Last Updated April 2, 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
This page is updated as needed as we monitor the ever-changing Coronavirus situation.
These are challenging days for many in the world. We ask that you please consider supporting ROW Adventures, and the vulnerable tourism industry, by rescheduling your trip rather than cancelling. Your support helps not only our team in the U.S., but our partners around the world, including the communities where we operate. Our guests are telling us they still want to travel – just not right now. We are doing our best to remain financially sound while also doing what is right by our travelers.
Decision Timeframe: Everyday brings new developments and understanding. With a goal of doing our part in the fight against COVID-19 and to abide by local, regional and national directives, we anticipate making decisions about USA and Canada trip cancellations 30 days prior to trip departure. For our shorter one or two-day trips and in other specific cases, we may delay our determination until 14 days prior to departure. For trips outside the USA or Canada, our goal is to make decisions 45 days in advance.
A short note from Founder Peter Grubb
We know that we are not alone in our struggles, and we so appreciate everyone that has reached out to us during this time. We want to express our gratitude to all the frontline health care workers who are fighting for us all. Also, to those in other essential services that continue to provide the services we all need. Thank you.
For 41 years ROW Adventures and our sister companies, Adventure Unbound, Sea Kayak Adventures and River Dance Lodge, have been sharing the joy of meaningful, life-enriching travel. We’ve been through a number of difficult times, but like most people, have never experienced anything that has impacted so many people in so many ways, all around the globe.
We want to reassure you that our first priority is the health and wellbeing of our guests, our employees and our greater travel community. We are in constant contact with our local guides and staff to keep current of changes as they occur.
As a family owned and operated company, we are doing our best to make sound decisions that are fair, and in the best interest of everyone. We thank you for navigating these difficult times with us. Thank you for valuing travel and the positive changes it provides the world. To those planning a summertime rafting, sea kayaking, fishing trip or stay at our River Dance Lodge, we are still hopeful that we will be able to start the season, perhaps just a bit later than normal.
Just a few days ago we got a call from a past guest, offering to have his group of 20 pay in full for the trip they have reserved for 2021. He said: “We love ROW Adventures, and we want to be sure you will be there to continue providing the much-needed and appreciated vacation experiences that mean so much to us.” His call brought hope and tears of gratitude to our entire team.
As we find our path, I am reminded of the words of Henry Kissinger who said: “A diamond is a chunk of coal that did well under pressure.”
May we all find the diamonds within us and our communities.
– Peter Grubb, Founder
FAQ’s Specific to the Current Coronavirus Situation
Are you still operating your trips?
For trips in the United States through April 21, various governmental regulations have caused us to suspend operations. After April 21, for our upcoming rafting trips in the Pacific Northwest of the US, and sea kayaking tours in British Columbia and Quebec, we do not know whether or not some of the public lands on which we operate will be closed. Our plan is to run trips as scheduled unless local conditions or regulations prevent that. The decision timeframe is explained above. As well, when we resume operations, we will do so with the added precautions explained below.
We plan to open River Dance Lodge May 15, 2020.
Our current trips in Baja, Mexico have been suspended primarily due to US travel restrictions. For those with Baja trips from now through May 1, 2020, we are offering a full credit to transfer to another kayak trip in Baja or BC during 2020, 2021 or 2022.
Due to restrictions from the Ecuadorian government, we have also suspended trips in the Galapagos Islands until May 14. For those with Galapagos trips from now through May 14, 2020, we are offering a full credit to transfer to another Galapagos trip through March 31, 2021. We have also suspended operations to other South American countries through May 14, 2020. We already have, or will be, contacting anyone with a trip to South America during this time.
Have you changed the balance due date for trips due to COVID-19?
Yes. In order to provide you more flexibility, the final balance for trips for the rest of the 2020 season are as follows:
- For trips lasting 3 or more days on the Snake, Salmon River Canyons, Deschutes and Lochsa:
- Final balance is now due 30 days prior to departure rather than 60 days.
- For trips on the Middle Fork of the Salmon, Rogue, Owyhee and Missouri:
- Final balance is now due 45 days prior to departure rather than 60 days.
- For trips lasting 1-2 days:
- Final balance date is 14 days prior to departure rather than 30 days.
- For kayaking and whale watching trips in Canada (BC & Quebec):
- Final balance is now due 30 days prior to departure rather than 60 days.
