Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ

Here you will find answers to several Frequently Asked Questions on our tour services. If you don’t find the answer for your question(s), please contact us by email!

Reservation and payment

How can I make a reservation?

The most popular public tours of Happy Guide Helsinki you can book and pay directly by your card via our secure Fast Booking feature, powered by Bókun tourism sales platform and Stripe online payments. But please notice that this does not apply to private tours or our complete public tour selection, which can be booked only by email.

All reservations to our tours can be made by sending us an email. After we have agreed on which tour or services you would like to have, you will receive a confirmation email with full tour details as well as payment instructions. We promise you an answer in 24 hours of the moment we receive your message. The reservations are taken until the night before the tour if there´s availability - we have someone working with the reservations until 9 pm Finnish time (GMT +2) every night.

Do you answer all the inquiries?

We promise an answer to all reservation related inquiries within 24 hours, no matter if they have been received via our Fast Booking option, the contact form or as an email. Even now in 2017 it´s weird but true that every once in a while there are messages that do not come through. If you clearly feel that you haven't received an answer from us in 24 hours, please, send it again as email (happyguidehelsinki@gmail.com) including the needed inquiry information that you can copy of our contact form. Please also, make sure you write your email address correctly in the contact form. 🙂 

How early should I contact you?

As soon as you are ready for a Happy Guide experience. 🙂 But the sooner, the better. We have public tours open for everyone – some even without a reservation ‒ the whole year around, but not necessarily on the particular day of your visit. Last minute reservations are taken by email until the night before the tour if there´s availability. We have someone working with the reservations until 9 pm Finnish time (GMT +3) every night.

Especially during the peak seasons our guides tend to be very busy so the availability varies day by day. The sooner you know the date(s) of your visit, the better, since you will probably have much more options. However, feel always free to ask by email from our constantly alert reservations team even if you are just about to arrive! No phone calls for new reservations, thank you. But email us and you will get personal service as soon as possible!

Should I email you in English? Or can I write in other languages?

We answer emails in all our four service languages, which are English, Finnish, German and Spanish. Responses for inquiries in other languages besides English might take a little longer, because this depends on the language skills of the person currently working in the customer service. If you need to call us, please use English. But bear in mind, that no new reservations can be made on phone, only by email.

Do I need to pay in advance? What are the payment options?

As payment options we accept online payments via our Fast Booking feature (powered by Bókun), PayPal and SEPA payments within SEPA countries in Europe as well as cash at the meeting point in some cases. However, please note that the payment method depends on the nature of your tour. For tours with reservations as well as for private tours we require a prepayment. If you feel for some reason that you cannot or don’t want to make a prepayment, we also have public tours which you can join in without a reservation. The availability of these tours depend on the day and time of your visit.

If you booked a tour by email, you will receive instructions on handling the payment in the confirmation email of your reservation. Our customer service will be happy to help you by email, if needed or if you encounter any problems! Please do not send us any credit card numbers, since it might not be safe online and we do not have any use for them.

For companies there may be different methods and policies available depending on the agreement.

Is it possible to pay with a credit card?

Yes, regarding advance payments. But please do not send any credit card information, since it might not be safe by email and we do not need it. You can pay by your card directly via our secure Fast Booking option (selected public tours), or for email bookings link your bank or credit card easily to your account on PayPal, which is one of the safest methods for handling online payments. If you encounter any problems using PayPal, our team is always happy to help you out! We do not accept credit card payments on your arrival to a tour, though.

Can I book a private tour but let it be available to other people as well; if there were to be other similar requests like mine?

No, if you refer to requests from people you don’t personally know but who are contacting us. Otherwise it couldn’t be considered a private tour anymore. 🙂 However, if you want to book a private tour for yourself but add new people later to it that you know or meet during your trip, this might be possible to arrange by emailing us in advance and sorting the price policies with us. In this case you will normally be the one collecting the payments from other participants while paying the fixed price yourself in total in advance. The availability of this arrangement depends on the tour as well as the amount of maximum people participating.

