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COVID Travel Advice  |  Frequently Asked Questions

14 May 2020

Q: IF I HAVE A CREDIT VOUCHER, DO I HAVE TO PAY THE DIFFERENCE IN 2020/21 FARE? OR DO I GET A REFUND OF THE DIFFERENCE?

A: If you are taking the same trip as this year, you do not have to pay a fare difference.  We will honour the 2020 rates for future travel.  However, if you are changing your itinerary destination or stateroom category, you will be charged the new season brochure fare.   We recommend you take a trip of similar or greater value, as we will not issue refunds for trips of lesser value.

Q: DUE TO HEALTH /AGE RESTRICTIONS, I MAY NOT BE ABLE TO TRAVEL NEXT YEAR. CAN I HAVE A FULL REFUND?

A: Regrettably we are unable to do so as we must apply consistent policy across thousands of impacted customers. At this stage, we see ourselves as operating this year as soon as restrictions lift.  Therefore, you are welcome back at a future date.

Q: DUE TO THE GLOBAL CIRCUMSTANCES, MY FINANCIAL SITUATION HAS CHANGED AND I CANNOT AFFORD TO TRAVEL NOW. CAN I HAVE A FULL REFUND?

A: We sympathise with your circumstance.  However, we must apply a consistent policy across thousands of customers who have been impacted.  We cannot make exceptions due to personal circumstances. All funds received for cruises have been allocated to the preparation of these cruises which we are ready to deliver. We currently are unable to sail due to government imposed health and travel restrictions and therefore are honouring our terms and conditions in these circumstances by providing 100% future cruise credit, with no added charges and the flexibility to transfer this value to another passenger if you cannot travel yourself.

Q: ARE MY FUNDS SAFE?

A: Yes, the company has operated for 35 years through various crises and remains on a sound financial footing with support from our Australian bank.  Our ships are owned by us and homeported safely in Cairns.  We will be ready to operate immediately when permitted by the authorities and when it is responsible to do so.

Q: HOW DO I KNOW YOU WILL BE OPERATING NEXT YEAR?

A: We cannot guarantee exactly when we will resume operations as it is subject to the health situation as well as permission by Federal and State Authorities.  However, our ships are moored in Cairns and our staff are a drive or a domestic flight away. We will be ready to operate at short notice when permitted by the authorities and when it is responsible to do so.

Q: WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO KEEP REMOTE COMMUNITIES SAFE?

A: We have cancelled our departures until 15 June, both inter-state and those within Queensland.  We have longstanding relationships with the indigenous communities that we visit across the Kimberley coast, the Torres Straits, and Cape York and Arnhem Land and hold a deep affection for the people there. We will only resume visits when we are informed by relevant authorities that it is safe to do so. Our Kimberley cruises visit traditional lands; however, we do not call on any communities along the way so there is no risk in this area.

Q: I HEARD VARIOUS SERVICES IN THE NT/WA ARE CLOSING SUCH AS HORIZONTAL FALLS AND SCENIC HELICOPTERS. HOW CAN YOU RUN THIS TOUR?

A: We operate our own tours as part of our Kimberley voyage, with the exception of an optional helicopter flight which are not included in the cruise fare. We will find suitable alternatives once we have a confirmed start date.  This optional flight is a small part of the overall itinerary in the Kimberley.

Q: WHY IS IT CALLED A DEFERRAL WHEN THE SAME ITINERARY IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR 2021?

A: It is not a deferral; it is a cruise credit valid for any future Coral Expeditions voyage.

Q: Will Coral Expeditions still charge the $500 per person ‘Change Fee’ for deferrals outside of 90 days?

A: This fee is in line with our normal booking terms and conditions, and we endeavour to maintain a consistent interpretation of our policies at this time. Our priority is to assist guests whose travel dates have been cancelled. If your travel date is not cancelled, we advise you to not seek a change in date until closer to the trip departure. Given the uncertainty around international voyages in 2020, we will not seek final payments or transfer fees due now in the lead up to these trips.

Q: Upcoming international cruises require a commercial international flight. Are we able to cater for this option with the airlines?

A: Monitoring of commercial flights will be undertaken and we encourage guests and travel partners to do the same. It is likely more information will be available closer to the travel date about what is operating. We won’t operate the cruise unless there is air connectivity to/from Australia.

Q: Will we be able to travel from overseas to Australia and not have to quarantine for 14 days before taking the trip?

A: This will be dependent on the timing of the trip, will be a decision of government policy, and we will communicate this information as soon as it comes to hand. We do not have this information at this time.

Q: What is the latest from departure that I can pay my final balance?

A: That will be dependent on the voyage destination in question. Our reservations team have authority and flexibility to offer later payments dependant on the circumstances. We are aware of traveller uncertainty and are offering flexible payment terms at present.

Q: We have been given a credit note and can see that you have availability to book on your website now. Why are you not able to confirm a new cruise for me immediately?

A: This is a complex process and we thank you for your patience. Our 2021 season was on sale at the time of the COVID 19 impact and these sailings remain openly advertised. At this time there are limited enquiries on new bookings and we are not confirming any new bookings. We have over 2000 potential passengers affected in 2020 and when the time is right, we will contact guests and agents affected to assist with placement into new dates. We will manage the allotment of cabins on each cruise in 2021 to allow a balance of guests with credit and new bookings for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.