06 Mar

Coronavirus update

Coronavirus Update 18th March 2020

Due to the significant number of phone calls and emails we are receiving about the Coronavirus pandemic we have decided to write a brief statement to ensure that our message is clear and consistent.

This is a dynamic and fast changing situation but at the time of writing…

  • All the boats will be ready and fully prepared for use on the agreed date.
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  • All possible steps will be taken to minimise any risk of cross contamination.
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  • We have put in place plans to ensure that every yacht is cleaned to our normal high standard and then in addition every hard object/surface will be cleaned again with a product proven to kill Coronavirus. This will happen to every yacht every time it returns to base.  We are recruiting extra staff to achieve this and it will also give us extra resilience should a member of staff become ill and therefore unable to attend work.
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  • Every yacht will be equipped with the same product referred to above and a supply of cloths (to be used only for that purpose) to enable charterers to maintain impeccable hygiene standards whilst at sea. This is in addition to the normal range of cleaning products that we supply. The cloths will be hot washed (>60º) immediately upon return. A full explanation on best practise will be given during the handover of the yacht.
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  • We will be socially isolating ie not be shaking hands, hugging or kissing our clients on arrival and departure – but you will still get a very warm welcome and goodbye !! We hope you will understand. We are considering telephone/video handovers to minimise cross party exposure.
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  • Our hire stock range will be substantially increased and hired items will be put away for 1 week minimum before being hired out again – this will prevent any possible cross contamination. Towels, pillowcases, sleeping bags and liners etc will be hot washed ie >60º but we ask that you book these items well in advance as we will buy more if required.
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  • If you decide not to go ahead with your booking then we would draw your attention to point 1.10 and 3.2 of our Charter Agreement.
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  • We have always strongly advised clients to take out holiday cancellation insurance (see point 7 of the Charter Agreement) and if we can assist in any way with your claim such as proof of booking etc. we will do our very best to assist you.
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  • It is not possible to transfer bookings to a subsequent year.
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  • It may be possible (subject to availability) to transfer a booking to later this year. In this case we would not apply the usual admin fee. In this case any outstanding balance must be paid when due as per the original booking. If your existing booking is in high season and your new dates are mid or low season we will refund the difference. If you move your booking from a lower season to a higher season we will only charge 50% of the extra cost. If you choose a larger boat or only a larger boat is available the extra cost will be invoiced to you. This will be applied strictly on a first come first served basis and there is no guarantee that alternative dates or boats will be available.
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  • We are prepared to extend the sailing season until the end of October if required (and subject to agreement of our insurers) to help accommodate bookings moved to later in the year.

We apologise in advance if our stance seems a hard one. We are a small family business working to small profit margins and we are facing an existential crisis – not just for ourselves but our long standing loyal staff and a well-loved business that has been operating for well over 30 years.

David Banks – Alba Sailing – 18th March 2020.