Coronavirus - travel update

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Travel Information Updates

21st August 2020

Hi everyone,

Well, it’s been a strange, unexpected and frustrating year so far – to say the least!

We have all been on a ‘Coronacoaster’ of emotions and seen changes to our daily lives, plans and general well being that it’s been difficult to adapt.

Trying to figure out if we can arrange cycle tours in the current climate has been particularly challenging.

With the ever changing rules and restrictions that are imposed/relaxed/changed etc, we have decided to cancel all remaining tours in Europe for 2020. We still have a couple of tours left to operate in the UK but we won’t be adding any extra dates this year.

Whilst the tours in Europe have all been cancelled we have managed to have one tour finish with a group of 15 completing the 10 Day Lands End to John o’Groats tour which finished last weekend.

We had a fantastic group who all got on well and had great weather so it was easy to have lunches etc outside and respect social distancing guidance as much as possible.

We currently have a 14 day LEJOG going and also a 4 Day Way of the Roses tour in operation. Both tours are going very well so far. After that we have a 3 day Way of the Roses tour and a 14 Day LEJOG at the start of September (full) and that will be if for this year.

We have tried to add a few extra dates in September but finding accommodation at short notice for 15 consecutive nights when so many people are holidaying in the UK is proving prohibitive, especially in Cornwall, The Lakes and Scotland.  

We have decided to stop trying to push water up hill and focus on next year – it will all be back too normal by then, wont it???

I would like to thank everyone for all the support that you have shown to us during these strange times. It has been lovely hearing from you all and reading your kind words has been a ray of sunshine amongst all the doom and gloom.

I would like to reassure everyone that Peak Tours aren’t going anywhere. The business is financially stable and all customer funds are held in a separate account which is completely separate from day to day cash flow.

We will be ready to go again when the season starts again in April and even if we can’t start again in April we will put the business on hold until we can.

Anyone who has any deposit payments held for tours in 2021 can request a full refund at anytime and it will be paid within a few days. Even if a tour is going ahead and you feel that you aren’t ready to travel because of Coronavirus, you can cancel and have a full refund if you want to.

I don’t like to speculate but I’m going to anyway! I am sure that we will have found a solution to this problem by next year and we will all be able to go back to doing all the things that we can’t do at the moment. Whether that is a vaccine, improved testing regimes, better treatments or whatever, there must be a way that we can live with this thing, otherwise the cure will end up being worse than the disease!

Thank you to everyone who has managed to move over to next year – our 2021 tour dates are starting to fill up already! This gives us plenty to plan for and plenty to look forward too.

With so many tours filling up earlier than usual, we will be trying to add a few extra dates here and there so we will keep you updated as and when we do. I’ll send a few updates out during the autumn and winter via our newsletters.

Hopefully we will overcome many of the problems we have had this year and we will have no issues operating cycling tours across Europe again next year. Oh, Brexit – I forgot about that………

Please feel free to phone or email if you have any queries about any aspect of any of our tours or even if you just fancy a chat or have a good joke to tell – we are always at the end of a phone or the other side of a plasma screen!

I hope that you all stay safe and keep well and maybe we’ll see you again next year.

All the very best

Steve, Lee, Dave and all at Peak Tours

2nd June 2020

Hi again everyone,

I hope you are well and coping with lockdown.

Whilst the nation and the world is gripped by this pandemic, we will all draw our own conclusions as to the best way forward. Some people will be itching to get back to mixing with others whilst some will be more cautious. Whichever way people want to go about all of this is fine. It will take time. 

As a business, Peak Tours are looking at ways that we may be able to get back to operating tours and over what time scale. Whenever we do start again we will strive to continue to provide the same quality and experience that many people have enjoyed with us over the past 15 years. 

If we look at the travel industry specifically, then there are some things that we know and some things we can only take a guess at. Most hotels and accommodation providers, restaurants etc, in the UK are closed until 4th July 2020. Other countries around the world have different rules that are changing all the time. 

There are many other factors that prevent our tours from going ahead at the moment. People are only allowed to gather in groups of up to 6 people whilst still keeping 2 metres apart. Travelling on public transport is not recommended and most flights have been cancelled until July. These things will change over time and we will continue to monitor the situation closely.

At the moment the new quarantine law that is scheduled to come into effect on 8 June creates a large stumbling block to being able to operate tours for UK residents within Europe.

It is my opinion that this rule will be scrapped by mid July but this is only my opinion and I could very well be wrong. If it is scrapped then the possibility of tours in Europe will increase dramatically. 

Over the next few weeks and months we will see many twists and turns and the picture should become clearer by the end of June. At the start of July or thereabouts I will send another update about what we are doing. 

I would like to reiterate a couple of things about our policy with regards to future bookings and to anyone who is currently booked into a tour. 

Firstly, if you want or you need to cancel your tour, for whatever reason then you can do so. You don’t need to wait for us to cancel a tour, you can cancel at any time. If you have a tour booked with us then you have the following options: 

1. Leave the booking as it is and wait to see what happens. You won’t lose your deposit and can decide what to do nearer the time.

