Coronavirus: Frequently Asked Questions

 

To our valued travellers and travel agents,
 

How the world has changed over the past 2 years! Finally, it appears that international travel, at least to most of Europe, is firmly back on the cards.  

Naturally we, and our European support base are monitoring the situation daily. You will be reassured to know that, at Albatross, we entirely operate our own tours from the beginning to the end. Our operations base, and our highly trained support team, are based in the UK and Europe. This means that we have a real-time flow of accurate up to date travel information constantly coming in. Just as important, since we do not subcontract or use any middlemen operators, we are able to set in place, and apply, our own health and safety controls and protocols whilst you are on tour. 

In the meantime, you may have some questions you would like answering. Please see below our answers to some of the most frequently questions we receive. 

Thank you all for your patience, and the kindness and understanding in these very trying times.

Euan Landsborough, Managing Director
Albatross Tours

 

Is my European Summer 2022 tour going ahead?

At this stage, with the opening of international borders and lifting of travel restrictions we expect to operate all listed tours as currently planned. However, due to the ongoing uncertainty and nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, tours cannot be completely guaranteed to travel prior to the date of departure. For a list of European Summer 2022 departure dates, please visit the Albatross Tours website.
 

Can I defer my 2022 tour to 2023?

Should you choose to defer your booked 2022 tour to 2023 penalties may apply. For more information, please see our standard terms and conditions.
 

If I book my tour and decide to cancel, am I entitled to a refund?

If you confirm your decision to travel and later decide that you do not want to travel, our standard terms and conditions will apply, which will result in cancellation charges being applied.
 

Do I need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to travel with Albatross Tours?

Yes, to travel on one of our tours you must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Apart from a very limited number of medical exemptions, it is currently an entry requirement of most European countries that you are either fully vaccinated, or you can demonstrate a sufficient level of immunity and show a negative test for COVID-19 prior to arrival.

Whilst these rules may vary, we require all travellers who are 12 years and over to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with a vaccine approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. This is so we can provide a safe environment (by mitigating health risks) for our other travellers, our staff, our contractors, and our other suppliers. We highly recommend children 11 years and under, also be fully vaccinated. Please note, if any child is unvaccinated, it is your responsibility to check the updated rules and regulations of the countries you will be visiting to ensure they will be allowed entry and are able to be on tour.

It is your responsibility to ensure you meet all the above requirements and your Tour Manager will require you to demonstrate that you meet the entry requirements of all countries to be visited, before commencing the tour. For more information, please see our standard terms and conditions..
 

Can I get a refund if mandatory quarantine is enforced by the Australian Government for all international travellers?

Albatross Tours appreciate that some of our clients may not be able to extend their leave to cover the potential, additional 2 weeks quarantine. In these instances, we will allow you to postpone your tour to a later date or revert your funds back to a credit. Please note if mandatory quarantine is introduced within 90 days of your tour departure, and you wish to defer your travel date, Albatross Tours will necessarily apply fees as per our standard terms and conditions..
 

What happens to my payment/credit if International Borders do not open?

If the International Borders do not open and Albatross Tours are prevented from operating your tour, your funds will be placed into a future tour credit. We will endeavour to provide 90-120 days’ notice prior to your tour departure if we need to withdraw your tour departure. There may be extenuating circumstances where this much notice cannot be provided, such as if the International Borders are closed at short notice.
 

What happens if I book a tour and there is additional credit left over?

All funds held are a future travel credit and cannot be redeemed for cash. After you have booked your tour, any residual funds can be used towards another tour or pre and post accommodation on your new reservation.
 

How can I be sure that my money, held in credit with Albatross Tours, is safe?

All funds paid in advance of travel or held in credit is set aside, in a dedicated Client Account, until after the completion of your tour. For a statement from the Albatross Group CEO and Albatross Tours Managing Director regarding Albatross Tours’ financial security and stability please click here.
 

Do I need a vaccine passport while travelling in Europe?

