The COVID-19 situation in Croatia and what this means for you

The COVID-19 situation in Croatia and what this means for you:

Updated Monday 13th July 2020

To our wonderful customers who have been so patient and understanding, we really appreciate your kindness at this difficult time.

Thanks for your email. We’re contacting clients individually in departure date order to check on your plans.

Please understand that all our Australian clients are in the same position regarding travel from Australia to Croatia.

No further decisions will be made about 2021 bookings until well into 2021 when vendors can assess the situation as it stands then.

We will not be collecting final payments for any departures (2020 or 2021) until we have further clarification. As most of our clients are not travelling in 2020, there isn’t really much for our clients to do right now but wait until around March/April 2021 when we will be able to re-assess the 2021 season as it stands then.

Our official office hours are no longer standard as we have reduced staff due to the business downturn. We are regularly checking emails and voicemails and will get back to you when we can.

Croatia’s borders are open for tourism (with some restrictions, please check with us). If you are from a country that is not currently on the list of pre-approved entrants to Croatia, you can email the Croatian Government and ask them if you specifically are allowed to enter. You can show them your booking details (i.e. your Booking Confirmation email) and request entry. Most requests for tourists are granted, provided you have a booking in place already (e.g. a cruise, or tour, or accommodation booking). Email: [email protected]

There is a new Croatian Ministry of Tourism website that you can pre-fill (before arrival) to help speed up your arrival once you land in Croatia.  https://entercroatia.mup.hr/

Croatia relaxed internal restrictions in May 2020 and people are now allowed to travel within the country. Their bars and restaurants have opened, tourists are allowed to enter and life will go back to almost-normal, with some restrictions including increased hygiene measures, wearing face-masks on public transport, social distancing etc. The cruise ships have implemented new safety measures for cleaning and distancing.

All cruise ships, hotels, accommodation and restaurants are introducing new health and safety measures, we will send you details of these before you depart for Croatia. 

The major problem at the moment is not with Croatia, it is with the Australian border still being closed. The latest timeline for international travel from the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) is being updated regularly by them. You can download their latest “Industry Proposed Restart Timetable” from this page:

https://www.australianchamber.com.au/our-policies/tourism/

Skyscanner has some useful info on most places listed here: https://skyscanner.net/news/corona-virus-information

Vendors are allowing transfers (travel credit) for all bookings to later in 2020 or 2021. No further decisions will be made on 2021 until, at the earliest, the end of 2020 (but more likely not until March/April 2021), as there’s just no way to tell this far in advance what the border/travel situation will be like for Australians.

No vendors are offering refunds.

The ACCC and AFTA have stated that travel credit vouchers are an acceptable form of reimbursement if the vendor has cancelled a departure.

“If your travel is cancelled the ACCC expects that you will receive a refund or other remedy, such as a credit note or voucher, in most circumstances.” (This refers to travel cancelled by the vendor. If the vendor has not cancelled your departure, the regular T&C apply).

Download the AFTA fact sheet on cancellations here: the-facts-on-travel-agents-and-refunds-final-29-april-20

https://www.atas.com.au/covid19-update

There is no blanket policy for force majeure cancellations and vendors are responding to the situation as best they can. No refunds are being offered, only travel credits for later departures. The situation is being classed as a ‘force majeure’, which means that vendors are having to adapt their policies to the situation so that they can survive this event. Thank you again to our clients who have been so understanding that we are the agent only and can only pass on the decisions of the vendors.

The ACCC has also noted that “If you no longer wish to travel due to concerns about COVID-19, this may be treated as a ‘change of mind’.”

International travel consists of two parts. What is happening in the country you are departing from/arriving back to, and what is happening in the country you are visiting. The Croatian vendors have no legal obligation to offer you a refund if you cannot make your holiday due to Australia closing the borders.  It’s a complicated situation and the vendors have tried to take this into account by allowing transfers from one calendar year to the next (which isn’t usually allowed) so that clients can re-arrange their holiday at a later date (i.e. when it’s likely you can get there).

All cruise and tour operators are allowing transfers to 2021. At this stage no vendors are allowing transfers to 2022. 

Consumer advocate CHOICE has also issued advice to consumers, confirming that agents are within their rights to charge service fees for cancelled bookings.  This means that we can charge a fee for the time it has taken us to book and re-book or cancel bookings. We have the right to get paid for our time and to cover the expenses we have incurred in making these arrangements on your behalf.

We ask that you be patient as cancelling right now could still incur high penalties as the vendors are not allowing refunds, only travel credit.

Please remember that the small Croatian cruise ships only hold a maximum of 40 passengers per ship, and are nothing like the large international cruise liners. Croatian cruises are domestic cruises (within Croatia) only and these ships do not leave Croatian waters at all. Extra safety and cleaning measures will be undertaken on the cruise ships, such as served breakfasts instead of buffets, hand-washing stations, increased cleaning of public areas and so on. We can send you details for your particular ship with your final travel documents.

When you contact us, please let us know if your flights are still active. As we don’t book your flights, we aren’t automatically notified of any flight cancellations affecting your holiday.

Here is the Australian Government’s current advice for travel to Croatia.

https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/europe/croatia

With the fast pace of the changes around the world, we have no way to know right now what will be happening in a month or two, or next year.

Thank you for your patience.

Defer your holiday! #savetourism #weareinthistogether

Should you have any further questions or need clarification please do not hesitate to contact us.

Warmest regards,

Reservations

Discover Croatia | Croatia Cruising & Tours | Croatia Yacht Charter

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Tel: Australia +61 2 9212 1507 or WhatsApp +61 2 9212 1507

Business Hours: Midday-8pm Mon-Fri GMT+10   Varied, responses usually within 48hrs on weekdays.

Post: PO Box 462 | Belrose NSW 2085 | Sydney, Australia
Skype: DiscoverCroatia
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.DiscoverCroatia.com.au
Web: www.CroatiaYachtCharter.com.au
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