Travel Alerts

This page is where you’ll find all the latest travel advice so please check for any updates that might relate to your upcoming tours with us.

Last updated 30 Sep 2020 - still current as of 20 Nov 2020

A message from the CEO, Jackie Willis

To all our valued customers

In these challenging times for each of us individually and for the travel industry, I wanted to set out our position with regard to your holiday bookings for the remainder of the year and 2021-22.

As a medium-sized travel company, we are dealing with the continuing impact of the COVID-19 situation on hundreds of tour departures and thousands of customers. It will take time to do this, and we need to be sure that we are following the latest UK Government advice at all times. As such, we are working through our tours strictly in date order, please be assured that we will be in contact with you, but I would respectfully ask for your patience so that we can we can deal with the most urgent matters first.

From a personal perspective, I’ve been in the travel industry for 40 years and I have never experienced a situation like this. It is genuinely unprecedented, and changing all the time. We are doing everything we can to prioritise the health and wellbeing of our travellers, and to offer you the most convenient alternative arrangements if COVID-19 results in the cancellation of your tour. Please bear with us and we will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

Thank you again for your custom, and best wishes from Brightwater Holidays.

Jackie Willis CEO,
Specialist Journeys

We continue to monitor our holidays on a case by case basis and, thanks to our industry-leading COVID-19 action plan, it has been possible to operate several departures in recent weeks, and we anticipate operating further holidays in 2020. However, many of our remaining 2020 departures will need to be cancelled due to the following:

  1. UK Government advice or local restrictions in your destination
  2. Our suppliers are not yet in a position to put our COVID-19 11-point plan fully in place to our satisfaction
  3. Many guests are voluntarily transferring to 2021, now making these tours unviable


However, we are currently working on a selection of departures which may still be possible to operate. If you haven’t yet received confirmation that your holidays is cancelled but you are certain you do not want to travel, please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your options.


The following conditions apply to these holidays:

  • We will make the decision whether to cancel these holidays based on the above three governing factors.
  • If it does become necessary to cancel your holiday, there will be no charge to transfer to new travel dates and we will match your 2020 price*. Alternatively, you may choose to transfer to any other 2021 holiday (with no admin fee to pay). Any difference in price would be payable or, if in your favour, refundable. Many 2021 itineraries may now be found on our website, and you should also have received your 2021 First Edition brochure (if not, you can request your copy here).
  • If you wish to transfer to a different 2021 holiday before we contact you, there will be a £50pp admin fee to do soand the 2021 price will be payable.
  • If you wish to cancel now, normal booking conditions would apply.
  • We have reduced our balance payment due time from 84 days to 42 days. However, should we still not know if your holiday can go ahead at 42 days prior to departure we will not take any further payment until FCO advice and our own COVID-19 11-point safety plan makes it viable.
  • If your holiday is viable and we contact you to collect your holiday balance, this balance would still be payable, and not to do so would result in the cancellation of your booking and retention of your deposit. Please note: there is no risk in paying your balance – your holiday booking/monies will be fully protected as part of our ATOL/ABTOT accreditation.
  • We reserve the right to cancel your tour within 12 weeks if the number of late customer cancellations make the tour commercially unviable.

  • If we have not already contacted you to advise cancellation, we are currently operating on the assumption that your holiday will go ahead as planned.
  • Should any of the three key points above make your holiday unviable we will contact you as quickly as we can.
  • For your peace of mind, we will not be collecting holiday balances until we are sure that it will be possible for your tour to go ahead.
  • If you wish to transfer to any other 2021 or 2022 holiday now, there will be an administrative charge of £50 per person to do so.
  • If you wish to cancel now, normal booking conditions apply.
  • We reserve the right to cancel your holiday within 12 weeks if the number of late customer cancellations make the tour commercially unviable.

*We reserve the right to withdraw this price-match offer at any time.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) statement


We appreciate that the Coronavirus is causing uncertainty around travel at the moment.  Please rest assured that the safety and health of Brightwater Holidays guests is always our top priority, and we are monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation carefully and continuously. As you will be aware, all tour operators and holiday insurance providers take their guidance from Foreign & Commonwealth Office advice and, with the latest recommendation to avoid all non-essential travel, we are in the process of rescheduling all tours which were due to depart up to 30 April 2020. Clearly the situation is fluid, and it may be necessary to reschedule tours departing after that date, but our current focus is on April. We are working through tour-by-tour in date order – if you are booked on an April tour, we will be in touch with you very soon to discuss alternative arrangements.

Here at Brightwater Holidays we also take seriously the government recommendation to work from home. Having anticipated this development a couple of weeks ago and planned for the eventuality, as a protective measure all of our staff will be home-working from Tuesday 17 March. This will not impact your experience in any way, and you can still contact us in the usual ways.