Latest Travel News & Updates
Monday 29 June 2015 06:00
Developments in the negotiations between Greece and its creditors over the weekend mean that cash controls have been implemented across the country.
All banks will be closed on Monday and we are advised that they are likely to remain closed for the rest of the week.
The majority of cash machines don’t currently have cash available. However we are advised that as of later today (Monday) machines will be back on line, but with restrictions in place for those with local bank accounts. These restrictions (a daily limit of between 50-60 euros) will stop the run on the banks and should mean that machines do not run out of cash.
The restrictions will not affect foreign bank cards with accounts registered outside of Greece and as such tourists will still be allowed to withdraw cash. (Update – Cash now becoming available in cash machines 11:00)
In the majority of places credit cards, where previously accepted (this has always been limited especially smaller islands) are still being accepted however this could change at short notice.
Our advice remains the same. Guests should follow the Foreign Office advice and take enough Euro’s with them in cash and not rely on ATM withdrawals or credit card payments.
In the event of an emergency, we will make cash available through our local offices but this is to cover emergencies only and should not be relied on.
Aside from the cash situation, life in Greece; especially in the resorts and islands away from the big cities, goes on as normal.
Our chairman is currently travelling in Greece and his latest report on Sunday evening stated “One is tempted to say 'what' crisis? It is Sunday night, not the most popular of nights to go out, but the cafés and tavernas are full. Plenty of talk about the economic situation but life goes on as normal. This is a vibrant city with a student population of 150,000 and it is no less vibrant today than on any other occasion when I have visited.”
The situation this week will obviously be ever changing and we will of course update people as we know more information, however we really don’t expect guests' holiday experiences to be impacted.
Even if Greece should be forced to leave the Euro currency union, this will not happen overnight. A currency change will take, it is estimated, about 18 months to implement and in the meantime the Euro will remain the currency in use in Greece.
Sunvil Holidays wins Best Tour Operator in the Sunday Times Travel Magazine Value for Money Awards 2015
Sunvil Holidays has scooped the top slot in the annual Sunday Times Travel Magazine Value for Money Awards for best Tour Operator. The panel said: 'An oldie but a goodie, Sunvil is the clear favourite for its Grecian expertise, getting you to many of the obscure Greek Islands and, more importantly, working out the fiddly bits about getting there. Despite its reputation for the more practical, affordable packages, our panel think its magic touch is having the absolute best hotels and reps on the ground and a real eye for up-and-coming parts of Greece'. We couldn't agree more!
Congratulations to Sunvil Chairman Noel Josephides, winner of 2015 Globe Award for Outstanding Achievement
The award was presented, following these words from the event sponsor:
'Tonight’s winner is a tour operator and agent who studied economics, worked in an Oxford Street department store and imported lemons before moving into the sector more than 40 years ago. His contribution since has been immense.
Despite running a company, he has found time to play an industry-leading role at Abta and at the tour operators’ association AITO.
His passion for the environment saw him help set up the Travel Foundation. His contribution to destinations has been recognised by the governments of Portugal, Greece and Cyprus, and as a member of the committee on air travel insolvency protection he has been an advisor to the Department for Transport.
A gymnast in his youth, he taught clowns to tumble at Chessington and may wish it was as easy to educate Government ministers. He has somehow found time to raise four children, play tennis, ski, fix carsand maintain ahome in France, and remains game enough to run barefoot in a toga in a recent celebration of the ancient Pan Hellenic games.
A man with demandingly high standardsand an industry-wide reputation for honesty and fairness, he is someone who has made a difference. Yet he is modest about his achievements and, at an age when he could be taking it easy, remains impatient to do more.'
We'll be at London Destinations Holiday and Travel Show - 29th January to 1st February 2015. Visit our destination specialists at stand E50 to discuss your holiday ideas for 2015 and enter our prize draw with the chance to win a holiday to Greece! (T&C's apply)
Sunvil have been advised that Manchester Airport Railway Station will be closing temporarily in January 2015 whilst essential work is carried out. Only two platforms will be in use between Sunday 11th and Saturday 17th January 2015 and the station will then be closed to all trains until Monday 9th February 2015.
