Please also see our page Columbia III Best Practices.
Due to the Covid-19 global pandemic most of our 2020 season has been thrown into disarray by forces beyond the control of our small family run company: international borders have closed, provincial health regulations restrict travel, group size and social distancing, provincial parks in which we operate are closed and coastal communities have restricted access. The health of our guests, crew and the communities in which we live and operate is of foremost importance to us. It is especially important for us to help the coastal First Nations protect their communities from the effects of Covid-19. This pandemic is "precedenced" for them. They are keenly aware of the potential effects pandemics have had and can have on their members, especially their elders, many of whom provide irreplaceable links to their languages and culture.
Please be patient as we navigate these unique circumstances.
During the 2019-2020 winter we fully expected to be operating in 2020 and we proceeded with many expensive upgrades to our ship, the COLUMBIA III. In addition to our usual extensive maintenance program preparing our ship for her summer season we also completed a major over-haul of the main engine and system upgrades to the hydraulic and the auto-pilot systems. Our 64 year old classic wooden vessels is a capital intensive enterprise and our guest's advance deposits are how we finance the ship's preparations for the upcoming season. Now, with the current pandemic, guests are unable to travel to our ship and are requesting refunds for their deposits. We are finding many guests failed to purchase trip cancelation insurance despite our strong recommendations, and even with insurance many insurance companies are unwilling to honour their commitments.
Our family has always considered customer service and our reputation as our top priority. We are attempting to refund deposits or offer credits as best fits our customer's needs, but please be patient with us. We have already spent many tens of thousands of dollars preparing the ship for the 2020 season and we are struggling to now find the cash to refund that money to our guests. We are requesting guests to pressure their travel insurance companies to honour their commitments, and for guests to check with their credit card providers for possible insurance options to help relieve the burden on our family finances. If neither of these options are available we are offering credits for future tours or deposit refunds (minus a %5 service fee) if that is best for the guest.
Despite the excellent management of the pandemic by our local health authorities in British Columbia and the reassuring decline in Covid-19 cases near our personal home, the pandemic at large in the global community is still expanding exponentially and it remains impossible for us to operate most of our scheduled 2020 tours.
The Coastal First Nations of the Great Bear Rainforest have collectively closed the entire region to tourism for the remainder of 2020 in an effort to protect their small communities. Mothership Adventures fully supports them in their efforts despite its negative impact on our business. Therefore, all our 2020 regularly scheduled season is now completely suspended. There is some possibility we could operate a few family group tours in the Broughton Archipelago area in August and September, and we have taken a few tentative inquires which we are holding for the time being. Contact us if such a tour might be of interest to your group.
At this time we are exploring the possibility that the Provincial Health Officer might allow us to operate tours that consist of small family groups who originate in British Columbia. If this option became available it would still be dependent on the Coastal First Nations allowing us access to their territories and BC Parks allowing access the parks on the BC coast. We are accepting tentative inquires for these family group charters in late August and September 2020, but we are not accepting any monies for these potential tours until we have more certainty of operation.
All tours are expected to run as normal and we are still accepting reservations for the 2021 season.