What a difficult year 2020 has been. We hope that our rowing friends and their families around the world have stayed safe and healthy. So many lives have been lost and many have suffered in a multitude of ways. For many, I know that the chance to row has offered some measure of solace and joy over the last months.
Looking towards 2021, the remarkable speed in the development and roll-out of vaccines is enormously encouraging. We recognize that much uncertainty remains. Sadly, projections for the numbers of infections and deaths remain grim for the first months of the year, at least in the northern hemisphere. Varying lockdowns, with the associated financial hardship, will continue for a while. It remains unclear when restrictions on travel and rowing will be fully lifted. There is light at the end of this very long, dark tunnel, thankfully, but it is only slowly getting brighter.
As always, our top priority is the safety and health of our guests and our in-country partners. We very much look forward to rowing and traveling together again in beautiful places. We know that all of you feel the same. However, we are proceeding cautiously and carefully in our planning. We have a long-term commitment to you, our guests and partners, and to this business.
We have scheduled 2021 replacement tours on consistent dates to the ones cancelled in 2020. All of you holding deposits have your seats guaranteed. There are many variables and unknowns for 2021, just as there were in 2020. Some things have changed, however. For example, in 2020 many of you had flights booked. Likely few of you will have airline tickets for 2021 and we recognize that you will want some certainty and advance notice before making the commitment to travel with related expenses. On the positive side, our rowing club partners and the accommodations, restaurants and other services that we use during a tour have developed robust protocols and have months of experience in cleaning, distancing practices and other safety measures.
It is too early to know which trips will actually run. Trips scheduled for later in the year, perhaps from August onwards, have a higher likelihood of proceeding. We will not run a trip to the Caribbean this winter, although maybe we can schedule it for early next winter. Some trips, such as the Vogalonga or our BC Wilderness trip, are dependent on the decisions of others. Our new styles of Independent Rowing Experiences and Hybrid Explorers are being revamped and expanded, offering greater flexibility in booking and decision-making timing and more readily align with potential restrictions on group sizes and composition. We will facilitate private groups and custom bookings. We are also looking at other trips that rowers can enjoy within their own country.
We will continue to follow public health orders, travel advisories and the advice of government agencies and appropriate rowing organizations. All decisions will be made in conjunction with our local partners. In 2020 we established time horizons for cancellation decisions. At this stage we anticipate that we will need earlier decisions, longer time horizons. That might mean cancelling a trip which at the last minute might have been able to run. Unfortunately, there are no easy ways to make these decisions, at least for a while.
Early in the new year we will begin focusing on decisions for each trip, beginning with those scheduled for May. We will be in touch with each of you with updates. Should we not be able to run the trip on the planned date, we will look for opportunities later in the year if practical or will set a replacement date in 2022. It might be a long time to wait for our rowing travel dreams to come true, but health and safety are paramount. We want to continue to offer quality trips, in which you can have confidence.