Collette launches Summer Sale through June 30 for travel July 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022

RIT delays restart until April 2021, and more updates from major tour operators

TORONTO — Though many destinations have already begun to reopen their borders, travel restrictions are still in place for many countries around the world, plus Canada is still dealing with a blanket global travel advisory and mandatory quarantine. All of these factors severely limit tour operators in how and where they can operate.

Most major tour operators halted operations in mid-March during the early days of the pandemic, with many extending their suspensions multiple times over the past several months.

One tour operator, Ireland and UK specialist Royal Irish Tours, recently announced that it will delay the restart of its operations until April 2021.

As company founder and president Ian Duffy notes, it was a very tough decision to make.

“After much deliberation and discussion, we have now made the difficult decision to postpone our coach and sightseeing tours until April 2021. This has not been an easy decision for us, but we feel it is the right one at this time,” said Duffy.

In a statement on the company’s website, Duffy adds: “The safety and enjoyment of our guests has always been paramount, and we feel that this year we cannot deliver on these two essential aspects of our tours. There is a lot of uncertainty around group sizes and social distance protocols as well as restrictions on group sizes in dining rooms, bars and visitor attractions.”

With this in mind, says Duffy, the company has decided to spend this time preparing for the future, “and we are looking ahead and focusing on 2021.”

Travel agents have so much on their plates right now and it can be difficult to keep track of updated re-start dates and policy changes.

Since the early weeks of the pandemic Travelweek has maintained continuously updated lists of the latest dates and policy news from Canada’s airlines as well as cruise lines, resorts and tour operators. The lists, including the Tour Operator list with more than 20 companies, can be found here.

Below is a list of the most recent updates from several major tour operators including CIE, Collette, Contiki, Exodus, Globus family of brands, Intrepid, Lion World, Royal Irish Tours, Tauck and Trafalgar.

 


 

CIE TOURS

CIE Tours has suspended the operation of all departures through Sept. 30, with tours for October and beyond still operational at this time. All guests booked for any 2020 departure are permitted to move to 2021 travel dates without incurring any cancellation fees or land penalties as along as these changes are made on or before Aug. 31, 2020.

For guests rebooking on the same tour series for a new departure date, any price increase for the future date will be waived. If the new trip selected is a different tour series or destination and the price is higher, guests will be responsible for the difference. If the new trip selected is at a lower price, no refund will be issued for the difference.

Guests who want more time to select their future vacation will be provided with a travel voucher equal to 100% of the land portion of the booking. The voucher is transferrable and can be applied to any 2021 departure for any of CIE’s destinations.

For more details go to https://www.cietours.com/en-ca/travel-update.

 


 

COLLETTE

With the situation surrounding travel restrictions still very fluid, Collette says it is making decisions to either operate or cancel tour dates 30-45 days prior to departure of each tour. At that time, the company is contacting guests to notify them on the status of their tour. A list of cancelled tours for August and September, updated Aug. 4, can be viewed here.

Departures to China have been cancelled through 2020 and will not operate in 2021. Departures to Russia have been cancelled through Sept. 30, 2020. Canadian Rockies by Rail (Rocky Mountaineer) have been cancelled through 2020 (excluding the Sept. 30, 2020 departure). Also cancelled for 2020 are Alaska Discovery, Canadian Rockies by Train (VIA Rail) and Calgary Stampede.

For more information click here.

 


 

CONTIKI

Due to the ongoing pandemic and associated travel restrictions, all Contiki trips due to depart on or before Nov. 30, 2020 have been suspended globally.

Impacted guests are eligible to either:

  • Rebook now and change their travel dates or destination to any trip in 2020 or 2021, without penalty on the land portion of their tip. Any discounts that had been applied to their original booking will be transferred and applied to their new booking.
  • Hold a Future Travel Credit of the full amount paid for the land portion of the suspended vacation, redeemable against any new booking for travel to any destination departing before Dec. 31, 2022.

For all other 2020 bookings, Contiki is temporarily offering a change fee waiver, meaning that no fee will be charged for clients to change their booking, on the land portion of the trip until 30 days prior to departure.

For a list of FAQs and the latest updates from Contiki, go to https://www.contiki.com/ca/en/resources/travel-alerts.

 


 

EXODUS

Exodus has suspended departures until Aug. 31, 2020. Travellers will receive an update of their trip within 30 days prior to departure.

Through Exodus’ Booking Promise, if Exodus cancels or suspends a trip, or if a client is unable to travel due to restrictions either in their home country or the country they’re travelling to, the booking can be transferred to a future date or alternative holiday. Alternatively, clients can receive a Refund Credit Note valid for bookings made by July 31, 2021.

Clients can transfer their booking free of charge up to 10 weeks before departure.

For more information go to https://www.exodustravels.com/ca/travel-safety-advice.

 


 

GLOBUS FAMILY OF BRANDS

Globus family of brands – Globus, Cosmos, Monograms and Avalon Waterways – has extended its suspension of operations through Oct. 31, 2020.

Through its Peace of Mind Travel Plan, the company is allowing all travel bookings between March 14 and Oct. 31, 2020 to move travel dates without incurring cancellation fees, land or airline penalties. Impacted clients can move their booking to any Globus family of brands vacation for any destination. If they are not ready to choose their new vacation, the full value paid to the company will be provided a Letter of Credit, redeemable for any future departure through 2022. The credit is transferrable.

