On a TripAdvisor PM to our Tasmanian fellow-passengers, we mentioned our brush with tour-death and hoped they hadn’t been similarly affected.
As their original booking had been for September, they were unaware of the drama we had experienced, but then they mentioned something we were not aware of. As a result of the drastic changes to the tour (cruise reduction, etc) LE was facilitating a significant partial refund as compensation. We had heard nothing of this, as LE was under the impression we were an October departure and due a full refund.
We wrote to LE to discover our status in all this, and were absolutely delighted when - within four hours! - they had assessed our situation, deemed we were eligible for the partial refund and processed it! It seems as though sticking with the tour and taking a risk has paid off! We have always considered Luxury Escapes to be a quality company, but this experience has really cemented our high opinion of them.
In the meantime, we have been able to check in online with Qantas, so we are confident of getting to China, at least! Whether we end up with a fully curated tour - or even make it home! - is yet to be seen. However, given our experiences of the last few days, we are quietly confident all will work out OK.
To end the day, we travelled by train to Sydney, to stay wit( my sister overnight. We will have an early start tomorrow and, all being well, will finally be on our way to China!