Imagine News

Important Update about COVID-19

We understand these are difficult times for everyone around the world. The coronavirus pandemic has caused unprecedented changes for all of us. The safety of our passengers has always been our top priority; all decisions we make center around the wellbeing of our travelers. We have always made decisions based on the US State Department travel advisories, and that is still the case today.

Oberammergau 2020 Passion Play

The much-anticipated event of the decade – the 42nd Passion Play in Oberammergau, Germany – was expecting almost half a million visitors in their tiny Bavarian village this year. It was announced last week by the Oberammergau Committee that they are officially postponing the 2020 Passion Play until 2022. The following is their official statement:

The 42nd Oberammergau Passion Play will be postponed due to the current situation caused by the corona pandemic. The basis for this is a decision of the district administration of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, which prohibits the performance of the event planned from 16.05.2020 to 04.10.2020. The health of our guests and participants is our highest priority, therefore the responsible persons have decided to postpone the premiere of the Passion Play, which was planned for 16 May 2020 […] is now scheduled for 21 May 2022.

The health of the population is a top priority for the community of Oberammergau and the directing team around Christian Stückl as well. The Corona pandemic has made it impossible to complete this year’s play without endangering the performers and guests. Furthermore, the perspective for this year is unclear. A postponement of only a few months seemed unacceptable to everyone involved.

Because of this, we are rescheduling and transferring Oberammergau Passion Play tours to 2022. We are working diligently on your behalf with our office partners in Germany and throughout Europe to be able to provide you with specific updates on rescheduling trips as well as refunds, cancellation policies, etc. Because this global pandemic is unlike anything any of us have experienced in our lifetime, we are having to address refunds and cancellation policies differently than we would for our normal tours that we operate on a regular basis. Definite information regarding refunds is still being determined as there are various vendors involved and vast logistics with multiple hotels, bus companies, etc. Please contact us if you have any questions about your specific tour!

We, like you, are disappointed that the Passion Play has been postponed, as we have been preparing for the Oberammergau Passion Play for more than 2 years, so this is a difficult time for all of us, your tour leader/pastor included.

Through all of this, though, you have options. Please consider the following:

  • If you choose to transfer to any of our Passion Play tours rescheduled to 2022, we will transfer 100% of the monies you’ve paid Imagine towards your new 2022 trip.
  • We are guaranteeing the LAND ONLY pricing as listed on the back of your brochure that you agreed to when you registered for your 2020 trip, so the LAND ONLY pricing will remain the same for your trip! We cannot guarantee the airfare at this time as the airline reservation systems do not have flights available yet for 2022. Once flights come into range, we will be able to advise pricing from your requested departure city. We don’t know yet if the airfare will end up decreasing or increasing between now and 2022, but we will guarantee the LAND ONLY pricing will be the same as your previously scheduled 2020 trip.  Please contact us or refer to your original tour brochure for details.
  • If you do not wish to transfer to a Passion Play, Oberammergau 2022 trip, we are happy to transfer you to any of our other tours scheduled from September 2020 through December 31, 2021 and we will apply 100% of the monies you’ve paid to Imagine toward the tour of your choice, (pending availability of the dates you’ve chosen). If the trip you choose is less money, we will refund you the difference. If the trip is more expensive than the monies you’ve already paid imagine, you would be responsible for paying the difference. Please click here to browse all our available tours or use the Search option at the top of the page to narrow your results. Once you have found one or more that interest you, please contact our office with the dates and destination and we will be happy to provide you with the details.
  • If you do NOT wish to transfer to a 2022 Passion Play Oberammergau Program or transfer to another imagine trip prior to December 31, 2021, then you will be charged a cancellation fee. The cancellation fees vary from tour to tour and are dependent on the refund amount, if any, received from the hotels, bus companies, airlines, etc. Please contact us for information regarding your specific tour.
  • Oberammergau programs that were scheduled to travel in September 2020 and beyond can still continue with their plans if the tour leader/pastor and group wish to continue, we would just eliminate the Passion Play performance and credit your account for the cost of your Passion Play ticket. We could still include a visit to the Passion Play Museum and theatre for a backstage tour. We would also be able to add a few additional locations to the program to see castles or other sights in the area. There are plenty of great nearby options!
  • Other tours that were scheduled to travel for September 2020 and beyond to Israel, Greece or Italy for example, can still continue with their plans as scheduled if your tour leader/pastor and group wish to continue. We can amend the program as needed to meet the group’s needs and offer reductions to the total tour costs, based on the final program decided upon. We can offer additional time in each respective country or shorten the program as desired.
  • If your pastor/tour leader wishes to offer an entirely different program in 2020 or 2021, we will be happy to transfer 100% of your monies paid to imagine to be applied to the new program, provided the trip is a minimum of 5 nights or more.
  • Regardless of the tour program, if you choose to transfer to a new tour with imagine Tours & Travel and you have purchased travel insurance, it’s important to contact your travel insurance provider as soon as possible to discuss transferring your insurance coverage to your new itinerary and dates. This needs to be done PRIOR TO your originally scheduled travel date, otherwise some insurance companies will not permit the transfer and your coverage may lapse. For example: if you were scheduled to begin your tour on June 1, 2020, you MUST contact your travel insurance company prior to June 1 to discuss transferring your coverage to a later tour date.

Most of all, in spite of all the uncertainty in the world today, we know God is — and always has been — on the throne. He works everything for His glory and the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Nothing surprises him and in all situations we give Him thanks.

We know you may have additional questions. I welcome your calls and emails and we will do our best to reply to you in a timely manner.

Rick Ricart