The “International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate (ICVC)” that is issued by the Australian government or the "International Travel Vaccination Certificate" issued by the New Zealand government will allow you to leave your country of origin and enter your destination. Once you depart the airport, every country will have its own requirements when it comes to demonstrating your vaccination status. Some countries may require you to download or have on your person a ‘vaccine passport’.

The smarttraveller.gov.au website for Australian travellers and the safetravel.govt.nz website for New Zealanders, features each country’s specific requirements on how to demonstrate your vaccination status. Please refer to this website and the specific country’s government website for the most up to date information prior to your departure date. We also recommend that you do carry with you printed copy of your international vaccination certificate and to keep another printed copy with your travel documents. It’s your responsibility to know all the rules and requirements for your country of departure (Australia or New Zealand) and for all the destinations that you will be travelling or transiting through.
 

Will I need to complete a travel declaration before travel?

In addition to a traveller information form, each traveller will be required to complete a travel declaration form in advance of the tour departing. By asking each individual traveller to acknowledge their own responsibilities while on tour, this helps to protect the well-being of all travellers and staff. This form will be sent at the time of final payment.
 

How will Albatross Tours reduce the risk of transmission or contracting COVID-19 while on tour?

More than ever, following the pandemic, your health and well-being is our top priority. We have detailed hygiene protocols in place to help everyone who travels with us to remain healthy including:

  • Use of hand-sanitisers upon boarding and exiting the coach.
  • Testing by RAT (rapid antigen test) tests in the event a guest develops symptoms while on tour.
  • Regular cleaning and sanitising of the coach.
  • Tour Managers trained on COVID-19 hygiene and best practice including the authority to insist on the wearing of facemasks when required and removal of any customer displaying symptoms until such time as they have tested negative.
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How many people will there be on my coach?

Albatross Tours limits group sizes to a maximum of just 28 guests and our average group sizes are between 20 and 24 guests. You will always enjoy much more personal space on our coaches.
 

What if a guest gets sick while on my tour?

In the first instance, our Tour Manager will have clear protocols to follow to ensure the health and wellbeing of all guests on the tour. Cases will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and in line with local government and health authority advice in place at the time.
 

What if I test positive for COVID-19 while on tour?

If you test positive for COVID-19 while on tour, you may be required to quarantine for the required number of days as stipulated by local regulations.

Your Tour Manager and, if necessary, our European support team, will follow the advice of the local authorities and assist you with any accommodation or quarantine arrangements. It is condition of travel that you have adequate travel insurance as any costs incurred for having to quarantine or be treated for COVID-19 will be your and/or your insurance provider's responsibility.
 

Is the wearing of face coverings on board the coach mandatory?

Face coverings will be required to be worn as directed by national or local government guidelines and your Tour Manger will advise you if and when this is the case.

Where a face covering not required, it will be up to each guest to decide if they wish to wear one when travelling on the coach for their own peace of mind. In the event a guest shows any obvious and continuous symptoms of illness, they may be directed by the Tour Manager to wear a face covering until such time as the next destination is reached.
 

Will Albatross Tours provide and carry out rapid antigen tests?

In addition to any testing requirements prior to arrival, we recommend that all guests bring a sufficient supply of rapid antigen tests for the duration of their trip to Europe for their own peace of mind. In the event a guest develops symptoms of COVID-19, our Tour Managers will carry a small stock of RATs.
 

What about face coverings and hand sanitiser?

We advise all guests to bring their own hand sanitiser and masks for their own protection and comfort. However, our tour managers will also carry an emergency supply of hand sanitiser and disposable face coverings if required.
 

Will I have to do mandatory quarantine when I return home?

This is entirely up to the Australian and New Zealand Governments and is outside our control. Our assumption is that when the Australian and New Zealand Governments announce the opening of International Borders, they will also announce their policy on quarantine and rules around travelling. For further information, please check the entry/exit requirements for your transit locations and the state/territory you will be arriving at to check if there have been any changes while you were away.
 

For further queries, please contact our European Tour Specialists.
 


Updated 15 February 2022.