We are providing regular updates on this page for those of you concerned about the Coronavirus situation and the possible impact on your holiday.
Last update November 3rd 2020
The summer season is now successfully behind us and having operated in all our destinations from July and in Greece until this week, we are pleased to advise that we completed the summer without a single case of COVID 19 on any of our holidays, including flotillas, beach clubs, cabin chartrer or sailing schools. The feedback from our guests was that the precautions and distancing measures in place worked very well, without adversely affecting their holiday and the point has been well proven that holidaying afloat on a yacht within one’s family or social bubble, with sensible precautions and protective measures in place is about as safe as it gets.
In line with the latest UK government restrictions we have no departures from the UK operating in November, though for those living elsewhere and able to travel, our bareboat bases in Greece and Croatia are still open as is our Greek-based Sailing school which will be operating from Lavrion near Athens over the winter.
Summer 2021 holidays are all scheduled to operate as normal with our first delivery and explorer flotillas operating in April already sold out. There are no travel restrictions anticipated at this point and with enhanced testing and other coordinated protective measures planned internationally, it is anticipated that quarantine or other restrictions will not be required next summer.
The Seafarer office is open as usual, though with some of our staff working from home we are still able to answer calls and provide our normal service thanks to our IT and telephone system set up.
We will update this page as more information becomes available.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Holidays Booked for Summer 2021
With our experience of operating successfully in summer 2020 and given the pre-departure testing and other protective measures planned by the airline and travel industry for 2021, the aim is that the 2021 summer season will operate normally. However, in the event that exceptionally some disruption to departures occurs, we have proved from our track record this year, that we have appropriate policies in place to deal with such situations. Those booking a full package with us including flights will benefit from ATOL cover for the entire package, whilst as a tour operator, we will take full responsibility to provide suitable accommodation and organise appropriate repatriation travel in the event of any disruption.
What If My Holiday Is Affected?
Our commitment to a personal service doesn’t end with your booking – in the event of any disruption ;re departure, 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, whether this is travelling as originally planned but changing to a different destination, deferring your holiday to a different date, securing a refund for you where this is available and so on.
Deferring Booked Holidays
If your holiday with us has to be cancelled due to COVID 19 related disruption, 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 if there are no official restrictions in place. Where restrictions are in place, deferring your holiday will usually be penalty-free. 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 and do our utmost to secure suitable alternative arrangements. If you have booked your own flight and this is cancelled or changed, please get in touch and we will do our utmost to help.
You Are Ill Or Self Isolating And Can’t Travel
If you cannot travel due to illness or official restrictions, please get in touch and we’ll look at possible amendments to your holiday and will assist you with this in any way we can. If the holiday is still scheduled to go ahead and there are no restrictions in place, 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 were curtailed in 2020 during this unprecedented crisis, we encouraged guests to re-book for a later date if possible, or if this could not yet be decided, to accept a credit note which can be applied to a later booking. The credit note still benefits from financial protection under the ATOL and ABTA schemes and does not disqualify you from claiming a refund later, if you are subsequently unable to travel. This was in line with ABTA guidelines, recognising that payment of large numbers of refunds automatically was not sustainable for the industry. We thank the large number of guests who chose this route for their cooperation and for staying with us.
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.
How Is Seafarer Coping In These Circumstances
2020 was 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 well with all of this and our guests have generally found it easy to contact us either by telephone or email to discuss their requirements and the appropriate solution has been found in each case.
How Soon Are Holidays Expected To Return To Normal
We saw the situation return to normal across most of Europe from July, albeit with sensible protective measures in place, with Greece in particularly having been almost COVID free up to that point. Most airlines operated their full flight schedules to our main destinations of Greece, Turkey, Italy and also Croatia and full summer 2021flights schedules have been on sale for a while. Plans are well advanced for pre-departure testing in 2021 if the Pandemic has not subsided by then, whilst enhanced hygiene routines and other protective measures have been well proven in all our destinations during the 2020 season. These measures will be continued for as long as proves necessary, whilst always operating in line with UK and host country advice and guidelines.
What Additional Precautions Are In Place at the Destinations
With holidays operating 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 and in accommodation units. 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. For a summary of these measures click here.
Should We Travel To Specific Destinations Against Foreign Office Advice
With the negative foreign office advice applicable to certain destinations, most travel insurance policies will not cover you if you travel there. However, we have identified policies that will cover you to travel and also cover you if you contract the virus before you travel in certain circumstances, whilst also offering reasonable premiums.