The Plan also includes an additional bonus credit; this credit of up to $200 per person will be in addition to the Letter of Credit, redeemable for any future travel through 2020.

  • Bonus credit of $200 for Avalon Waterways
  • Bonus credit of $100 for Globus
  • Bonus credit of $50 for Cosmos, Escapes by Globus & Monograms

For Peace of Mind Travel Plan details and more info go to:

 


 

INTREPID TRAVEL

Due to ongoing travel restrictions, Intrepid Travel has extended the suspension of the majority of tours until at least Oct. 31, 2020. Guests who were booked on a suspended tour due to the pandemic will automatically receive a credit of 110% of monies paid (of their deposit or full payment). This excludes additional flights or insurance.

For guests booked on a tour that is due to depart from Nov. 1, 2020, there are currently no changes to their trip and it is scheduled to depart as planned. Intrepid will notify guests directly via its customer care team or their travel agent if a tour is suspended.

Clients who want to cancel their booking can receive a credit of monies paid (excluding flights or insurance) to use on a new tour.

For all future bookings, full payment is now due 21 days prior to the departure date of their tour.

Last week Intrepid began operating some small group tours, as part of its Intrepid Retreats program. The first travellers have been from UK and Europe.

For more information go to https://www.intrepidtravel.com/ca/trip-suspensions.

 


 

LION WORLD TRAVEL

Lion World Travel is now offering clients the option to postpone travel to as late as Dec. 9, 2022 (with some exceptions). Clients are asked to call 1-800-387-2706 to confirm their travel options if they wish to change, postpone or transfer their impacted trip.

If a client is uncertain about new travel dates, Lion World will issue a travel credit for any future travel with the company. Credit for issued airline tickets as well as all booked accommodations would remain with the same suppliers.

Standard cancellation penalties still apply to all bookings. To view booking terms and conditions click here.

For more information go to https://www.lionworldtravel.com/travel-alert.

 



ROYAL IRISH TOURS

Royal Irish Tours has delayed the restart of its operations to April 2021.

RIT’s updated terms & conditions to offer more flexibility for clients booking a vacation with the company. Once clients book and deposit, they can change their departure date or tour for any reason up to 30 days prior to departure.

The deposit is transferable to another date within 18 months of the initially scheduled trip departure date. The offer is valid for new bookings only, made after Aug. 3, 2020.

Typically RIT’s coach tour group sizes have maxed out at 38 passengers, however for 2021, the company will be reducing group sizes “significantly”. In 2021 RIT’s first-class coach tours will operate with a maximum of 30 passengers on a full size coach, including many more tours operating with a maximum of 16 passengers.

For more information see https://ritvacations.com/ireland/a-message-from-our-president/.

 



TAUCK

Tauck has cancelled all land tours and cruises with departure dates through Sept. 30, 2020. The company is contacting impacted guests and travel agents in chronological order, reaching out to those scheduled to travel soonest.

For travel scheduled Oct. 1-Dec. 31, 2020, final payment for all land tours and cruises is now due 45 days prior to departure.

All cancellation penalties will be frozen at the current tier and will not increase prior to final payment. By freezing cancellation penalties, if a guest purchased Guest or Cruise Protection and cancel their trip before their final payment is due, the cost of the Guest or Cruise Protection fee is Dreamsaved. If they did not purchase Guest or Cruise Protection, the cost of their deposit will be Dreamsaved. In either case, Dreamsaved funds are available for clients to use for future travel.

If a client cancels their booking within 45 days of departure, Tauck has now lowered penalties for cancellation to the most lenient tier inside of final payment. Any penalties assessed will be placed into a Dreamsaver account along with their protection plan premiums. Normally, those cancellation penalties would be completely forfeited.

If a client is scheduled to travel with Tauck in 2021 or beyond, at present all of Tauck’s standard policies apply for its land tours and cruises.

For more information go to https://www.tauck.ca/travel-updates.

 


 

TRAFALGAR

Trafalgar has suspended all trips departing up and until Nov. 30, 2020. Clients who have a booked trip during this suspension period have a future travel credit automatically available to them for the full value of the land portion of their trip, to use for travel before Dec. 31, 2022.

Clients have two options:

  • Clients can rebook now and change their travel dates or destination to any trip departing up until Dec. 31, 2022 without penalty on the land portion of their trip. Any discounts (of up to 15%) that had been applied to their original booking will be transferred and applied to their new booking.
  • Or, clients can choose to hold an FTC of the full amount paid for land portion of the suspended holiday, redeemable against any new booking for travel to any destination departing before Dec. 31, 2022.

Future Travel Credits can be redeemed with the company or another TTC brand (other TTC brands include Trafalgar, Costsaver, Luxury Gold, Uniworld and U River Cruises) on any destination or trip for travel before Dec. 31, 2022. For maximum flexibility, clients can also choose to transfer their FTC to a friend or family member.

 


 

For Travelweek’s lists of Supplier Updates (airlines, cruise lines, hotels & resorts, and tour operators), click here.