UPDATE: Wow! They’ve disappeared… TripAdvisor protected this company despite my sustained whistle blowing that they were not fit for purpose, as did Cardiff Tourism. People have lost their money and have had to cancel events and for most that could have been avoided. Shame on all those that protected them and shame on the owners of Cardiff Sea Safaris…

This company let us down badly and then we assume complained to Trip Advisor when we gave them a one star review and because we are a business Trip Advisor took the review down for fear that Wales Outdoors, a walking business, is a competitor of Cardiff Sea Safaris, a boat hire company. So, we thought we’d blog the details instead.

We first planned this trip in February and booked in the accommodation with the Flatholm Project and boats with Cardiff Sea Safaris. Then towards the end of August we touched base with Cardiff Sea Safaris and they said they couldn’t fulfill their commitment to getting us back off the island. Totally unacceptable and nearly caused the trip to be cancelled. We did manage to book with the one other provider of this boat service and so the event was good to go. No thanks to Cardiff Sea Safaris though who made no effort to sort the problem and had we been unable to find another provider would now be fighting an unwinable for them court case for our loss of income.   

Here is the communication timeline with them: 

20th February 2019 – WO – Telephone booking of one to two boats for the Flatholm trip – 13th-15th September 2019

21st February – WO – Email booking 

3rd May 2019 – WO – Requesting payment details 

8th May 2019 – SEASAFARIS – Confirmation and request invoicing details

29th May 2019 – WO- Invoice details sent

22nd August 2019 – WO – Getting in touch with Sea Safaris to see what the position is with taking 12 people per boat

24th August 2019 – WO – Chasing Sea Safaris

25th August 2019 – SEASAFARIS – Email stating they cannot do a Sunday evening pick up as they have sold those spots to another client

26th August 2019 – WO – Email complaining and asking for our 7pm pick to be honoured

26th August 2019 – SEASAFARIS – Email trying to apportion blame for their admin failures and poor customer care to Wales Outdoors!

26th August 2019 – WO – Email once again asking for the original booking to be honoured and detailing this timeline

We received nothing back until we sent a short message asking for a response. The response came on August 31st with no apology and maintaining that because they didn’t receive an email with our address on it this situation was not their fault. Our address WAS sent by email and our address IS ALSO on the bottom of every email I send… 

Any well managed business would have realised they had messed up and would have done everything in their power to sort the problem. Sea Safaris made no effort to sort this problem and have tried to apportion blame for the non booking on to Wales Outdoors by claiming non receipt of an email detailing our invoice address. We have proof of posting of this but that is irrelevant given the amount of contacts we made confirming the booking.

So, we’d advise that you avoid Cardiff Sea Safaris for their blatant disregard for the norms of tourism behaviours and appalling levels of customer care. 

Author

Walk leader @ Wales Outdoors, life model @ Cardiff Life Models and poet @ Self Published

4 comments

  1. You might want to check out a new company that’s been set up to start trips in 2020 called Cardiff Jet. The same boat from Cardiff Sea Safaris is pictured on their website. I don’t know anything about them but if they are the same people, you could see if you can get your money back that way?

    1. Wow, I can see that, thanks for the heads up. Also, despite assurances from TripAdvisor, Cardiff Sea Safaris are once again live on that platform… It would appear that something is wrong here… I am investigating 🙂

  2. Cardiff sea safaris now seen as Cardiff Jet had there boats confiscated for non payment of fees in the marina. 1 of which was purchased by competing company Bay Island Voyages.
    IF they are the same company then that beggars belief.

    However you have choices.
    Bay Island Voyages run the blue ribs in Cardiff. The vessels are well maintained. With brand new engines in 2019. Offering the same experiences (once lockdown over).

    1. That’s seriously interesting information, thank you. I have a boat in Penarth Marina and asked about Sea Safaris recently and they said that they hadn’t seen the owners of Sea Safaris for a while. The Harbour Master knows nothing of Sea Safaris going under and to be honest have been particularly difficult to deal with on this matter. I know Bay Island and they are a good company. I think that some people know the truth in this matter but are simply not making that truth known. I will need to wait and see what happens when lockdown is lifted and who applies for licences to operate… until now I am convinced that Sea Safaris are trying to resurrect themselves but am happy to be told otherwise…

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