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Kirker bookings and coronavirus

12 November 2021

Many thanks to all Kirker customers for your patience and perseverance during the pandemic, and for your continued enthusiasm for travel whilst we have to navigate a suitable pathway through the various travel restrictions – your support and positive approach is very much appreciated.

The latest updates to international travel rules have made the logistics for fully vaccinated travellers much more straightforward and it is now possible to plan holidays to a wide range of our favourite destinations in the certain knowledge that you will receive a warm welcome on arrival.  Having been unable to work for an extended period of time, Kirker’s transfer drivers, hoteliers, restauranteurs and private guides are all now delighted to be able to roll out the red carpet as they celebrate the fact they can once again offer warm hospitality to discerning visitors. Whilst the dynamics of the Brave New World continue to settle down we see a much more positive picture ahead where there is already a high degree of confidence that your confirmed holiday will proceed as it should.  We also sense that we may make fewer trips in the future as we all come to appreciate that travel is an extraordinary privilege to savour and an increasing realisation that we should perhaps resist the temptation to squeeze as much in as possible and instead why not plan to stay for a little longer?

We certainly look forward to spending more time helping our customers to plan their itineraries carefully so that the Kirker Concierge has time to book private guides, entrance tickets to museums, a table at a recommended restaurant and opera or ballet tickets for a sublime experience in an iconic theatre.  Not forgetting that in the post-Covid era, any a great holiday experience should also include some time to relax.  For example, if you are visiting the Prado you should schedule in time for a short coffee break with your guide… extra time spent discussing the relative merits of Goya, Velasquez, El Greco and Sorolla will certainly enrich your experience.  And if you are planning to spend 3 nights in Madrid, why not schedule in an extra day to visit Toledo where you can see El Greco’s work in a different context, visit the Sephardic museum and learn more about the history of the Jews in Spain, as well as finding time to indulge in a delicious al fresco lunch.

In terms of what steps we should take when travelling, you will need a smartphone with the NHS App showing your vaccination status, a mask, and, as ever, we need to keep an eye on the FCDO advice – click here to check the Government website for the latest update. Please never hesitate to telephone our office for first-hand advice from members of the Kirker team who have been travelling recently – they would be delighted to share their knowledge about how best to plan your itinerary to optimise your holiday. Of course, you will need to take a simple lateral flow test on your return, and in certain destinations, on your arrival - but please do speak to the Kirker team for advice. In recent months we have visited Rome, Naples, Paris, the South of France, Lisbon, Oporto, Mallorca, Gibraltar and Malta & Gozo to remind ourselves of the joy of travelling to some of our favourite destinations before the crowds return. You can watch some short videos of our recent travel experiences on our YouTube Channel.

As ever, it is important that you are appropriately insured, and a number of specialist travel insurance providers, such as Campbell Irvine (click here), have made a positive assessment of the risk and they are currently offering a full cover travel policy (including protection against Covid interruption before your departure and during the holiday): as an example, individuals aged 65 years can purchase a comprehensive policy for just £37.50 to cover a 5 night holiday. 

Each overseas destination requires a slightly different set of testing protocols – and we have first-hand experience of the processes from colleagues who have travelled this summer and autumn, please do call to ask us for details. There is a wide range of new companies offering COVID testing, and they offer a range of services.  We have negotiated special prices for tests with Randox Health: enter Coupon Code KIRKERRANDOX at https://www.randoxhealth.com

In terms of looking after clients who have booked, it is Kirker’s responsibility to ensure that we keep you up-to-date and informed of all relevant aspects of travel procedures – including testing and quarantine – for any holiday that you have already booked or are planning to book in the near future.  We can reassure you that, in the event you are unable to travel due to a Coronavirus related challenge, you will be able to amend to a later date or different destination, or we can provide you with a Kirker voucher for future travel or a full refund if you prefer.  (There are some very rare occasions where we have been obliged to make a financial commitment on your behalf which is non-refundable, but even in these circumstances, Kirker agrees to subsidise any uninsured loss so that any costs are reduced by mutual agreement.) This year Kirker celebrates 35 years in business, and although the last 18 months have been tricky, we are a mature and well-funded business that will bounce back strongly in the coming months ahead – we are in it for the long-term, and look forward to providing clients with the sort of personal service that discerning travellers expect.

If you do decide to book, we can assure you that we shall be doing our best to exceed your expectations, every time you travel on a Kirker holiday – and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Ted Wake & Andrew Layard
Joint Managing Directors

N.B. Some useful tips:

Please remember that you must always make certain that you have adequate travel insurance. We can recommend a new Coronavirus insurance policy provided by Campbell Irvine who are a recommended, independent insurance provider with a new policy to give you reassurance to book with confidence: click here for details.

Passports must have at least 3 months validity left on the day after you return. Your passport must also be less than 10 years old from the issue date (NB this is irrespective of the printed expiry date).  If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, additional months may have been added by the UK Passport Office which will not count towards the minimum period needed. If you are unsure about the validity of your passport we recommend visiting the government’s Passport Checker website: www.gov.uk/check-a-passport-travel-europe – or telephone the Kirker office on 020 7593 2288.

If you would like further guidance on travel, Kirker is a member of ABTAAITO and we also have an ATOL licence – please do look at their websites for supplementary information.

If your query is about a Cultural Tour or Music Holiday please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or telephone 020 7593 2284. New tours for dates throughout 2022 are being added all the time, so please click here for details.

To make an enquiry please speak to one of our experts on 020 7593 1899, or enquire online

Our expert reservations team regularly travel to a wide range of destinations to explore new cities, visit hotels and to research museums, galleries and restaurants so that we can offer the most up-to-date advice and recommendations.