Updated 28 July 2020, 14.45hrs
We hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy.
I’m sure you won’t have missed the news that much of Europe is accessible once again. The UK government have announced the removal of quarantine restrictions for 60 countries from July 10th, including our key ski destinations of France, Switzerland, Austria, Andorra and Italy.
The European mountains are abuzz with summer activity, with hotels and restaurants welcoming guests, and lifts turning for walkers, cyclists and summer skiers. Normal business is returning on the continent, which gives us confidence that our destination partners will have honed their service offerings long ahead of the winter.
With a passion for skiing, myself and the team are determined to reunite our clients with the mountains next season. We want to ensure that when you are ready to book you can do so with confidence, which is why we have reduced deposits to £150pp and removed amendment fees. This means you can change your date or destination for free, up to 12 weeks before departure*. You can find out more here. And remember, our package holidays are protected by our ABTA and ATOL bonding, which means you’ll never be left stranded or lose your money.
We're also finding ways to think differently about how to plan a ski holiday so we thought we would put together a helpful guide including what you can expect before you travel and whilst on the mountain. We will do our best to keep this page updated as things progress.
As always, please don't hesitate to get in touch by giving us a call.
Coronavirus Travel Information
What’s the latest news from the mountains?
As of the beginning of June, resorts across the Alps are making a safe return to everyday life in preparation to welcome summer guests. For example, bars and restaurants started reopening in Italy on 11th May and from 25th May accommodations were reopened and mountain lifts started turning again. There is even skiing back underway on the glaciers, which are in great shape following the winters snowfalls. In Val d’ Isere, summer skiing started on the Fornet glacier on 6th June. In Switzerland, our most popular resorts such as Zermatt are almost fully reopened with hotels, campsites, restaurants, bars, mountain lifts, and swimming pools all reopened from 6th June.
In essence, what this means for our skiers this winter is that resorts will have a whole summer season to get back on their feet with guests and to iron out their service proposition for their winter visitors. This is great news and gives us considerable confidence for the season ahead.
Can I book to go skiing this winter?
Yes, absolutely! Our teams are working 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday helping our clients get their arrangements in place for this winter. We have been working hard to secure the most favourable rates and offers from our suppliers, and are ready to help you get your trip secured.
What changes have you made to your booking procedure for this winter?
Across our tailor-made programme we have introduced a flexible booking policy giving you the ability to change your date or destination up to 12 weeks before departure*. Please contact us and ask our account managers for more details.
What about catered chalets? I understand there might be less chalets available to book for next winter?
Even prior to Covid-19, it was becoming increasingly uneconomic for many chalet operators to continue with the scale of programmes they had run in the past. Many of our bigger partners such as Hotelplan (Inghams and Ski Total) and Skiworld will have considerably reduced chalet programmes next winter, which will likely result in acute availability constraints on peak dates. At the premium end of the market, favourites of Ski Solutions clients such as Le Ski and VIP will have similar sized programmes to last winter and we have confidence in their ability to deliver a quality product once again. Whilst the chalet market is reduced, as an operator and agent with access to the whole market, we are confident we will find somewhere to suit your group. Please talk to our Account Managers for further information - we are 100% independent and will advise you honestly, based on your needs.
Is my money safe if I book with Ski Solutions?
Ski Solutions was established in 1986 and is the UK’s original specialist ski travel agent and tailor-made tour operator. We are part of the Active Travel Group and are ABTA members and hold an ATOL licence from the CAA. Our tailor-made package holidays are all 100% financially protected in the event of our insolvency. During this Covid-19 crisis we have supported our clients throughout, bringing many hundreds home at short notice from across the world as resorts closed in March. We are here to support you right from the initial booking through to your return so rest assured you will be in safe hands.
Will I be entitled to a refund if there is another outbreak of Coronavirus and my holiday gets cancelled?
If the FCO advises against all but essential travel due to the Coronavirus, we will contact you as soon as possible and work with you to discuss your options including rebooking to another destination or date where possible. For those clients unable to postpone their holiday, we will be in touch to discuss refund options.
What will the experience be like in a French resort?
We are in constant communication with our destination partners in order to keep up with the latest picture in resorts. Recent conversations with the French tourist board about skiing in France in the winter have been very positive.
French resorts are already open for summer tourism with lifts turning and restaurants and bars have opened their doors. Summer is providing an opportunity to test and hone measures ahead of the busy winter, so resorts can be as prepared as possible come the first snow.
At present in France, it is mandatory to wear a face covering on ski lifts for anyone aged 11+ years. We understand that a buff is acceptable, so for many of us who already ski in a buff, nothing much has changed. Having such a measure in place means that French resorts are looking to avoid reducing capacity on the lifts, so we shouldn’t see more queues than usual.
It’s a bit early to tell how group lessons will change but measures being looked into include reduced class sizes. If you’re concerned about group lessons, private lessons will continue to be a good option.
Bars and restaurants are already open and across French resorts, they are planning for delivering a vibrant and fun après scene with the live music that we know and love. Most après will take place outside in the fresh air and on snowier days where this isn’t possible, we will likely see reduced capacity indoors to prevent overcrowding.
What will a day's skiing look like?
With resorts across Europe and around the world in operation for summertime skiing, we can start to paint a picture of the kind of precautions that might be taking place on the mountain this winter. Of course by December these restrictions may have eased, but right now the safety measures in place on the slopes include:
- Social distancing encouraged
- Face coverings required where social distancing not possible, e.g. in the lift queues
- Managed lift queues
- Reduced capacity on chairs and gondolas
- More regular and intensive cleaning procedures
What can I do if I am concerned about my safety on holiday?
During our office hours, you can reach our team on 020 7471 7711 and we will assist you however we can. We also have a dedicated emergency phone line, which you can contact if you are in need of emergency support. If the FCO releases a travel warning about your destination while you are on holiday, we will be in contact as soon as we can to discuss your options, which may include curtailing your holiday if necessary.
*Flexible booking T&Cs apply - find out more here