World Heritage Site

for World Heritage Travellers



Forum: Start | Profile | Search |         Website: Start | The List | Community |
About this website www.worldheritagesite.org Forum / About this website /  
 

WHS Meetup 2019

 
 
Page  Page 7 of 8:  « Previous  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  Next »

Author Colvin
Partaker
#91 | Posted: 18 Jul 2019 21:16 
Solivagant:
UK is "big" on its shipping forecasts

Those were some fascinating links! It sounds like Britons are as fond of this report as residents of Oahu are of the daily surf reports, which are broadcast on radio and TV (Makapu'u: one to two-oo). Glad to see the weather is looking positive for the Hebrides next week.

Author Martina_R
Partaker
#92 | Posted: 19 Jul 2019 07:49 
nfmungard
For us, if the boat trip will take place on 26th, we will be driving off Skye immediately afterwards as we have to cover some distance before the night. If we want to organize any kind of dinner on 25th, I would like to remind all of you it's prime season on Skye and most restaurants will be packed if there is no booking. It even might be too late to book for such a large group of people, but miracles might happen. Just warning.

Author Colvin
Partaker
#93 | Posted: 19 Jul 2019 22:10 
Just to add some excitement for the trip, Inverness Airport is apparently closed due to a strike on Sunday.

Author elsslots
Admin
#94 | Posted: 22 Jul 2019 06:14 
To give an update to all participants (I already did so in the whatsapp group):
Sailing has not been confirmed yet, could still be Thursday or Friday or not at all.
Weather changes daily. Will keep you updated.

Author elsslots
Admin
#95 | Posted: 22 Jul 2019 22:29 
I know that you all are eagerly awaiting the confirmation for the St. Kilda trip. However, the boat company just let me know that the weather outlook for both Thursday and Friday is not good at the moment. They will keep observing it to see if it changes for the better.

Please watch the whatsapp group & this forum post for the latest developments
(and maybe we can start working on a Plan B...)

Author wojtek
Partaker
#96 | Posted: 23 Jul 2019 03:19 
Tomorrow's sailing is confirmed so let's hope we'll make it.

Author Colvin
Partaker
#97 | Posted: 23 Jul 2019 08:57 
I hope so, too. It looks like we'll find out directly from Els about the trip, since according to the website, the next update will be posted on 26 July.

Author elsslots
Admin
#98 | Posted: 23 Jul 2019 21:12 
It looks like "it is not going to happen" (see your e-mail inbox).
The boat company does offer a shorter tour to Harris Distillery & The Shiant Isles Puffins.
See https://www.gotostkilda.co.uk/tours/harris-distillery-shiants-puffin-tour/ for more details

Could you let me know asap if you would be interested in that? Sounds quite interesting in my opinion.
Please reply with a Yes or No, and add a Thursday and/or Friday preference (although they seem to be pushing for Thursday, maybe weather wise).

Author elsslots
Admin
#99 | Posted: 24 Jul 2019 05:16 
The journey to St Kilda has been cancelled definitively now, both Thursday and Friday - "the wind is in the worst possible direction"

Those who are in for an alternative, please react quickly to my e-mail or in the whatsapp channel

Author nfmungard
Partaker
#100 | Posted: 28 Jul 2019 13:54 | Edited by: nfmungard 
While we did not make it St Kilda, I really enjoyed the meeting nonetheless. Thanks to Els for organising, the many drivers who gave me a ride, Natasa for the reservations, and last but not least Allen for being our resident Scottish. It was also nice to see new faces and looking forward to seeing everyone next year or somewhere around the world.

Author Colvin
Partaker
#101 | Posted: 28 Jul 2019 16:10 
Just made it back home. Thanks so much to Els for organizing this trip; I had a great time even though St. Kilda didn't work out. I also enjoyed getting to meet everyone who made it out to Scotland, and I echo Nan's thanks to Allen and Lucia for serving as our volunteer Scottish guides! This trip was a lot of fun, and I look forward to seeing what the decision turns out to be for where to meet next year.

Author nfmungard
Partaker
#102 | Posted: 31 Jul 2019 15:33 
Hi All,
I have written my tripadvisor review (see below). I will publish it tomorrow. If you have any comments or corrections, let me know.

-------------------------
It's a bit surprising and counterintuitive that there is literally only one disgruntled customer review for a boat ride that regularly gets canceled due
to adverse weather conditions. Maybe I misunderstand the internet and the way humans communicate in general. But normally people are more inclined to write reviews for a negative experience than a positive one.

The second thing I noticed when scanning the previous reviews is that they rate the experience of visiting St Kilda (probably great when you get there) instead of the quality of the service provided by Go To St Kilda. That's not the same thing.

Go to St Kilda's main selling point is that they go from Skye. Skye is the most popular (touristy) islands of the Hebrides. It is connected to the mainland via a bridge, so you are not dependent on a ferry. You would be if you were to travel from Harris. However, this easiness comes at a cost.

The distance from Skye to St Kilda is way longer than from Harris. As a consequence, the boat trip from Harris is roughly one hour shorter each way. You leave later and return earlier. Also, you get to spend more time on the island itself. Apart from that, you may want to review if you really want to spend 7-8h (vs 5,5-6h) on the sea in a single day.

I am also not fully convinced that you save that much time going to Skye instead of Harris. Harris has relatively cheap flights from Edinburgh. And seeing the ferry from Skye leaves on the western side of the island in Stein at 7 a.m. and returns at 8 p.m., you are bound to stay for at least two nights anyhow.

