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Cancelled "Guaranteed Departure" New Zealand Tour

Old Jun 7th, 2013, 06:03 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1
Cancelled "Guaranteed Departure" New Zealand Tour

I am offering a heads up for those of you that are considering booking an escorted trip to New Zealand. I recently learned a week before I depart for New Zealand that my premium "Guaranteed Departure" escorted tour of New Zealand that I had paid for in full months ahead of time had been canceled at the last minute by AAT Kings, the tour operator. Their lame excuse was that they had last minute cancellations and couldn't afford to operate the tour. I guess they don't understand the definition of "Guaranteed Departure". They tried to offer me a low end substitute tour which was shorter and a free jet boat ride. A trip of a lifetime was thrown into disarray by their last minute chicanery and I am warning you to realize if they will cancel me at the last minute, they will do it to you also. I had booked the trip through Relaxing Journeys, and to their credit they saw that I was refunded in full quickly. I have no complaints about Relaxing Journeys other that they are doing business with a tour provider that does not honor their commitments. My advice is: Run, don't walk away from AAKings!!!.

John M.
Glferman is offline  
Old Jun 8th, 2013, 02:46 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,902
How disappointing for you.
MissGreen is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2013, 04:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 411
Thats terrible What are your plans now?
LakesideChick is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2013, 12:36 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 11,497
I'm sorry for your disappointment.

Don't give up on visiting New Zealand, though. It's really easy to navigate and so worth the time it takes to get there.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2013, 04:44 PM
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1
Hi John

I am very interested to hear about your experience and wonder what your plans are now? I understand the tour operators position of cancelling a tour because they haven't met minimum numbers but, as you say, a Guaranteed Departure should be exactly that.

What are your travel plans to New Zealand now? Have you found another new zealand tour to join?


Andrew_NZ_Trails is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2013, 05:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 18,795
Why would you have topped this Andrew, you would not be soliciting, I hope?
mlgb is offline  
Old Sep 8th, 2013, 04:03 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 53,481
I just met Andrew on another thread, and yes, i think he is.
annhig is offline  
Old Sep 8th, 2013, 04:05 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 53,481
BTW, I'm sorry about you plight, Giferman.

we are planning our own tour, 17 days in all on the NI and SI, but it's taken me [and my good friends here] a good 2-3 months to work it all out.

discover the world is a company that i have seen with top end tours of NZ if you can't face doing it yourselves at such short notice; I'm sure that there are many others.

good luck!
annhig is offline  
Old Sep 8th, 2013, 08:24 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 53,481
oh, i also thought about Trailfinders- they have some self-drive tours that they could probably book for you pretty quickly, with various tours and activities included, if that's what you want.

they will also book flights, ferries, cars - whatever you need, if you ask them.
annhig is offline  
Old Sep 16th, 2013, 07:21 PM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 761
AAT Kings is the "heavy hitter" package tour operator within Australia. I did take a day tour operated by them to a cattle station when I was in Sydney and had a fine time. Their catalogue of package tours is quite impressive, but less so if it they don't guarantee their tours will actually happen. They have several itineraries that take you into the outback. Many companies do not go to the outback because there is little in the way of accommodation and you get a tent camp some nights with AAT Kings.
lauren_s_kahn is offline  
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