The essential upgrade is part of the £1bn+ investment in the railway being made over the next five years across the north of England and will allow extra services to call at the airport, providing passengers with better access with faster, more frequent train services.
Please check before you travel at nationalrail.co.uk
For the fourth year, the Sunvil Family are holding their “MEET THE TRAVEL EXPERTS” day on Saturday 1st November 2014. This is an opportunity for you to meet the team, as well as a chance for us to showcase the “Sunvil Family” and to unveil our new holiday ideas and programmes for 2015.
The event will take place in central London at The Law Society, a magnificent Grade II listed building boasting an interior of stunning elegance.Throughout the day there will be a variety of inspirational talks from destination specialists and travel writers. You will also be able to sample delicacies from many of our featured destinations - Alentejan pork, Azorean cheese, wines from Greece, South Africa and South America and much much more.
Discuss your next holiday with one of our knowledgeable team; learn about our destinations old and new; catch up with familiar faces; or just have a chat about your favourite holiday spot. If you would like to discuss a specific holiday idea on the day with one of our travel experts, you can also request an appointment online, once you've registered.
For more information about the event and to register online please visit: Meet the Travel Experts Event Site
M56 Weekend Closure at Manchester Airport Junction closed Friday 1 Aug-Monday 4 Aug 2014
Drivers are being reminded that the M56 will be closed near Manchester Airport this weekend as the Highways Agency demolishes a bridge as part of its £5.5m pinch point improvement in the area.
The motorway will be totally closed in both directions between junction 5 at Manchester Airport and junction 6 at Hale for up to 55 hours from 10pm on Friday night (Friday 1 August) and may be closed until 5am on Monday morning (4 August).
Drivers needing to access the airport from the M60 and Manchester will still be able to use the airport spur from the westbound M56 at junction 5. However, people heading towards the airport along the eastbound M56 from North Wales and Liverpool will need to leave at junction 6 for Hale and follow the short diversion using Runger Lane.
People travelling to the airport are being urged to leave extra time for journeys and check traffic conditions before setting out.
Whilst we are not on sale for 2015 until December and prices are not known until November, if you would like to book for next year please contact Sunvil and we will hold a room for you. A deposit of GBP150 per person is required at time of advance registering and we will also require a booking form to be completed, signed and returned.
Package prices can change from one year to the next for a number of reasons including but not limited to cost of aviation fuel, tax increases, currency changes and terms of contract. In light of this, we guarantee that should the 2015 holiday price increase by more than ten per cent on the 2014 brochure prices you will be entitled to cancel and receive a refund of all monies paid.
A letter of acknowledegment will be sent to you.
The Sunvil team were pleased to attend the Church Street Party community event on Saturday 7th June. The event was held near to our head office in Old Isleworth, and our raffle prize of two return flights to Corfu helped raise over £900 for local charities. The day was a great success, with over 1,800 local people attending.
This week Germania Airlines has released outstanding on-time performance statistics for August 2013 flights operated on behalf of Sunvil Holidays
We have been advised that there will be a General Strike in Greece on these two days. This will affect public transportation in Athens and major towns. Flights and ferries are planned to operate as normal - however there may be some delays. Please take advice from our staff on the ground in Greece. Please note archaeological sites and museums will not be open.
Sunvil is very proud to announce that Noel Josephides, one of the company’s original founding directors, has just been elected Chairman of ABTA, The Travel Association.
We are pleased to say, our new carrier out of Gatwick is proving to be an unqualified success with passengers, both in terms of punctuality and excellent service.
In July Sunvil Holidays will be supporting the third annual Make Holidays Greener Month; a campaign which raises awareness of the things that we can do, as visitors, to ensure that our holidays benefit the people who live in our destinations.
The Sunvil Group is delighted to announce the appointment of Chris Wright, previously Operations Director, to the position of Managing Director, with immediate effect.
