For 42 Marian girls, summer 2020 meant an exciting adventure to Iceland. The trip was planned more than two years in advance and took a lot of preparation and effort from students, parents, and faculty. The trip was originally supposed to occur in 2018, but was pushed to 2020 due to schedule changes. Girls and faculty were excited to spend time in Iceland’s beautiful nature and experience a different culture. On June 27, it announced that the trip has been cancelled.
In late April, French teacher, Mrs. Janet Tuttle, chaperone of the trip, sent out an email
announcing that the trip would need to be pushed back a few months due to COVID-19. There was still hope about enjoying the beauty of Iceland and experiencing a Marian-hosted trip when it would be safe to do so. Science teacher, Dr. Sharon Genoways, chaperone of the trip, found it promising that the trip would occur as cases continued to drop in Iceland.
“Once I heard that Iceland had the virus under control and had no reported cases, I was so excited. But, because the U.S. is unable to follow social distancing and mask rules, Iceland has decided that no US travelers would be admitted for the foreseeable future,” Dr. Genoways said. Sadly, this means that there were limited options about how to handle the status of the trip.
Dr. Genoways and Mrs. Tuttle worked together to decide how to handle the situation. In the best interest of all those attending the trip, they decided to cancel it altogether. “We have totally cancelled and requested a refund of our money,” Dr. Genoways said. “The future of travel is too uncertain, and both Mrs Tuttle and I did not feel that we could ensure that our travelers could safely fly without risking exposure to the virus.”
The decision to completely cancel the trip was not an easy one to make. “We considered
moving the trip to second semester spring 2021 but we were very concerned that the travel company could go bankrupt—resulting in everyone losing a lot of money. As it is, we all lost a $99 non-refundable registration fee and, depending on the type of insurance selected, were assessed a $75 – $300 cancellation fee,” Dr. Genoways said.
Although it was predicted by many that the trip would be cancelled, the official news was nonetheless disappointing. “I was really upset at first but I understand why the trip was cancelled,” Bridget McKay ‘21 said. “This was going to be my first time ever going out of the country.”
For those attending, the trip to Iceland was supposed to come with many awaited experiences. “Iceland is a treasure and there were so many things that I was excited to see – volcanoes, waterfalls, black sand beaches, whales, geysers” Dr. Genoways said. 25 girls who were planning on going to Iceland with Marian have said they would still like to go to Iceland in the future.
All questions about the trip can be directed to Dr. Genoways or Mrs. Tuttle.