In our case, we were a group of 24 world heritage travelers. That's what we do and that's why we congregated at Skye at the end of June. We had booked two days with Go to St Kilda (Thursday, Friday) to have a fallback day. The trip then got canceled on Tuesday evening anyhow for both days due to weather. That's bad luck you could say.
Looking at the weather forecasts I could find, it was clear Friday was a no go. Thursday, meanwhile, showed problems starting in the late afternoon and not the full day. What we experienced on the west coast of Skye was that the winds were strong on Friday, but seemed okay on Thursday. I understand that coastal weather and high sea weather may differ. Still, it is a bit frustrating to have a really nice day and being told we couldn't go.

This wasn't the end of the story, though. On Thursday, we had made dinner reservations in Stein. At the pub next to the Jetty locals told us that there were issues with the boats. We also got the same information from other sources.

Personally, I am not sold on the weather having been too bad on Thursday. I think the weather was too bad for the type of boats Go to St Kilda operates. And it was too bad for the longer distance these boats have to travel in comparison to trips from Harris.

But that's still not the end of the story. Go to St Kilda offered with the cancelation on Tuesday an alternative trip to Harris and some puffins on Thursday. We were all traveling and the details were really fuzzy. They said we could visit a Gin Distillery, but then said it was not available. And they did not forward a concrete itinerary. They also didn't offer some form of discount due to this really not being what we had come for to Skye but were going to charge full price for a way lesser experience. When we were finally all meeting in Skye Wednesday evening, we decided not to go.
Now, something I can measure them on is their payment terms. They took all the money upfront and returned it with a 2.5% admin charge. The 2.5% seems like a stupid amount to charge as it's really little money and it's charging people for a service they did not receive. We also lost additional money on our prepayment as we all had to change other currencies into GBPs.
To top this one of, they charged us for the alternative trip cancelation. A trip that we got offered really short term, that wasn't fully specified and where supposed key parts were taken out at a short notice. I find that really inappropriate.
In summary, I do not recommend using their services, at least not if you really want to get to St Kilda. If you are serious, you should go for a provider from Harris.

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#103 | Posted: 31 Jul 2019 17:44 | Edited by: Solivagant 
nfmungard:
Now, something I can measure them on is their payment terms. They took all the money upfront and returned it with a 2.5% admin charge. The 2.5% seems like a stupid amount to charge as it's really little money and it's charging people for a service they did not receive.

Sorry it didn't work out and I can fully understand your unhappiness and the desire to tell others. So - are the comments "fair"?

I can't comment on whether the length of the trip and the type of boat they operate makes cancellations more likely than on a trip ex Harris - it certainly seems probable and a reasonable comment to make in a review. Though I am not sure that the first 2 paras actually add anything - just make it clear that you are rating the company NOT St Kilda! .

The Skye Company terms and conditions for payment and cancellation are certainly less "good" for intending passengers than those operated by the company operating out of Harris. The Ts + Cs you all "signed up" for clearly give them the right to charge the 2.5% if you decide not to accept an "offered" alternative date for the trip. ("In the event of the weather being unsuitable in the interests of comfort and safety, or the minimum number of bookings not being reached, the trip will be cancelled. In such events, passengers will be informed with as much notice as possible and where possible will be offered an alternative date. If not suitable for the passenger, there will be a refund of the price paid, subject to deduction of a 2.5% admin charge."). This condition is of course one which virtually always enables them to charge the 2.5% - since, if they offer a date a month away, then almost no one is going to be able to take it!!

The Harris company only pre-charges a deposit of £75 out of £205 (with the rest being paid on the day) - clearly a "better" option for customers and the Harris company will fully refund if the trip can't run ("In the event of a trip being cancelled due to weather conditions or other factors beyond our reasonable control, deposits are refunded in full within 10 business days."). It is perfectly fair to point out the poorer Ts + Cs and payment methods of the Skye company v the Harris company - especially given the experience you have had regarding the high frequency of cancellations across the period before and during your booking. Everyone booking should be prepared to lose their 2.5%!!!

I can't comment on how the group got itself in a position whereby the decision NOT to go on the reserve trip could be considered a "Cancellation" nor how such a trip could be charged the same as a full trip to St Kilda. Was a "contract" entered into? Possibly not - but, of course it isn't easy to argue this in law with them!!! It seems reasonable to express your dissatisfaction at the situation and to "warn" others of the situation they might get themselves into!!

Author elsslots
Admin
#104 | Posted: 1 Aug 2019 01:27 
Solivagant:
how such a trip could be charged the same as a full trip to St Kilda

It wasn't. I was 125 GBP pp. Which seems quite standard for a full day - later on I booked a 3hr trip with another company which costed 55 GBP.

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#105 | Posted: 1 Aug 2019 01:47 
elsslots:
Solivagant:
how such a trip could be charged the same as a full trip to St Kilda

It wasn't. I was 125 GBP pp. Which seems quite standard for a full day - later on I booked a 3hr trip with another company which costed 55 GBP.

Agreed - but Nan states "They also didn't offer some form of discount due to this really not being what we had come for to Skye but were going to charge full price for a way lesser experience" which, to me reading it without any background knowledge, meant that they were charging the same "full price" as had been paid - presumably he was looking for an ADDITIONAL discount on the reduced price for the shorter trip?? Would have been "nice" but less of a strong point!

Page  Page 7 of 8:  « Previous  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  Next » 
About this website www.worldheritagesite.org Forum / About this website /
 WHS Meetup 2019

Your Reply Click this icon to move up to the quoted message


 ?
Only registered users are allowed to post here. Please, enter your username/password details upon posting a message, or register first.

 
 
 
www.worldheritagesite.org Forum Powered by Chat Forum Software miniBB ®
 ⇑