As Americans strive to return to normal, tourism and travel is on the rebound nationwide. Hotels are welcoming groups, albeit while struggling to hire adequate staff to handle returning business. The CDC is relaxing vaccination and mask mandates, and the tide has thankfully turned toward normalcy. No industry suffered more than the cruise line industry. Cruise ships were the first global hot-spots of the virus, with ships turned into large quarantine centers. Governments the world over imposed strict ‘No Cruise’ bans. Dozens of cruise ships were idled in flocks off the coast of Florida and throughout the Caribbean – but they fueled up, staffed up and are coming back with a vengeance!
Armed Forces Reunions (AFR) is the parent company of Hampton Roads’ only full-service tour operator. AFR Tours (www.afrtours.com) serves the cities of Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown, Hampton, Newport News, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Virginia’s Eastern Shore, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. 2022 is going to be the biggest year by far for cruise ship stop-overs at Norfolk’s Half Moon Cruise Terminal, with Norwegian Cruise Lines leading the way with 25 port-of-calls! We expect over 180,000 cruise ship passengers to visit throughout the year. Our first ship arrived this past Sunday, the 4,000-passenger Norwegian Getaway. Carnival, Ocean Explorer, TUI Cruises (German), and Caribbean Cruises are all making their way to Norfolk as well – and with good reason.
The largest Naval Base in the world is here in Norfolk, at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay – the world’s premier deep-water port and harbor. As Capt. John Smith said of Coastal Virginia in 1608: “Heaven and Earth never agreed better to frame a place for Man’s habitation.” Coastal Virginia is home to sixteen military bases! Our community is honored to host all five of our nation’s military branches, and we welcome veterans with open arms. Norfolk is Armed Forces Reunions’ home town, and we are extremely proud of our region’s contribution to the history and formation of America. But being a national company, we’ve never had the opportunity to solely focus on our home port. The Dey family is extremely excited to have an avenue in which to take a deep dive into the culture, history, people, cuisine, and sights of Coastal Virginia like we never have before. AFR Tours has it’s own staff solely dedicated to welcoming all groups to the region, so our staff here at AFR can focus on the mission at hand: providing military reunion groups with consistently excellent reunions, year after year in cities from coast to coast.
While AFR Tours is the only tour operator in Southeast Virginia, for over three decades parent company AFR has planned group tours in Norfolk and over 100 cities coast-to-coast. We are event planning professionals, with a special emphasis on offering attractive and reasonably-priced tours to military reunions nationwide. For groups with fewer than 100 attendees we offer our attrition-free hotel contracting services and connect groups with local tour partners in select reunion-friendly destinations. For more information on booking your reunion in other top destinations please visit our website at bookmyreunion.com/top-destinations. By submitting a Get-a-Proposal Form, your lead will go directly to top Reunion Hotel partners that accept AFR’s Hotel Contract.
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