Is it safe?
Customer and staff safety is the single most important factor in everything that Explore does.
We think about the safety of our tours constantly, and have extremely experienced Senior Management and Operations teams who know intimately the countries in which we operate. We monitor and assess the threats of operating in every country as an integral part of our work.
We liaise closely with the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), whose travel advice we not only follow to the letter, but discuss in detail with them.
Sometimes tough decisions have to be made to abort a tour at the last minute or to re-route an itinerary part way through. Occasionally we will pre-empt the FCO and decide to leave a region based on our own feedback from Tour leaders or local agents on the ground. We make no apologies for this - safety always has and always will come first.
UK Foreign Office advice
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) Travel Advice Unit (www.fco.gov.uk/travel) provides a wealth of information on your destination. We strongly recommend that you thoroughly read their comments on the country you are planning to visit at the time of booking and prior to departure. The website provides a travel summary for every country together with advice on safety and security (including crime and terrorism), local laws & customs, entry requirements and health as well as general information. It also has contact details for embassies and consulates of those countries where lone parents may require extra documentation. A brief summary of the advice can be found on Ceefax (p470 onwards) on BBC2. Alternatively they can be contacted on 0845 8502829.
The FCO issues different types of travel warnings. They may advise against all travel to a particular country or to particular parts of a country. Alternatively, they may advise against all but essential travel to a particular country or to particular parts of a country . In addition, they issue travel advice bulletins updating previous advice. Explore monitors FCO travel warnings and advice and where it considers it appropriate to do so, may cancel tours prior to departure or terminate, re-route or otherwise make changes to tours operating in or through the country or part of the country concerned.
1) Where tours are cancelled prior to departure, Explore will offer the choice of a refund of all monies paid or an alternative tour. Where an alternative tour is taken, any price difference will then be paid by, or refunded to, the customer as appropriate.
2) Where tours are already operating, Explore may terminate, re-route or make other changes. The decision will be made in the light of safety and organisational/logistical considerations. Where a tour is terminated in midoperation by Explore, we will refund such monies which relate to those parts of the tour that have not been delivered where we are able to obtain refunds from the supplier(s) concerned. Where trips have been re-routed or otherwise changes and it may reasonably be argued that the essential travel experience offered on that tour has been provided then no refunds will apply.
Any decision by Explore whether to operate or cancel a tour or make other changes will always be made in the interests of safety and security and taking into account Explore’s 30 years of experience and unrivalled local knowledge.
For further details check www.explore.co.uk/fco .