2021/22 Touring Season
Travel Update

On Monday 19 April 2021, New Zealand opened its borders to Australia for ‘’green zone’’ quarantine free travel.   The borders had been closed since March 2020.

With the opening of the border, Grand Pacific Tours (GPT) plan to run scheduled departure dates from September 2021 to May 2022.

As a result of COVID-19 and the changed travel climate, we would like to take this opportunity to outline specifics pertaining to our selection of departure dates and the revised COVID-19 Disclaimer that forms part of the Booking Terms and Conditions for travel.

Download Document: 

2021/22 TOURING SEASON TRAVEL UPDATE

DEPARTURE DATES

  • Now borders are open, and we have a re-start date, the number of departure dates scheduled to travel has been reviewed, as outlined in our COVID-19 disclaimer. 
     
  • Visit our website www.gptnz.com to download the list of 2021/2022 season dates.
     
  • Commencing May 2021, the GPT Reservations Team will be contacting all travel agents, in tour date order, to ascertain if travellers currently holding seats with no deposit intend to travel and pay a deposit by the due date. Obtaining this intention to travel is critical information for the finalisation of guaranteed departure dates.  (See timeline page 2).
     
  • GPT has been highly regarded for the promotion of ‘guaranteed departure dates’ for 25 years. However, the current unpredictable travel climate may require us to merge certain dates as we finalise our guaranteed departures schedule.

    If travellers are ‘holding’ seats on a tour no longer scheduled to travel, the GPT Reservations Team will be in touch, via the travel agent, to offer travellers the best alternative guaranteed departure.
     
  • For new bookings, if a tour date is FULL, we do recommend that travellers put in place a waitlist.  Seats held by long-haul international travellers may be released in due course based on extended border closures from their country of origin and may allow availability. 
     
  • GPT want all customers to ‘Book and Travel with Confidence’, hence the following simple process has been put in place.

TIMELINE - TERMS & CONDITIONS

For Travel 01 September 2021 – 31 January 2022

  • The ‘no deposit’ policy to place seats ‘’on hold’’ for the above travel period will continue until 30 June 2021.
     
  • By 01 July 2021, GPT will confirm guaranteed departures for the above travel period and all seats held will require the standard tour deposit to be paid within 7 days.
     

For Travel 01 February 2022 – 31 May 2022

  • The ‘no deposit’ policy to place seats ‘’on hold’’ for the above travel period will continue until 31 August 2021.
     
  • By 01 September 2021, GPT will confirm guaranteed departures for the above travel period and all seats held will require the standard tour deposit to be paid within 7 days.

Once a deposit is paid, any cancellation not specifically related to COVID-19, standard cancellation conditions will apply.  Please visit https://www.grandpacifictours.com/terms-and-conditions to review our cancellation policy.

It is strongly recommended that any flight bookings only be finalised once the ‘guarantee departure’ status has been applied.

For any reason, if a traveller wishes to move tour dates, based on the land only tour price of the same tour type, this can be done free of charge up until 75 days prior to the current travel booking.  If travellers wish to upgrade their style of tour, the differential will be quoted at time of rebooking.  A new date can be selected for the 2021/2022 season.

Please refer to the section below on terms and conditions that pertain specifically to border closures.

FUTURE TRAVEL CREDIT - SUSPENSE FILES

Many suspended travellers from the previous season/s have elected to put their file in ‘’credit’’ until a new date selection has been made.

The above terms and conditions will apply once a suspense file traveller uses the travel credit to place a new booking on a guaranteed departure date.

AIRLINE TRAVEL

New tour bookings taken for the 2021/2022 touring season have been booked as ‘land only’, the travel agent is responsible for the flight arrangements.  

For tour bookings suspended from the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 touring seasons that were booked with GPT as an ‘airline inclusive package’, terms and conditions for the use of airline credits will vary depending on the carrier and original date of travel. The GPT Reservations Team will communicate the relevant terms and conditions at the time of finalising new flights. Any airfare price difference (beyond a certain booking class) or increased tax costs quoted by the airline at the time of rebooking will be the responsibility of the traveller.

As per the above reference, we do not recommend new flight bookings be put in place until the tour date is guaranteed to depart.

GET READY TO TRAVEL!

The below is valid at the time of publishing, however, all travellers are recommended to visit www.COVID19.govt.nz  for the most current and extensive information on quarantine free travel to New Zealand.   Important updates include entry criteria, mandatory travel and health declarations, use of face masks, visa requirements etc

Travel Declaration – travellers must complete an online travel declaration before departing Australia. This declaration mainly asks about individual travel plans and contact details.  

Please also review the COVID-19 government website that outlines State by State requirements for completion of re-entry forms.

All travellers from quarantine-free flights will be taken through a green zone at the arrival airport. There will be no contact with anyone who is arriving from other parts of the world and who are going into managed isolation and quarantine. The airlines will be utilising crew who have not flown on any high-risk routes for a set period of time.

Travellers do not need a pre-departure COVID-19 test.  All passengers must wear a mask on flights and will need to show they have downloaded NZ’s COVID Tracer app while in the country. Random temperature checks are also to be expected at New Zealand Airports.

