COVID-19 Update

The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply impacted everyone. Its widespread effects can be seen all around the world, even in our communities and our homes. Cal Discoveries Travel, along with the rest of the alumni travel community, has felt the impact of COVID-19.

We understand that this has been an unprecedented time, filled with confusion and frustration. We also realize that this ever-changing situation can bring on a mix of emotions about future travel plans. Please know that Cal Discoveries Travel and our tour operators are working to ensure that you are safe while traveling. Your safety is our number one priority. We thank you for your continued support and patience as we navigate these challenging times.

Due to the pandemic, we have been working remotely as have most of our tour operators. We are available by phone or email to address your questions and concerns. The fastest way to get in contact with us is by email: caldiscoveries@alumni.berkeley.edu. You can also call our office at 510.900.8222 (please note that since we are working remotely, we will be returning your call from a blocked number instead of our usual Berkeley number).

We appreciate your understanding and ongoing support of Cal Discoveries Travel. We are all looking forward to the day we can travel together again.

2021 Reservations: Book with Confidence

We recognize that you might be anxious about reserving a trip in 2021, and we want to make sure you know your options when it comes to deposits and cancellation penalties. In order to instill confidence in our travelers, many of our tour operators made adjustments to their terms and conditions. For more detailed information, please check out their tour brochures. Below is a summary of the cancellation policies:

AHI

  • Any cancelations made 76 days or more prior to the trip departure date will result in a $300 per person administrative fee deduction from the $600 per person deposit.
  • This $300 per person administrative fee can be applied to a future AHI Travel program operating in the same calendar year or the following.
  • The additional $300 is refundable in cash.

Eureka, by Cal Discoveries Travel

  • Any cancellations made before the final payment date are fully refundable.
  • As guidelines surrounding COVID-19 continue to change, on-tour protocols will be established closer to trip departure. Local restrictions and requirements will be followed and passengers will be expected to adhere to protocols set forth.

Gohagan & Company

  • Book with confidence! Gohagan & Company is waiving program cancellation fees, including pre and post program option cancellation fees, now through 96 days prior to program departure.
  • Gohagan & Company is extending Early Booking Savings discounts up to 96 days prior to commencement of each of its 2021 programs and the 2022 Expedition to Antarctica Program. Save between $600 and $2000 per couple, depending on the program.
  • View a sample of their terms and conditions.

Lindblad Expeditions

  • New Bookings for 2021 Departures: cancel your expedition at least 14 days before departure and receive 100% future travel credit for expedition fare paid* to be used on any future 2021 or 2022 expedition. Valid for new bookings of 2021 departures booked between June 10, 2020 and December 31, 2020.
  • View terms and conditions.

Odysseys Unlimited

  • Odysseys Unlimited will waive the $200 per person penalty associated with tour deposits.
  • Each guest’s $500 deposit will be fully refundable up until the final payment due date: 95 days prior to tour departure.
  • View terms and conditions.

Orbridge

  • For all new bookings received for future tours, each guest’s deposit will be refunded in full if the cancellation notice is received more than 90 calendar days prior to departure (180 days for Antarctica or Trans-Siberian Railway).
  • Orbridge terms and conditions.

Sports and Entertainment

  • Sports and Entertainment (SET) has changed their deposit policies for all of their 2021 trips.
  • Instead of the deposit being non-refundable, SET will allow travelers deposits to be credited or applied to any future SET trips until the final payment is due: 90 days prior to tour departure.
  • Sports and Entertainment terms and conditions.

Our 2021 trip lineup is available in our digital catalog and on our website. We are pleased that we can continue to offer exciting educational travel opportunities for alumni and friends of Cal, and we look forward to traveling with you in the future. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at caldiscoveries@alumni.berkeley.edu or at 510.900.8222.

Existing 2021 Reservations

We understand that you might be anxious about the status of your 2021 trip and we thank you in advance for your patience. Since our operators are handling multiple departures, trips, and alumni groups, their staff is working hard to get thoughtful communication out to our travelers as fast as possible. They are working through tours by chronological order of departure date. It may take longer than usual for you to hear from them.

It is important that all travelers with upcoming trip reservations in 2021 keep an eye out for updates directly from their tour operator. All updates regarding the status of your 2021 trip will be sent to you via email. Make sure you check your inbox and spam folders for these communications.

In the event that your trip has been postponed or canceled, your tour operator will inform you of next steps.

If you have concerns about your reservation or the status of your trip, contact your tour operator. See below for their information. You can also always reach out to our office at caldiscoveries@alumni.berkeley.edu.

Tour Operator Contact Information
  • AHI Travel: 888.384.7001
  • Gohagan: 800.922.3088
  • Lindblad Expeditions: 800.397.3348
  • Odysseys Unlimited: 888.370.6765
  • Orbridge: 206.855.6929
  • Sports & Entertainment Travel: 888.225.2586
  • Thomson Safari: 800.235.0289
COVID-19 Safety Protocols

When international and domestic travel returns, group travel will look a lot different. We have been working with our tour operators to ensure that your future travels are safe.

New safety protocols from our tour operators (please note that this information is subject to change):

Cancelations Windows Extended

Due to current events, most of our tour operators are extending their cancelation penalties and final payment due dates. Every tour operator has different policies, so please refer to the most recent email communications that you have received from them. If you are unsure if this is an option for your trip, please don’t hesitate to contact our office or the tour operator.

Travel Credits/ Vouchers

Most of our tour operators have been postponing their 2020 trips and offering our travelers a credit/travel voucher to be used at a later date. These vouchers have to be redeemed with the same tour operator and cannot be transferred to a different operator. In most cases, you will have the option to transfer to the same trip the following year with Cal Discoveries Travel. For a full list of our upcoming trips, visit our digital catalog. If the dates we are offering do not work well for your schedule or you do not see the same trip listed next year, you will also have the opportunity to transfer to a different trip (with the same operator). If none of the trips sponsored by Cal Discoveries Travel work, you can contact your tour operator to get a full list of their trips. Of course, we would love for you to join us on a Cal Discoveries trip!

If you decide to take advantage of a future travel voucher and are curious about which trips will be offered in 2021 by your tour operator, check out the links below.

Trip Insurance Questions

If you have been offered a credit in the form of a travel voucher or you are transferring your current travel insurance policy to an alternate trip, please know that your current policy will remain in effect as it was when it was originally purchased. You must contact your travel insurance provider and alert them about your new travel dates prior to your original travel dates. Benefits to existing travel insurance policies cannot be upgraded to add pre-existing conditions or Cancel for Any Reason.

If you purchased trip insurance with USI and you have questions about your plan or coverage, please call them at 1-800-937-1387. Their licensed customer service team is available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (ET). You can also check out their COVID-19 FAQ page, which might have answers to some of your insurance questions.

*Although acquiring travel insurance for a trip is not mandatory we highly recommend having some form of travel protection for future trips. As always, we advise our travelers to read their plan documents or description of coverage thoroughly to understand what coverage they have.

Official COVID-19 Resources

For the most up-to-date travel advice and information concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of State websites. For more information, take a look at UC Berkeley’s resources about COVID-19.