Update regarding Rail Journeys and COVID-19

UPDATE REGARDING RAIL JOURNEYS AND COVID-19

Please note, the below details are current and we will update this page with more information as it becomes available.

All rail journeys

Our guests are at the heart of everything we do, and our team is continuing to monitor COVID-19 developments and advice to ensure you receive the highest standard of service and care during this time.

We can’t wait to welcome guests onboard The Ghan from 30 August 2020. We understand that you may have questions about how your journey may be impacted and what we’re doing to keep you safe. Please see more information regarding this and information about our rail journeys below.

The Indian Pacific is currently suspended due to Government enforced border restrictions, we will continue to monitor border restrictions in Western Australia and New South Wales. We hope that the Indian Pacific will be able to resume its transcontinental journey soon.

Great Southern is scheduled to commence its second season between Adelaide and Brisbane in December this year. We understand guests may be concerned about the Great Southern’s route through Victoria and New South Wales.  If Victoria and New South Wales, or parts of these states, continue to pose a danger to our guests, we will adapt either our route or our experiences to protect you.

Our team are currently working on alternative routes and experiences that will deliver an exceptional rail journey to the same high standard you’d expect from all our rail journeys.

To join us on Australia’s newest premium rail adventure between Adelaide and Brisbane, visit https://journeybeyondrail.com.au/journeys/great-southern/

­Guests with suspended journeys will be provided with credit to the value of their original booking and directions on how to re-book for a later date, up to 31 December 2022.

Our Travel Centre opening hours are Monday to Friday 8:30am to 6:00pm ACST.

1800 703 357 (In Australia)

+61 8 8213 4401 (Outside Australia)

Question: How are you keeping guests safe onboard?

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Our JourneySafe plan is based on expert advice and implements enhanced cleaning and hygiene procedures while initiating new measures like physical distancing.

To accommodate physical distancing on the train, guests will be allocated specific meal times, as well as scheduled times to spend in communal spaces such as the Outback Explorer Lounge area.

Each cabin will have its own supply of hand sanitiser and wipes. There will be communal hand sanitiser in lounge areas and provided before getting on and off the train.

We’re no longer offering shared platters and all Gold Single cabins have been removed from service to ensure all guests will have their own en-suite.

We are collecting all guests’ names and contact details to enable us to effectively contact trace if required.

Temperature checking will also be conducted in Darwin and Adelaide.

We request guests do not move throughout all parts of the train and stick to their specific accommodation and dining carriages.

Question: How will physical distancing be managed onboard?

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Guests will be allocated set times for meals and to spend in communal areas including the Outback Explorer Lounge and Platinum Club. When moving throughout the train, guests will be asked not to congregate in corridors, instead move into their cabin or the open end of the carriage to allow for safe passing.

Question: What are the Northern Territory’s border requirements?

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As of 06 August 2020, all arrivals into the Northern Territory need to complete a border declaration transaction form and have a printed copy with them ready to be signed by border officials. This needs to be completed 72 hours prior to travel and needs to be presented upon check-in. If a guest is from an area that has since been declared a ‘hotspot,’ they will need to self-isolate upon arrival into the Northern Territory.

Please visit the relevant Northern Territory Government page for more information on entry requirements.

Question: What are South Australia’s border requirements?

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As of 06 August 2020, anyone travelling from the Northern Territory, Tasmania, Queensland and Western Australia can enter South Australia without restriction.

Guests travelling from Victoria or New South Wales to South Australia are required to self-quarantine for 14 days and submit to COVID testing. For more information, visit the relevant South Australian Government page.

People arriving into South Australia will be required to fill out a border declaration transaction form 72 hours before arrival. If a guest is from an area that has since been declared a ‘hotspot,’ they will need to self-isolate upon arrival into South Australia.

Question: What will the check in process be?

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All guests checking in at Darwin, Alice Springs or Adelaide will be asked the following questions to ensure we are compliant from a COVIDsafe perspective.

  • Have you been in contact with someone who has tested positive to COVID-19 or has been symptomatic in the last 14 days?
  • Are you symptomatic – do you have a fever, cough, shortness of breath or a sore throat?
  • Have you travelled from interstate?

There will also be temperature checking in Adelaide and Darwin. If you have a condition that results in a higher than usual temperature, please provide a letter of explanation from your doctor.

Question: What are the COVID-19 hotspots?

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As of 06 August 2020, the whole of Victoria has been declared a hotspot, as well as several parts of New South Wales. Only selected areas in Queensland have been declared hotspots. Please visit this map to identify if you have been in a hotspot.

Question: Who will be on the train with me?

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Guests may come from around Australia, however all guests travelling on The Ghan will have first needed to meet the South Australian and Northern Territory border requirements as noted above.

Question: What if I begin to feel sick?

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If you begin to feel sick during your journey, our crew will do everything they can to look after you and other guests. You will be asked to quarantine if your cabin, where meals will be delivered and you will be frequently checked on by our staff.

