Reassuring holidaymakers

By | Category: Travel news

When we have the opportunity to travel again there will be any number of concerns.

Fred Olsen’s Balmoral, currently moored in the Firth of Forth

We will wonder about how social distancing can be achieved, how well cleaned are the places in which we will stay and how we will be protected financially and health-wise should there be a second or third wave.

To companies, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines and Kuoni have announced how they plan to provide some reassurance in the future.

Given that one operates cruises where people will be in a confined space for days at a time and the other offers guided tours where people will be quite close together, how they plan to operate is probably going to be studied and copied by other companies in the same type of business.

Fred Olsen has launched its  ‘Plain Sailing Guarantee’ to offer reassurance to passengers.

Under the terms of the guarantee, passengers will only pay the balance of their holiday 28 days before departure, as opposed to 90-days ahead. Guests who would like to transfer to another cruise will receive a future cruise voucher on top of any funds that have already been paid, which can be put towards another sailing. This voucher will be valid for 24 months, with all money to be automatically refunded, plus an additional 5%, if it is not used within this time. 

In addition, any guest with a 2020 cruise booked can choose to transfer to any other cruise already on sale, even if their sailing has not been cancelled. All guests need to do is let Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines know at least two weeks before the scheduled departure date.

What Fred Olsen has not given in this guarantee is anything about sanitising the ship above and beyond what is carried out now.

Kuoni has also announced more flexible booking conditions.

In addition to savings that can be made by booking before June 1st, it says that all prices and departure dates are guaranteed but with flexibility to move dates and destinations if anything changes or it’s not safe to travel.

The offer is available for new enquiries and also for customers who are re-booking due to a Covid-19 cancellation.

On these new tours there will be a maximum of 18 people on all trips.

Having reduced numbers might reassure customers but eighteen in a coach is still a reasonable number. Like Fred Olsen there is no word on how sanitising work will be carried out either on coaches moving people around or in the accommodation at which they stay.

Whilst the reassurances given by both companies offer guidance about changing and altering our holiday plans, don’t travel companies need to offer us guarantees on how they will look after us?

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