2. Change the booking you have and move your deposit to another tour later this year or another tour next year. 

3. Cancel the booking but leave your deposit payment to be used for another tour at an unspecified date in the future. You may know that you can’t join the tour that you are currently booked onto but you might not be able to commit to an alternative date just yet. 

4. Cancel the booking and have a full refund of your deposit (or balance if you have paid more).

If you wait and see what happens and the tour doesn’t go ahead, or if you change to another date and that tour doesn’t go ahead, then you can still change again or have a refund at any time. We are giving people who are booked onto a tour this year, first refusal on the corresponding tour date next year. 

Secondly, deposit and balance payments are safe. Whatever happens you will not lose any payments you have made towards future tours. All customer funds are held separately from day to day cash flow and can be refunded if necessary. 

If you can’t make a tour this year then it would be great if you could pick another tour next year and move your deposit across but we understand if that isn’t possible and you would prefer to have your money back. 

Whilst there are so many unknowns and we are still learning about this, it can be difficult to see the wood for the trees. Whilst wary and cautious, I am also optimistic that we will find a way forward and we can start to get back to doing many of the things we have been unable to do for a while. Only time will tell. 

The important thing is to stay safe, be kind and understanding of others views and opinions and together we will come through the other side.

Before I go I would like to share a few of my favourite photo galleries and videos of some of the tours we have done over the years:

Channel to Med little video

Dover to Durness little video

Year in review 2018 little video

All of these videos are put to music that has been written and performed by our very own resident musician Lee Bardsley. Also here are a few galleries from last years tours:

LEJOG 2019 Photos

Channel to Med 2019 Photos

Munich to Rome 2019 Photos

Moselle to Mozart 2019 Photos

Ireland end to End 2019 Photos

Channel to Med day to day videos

Finally, whilst we are in limbo and in lockdown there is one thing that you could do to help us. If you could spare a couple of minutes and leave a positive review anywhere that will help to promote the business that would help enormously.

One important place to have reviews is with Google. Simply search Peak Tours on Google and you will see a few details about us on the right side of the screen. You will notice a rating (out of 5 stars) and next to that you will see the reviews. Click on this link and it will then allow you to click on 1,2,3,4 or 5 stars and then it will give you an option to write a quick note about what you thought (optional). 

Thanks again for all your support and positive messages helping us to get through this worrying time.

Hopefully it won’t be long before we are able to enjoy many more good times!

Take Care

Steve

20 April 2020

Hi everyone,

Firstly I would like to thank everyone for all of your patience and understanding during these uncertain times. These are strange times for everybody and we, like everyone, are having to adjust to the many changes that we are now making to our usual routines and plans.

Whilst social distancing measures are in place and our normal lives have changed so dramatically it is very difficult to predict how this will develop and also how and when we can get back to some sort of normality. I really don’t want to try and speculate what will happen but we do need to plan for the future and try to establish some sort of clarity about the coming months and how this will affect Peak Tours and the travel industry as a whole.

In my previous update we cancelled all UK tours until 1st June 2020 and all European tours until 1st July 2020. We decided to wait until nearer the time before we cancel any other tours and won’t cancel any other tours until two weeks before each tour start date or maybe earlier if it becomes obvious that there is no way that we can safely operate tours in a particular region. This hasn’t changed and we won’t cancel a tour until we get closer to the tour start date.

We have made the decision not to cancel tours until much closer to the tour start date because we don’t know what will happen in the coming weeks and months so we would like to see how the situation develops. Everything is in place for the tours to go ahead – hotels and restaurants are booked, guides are ready, paperwork is sorted, vans and equipment is ready, all our bikes are ready and so on. We are in contact with all of our accommodation suppliers, restaurant owners, guides etc so everyone is kept in the loop.

I have heard that many other companies are still asking for final balances to be paid or deposit payments may be lost. I feel that with so much uncertainty surrounding the travel industry at the moment that it is unfair to ask people to make such a decision at this moment in time. With this in mind we have decided to take a different approach which we feel is more appropriate to the current situation.

We usually send a balance reminder two months before a tour start date. Instead, we are not asking for any final balances until we can be certain that your tour will go ahead.

If you need to change your plans, then you are free to cancel your tour. The industry term for a customer cancelling a tour when the tour hasn’t been cancelled by the tour operator is called ‘disinclination to travel’. We feel that under the circumstances, you don’t have to wait for us to cancel a tour if you feel that you won’t be able to join the tour that you are currently booked on.

