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Message from Steve Berry, Managing Director - Covid-19
Message from Steve Berry, Managing Director of Mountain Kingdoms
Read genuine feedback from our clients following announcement of our Refund Policy
The events of the last two months show us all how precious the lives of our loved ones really are. The viability of corporations, airlines, banks and even whole economies have been ignored as mankind has come together to defeat this invisible threat. It is a heartening thought isn’t it, that individual lives are more important than money?
It is 33 years since my friend, Steve Bell, and I started Himalayan Kingdoms in a two room attic office in Clifton, Bristol; offering trekking and climbing holidays in all parts of the Himalaya. Since those early days the company – now Mountain Kingdoms – has expanded to offering holidays across the world and a year never goes by without something happening somewhere from earthquakes to assassinations; Gulf Wars to Brexit, and whilst all these events have had an impact on travel, up until now there has been nothing that has threatened the whole world.
The scale of human suffering as a direct and indirect result of Covid-19 is without precedent, and beyond previous imagination, and it is in times like these we really see what companies and individuals are made of.
When the gravity of the situation became obvious, our first task at Mountain Kingdoms was to help those clients who found themselves stuck in various remote parts of the globe.
Then our attention turned to clients who were due to travel in the near future. From day one, we decided that where needed, due to FCO travel advice, destination or airline schedule restrictions, we would cancel holidays, asking customers due to travel if they would like to transfer, without charge, to an alternative holiday in 2020 or 2021, or if not, offering a refund. This policy follows the law brought about by the European Package Travel Regulations 2018 and we continue to adhere to this.
Many of you transferred to later dates, or to different holidays, and we are very grateful for that. Understandably and naturally, in such uncertain times, some chose to take full refunds. We ask you for your patience as we work our way through this large task.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the travel trade, through ABTA, AITO and ABTOT, has been lobbying the government to change the current law in order to help cash-strapped travel companies. The proposed change would allow tour operators to suspend an existing holiday due to exceptional circumstances, and instead of refunding customers, issue them with a Refund Credit Voucher which could be used to book another holiday at a later date. It is intended these credit vouchers will be financially protected by the tour operator’s bonding (usually ATOL or ABTOT) and valid for over 12 months.
This law may, or may not, happen but I have decided that Mountain Kingdoms will continue to offer free transfers, and if requested, refunds, until such time as a new travel law is passed. It is sad to think some airlines and large travel companies are not setting a similar example at this time.
Please be assured that Mountain Kingdoms is a strong, financially stable company and we will still be here long after the coronavirus has come and gone.
I am sure that when this is all behind us you will be keen to travel again, and I do hope that you will appreciate the stance we have taken at this extremely difficult time.
Save £100 on our Markha Valley Trek this June
Join our Markha Valley Trek in the Indian Himalaya this June, and you can save £130* off the published trip price.
Save £200 on our Gentle Walking Canadian Rockies holiday this September
Book onto our superb walking holiday in the Canadian Rockies this September and save £200*. This great offer is due to competitive flight prices and is therefore subject to availability. So don't delay - Book Now!
Write a Review & Win
Have you travelled with Mountain Kingdoms?
Share your travel experiences with fellow travellers. Write a review and we'll enter you into a monthly draw to win one of our Water-to-Go reusable bottles.
Big Bhutan Savings this Autumn
Due to competitive pricing on Bhutan flights this autumn, we are able to offer some super special offers on a selection of our Bhutan treks, tours and walking holidays.
Save £100 on our Everest Base Camp Trek this November
Book onto our Everest Base Camp Trek this November and save £100*. This great offer is due to competitive flight prices and is therefore subject to availability. So don't delay - Book Now!
Free use of down jackets & sleeping bags on Nepal trekking holidays
We are now offering the use of a good quality down jacket and 4-season sleeping bag free of charge on all our trekking holidays in Nepal *. Not only will they keep you warm and toasty once the sun goes down, but will save on that all important luggage space.
Don’t forget, we already include the cost of all meals on trek, park fees and permits, internal flights, transfers and a free kit bag. Plus, every clients receives a 15% discount code to use at multi-award winning outdoor clothing and equipment retailer, Cotswold Outdoor. Just a few of the many reasons to book your Nepal trekking holiday with Mountain Kingdoms.
* Sleeping bags are not required for our lodge-based treks in Nepal but down jackets will be provided for the chilly evenings.
Free hire of down jackets and sleeping bags is now also available on our camping holidays in Bhutan.
Start exploring Nepal - View our holidays
Free down jacket and sleeping bag hire on Bhutan camping treks
Book a place on one of our camping treks* in Bhutan and you will receive free hire of a good quality down jacket, sleeping bag and liner to keep you warm and cosy in camp. Jackets, sleeping bags and liners are supplied in Kathmandu.
Camping treks in Bhutan include the Druk Path Trek from Paro to Thimphu, the longer Chorten Path Trek that continues to Punakha, a high mountain trek to Mount Chomolhari and across the Bonte La, a trek into the remote villages of Lingshi and Laya, the epic traverse along the full length of the Bhutanese Himalaya - the Lunana Snowman Trek and the Gangkar Punsum Wilderness Exploration Trek - an exploration of the beautiful area around Bhutan's highest peak.
This offer also applies to our tea house and camping treks in Nepal.
*Excludes Rodang La Trek, Eastern Bhutan. Offer only applies to clients travelling to Bhutan via Kathmandu.