The COVID-19 situation in Croatia and what this means for you:
Updated Friday 11th March 2022
To our wonderful customers who have been so patient and understanding, we really appreciate your kindness at this difficult time.
All vendors have allowed transfers to 2022 due to the international border closure by the Australian Government. As the borders are open for 2022, further free transfers may not be possible.
We are contacting clients individually in departure date order to check on your plans as soon as we have any new information about your booking.
Check here for the current Entry Requirements for Croatia regarding COVID-19: https://discovercroatia.com.au/entry-to-croatia-requirements/
Please understand that all our Australian clients are in the same position regarding travel from Australia to Croatia.
We will not be collecting final payments for any departures until we have further clarification. Please note that 2023 prices will likely have an increase on the 2020 prices. Unfortunately the vendors cannot hold prices with no increase for over 3 years. As well, Croatia is officially going on the EURO currency in January 2023 and this may have an affect on prices.
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.
If you are not sure about the current border status for 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 Vouchers) and request entry, 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/
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.
Croatia is included in the ‘Safe Travels’ Global Safety Stamp Protocols: https://wttc.org/COVID-19/Safe-Travels-Global-Protocols-Stamp
The major problem at the moment is not with Croatia, it has been with the Australian border being closed. As of 11th March 2022, the border is open for fully vaccinated Australian citizens and residents.
Skyscanner has some useful info on most places listed here: https://skyscanner.net/news/corona-virus-information
Vendors allowed transfers (travel credit) for all bookings to 2022. Most vendors are not allowing further free transfers/changes from 2022 to 2023 as the Australian border is now open (as at 11March2022).
In the case of Croatian holidays for 2020 and 2021, it was not the vendors who cancelled the departures. It was our clients who were unable to get to Croatia. This is why vendors are not required to refund clients in full, as it wasn’t the vendor who cancelled.
Download the AFTA fact sheet on cancellations here: http://www.afta.com.au/uploads/834/the-facts-on-refunds-for-travel-agent-customers-final.pdf
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’.” This also includes concerns about war in Europe. If there is no legal impediment to you travelling, then any cancellations are classed as ‘change of mind’ and should be taken up with your insurance company.
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).
No vendors are offering full refunds.
The ACCC and AFTA have stated that travel credit vouchers are an acceptable form of reimbursement, even if the vendor has cancelled a departure. (In our case, the vendor didn’t cancel the departure though, it was the clients who couldn’t get there due to their own country’s travel bans).
“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).
All cruise and tour operators allowed transfers to 2022. At this stage no vendors are allowing free transfers to 2023 and no vendors are allowing any transfers to 2024.
Consumer advocate CHOICE has also issued advice to consumers, confirming that travel advisors are within their rights to charge service fees for cancelled bookings. This means that we charge a fee for the time it has taken us to book and re-book or cancel bookings. This fee is included in the non-refundable deposit. We need to be paid for our time and to cover the expenses we have incurred in making these arrangements on your behalf. Those expenses not only include staff wages, but the general business expenses as well.
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 to 2022.
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.
Here is the Australian Government’s current advice for travel to 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.
Discover Croatia | Croatia Cruising & Tours | Croatia Yacht Charter
Tel: Australia +61 2 9212 1507 or WhatsApp +612-9212-1507
Midday-8pm Mon-Fri GMT+10 Now varied, responses within 24-48hrs