trying to find someone who wants buy ours as they suggest finding own buyer. Check out site. Lovely trips we were psyched about!
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