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Package Ski Holidays - where have they gone?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi,

I've not been on a ski holiday for about 7 years! I am now ready to go again, but there only seem to be Crystal ski that are doing tour operator ski holidays? Whats happend to Thomas Cook and their ski holidays - website says just to phone up?

I seem to remember a lot more choice, I am travelling with a 4 year old and a 5 year old so would prefer to go with a tour operator that runs the flights, transfers and accommodation - old school!

I've not looked at Neilson as I always used to be shocked by the prices

Thanks
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@jimmytwoburgers, with that age children i would highly recommend Esprit.

But other Tour operators I would look at are Inghams (owned by same parent company as Esprit) and Ski Total (and same parent company).

Neillson and Mark Warner are probably worth looking at.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Many of the high street names have been "consolidated". First Choice and Thomas Cook are now Crystal, I think

Try Neilson - they were great when I organised a group trip. Also check inghams, Skiworld, Ski Total, Ski Olympic, Ski Miquel. Esprit Ski have very good reviews, and Ski Famille ran the chalet near us on our Neilson trip and I was really impressed with how the chalet staff looked after the children
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@jimmytwoburgers,
Welcome to the forum, and I think you are right Ski Tour Operations seem to be evaporating.

I think that Crystal are part of TUI so its really a German company and they are going to put there resources where they make the most money.

They could have reasoned that us Brits didn't want to go skiing any more after Brexit, so they did not reserve as much accommodation as in the past.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@jimmytwoburgers, I went on my first package ski holiday in January after organising independently for around the last 8 years! I went with Neilson and it was very, very well run and well priced. A pleasant surprise.
ski holidays     
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I would definitely recommend Esprit. Mine are 9 & 11 and about to go on their second Esprit holiday. Last year was absolutely brilliant and they couldn't have done more. They really take the hard work out of ski holidays with young children (pick them up for their lessons, organise lunch, separate tea all catered and supervised so you can relax and get ready for your dinner!). Ours are really at the top end of the age group it is suitable for now so may be the last year with Esprit but couldn't recommend them enough!!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
We have been with Crystal and Interski. Had a great time with both. We prefer a package if we fly in half term school holidays just for the convenience of everything being taken care of. We DIY at Easter as we drive our motorhome down to the Alps and have more time.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Wow - thanks for all the replies. Will have a look at Esprit and the others recommended
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x3 on esprit. we went earlier this year with them and again on Sunday with them also booked up for 3 trips next season. you shouldn't be disappointed with them
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
More to the point , where have all the resorts gone from the Crystal and Inghams websites. Places like Adelboden, Nauders, Silvretta Montafon, Montarosa . It seems like they only go to a handful of regions now eg. Jungfrau and Zermatt in Switzerland, Ski Amade, Zillertal valley,Ski Welt, Saalbach/Zell, Kitz area in Austria, Passo,Madonna, Milky Way,Dolomites in Italy. If you've done all that I suppose it's time to DIY??
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@jimmytwoburgers, another vote for Esprit, our daughter and family (5 and 3 year olds) went with Esprit to Obergurgl a couple of weeks ago and couldn’t speak too highly of the childcare, out and about and in the Chalet/hotel. And she can be picky!
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Hi, we have used https://www.igluski.com/ http://interactiveresorts.co.uk/ https://www.skibeat.co.uk/ in the past. Iglu managed to get us a very good price last year. I'm in talks with https://www.sno.co.uk/ for next years holiday.

My ski holiday is the one holiday I don't want to DIY - as heard some horror stories when flights were cancelled the other week, and people still liable for the hotel. With a package it's up to them to get you there or sort it out, and there's 15 of us to get sorted!
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
a lot of places seem to sell/resell the same packages. Ive looked at loads who all offer the same hotels/chalets.

Balkan Holiday is another package operator if you want cheap ski in Eastern Europe.
ski holidays     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@jimmytwoburgers, you could also try Skibeat which is a chalet company. Their packages include flights and transfers. We took our 6 year old to Les Arcs with them last year and they were great. Separate kids' tea, chalets was close to lifts so no lugging small skis around, excellent food and lovely chalet hosts.
snow conditions     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
RWDLYN wrote:
More to the point , where have all the resorts gone from the Crystal and Inghams websites. Places like Adelboden, Nauders, Silvretta Montafon, Montarosa . It seems like they only go to a handful of regions now eg. Jungfrau and Zermatt in Switzerland, Ski Amade, Zillertal valley,Ski Welt, Saalbach/Zell, Kitz area in Austria, Passo,Madonna, Milky Way,Dolomites in Italy. If you've done all that I suppose it's time to DIY??


A Nielsen Rep told us a couple of years ago that most TOS wanted to focus on resorts where they either had or could potentially purchased catered chalets. That’s where the profit resides. Margins too tight on booking a few rooms in hotels in smaller resorts. So while some TOs still do offer this over time the number is dwindling Crying or Very sad
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@suec, and further to that I've been reading a few articles that Brexit will be the death of the Catered Chalet holiday (a very British thing apparently) and the ability for Brits to staff them. So if that's the TO business model, where will that leave them?

@jimmytwoburgers, I've doen Neilson and Crystal (without kids mind) and they were both very good.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I think Austria and Italy ski areas will survive the demise of British type chalet holidays. Not sure about France though...although they’ll probably come up with something (they did when they broke the Euro TsAnd Cs so this should be a doddle Toofy Grin )
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I've never used them but I can recommend Nielsen.