Question: Will my experience be the same as it would have been before the pandemic?

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The pandemic has meant we’ve had to make some adaptations to further protect people’s safety and wellbeing, however we’re confident your experience will be just as memorable.

Our exceptional food, wine and beverages remain the same and you’ll be blown away by the freshly prepared meals our chefs create onboard.

We’re still offering the same included Off Train Excursions and have worked with our third-party providers to ensure they’re practising COVID-safe behaviour.

Question: What services are currently suspended?

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Following further advice received, together with the continuation of travel restrictions initiated by various governments, we have no choice but to extend our rail suspensions for our rail services. As a result, the suspensions of services will now be in place for the Indian Pacific until 30 September 2020, dependant on the reopening of the various state and territory borders for non-essential leisure travel. All guests with travel booked through to 30 September 2020 on the Indian Pacific will be provided with a credit to the value of their original booking and our team can assist them to re-book their travel for a later date, up to 31 December 2022 or alternatively, guests can re-book themselves via our Online Booking Engine. The Ghan will resume operations on 30 August 2020 and Great Southern journeys will go ahead in December 2020 and January 2021.

Question: I had a booking aboard The Overland. Will this train be running so that I can reschedule?

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Journey Beyond Rail Expeditions is thrilled that The Overland will once again be operating from 02 November 2020, pending border restrictions. Guests with Overland bookings for services that have been suspended (up to 14 September) will have received an email with a credit for future travel.

Question: How can I rebook my future travel?

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All guests affected by temporary suspensions will be provided with a credit to the value of their original booking and our team can assist them to re-book their travel for a later date, up to 31 December 2022 or alternatively, guests may re-book online.  Guests affected by the suspensions will receive an email confirmation of their credit with further booking information.

Question: When I choose another departure will I be charged amendment fees?

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We are pleased to confirm there are no amendment fees for guests requesting date changes that were due to travel on dates affected by suspended services. Where bookings have been placed in credit, date changes can be made free of charge up to 45 days prior to departure. Please note, there may be fare differences for guests opting to change to a different travel season or product.

Question: Can I use my credit on a different journey or train?

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Yes, the credit can be used for any Journey Beyond Rail Expeditions journeys. Please note, there may be fare differences for travel seasons.

Question: If the journey I rebook is less than my available credit, can the unused portion be refunded to me?

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No, the credit will need to be allocated to a Journey Beyond Rail Expedition experience.

Question: Can I use my credit on third party products such as hotels, touring or accommodation?

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Yes, credit is available on all third-party products and upgrades. Please note, refunds will not be allocated for remaining credits.

Question: Which services are eligible for additional credit and why are they different for some travel dates?

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Different credit structures have been developed to allow for extenuating circumstances for some departures.

As you are aware, state borders were closed on 22 March 2020 which forced Journey Beyond to suspend all rail operations. Guests booked for travel on this same day were eligible to receive up to 150% credit on their original booking given the late nature of the suspension.

Journey Beyond’s initial period of suspended operations was from 22 March 2020 until 31 May 2020 and majority of these effected guests received up to 110% credit.

Guests with bookings from 01 June 2020 through to 30 September 2020 (the current suspension date) are entitled to 100% credit of the funds paid.

Question: If I have only paid a deposit, will I receive 110% of the money paid or 110% of my total booking value for credit?

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Guests will receive future travel credit of the money receipted which could apply to a deposit or total booking fare.

Question: Are suspended services eligible for refunds?

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These are unprecedented times and we are doing our best to ensure all our guests receive the level of service and care you’ve come to expect from our team.

Services have temporarily suspended, not cancelled, as a result of federal and state government restrictions. As such, Journey Beyond Rail Expeditions is ensuring all guests can rebook for future travel up to 31 December 2022.

If the service you were booked on has been suspended, we have placed your booking on hold and you will receive a separate email detailing your future travel credit.

Question: I have booked through a Travel Agent; how do I amend my booking?

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If you have booked through a Travel Agent, you will need to contact your Agent directly to amend your travel arrangements.

Question: Will I be able to rebook my car to travel with Motorail when services resume?

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Our Motorail services are currently under review and are not available at this time.

Question: When will the remainder of the season open?

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We have partially released the 2021 travel season early this year to facilitate bookings for guests affected by the suspensions. This limited release includes bookings for The Ghan and Indian Pacific from April to November 2021. We anticipate opening the full 2021 – 2022 season shortly and will update this page accordingly. All credits issued will be applicable for bookings up to 31 December 2022.

Question: Will Journey Beyond provide travel insurance letters

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Yes, guests affected by the suspended services can request a letter from Journey Beyond for travel insurance purposes. Please email [email protected].

As I’m sure you understand, we are receiving high contact volumes and as such, response times may be longer than usual.

Still have questions?

We’re always here to help.

Our Travel Centre opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm ACST.

1800 703 357 (In Australia)

+61 8 8213 4401 (Outside Australia)