As of 5/29/20 at 12pm EST
A Message from Alan & Harriet Lewis
“The relevant question is not simply what shall we do tomorrow, but rather what shall we do today to get ready for tomorrow.”
- Peter Drucker, author and educator
First and foremost, Harriet and I wanted to let you—our travelers—know that we’re thinking of you. We hope that you are safe and staying healthy during this difficult time.
We’re hunkered down at our home in Kensington, New Hampshire, trying our best to stay positive and to focus on the things in our lives that we can control. We hope you are finding your own peace during these uncertain days as well.
The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented crisis which has impacted many aspects of daily life worldwide. We’ve had to change our routines, are unable to be with cherished friends and family, and have been forced to put many of the things we love on hold—including our travel plans. Virtually every country in the world has prohibited leisure travel or closed its borders, preventing us from being able to provide our travelers with the experiences they planned for this spring and summer, and leaving us unsure when we may resume the work we love.
As Chairman and Vice Chairman of O.A.T. for more than 30 years, we have weathered many storms. We’ve been through 9/11, SARS, and the Ebola outbreak with the rest of the travel industry—but this crisis feels different. We’ve been challenged in new ways, both mentally and financially. But that hasn’t caused us to lose sight of who we are as a company and how to best serve our travelers—who are, and always will be, our top priority.
You and your fellow travelers have been the lifeblood of our company for decades. You have stood by us through every crisis we’ve faced. And you’ve helped us come out stronger. Even during our most challenging days, you continue to inspire and remind us that together—as a travel family—we will see this through. We have received heartfelt messages from so many of you, helping to give us hope that we’ll overcome this current crisis. What we’ve heard loud and clear is that our travelers still want to explore the world. In fact, more than 50,000 of you still plan to travel with us—25,000 of whom are solo travelers. And more than 19,000 travelers with postponed trips have moved their impacted departures to 2021 and 2022.
As a company, we’ve made many difficult decisions since the beginning of this crisis—including the decision to postpone all of our adventures through the end of August 2020. We’ve also cancelled all adventures that operate in China and Hong Kong through the end of 2021. We have done this for the safety of our travelers, our Trip Experience Leaders, and our regional staff.
We also understand that many of you are hesitant to make new travel plans right now—which is why we want to do everything we can to help you feel more comfortable planning your future trips. When you reserve any new 2021 departure or pre-reserve any 2022 departure by 9/30/20, you will save $500 per person, plus a full 10% with our Good Buy Plan. And if you need to change your reservation for any reason—up until 24 hours prior to departure—we will waive any change fees for 2020, 2021, and 2022 departures with our new Risk-Free Booking Policy if you make your reservation by 9/30/20.
We take our responsibility to our travelers very seriously. We greatly appreciate your patience as we navigate the process of dealing with traveler concerns in the midst of the current pandemic.
Although we may not be able to get out there and travel the world just yet, it doesn’t mean we can’t imagine the wonderful experiences that are to come again. For that reason, we will continue sharing information and inspiration about destinations around the world.
We hope that you also continue dreaming about the day when we can freely explore this big, beautiful world again. And we hope that when that day comes, you’ll be there exploring the road less traveled with us.
Peace & love,
Alan & Harriet Lewis
Chairman & Vice Chairman
Overseas Adventure Travel
We understand travelers’ concerns surrounding the coronavirus and potential impact to travel plans. Your safety, as always, is our #1 priority. We are working with our global network of 36 regional offices to monitor impact in the destinations we visit. As the situation can change from day-to-day, we will keep this page updated with our latest information.
NEW Risk-Free Booking Policy: Reserve with Confidence
If we’ve learned anything about our travelers, it’s that their passion for travel cannot be diminished—even during times of uncertainty. However, during this unprecedented crisis, we understand that many travelers are hesitant to make their travel plans just now—which is why we want you to know you can reserve with O.A.T. with confidence. In fact, we guarantee you have the flexibility to make changes to your plans—no matter what the reason. With our NEW Risk-Free Booking Policy, you can transfer to another departure date for any reason—up until 24 hours prior to your original departure—and we will waive any change fees for 2020, 2021, and 2022 reservations. All reservations made by 9/30/20 are eligible for this policy.
How Our Risk-Free Booking Policy Works:
- To be eligible for the benefits of this policy, reservations must be made by 9/30/20
- Under our Risk-Free Booking Policy, you can move your departure date for any reason—up to 24 hours prior to your original departure—and we will waive all change fees for 2020, 2021, and 2022 reservations
- If you are not ready to reschedule to another departure, you will receive a future trip credit worth the full amount already paid that can be used through the end of 2022
- This policy is combinable with other savings opportunities
We hope this new policy helps you begin to move forward with the travel plans you may have been dreaming of making. Whenever you’re ready to take your next step, we’re here to help.
Reaching Our Call Center
Our call center is experiencing extremely high call volume. We apologize for this inconvenience as you try to reach us and we appreciate your patience.
• Departures postponed through August 2020
We are postponing departures of ALL of our adventures through the end of August 2020.
• Interrupted March 2020 trips
We are currently evaluating the impact to each trip that was cut short due to the impact of the coronavirus. We ask for your patience as we work through this. Once we have successfully reviewed all impacted travelers, we will send a follow up letter to provide a final update. We expect this will take at least a month to complete, but may take longer given the number of travelers impacted. We greatly appreciate your patience and flexibility.
• Select Asia trips cancelled through 2021
We have cancelled all adventures that operate in China and Hong Kong in 2020 and 2021:
- Imperial China, Tibet & the Yangtze River
- China & the Yangtze River
- Stopovers in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing
Postponed 2020 Departures
- We have rebooked many affected 2020 travelers to the closest available departure date in 2021.
- All rebooked travelers will receive a $500 per person credit, and can save a full 10% off their trip cost with our Good Buy Plan.
- If the rebooked departure date does not work for the traveler and the traveler is not ready to reschedule another departure at this time, they will receive a future trip credit worth the full amount already paid that can be used through the end of 2022.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How does O.A.T. determine when to stop operating or cancel trips?
A: Our top priority is always the safety of our travelers. We are in constant communication with our staff in our regional offices around the world, along with the U.S. State Department, and we are closely monitoring the Coronavirus situation. Based on the information we have received, we have made the decision to postpone ALL adventures through the end of August 2020. And all of our adventures featuring China and Hong Kong have been cancelled in 2020 and 2021.