That might sound like an odd statement but it was a joy to watch the calm, efficient organization and clear communication of the Nielsen reps...while one of our Inghams reps. just stuck her phone to her ear and refused to speak to anyone, leaving the other to say "I've been told the buses will be here in 30-45min." over and over, because she would only say it loud-enough for the person stood next to her to hear so each person in the queue had to ask the same question/get the same reply in turn.
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Don't forget Skiworld

They do chalets apartments and hotels. Flights transfers etc.

Look at Family Ski Deals

They have inhouse family specialists.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Always found hillwoods really good.

take a look at https://www.familyskiholidays.com/
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@jimmytwoburgers, Look on Igluski, always good for searching all that the TOs have to offer.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I see the decline of package holidays as a natural and obvious product of the ability to easily go on-line, log onto relevant websites, invariably with an English language option, and pre-book cheap flights with budget airlines, efficient, streamlined airport transfers (often by private taxi, with no waiting around and being herded onto coaches by harassed reps), accommodation, equipment, ski-school and/or child care. In the pre-internet age all this was obviously a lot more difficult, and things have been getting progressively easier and more efficient. DIYing is now a comparative doddle, and this of course chops away even more at the T.O.s' tight margins. The availability of advice on a forum like this is yet another nail in the coffin of package operators wink .
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Done previous 3 trips with Ski Miguel (Serre Cheval, Lauterbrunnen, Montgenerve and they've always been pretty decent... food, accommodation and ski guiding etc. Slightly "older" crowd each time we've booked with them but we can avoid school hols so this obviously is a factor I guess.
I'm all for searching out a bargain by trawling the net but sometimes I like the fact that I can book through one site, job done!. Off to Arisnal in a weeks time with Nielsen... flights, hotel, halfboard, transfers, lift pass £531 each... I doubt I can beat that myself... and to be honest I couldn't be @rsed even trying for that price Laughing
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@RWDLYN, I would imagine you can find specialists filling tha gaps that the few big operators don't run to. Did many big ops ever go to Monterosa?
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under a new name wrote:
@RWDLYN, I would imagine you can find specialists filling tha gaps that the few big operators don't run to. Did many big ops ever go to Monterosa?

Would that be Gressoney/ Champoluc?
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Esprit and crystal both do gressoney
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Off to Gressoney on Sunday with Crystal
ski holidays     
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Lots of smaller operators around, try these guys http://familyfriendlyskiing.com/
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@RWDLYN, or even Alagna.

My recollection is that Crystal had a rep in Champoluc for a while, as did Esprit (now in Gressonney), Ski Total do now (are they "big"?) but it looks very much like most of the UK tourists are brought in by Ski2. Although Warren Smith had a camp running there last week
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Interski do package holidays to Champoluc (not just for schools, they have seperate accom for the school parties)
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@kitenski, do they? don't appear to on website.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@under a new name, oops, no, getting my Cs mixed up !! They do Courmayeur!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@jimmytwoburgers, Personally haven't used a Tour Operator for 25 years, more and more people embracing the internet and getting it done themselves, they'd rather be in control and be treated properly rather than herded around by the likes of TUI, Thos Cook etc. Flights/ transfers/ accommodation is all available on line.
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Maybe you need to visit a travel agent (remember them Smile)
ski holidays     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Markymark29, I usually DIY and love doing it, planning it and pulling it all together but last year we got a deal of the century to Mayrhofen with Crystal (£280pp B&B!!) and went with that and actually really enjoyed the experience of letting someone else take care of everything!

Both trips this year DIY again though.
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We are the same - catered chalet and T/O during half term is beyond our means - I have just been quoted £18,500 for a 14 person chalet in L Tania over the 2019 half term. It works out to be £1,320 per head (Accommodation and Meals), once you add in flights, transfers, lessons for the kids, ski hire, lift passes, the trip will top £13k for a family of 5.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
kitenski wrote:
Interski do package holidays to Champoluc (not just for schools, they have seperate accom for the school parties)


A thumbs up for Interski. They do indeed do family holidays as well as school trips which is what they are known for. They don't go to Champoluc, but they do go to Courmayeur, Aosta and La Thuile. The holidays part of the business is separate and they use different hotels and have dedicated in resort holidays staff for their clients separate to the schools staff. They have their own ski school and they now offer childcare too in Pila. Worth a look!!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I can highly recommend Snowbizz at Puy St Vincent. They have their own ski school (made up of ESF instructors who speak English well) and a Creche which is amazing. Puy has had an epic season this year (like lots of other places), but being able to ski “glades” of larches is fairly unique to the area. If you are interested in off piste there is the Col du Bal and La Grave is nearby.
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chivdog wrote:
I can highly recommend Snowbizz at Puy St Vincent..


I’d second that!! Forgot about Snowbizz as it’s so long ago for me, now mine is 13, but for skiing with little ones they are very, very good.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
Sorry, couple more things to say about Puy and Snowbizz is that the Snowbizz staff take the kids to ski school, so you drop them off at 9 or 9.30 and all is taken care of by Snowbizz. The other thing is that the resort is at 1600, and is almost ski in ski out. You can walk out of the ski locker and in the current conditions, walk 10 m clip in and skate 100m reach the slope to ski down to 1400 which has a 6 person chair up to mid mountain. There are a few reviews here and loads on Mumsnet FYI
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