Over the past few days, Cyprus has featured heavily in news bulletins following a decision by the Cypriot Government to implement measures to protect its banking sector. We are in regular contact with our local office in Cyprus and can confirm that holidays are not being affected and all hotels, shops and tavernas are operating is usual. The foreign office advise that banks are due to remain closed until Thursday 21 March* and, as such, suggest those travelling to Cyprus take different forms of payment (such as pounds, euros, credit/debit cards) to ensure access to adequate funds. Credit cards are widely accepted throughout Cyprus and so most items can be purchased using cards. We are in contact with customers due to travel in the next few days and will advise accordingly should the situation change.
*Updated 20/03/2013 at 13:42
We have been advised that banks are due to remain closed until Tuesday 26 March
Sunvil and GIC The Villa Collection customers flying from Gatwick on the routes detailed below will benefit in 2013 from flights on Germania, the (new to the UK) full-service airline chartered for our wide range of Greek island and mainland holiday destinations in 2013.
Featuring full catering (with hot meal service) plus a 20 kg baggage allowance and pre-allocated seating, Sunvil MD Noel Josephides says: “Sunvil Group clients will enjoy all the old-fashioned frills - much-missed by customers in this no-frills age of mediocrity - on a modern 737-700 aircraft. Everything is included in the price – there are no unwelcome extras to pay. Germania offers top-quality service and an impressive on-time performance record. We’re delighted to be able to offer this new high-quality service for summer 2013.”
Routes operated by Germania on behalf of Sunvil / GIC start from 19 May and are from Gatwick to:
Corfu (Monday) - Chania, Crete (Tuesday) - Samos (Thursday) - Lemnos (Thursday) - Skiathos (Friday) - Volos (Friday) - Kefalonia (Saturday) - Prevesa (Sunday) - Kalamata (Sunday)
- PLUS MORE ACCOMMODATION ON KEFALONIA
Sunvil Holidays has contracted the majority of Greek Options’ former Stoupa programme (in the Mani region of the southern Peloponnese) and a selection of well-located properties in Fiscardo and Assos on Kefalonia
Following the recent retirement of the owners of Greek Options, we sent our contracting team into both Stoupa and Kefalonia in late October and are pleased to say that we secured a wide range of new properties for our 2013 Real Greece programme for 2013.
Says Noel Josephides, MD of Sunvil: “We haven’t simply taken over Greek Options’ programme in its entirety; we’ve been very selective. Sunvil had long wanted a programme in Stoupa, which is a very attractive resort with two sandy beaches and a beautiful mountain backdrop in the southern Peloponnese, so this was an opportunity we couldn’t miss and we had to act quickly. We’ve taken on a range of villas with pool and apartments in Stoupa.
“We’ve also acquired some very well-located accommodation in fashionable Fiscardo and the attractive resort of Assos on Kefalonia which is well-suited to our programme.
“It made a lot of sense – Greek Options shared our flights into Kalamata (Peloponnese) and Kefalonia. Taking on these properties has enabled us to reduce our transfer prices to both locations because of our increased capacity. This will help considerably in a marketplace where good quality linked with good value for money is rare and thus a much-sought-after commodity.
“This step further cements Sunvil’s position as a pre-eminent provider of good-quality accommodation and as the major specialist player in the Greek market from the UK.”
Lead-in prices in Stoupa with Sunvil Holidays start at £558 pp* (two sharing), including Sunday flights, transfers and accommodation.
Recent legislation has confirmed that the above regulation, EU261/2004 may be applied retrospectively and the obligation to pay any relevant compensation applies to the operating air carrier, i.e. the airline concerned. It does not apply to the tour operator.
Therefore, any claim for compensation should be made direct to the airline with which you travelled.
Please note, however, that there is no automatic right to compensation under the Denied Boarding Regulation and, as such, there is no guarantee that the airline will pay you any compensation. The airline’s liability to you under the Denied Boarding Regulation is dependant on a number of factors, which will be considered by the airline when making any decision about compensation. If you are not happy with any decision made by the airline in this regard, you will need to raise this with the airline direct.
We trust that the above explanation clarifies the situation. Further information on this matter may be found at www.caa.co.uk/passengerrights.