We are providing regular updates on this page for those of you concerned about the Coronavirus situation and the possible impact on your holiday.
In line with UK Government advice as well as that of the authorities in our host countries, we have suspended all overseas holidays and charters as well as RYA training courses up to 30th June. From the 1st July, Greece has re-opened its borders and tourist establishments, and there are now direct flights from Europe to several regional Greek airports, though direct flights from the UK will resume after July 15th. Croatia, Italy and Spain have also confirmed that they are now open to visitors..
We understand that the lifting of the quarantine requirements upon return to the UK is about to be announced for those returning from most European countries including Greece, Croatia, Italy and France whilst we understand that the Foreign Office Travel advice will also be adjusted accordingly. On this basis, have re-started skippered and bareboat charters in these four countries as well as tuition and cabin charter, with flotillas restarting from July 11th in Greece and Croatia. We are continuing to contact all those guests affected by flight cancellations and other restrictions individually to discuss the various alternatives on offer. In most cases where holidays have been cancelled, we are encouraging our guests to re-book at a later date either this year or if required, also in 2021, all with no cancellation penalties or change fees.
At present, with restrictions for the UK originating guests about to be lifted, most holidays operating from July onwards are scheduled to go ahead as normal, For those affected in some way, or who are unable or unwilling to travel regardless of your 2020 departure date, we recommend you contact us as soon as possible to discuss the options open to you. Whilst we have allowed some flexibility on collecting holiday balances where these are overdue. our fleet owner partners will no longer hold yachts indefinitely, so we must now insist on the timely settlement of holiday balances.
If you wish to discuss your arrangements, please contact us, and we will happy to advise on the current situation and what we can do to help.
The Seafarer office is open as usual, though with some of our staff working from home and still able to answer calls thanks to our IT and telephone system set up.
We will update this page as more information becomes available.
In the meantime, we wish all of you the best and look forward to better times soon.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Holidays Booked In Summer 2020
Whilst holidays are already operating in Croatia and Greece, UK travel restrictions currently remain so our holidays have been suspended up to June 30th, though some flights have already been cancelled by some airlines in July. We are monitoring the situation closely through all available channels and will continue to inform our guests as soon as possible if there are any changes in our host countries, changes to flight arrangments or to UK FCO advice. If there is a major change we will inform those guests who were scheduled to travel earlier first and we are being as flexible as possible on booking changes according to your circumstances.
What If My Holiday Is Affected?
Our commitment to a personal service doesn’t end with your booking – we will do our best to offer you the maximum flexibility possible – this will vary from booking to booking, and our team will work to offer you the best option for your holiday and circumstances.
Deferring Booked Holidays
If your holiday with us has been cancelled, we hope you will choose to defer your holiday to a future date rather than cancel completely. If your holiday is scheduled to go ahead but you wish to defer, please note that you may incur penalties. We work with many suppliers, fleet owners, hotels, airlines and agencies – talk to us about your booking and we will give you the latest information on what may be possible in your case.
If your flight is booked through us and is cancelled or changed, we will contact you. If you have booked your own flight and this is cancelled or changed please get in touch and we will do our utmost to work out alternative arrangements.
You Are Ill Or Self Isolating And Can’t Travel
If you can’t travel due to illness or restrictions please get in touch and we’ll look at possible amendments to your holiday. If the holiday is still scheduled to go ahead, you should be able to claim on your travel insurance if this is the case.
What Is The Situation With Refunds
Given the very large number of holidays that have already been curtailed in this unprecedented crisis, we are encouraging guests to re-book for a later date, or if this cannot be decided yet, to accept a credit note which can be applied to a later booking. The credit note will still benefit from financial protection under the ATOL and ABTA schemes and does not disqualify you from receiving a refund later if you change your mind. This is in line with ABTA guidelines, recognising that payment of large numbers of refunds now would be unsustainable for any company.
How We Are Keeping Your Money Safe
We would like to remind you our flight inclusive package holidays are ATOL protected. More information can be found on that ATOL website: https://www.caa.co.
We are also proud to be members of ABTA which provide financial protection for holidays and charters without flights. We have been following ABTA guidelines during the Pandemic and you can see additional information and advice for travellers from ABTA on this link: https://www.abta.com/
How Is Seafarer Coping In These Circumstances
This is our 25th year and whilst it will certainly be a year to remember, it is indicative of our long experience and our strength and resilience, given the many international crises we have had to deal with over the years.
We have a very experienced and dedicated team who have been working hard to keep our guests up to date and change holiday arrangements where required, liaising with airlines and our various overseas suppliers and partners. This can be very difficult with long waits on the telephone often being required when calling suppliers as well as fast-changing official restrictions and advice. We have been coping with all of this well and our guests generally find it easy to contact us either by telephone or email.
How Soon Are Holidays Expected To Return To Normal
The situation is beginning to return to normal across most of Europe and our popular Mediterranean destinations, with Greece and Croatia in particularly having been almost COVID free Several airlines have announced that flights are resuming from early or mid-July. It should be noted that the decision to re-start our beach clubs and all of our flotillas has depended not only on UK Government advice and the lifting of restrictions but also on those applicable in the destination countries.
On the positive side, our preparations for the season are now complete and yachts are already on the water and ready to go. Beach club facilities are ready to re-start on July 5th, with our flotilla and beach club staff largely already in position.
What Additional Precautions Are In Place For Holidays That Do Go Ahead
With the restart of operations, whilst the virus is still active, guests and crew will need to complete a health questionnaire prior to travel. Additionally, we have implemented an enhanced cleaning and sanitisation regime on all vessels. This had already commenced prior to the lockdown on our training vessels. The safety of guests and crew is a top priority for us, so holidays and courses we operate apply protocols that are in line with the advice of the WHO, FCO, and the health and maritime authorities in our host countries.