An open letter from CEO Giles Hawke: Returning to travel

Returning to travel, an open letter from CEO Giles Hawke

17 May 2021

The last 14 months have proved challenging and uncertain for everybody.  Here at Cosmos and Avalon Waterways we have been working very hard and keeping a close eye on the ever-changing situation, so that we are ready to provide you with your holiday as soon as it is possible to do so. It feels like the time is nearing for when we will be able to resume our holiday operations and start to take people away. The global and local situation around travel remains changeable and we are doing our very best to keep on top of the constant changes with the intention of making your amazing holiday experience happen, wherever it is possible to do so.

We are constantly studying a range of criteria to help us make decisions around which tours and cruises are viable and which may have to be delayed until a later date. Throughout the coming months, as UK and international travelling resumes, we will be aiming to balance your desire to getaway with our operational ability to deliver a holiday as close as possible to what you have booked. We will be making decisions on travelling at a much later point than would be ideal, but we are remaining flexible and aiming to make your holiday happen if at all possible. During this time we would kindly request that you remain flexible and understanding of the fact that decision making and information will be much closer to your departure date than would normally be the case, essentially so that we have every opportunity to deliver your holiday after such a long period of not being able to go anywhere.


Our intention is to use UK government advice regarding green and amber destinations to inform our decision making, recognising that this advice is scheduled to change every three weeks. Our intention will be to operate our tours and cruises, where operationally viable, to destinations on the Green and Amber lists which are accepting international visitors. You can see these lists via this link Red, amber and green list rules for entering England - GOV.UK (


During the summer we expect that some form of vaccine passport will be made available and will update our travel information and approach as soon as details are available. For now we require guests to be fully vaccinated, or test negative, before travelling. Here is a list of government approved test providers. Our goal remains to provide you with your holiday wherever possible and, where not possible, to provide you with alternative travel dates or options, or to offer a Letter of Credit so you can book something at a later date if so desired.


We have a dedicated team of experts, both here in the UK and in our offices globally, focused on ensuring we do the right thing for you and your travel plans and you can be certain that our decisions taken over the coming changeable months, will be made with your safety and enjoyment of your holiday at the heart of everything we do.


We look forward to welcoming you on your next adventure with us and thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we try to manage your holiday in the best possible manner.


Giles Hawke, CEO of Cosmos & Avalon Waterways UK