To travel to New Zealand on a quarantine-free flight, travellers must meet the following criteria:-

  • Travellers must meet immigration requirements
  • Travellers need to have spent 14 days in Australia before departure
  • Travellers must not have had a positive COVID-19 test in the 14 days before departure
  • Travellers must not be waiting for results of a COVID-19 test taken in the past 14 days
  • Travellers must complete a travel declaration before departure
  • Travellers must answer questions about their health at departure
  • Travellers must ensure they bring evidence of any pre-existing conditions (for example hay fever) when they check in, to avoid being denied boarding.

We encourage travellers to check the website of their airline carrier prior to departure for more detailed and specific information.

TRANSFERS

Airport transfers are included on the first and last day of the GPT tour and / or pre or post tour accommodation directly linked with the tour hotel. If GPT has not booked flights, it is the responsibility of the traveller/travel agent to ensure that GPT has the correct arrival and departure information. GPT is not responsible for providing amended transfers on the day of arrival if incorrect information has been provided and a transfer has already been administrated.

ITINERARY CONTENT

At the time of releasing the 2021/2022 e-brochure, GPT had compiled the content of all tour itineraries based on the knowledge that all accommodation and attraction suppliers will be fully operational by commencement of the touring season. GPT is currently working through the ‘tour ready’ status of each operator included in our selection of itineraries. If for any reasons a component of the tour is not available at the time of touring, a replacement  or refund will be provided.   Any refund amount is based on GPT’s negotiated pricing and not retail prices. Known changes will be distributed as part of the Documentation process.

BORDER CLOSURES

While travelling at any time is always subject to risk, there is still a fair chance that there could be the odd COVID-19 case or cluster outbreak either in Australia or New Zealand that results in border closure/s. This is a reality as we continue to navigate our way through the COVID-19 pandemic, a Force Majeure Event.

New Zealand will be working with a ‘’traffic light’’ response with three categories:-

Green:   Continue
Yellow:   Pause
Red:       Suspend the bubble

It is possible that either government could close borders with limited notice, which may cause disruption to your travel. This is at your own risk and cannot be the responsibility of GPT.

PRIOR TO TRAVEL

Border closures prior to travel may require travellers to suspend the tour departure date for varying reasons:-

  • Travellers that are unable to travel due to a border closure related to their state of origin or state of airline transiting

    OR
     
  • If a traveller’s tour date is completely suspended by GPT due to border closure issues in Australia or New Zealand, that are beyond GPT’s control

Travellers can move to a future travel date (of the same tour type) within the 2021/2022 season at no cost. This is based on land only bookings only, airline inclusive packages may be subject to changes fees.

At the time of making the new booking, if a traveller moves from a discounted shoulder season date to a high season travel date, additional monies will be required. If the situation is reversed and the move is from high season to a discounted shoulder season date, a refund will be provided.   

Alternatively, funds can be issued as a future travel credit to be redeemed by a set date. Travel credits issued are not redeemable in whole or in part for cash.

Any flights booked would be controlled by the Terms and Conditions of the airline and any additional costs to make change to a new date are not the responsibility of GPT.

If the traveller choses to not move to a future date or have monies held as a future travel credit normal terms and conditions apply.

IN NEW ZEALAND ON-TOUR

  • If an individual region of New Zealand goes into lockdown, GPT will manage all arrangements to redivert the itinerary.  

    Any unused portion of the itinerary will be refunded at the nett amount contracted by GPT (not the retail amount), unless required itinerary changes incurred additional charges out of GPT’s control.

    Any unexpected additional costs incurred during a disrupt, that are required as part of alternative arrangements, and not included in the itinerary, will be the responsibility of the traveller ie. Extra nights, meals etc.
     
  • If the borders close for a period of time leading into the travellers planned return flight and travellers cannot depart as planned, GPT can assist with securing accommodation for an extended stay, however, GPT is not responsible for any charges related to an unplanned extension due to border closures. 

    In this instance, the party responsible for booking the return flight ie. GPT or Travel Agent is required to assist with making alternative arrangements. Any costs associated with flight changes are the traveller’s responsibility.
     
  • If a traveller opts to leave the tour to return home, based on inclination that a border may close, refunds on any unused portion of the itinerary will not be available prior to the official border closure.
     
  • If a traveller on tour has ‘’flu like symptoms’’ and opts to have a COVID test, they will be required to isolate in their hotel accommodation until results are returned.  If the timeframe requires them to catch up with the tour group due to isolation, all accommodation and travel costs incurred would be the traveller’s own responsibility.

The above guidelines are subject to change at any time in accordance with government guidelines.

Travellers should obtain travel insurance before travelling overseas. Read the travel insurance conditions and/or talk to the travel insurer if unsure about whether the policy covers COVID-19 related travel disruption.

HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY

Grand Pacific Tours number one priority is the health and safety of our travellers whilst on tour in New Zealand.

In this new and rapidly changing COVID world, it is imperative for us to now take additional hygiene measures.  To read more about our health and safety protocols please visit https://www.grandpacifictours.com/healthandsafety

We are delighted to see the Trans-Tasman borders open and excited to work together to ensure travellers can plan and travel with confidence.

 

Kind regards,

Peter Harding

Managing Director, Grand Pacific Tours