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Message from our CEO

written by James Thornton March 14, 2020
Traveller in India


Editor’s Note:

March 14 2020, 1pm EST: This open letter titled The Intrepid Promise contains information that is no longer valid. Over the last 24 hours, there have been an unprecedented number of travel restrictions put in place, which has required Intrepid Travel to make the difficult decision to suspend all global operations (with the exception of trips in Australia) from Monday 16 March until at least 31 May 2020. 

Please refer to the Intrepid Travel COVID-19 FAQ page for the latest information: intrepidtravel.com/covid19

Dear Intrepid travellers,

In the more than 30 years that Intrepid has been running trips around the world, we’ve seen a few things.

From earthquakes and tsunamis, to September 11 and SARs – each crisis has served as a reminder of the things that truly matter:  our customers, our people, and our communities.

The daily news updates and rapid spread of Coronavirus (or COVID-19) has created a world of uncertainty for even the most Intrepid people, so I wanted to personally reach out to you with an update on what Intrepid is doing.

Your safety

The welfare of our travellers and our staff is our priority. That’s why we follow advice from the experts at the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as the official government travel advisories.

While this particular situation is unprecedented, we do have a very experienced global operations team. Right now, we are monitoring this situation incredibly closely and working with Intrepid’s operations teams throughout the world to look after the thousands of people who are travelling with us in the coming weeks.

Things are changing very quickly at the moment, so we have created an information hub to keep you up to date with any changes to trips that are scheduled to depart in the coming weeks and months.

For more information and answers to Frequently Asked Questions, please visit the Hub here

Our Promise, your peace of mind

Even if you’re fit and healthy, you’re probably feeling anxious about how Coronavirus could impact your travel plans in the coming weeks and months. While things may be a little uncertain in the short term, we don’t want you to be put off planning your next trips with us.

So today, we are launching what we have called ‘The Intrepid Promise’.

  1. If you decide to cancel your booking up to 22 days before departure, you can do so without losing any money. We will hold your full payment as a credit for future travel.
  2. Or, if your trip can’t run due to factors outside of Intrepid’s control, you will receive 150% credit towards future travel with us – or you can choose a 75% refund.

Whatever happens, your booking is protected. That’s our promise.

Looking after yourself, looking after others

Please do read the advice provided by WHO on how to stay healthy. Little things, like washing your hands properly, really do make a difference!

If you’ve been living or travelling in an affected country and have concerns, we’d ask you to let us know so we can help keep you and the people you meet along the way safe and well.

If there’s a silver lining to all this, it is that Coronavirus has reminded the world that we’re all connected.

Please be kind and let’s take care of each other.


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guidetour February 13, 2021 - 4:13 am

Nice Article, Thanks for sharing this

Tom Brown March 30, 2020 - 10:43 pm


“So whatever happens, your booking is protected. That’s our promise.” what absolute rubbish.

Your promises are not worth the paper they are written on

Wendy March 24, 2020 - 5:00 am

I am not sure why the CEO is making a promise of 150% credit and then reneging on it? If he wasn’t prepared to keep true to this “promise” it should never have been written. I’m severely disappointed by this.

Anne Bennett March 20, 2020 - 6:52 pm

REF NO 6045638
Anne Bennett
Andrew Harrison
Penelope Coffey

We was away in india when our trip was cancelled by you .We arrived into Dehli on the 10th March that evening our guide informed us that the trip would not be able to continue to Goa .On the 14th march we returned after being out to be told we would have to leave india and the tour had been cancelled.
Why did you allow the tour to go ahead knowing we would not be able to finish ??
We had to pay for additional flights to get home as we was adviced by our guide to fly directly from Dehli – London Heathrow, we had to buy a flight from Jupiur- Dehli pay for a hotel for the night .
You are offering us a part of our tour back in compensation we feel this trip should of been cancelled prior to us arriving. The uncertainty of day by day not knowing if we would get to the next day spoilt our few days in India this was not the experience we expected or wanted . We feel you need to take responsibility for making a terrible choice to continue the tour, knowing that we would not finish.
We also do not feel what you have offered us so far is correct as we had additional 3 days in goa booked and transfer , and know you have offered others in our group , in the tour more compensation for less days they had booked.
We booked via Touradar .
Please respond as we would love to return to india but feel we need to trust Intrepid in the future .

Dan March 19, 2020 - 6:51 am

So much for this empty promise . . . Intrepid canceled our trip and offered 110% credit, NOT 150% !!!

Carmel Moore March 16, 2020 - 4:43 pm

Thanks for ditching us in the middle of nowhere! Will never travel with your company again

Bob Carey March 16, 2020 - 1:19 pm

Thank you Intrepid for being such a proactive and integral company!!!!
You are leading the way in the tour industry with the decisions that you have made and showing up the companies that really only care about the bottom line
I will have to suspend my tour with your company this year and will MOST definately be booking with you next year for my trip through Africa (Africa Encompassed 62 Days Southbound)
My main concern has been for the gorillas in Uganda and I would rather defer than chance infecting these creatures

Cynthia Nault March 15, 2020 - 10:03 pm

I will be looking for my 150 % credit as promised by James Thornton. CEO. Per my text of March 14th..

Saptarshi Bhattacharya March 14, 2020 - 5:41 pm

Thank you author for such a nice post.Keep it up.

Renee Marie Carini March 14, 2020 - 11:33 am

Thank you

Lynne Harris March 14, 2020 - 3:18 am

This is so unfair ,I tried to cancel my booking several times in the last few weeks
Are we the only people expected to travel to Japan on a tour where everything is shut down

Di Forgan March 14, 2020 - 12:23 am

My trip to Morocco is due to commenceonthe 1st April i.e. in 16 days so too late to take up your offer of a full refund which you have made a 22 days request. Since this has only just been offered could I presume that the full amount of my trip would be forthcoming? The government has now asked that we only travel out of necessity and I believe that this will impact on my travel insurance. Is my trip “Discover Morocco” XMSMC still being run and if so are we going to be able to visit all of the attractions we signed up for. As it is getting quite close to departure time I need to make a decision as to whether or not this trip is still viable.
Kind regards

Noa JACKSON March 13, 2020 - 11:58 pm

This “promise” is outrageous James!! You out to be ashamed of yourself and Intrepid should be embarrassed!! How can you charge US, THE CUSTOMER, 25% penalty on trips you cancel!!! Despicable! That puts many of us in a VERY hard place. I am never traveling with Intrepid again. Shame shame!!!!

Bridget March 13, 2020 - 11:11 pm

What about us leaving soon- less than the 21 day notice time to get a full credit?? I have called several times but this option was not given to me- until it appears to be too late. This is very very very disappointing!!! I’m much less concerned about my booking to Israel months from now than I am with my booking to Borneo leaving in 14 days!! This is not a fair and we’ll thought thru decision you have made.


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