Frequently Asked Questions
- Who are the Spiritual Chaplains and Group Co-ordinators?
- What is a share twin room and how do you choose my room partner?
- How fit and able must I be?
- Are Harvest Pilgrimages fully escorted?
- What additional expenses need I factor in?
- Can I extend my stay after the pilgrimage?
- Can I link several Pilgrimages together back to back?
- Will I need to apply for Visas?
- What is the average size of a group?
- Will Harvest assist me with any additional travel arrangements?
- What about the Tour Escorts and local guides?
- Do you need to be Catholic or religious to participate?
- Are monies paid to Harvest covered under a customer protection fund?
- When will I receive my travel documents?
Being a Catholic tour operator, Harvest is dedicated to a careful discernment process in choosing the most appropriate priest chaplains to pastorally care for and spiritually direct our pilgrimages.
Group Co-ordinators perform a complimentary role on a more practical level to assure the comfort and smooth logistical operation of each day's programme.
While a “double” room constitutes a double or queen bed in the room, a “twin” provides two single beds in the one room. Passengers travelling by themselves who elect a “twin-share” room basis assign Harvest the task of pairing two pilgrims of the same gender together throughout the pilgrimage. This will always be done with age compatibility in mind although this can never be guaranteed.
While the physical demands of each pilgrimage may vary, each participant is expected to be relatively mobile, in good health and capable of caring for themselves on tour. Although some exceptions may apply, pilgrims over the age of 80 or with certain disabilities or mobility restrictions may be assessed, and if deemed necessary, must travel with the assistance of a dedicated care person. Please consult your local Harvest office as to any concerns you may have in this regard.
All pilgrimages are fully escorted by a Priest Chaplain and Tour Co-ordinator travelling from Australia or New Zealand, although not necessarily on the same flights, due to varying Australian departure cities or choice of preferred airline. In the case of smaller group sizes, your local tour escort may assume the role of tour co-ordinator from your first point of arrival.
All programmes cover all items listed in the General Price Inclusions. Additional expenses may include lunches daily, any supplementary drinks at meal times, telephone calls, shopping, laundry and items of a personal nature. As previously indicated, airport taxes and airline fees and levies are included but can be subject to ongoing fluctuations.
Extensions are possible after your pilgrimage is complete. Ask your Harvest consultant to advise you on any additional flight, touring and accommodation considerations.
Many programmes have been creatively scheduled to allow various combinations of pilgrimages back to back. Additional flight coupons may be necessary to link multiple departures depending on your preferred combination. Contact Harvest to assist you with planning and to calculate your overall tour cost.
Your Harvest consultant will advise you whether any visas are required for your travel itinerary and if so, assist you in the processes of obtaining these. Application forms along with visa fee information will be provided in your letter of confirmation after Harvest receives your initial payment of deposit. Passengers not travelling on an Australian or New Zealand passport should take particular note of their specific visa requirements and restrictions. Non Australian passport holders may need to apply in person.
Most groups depart with the average size of 20-25 persons, although this can range from very small groups of around a dozen to larger capacities of up to 45.
Harvest consultants are well equipped to assist you in the arranging of additional tours, flights, rail passes, car rentals and accommodation requirements for any personal travel extensions.
Tour Escorts normally join a pilgrimage at the first point of arrival, providing commentary information and their local assistance throughout the days on tour. Furthermore, local guides are employed at chosen shrines and sites for their focused expertise and more detailed explanations.
While our programmes are geared primarily to the needs of the Catholic faithful, all are welcome to participate and to encounter the unique community experience found on pilgrimage. There is no obligation to attend daily Mass.
Harvest has been in operation for over twenty years. We are a fully licensed travel agency. All monies paid to Harvest are ultimately protected under the Travel Compensation Fund with whom we are a member.
Tour documentation is dispatched approximately 2 weeks prior to departure. Passengers should make an appointment to collect it from their Harvest booking office while country pilgrims will receive it by a postal delivery or courier service.