- Trips outside the USA and Canada with ROW or Adventure Unbound:
- Final balance is now due 75 days prior to departure rather than 90 days.
- Galapagos trips with ROW or Adventure Unbound:
- Final balance is still due 90 days prior to departure.
Will travel insurance protect my vacation investment?
It’s best to get information directly from the travel insurance companies. We continue to recommend the purchase of travel insurance, and you can learn more about coverage as it relates to the Coronavirus here.
With the current Coronavirus situation, you may want to consider the “cancel for any reason” (CFAR) coverage. This is more expensive than regular coverage and, covers only 75% of the nonrefundable portion of your trip, but may the right choice for you. This coverage must be purchased within 21 days of paying your initial deposit.
What if I am unable to travel at the time of my trip departure due to a travel ban, or restrictions imposed by federal, state or local government authorities?
If an official travel ban has been issued that does not allow you to travel to or from your point of origin, ROW Adventures and our Family of Companies, will allow you to use the full value of your non-refundable payments as a credit for a future trip as follows:
- For trips with ROW in the USA, you may apply this credit to any of our trips in the USA for any available departure through 2022. Once an alternate trip is booked, it is subject to standard cancellation policies. no refunds for any unused portion of credit will be given. The full value of the credit must be redeemed prior to December 31, 2021.
- For any trips with Sea Kayak Adventures in British Columbia (BC), you may apply this credit to any of our sea kayak trips in either BC or Baja, for any available departure through 2022. Once an alternate trip is booked, it is subject to standard cancellation policies. No refunds for any unused portion of credit will be given. The full value of the credit must be redeemed prior to December 31, 2021.
- For trips with Sea Kayak Adventures or Adventure Unbound, outside of the USA and BC, we are communicating with our guests on a case-by-case basis. Tours outside of the USA and BC are operated with affiliate operators that are often small businesses supporting local guides, local accommodations, transportation services, etc. and we are proud that our tours support these businesses and communities. We pay for these services well in advance of your tour and while we will do our best to recover as much of your trip payment as possible, we normally cannot recover all of it. We will refund you any funds we do recover, or you may choose to apply these as credit towards a future trip. The full value of the credit must be redeemed prior to December 31, 2021.
What if ROW or Sea Kayak Adventures cancels my trip?
If ROW chooses to cancel a trip, or has no choice and must cancel a trip, due to closure by a federal, state or local authority, governmental intervention, our own decision or any other reason, and we do not provide an alternate trip*, we offer you the following options:
- For all trips in the USA; BC, Canada; or Baja, Mexico; ROW or Sea Kayak Adventures will issue a full refund less non-refundable payments for that trip, or issue you a credit equal to 110% of any trip payments you have made (not including services provided by other companies such as air carriers, hotels, etc. nor any travel insurance premiums). This credit can be used for another trip through 2022. Once an alternate trip is booked, it is subject to standard cancellation policies. The full value of the credit must be redeemed prior to December 31, 2021.
- Example A: You have paid a $400 deposit for your rafting trip in July 2020. The trip is cancelled. We credit you $440 (110%) towards a future trip.
- Example B: You have paid in full prior to the original due date for a $1600 rafting trip in July 2020 including a $400 deposit. The trip is cancelled. You can choose to have $1200 refunded to you and the non-refundable deposit of $400 becomes a $440 credit towards a future trip. Or, you can choose to let us retain the full $1600 which provides you with a $1760 credit towards a future trip.
- Example C: You have paid in full a total of $2500 as deposit and final payment, within the final payment time period for your trip. 20 days prior to the trip we receive notice from authorities that we cannot operate the trip as planned. You receive a credit $2750 to use for a future ROW trip through 2022.
- For tours in destinations other than the USA; BC, Canada; or Mexico, we will issue a refund of your land tour cost, less any unrecoverable costs. Or, you may use the recoverable costs as credit towards a future trip through the end of 2022. The full value of the credit must be redeemed prior to December 31, 2021. (Example, a force majeure situation such as an earthquake, strikes your destination. We are unable to recover monies paid to a local hotel, local operator, transportation company, etc. Those costs would not be refunded.)
- For Galapagos or other trips in South America: Please see above.