If you are booked onto a tour at any time this year, then you have the following options:

1. Leave the booking as it is and wait to see what happens. You won’t lose your deposit and can decide what to do nearer the time.
2. Change the booking you have and move your deposit to another tour later this year or another tour next year.
3. Cancel the booking but leave your deposit payment to be used for another tour at an unspecified date in the future. You may know that you can’t join the tour that you are currently booked onto but you might not be able to commit to an alternative date just yet.
4. Cancel the booking and have a full refund of your deposit (or balance if you have paid more)

If you wait and see what happens and the tour doesn’t go ahead, or if you change to another date and that tour doesn’t go ahead, then you can still change again or have a refund at any time. We are giving people who are booked onto a tour this year, first refusal on the corresponding tour date next year.

The important thing for you to know is that you aren’t under any pressure to pay your balance payment and your funds are safe if you transfer to another tour, this year or next.

We are constantly monitoring the situation and the office is still open (well, the office is closed and I’m working from home). You can always contact us by email at  info@peak-tours.com or by telephone on  07495 023 022. I may not be able to answer straight away as I have young children at home but I will always reply as soon as I can.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge and say thank you for all the amazing work that our front line staff are doing for us, especially those in the health and care sectors. It is a difficult time for the travel industry but these people are risking their lives to save others and have my ultimate respect or doing so.

Please look after yourself and look out for others who may need it during these difficult times.

Take care and stay safe and we will get through this together.

All the very best

Steve

24 March 2020

Firstly, I would just like to thank you all for your messages of support during this difficult time, it has been humbling to hear your kind words.

We felt the need to provide a bit of clarity at a time when things seem to be moving so quickly and there is so much uncertainty around. We have made the decision to cancel some of our tours. I know that this will be a disappointment to many but it will also be a relief to some.

At present we aren’t taking any new bookings for any tours that start before 1st July 2020. If you wish to book a tour after this date then you can do so. If you book any tour and that tour has to be cancelled due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic then you will not lose your deposit or any payment made towards your tour.

For any customers who already have tours booked with us then please read the following message:

We have all seen how quickly the Coronavirus situation has changed over the past few weeks – it has been difficult to keep up!

I am not going to speculate about what could happen in the future but we have made the decision to cancel some of our tours in 2020 and we will review other tours closer to each tour start date.

We are cancelling all of our non-UK tours that begin before 1st July 2020 and all of our UK tours that begin before 1st June 2020. This means that the following tours are now cancelled:

Both UK Training weekends in April 2020

April, May (1), May (2) and June 2020 End to End Portugal Tours

May 2020 2 day Hadrians Cycleway Tour

May 2020 4 Day Way of the Roses Tour

May 2020 Munich to Rome Tour

May 2020 10 Day Channel to Med Tour

May 14 Day, May/June and June/July 2020 14 Day Channel to the Med Tours

May 2020 10 Day LEJOG

May 2020 14 Day LEJOG

May/June 2020 Scottish End to End Tour

June 2020 Week in Provence Tour

June/July 2020 French Alps Classic Cols Tour

For non-UK tours that start beyond the 1st July 2020 and UK tours that start beyond 1st June 2020, we will wait until two weeks before each tour start date before we make any decisions about cancelling the tour. If it becomes obvious that the tour definitely can’t operate at any time then we will notify you if and when a tour gets cancelled. We will be monitoring the situation closely and will keep you updated.

This year we have over 60 tours across the UK and Europe and each of those tours has multiple hotels, B&B, restaurants and so on booked for each tour. We also have guides who depend on the work and there are many people that we work with who are affected by this pandemic. It is for this reason that we aren’t making any decisions about cancelling any later tours until two weeks before each tour start date. We won’t send any balance payment reminders until we can be confident that a tour will go ahead.

Regardless of when your tour is this year, you won’t lose your deposit or balance payment because of this pandemic. Please be assured that whatever happens, your funds are safe.

If your tour is cancelled, then you have the following options:

  1. Move to a tour that starts later this year.
  2. Move to a tour that starts next year.
  3. Have a full refund.

If you move to a later tour this year and that tour is also cancelled, then you will still have the option to move again to another tour next year or to have a full refund.

Please bear with us if we don’t respond straight away. We have been working from home for the past week which can slow logistics. The office phone is on divert to the office mobile if you need us. Also, we have young children who are at home now which makes work a little more tricky than usual.

I appreciate that these are difficult times for everyone and some people are affected more than others. The important thing is to stay safe, look after yourself and keep an eye on others that may need help during these uncertain times.

We will get through this.

Take Care,
Steve

29th February 2020

I’m sure that you’ve all seen the news and the recent outbreaks of the Coronavirus. I just wanted to give you a bit of an update.

We are taking advice from the Foreign Office daily and monitoring events closely. At the moment we haven’t cancelled any tours.

If the Foreign Office advise against travel, then current advice is that you would need to contact your travel insurance provider to advise them that you are unable to travel due to the advice from the Foreign Office.

We will continue to keep up to date with travel advice and respond accordingly.

You can see advice from the Foreign Office here – https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

If you are not a UK resident then here are a few other government advisory websites:

United States

Canada

Australia

New Zealand

World Health Organisation

Sorry that we can’t elaborate any further at this point in time. We will keep everyone as up to date as possible.

Kind Regards

Steve