* We reserve the right to offer an alternate trip or itinerary that matches the date and gateway city of the original trip. Should you choose not to participate, this is treated as a cancellation. (Example: A forest fire prevents us from operating our August 23 Middle Fork Salmon rafting trip. We provide an alternative trip on the Lower Salmon River Canyons and provide transportation to/from Boise, Idaho which is the original gateway city. If you choose not to go on this alternative trip, you are choosing to cancel and our cancellation policy applies.)
If I cancel or change my departure, or ROW cancels my trip, will ROW cover my costs for pre or post-trip flights, car rentals, hotels or other associated trip expenses?
In the event of any cancellation or rescheduled trip, you are responsible for cancellation or change fees related to rental cars, pre or post-trip flights, hotels, etc.
What sanitary precautions is ROW taking during trips?
Many of our trips take place in open-air nature, where space, wind and fresh air all work in our favor in terms of reducing the risk of contagion from Coronavirus. On our rafting and kayaking adventures, we have always had hygiene procedures in place that follow best-practices, including:
- A thorough camp talk about camp safety and hygiene given during lunch on the first day of a trip
- Careful food preparation guidelines
- Careful clean-up procedures including washing dishes in a 3-step phase of hot water wash, hot water rinse and final cold-water rinse with Clorox.
- Hand wash stations and encouraged use of same
- Regular cleaning of water faucet areas and flat surfaces.
We are now adding these additional procedures:
- Separate hand-wash stations for the bathroom facilities and the kitchen area and required use of same
- Hand sanitizer stationed at strategic points in camp
- More frequent cleaning of flat surfaces such as camp tables and serving tables
- Interior sanitizing of all vehicles. Vehicles will carry hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes to wipe down interior surfaces as needed.
What screening and preventative measures is ROW Adventures taking?
We reserve the right to decline service to a guest if we have reason to believe that you have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 within the 14 days prior to your scheduled trip or, if you develop flu-like symptoms (a fever, cough, and shortness of breath) during the 14 days prior to your scheduled trip.
We will remove any scheduled staff member if we have reason to believe that they have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 within the 14 days prior to a scheduled trip or, if they develop flu-like symptoms (a fever, cough, and shortness of breath) during the 14 days prior to a scheduled trip.
In addition to the above, if a staff member or guest develops symptoms that suggest any possibility of COVID-19, we will isolate that person, take precautionary sanitary measures and explore the possibility of evacuation of that person. We will also have masks available for anyone that shows potential symptoms.
Since our knowledge of the Coronavirus and COVID-19 are evolving constantly, we will update protocols as necessary.
What should I do if I’m booked on a trip but health concerns make me wonder if I should travel?
If you are unsure whether to travel due to health concerns, we recommend you consult with your physician. We also highly recommend purchasing CFAR (Cancel for any Reason) insurance.
Please email your Adventure Consultant, or gives us a call at 1-800-451-6034 if you have any questions about the policies specific to your trip and the area(s) you are visiting. Ultimately, if we do not cancel a trip, the decision to travel is up to you.
What if I’m considering making a new reservation?
Book with Confidence - To confirm your trip, a deposit is required within 72 hours of making your reservation. Your deposit is fully refundable up to 10 days after you book when you sign up 10 days or more before the final payment due date (does not apply to Private or Custom Trips).
In order to provide our guests with more time to make their travel decisions, we will not require the final payment for scheduled departures until 45-30 days prior to your departure (previously 60 days) as outlined above. Please call us, we’re here to answer all of your questions.
Please understand that because the COVID-19 situation is changing daily and unpredictable, we reserve the right to change these policies without prior notice. However, the terms and conditions that were in place at the time of your reservation will apply.
Where Can I Find Trusted Information About Coronavirus?
We believe it’s important to stay well-informed from trusted sources and to read beyond headlines in order to have a more complete understanding regarding this global health risk.
To this end, we comb the news and other health-related news sources to stay current with the situation. Some sources we use, with accurate and measured information, include the following:
- The U.S. Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) advises the country on public health. They have a page dedicated to Covid-19 and travel that we highly recommend, including a map showing areas of concern. They also have an excellent FAQ page related to travel.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) also maintains an excellent website filled with accurate and useful information, including a page dedicated to Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) travel advice. They have a particularly informative post on recommendations for international travel in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak, which was updated on Feb 29, 2020.