Can I book Happy Guide Helsinki tours via other channels?

We are also listed for well chosen online traveling platforms which we like and respect for their good reputation. Some of them offer an online booking option. All of our legal re-sellers are listed here: TripAdvisor, Likealocalguide, Viator, Veltra, Get Your Guide, Expedia, Visit Helsinki and Visit Finland. Any other booking option for our tours is unauthorized and we recommend you to avoid doing business with them. We are happy to answer all the other questions about our services and/or Helsinki/Finland!

Cancellation policy and customer safety

What is your cancellation policy?

On our public tours with a reservation, we accept cancellations until 24 hours prior the tour without a charge. On our private tours, you are eligible to make a cancellation without a charge until 48 hours before the tour and on all our accessible tours with a rented vehicle 96 hours prior the tour. If your timetable would change or cancellation reached us later than within these time limits, the payment is not refundable. However, we will always do our best to reschedule your tour, if needed and anyhow possible considering our guide availability.

For our partners and cooperating companies there might be specific terms on the cancellation policy and refunds depending on the agreement.

What if weather surprises me?

Helsinki is located on the coast of the Baltic Sea and for not having any significant hills to block the clouds up high weather can change here pretty fast. We are also far away from the continental plates and major oceans so after all it is very unusual that we would have a big storm: earthquakes, floods and other big natural disasters are pretty much unheard of.

Many of our tour activities are outdoors. We recommend taking proper clothing and comfortable shoes according to the weather for all tours, since especially outside the summer it may get mentionably cold for you when spending hours of time outdoors on the tour. Sunglasses, your own personal water bottle, gloves, hat and a camera might also be good to have with you. For bike tours we provide rain ponchos and sun lotion for all participants to be able to take the tour as planned. Consequently, our tour schedules are created with flexibility and most of time planned to be conducted between certain hours regarding their duration. 

In the case we would cancel our tour we principally try to reschedule it to our visitors but if that is not possible the tour price is 100 % refundable. This rule does not include any kind of force majeure cancellation like when the tour would not be considered safe during a fierce storm, although like said they are extremely rare here! We also accept rescheduling / cancellations from our clients until the last accepted deadline (24, 48 or 96 hours) prior the tour without a charge. The tour price will be charged as full if the cancellation arrives to us later than this.

How do you take care of customer safety on your tours?

All our guides are professionally trained and our practices, such as the routes and working processes, are precisely planned in order to maximize the safety of our customers. We also organize regularly a safety training for our personnel. In the beginning of every tour where we use equipment, it is always checked to comply with the safety standards.

We start all our tours with a proper orientation and our professional guides are happy to advice you about the local regulations and cultural differences to make your bicycling experience in Finland even more happy and memorable!

What is the responsibility of a guided activity provider in Finland? 

We as a responsible guided activity provider have a liability insurance as according to the Finnish legislation and as a sign of professional services. As a standard, we warmly recommend you to have your own personal travel insurance on all your journeys, though. We wish that you read our FAQ section carefully to find the answers to your possible questions regarding our tours. If there is still anything unclear left after that, please contact us by email with your questions and we will be happy to solve the issues and give more detailed answers. 

We always do our best to minimize all the risks and guarantee safety. This applies to personnel as well as the equipment and safety gear, such as helmets, we use on our tours.

Pick ups and accessibility

Can you organize a pick up from e.g. the harbor by a car?

As a sustainable company we do not organize car transportation except only on our accessible tours for people with limited mobility. Helsinki has a very effective and eco-friendly public transportation network, which connects the cruise ship ports and airport to the city. We are happy to give you specific instructions on how to arrive in our meeting point by public transport.

How do I know what is possible and available on an accessible tour?

On our accessible tour services ‒ for participants using wheel-chairs, mobility scooters and walkers/rollators ‒ we follow the regulations of Finland. We work actively in collaboration with Finnish associations and companies offering accessible (tourism) services to get the latest information and updates of the sightseeing points and understanding accessible sightseeing means something different to all of us.

We reserve rights to create and offer our tour participants the best, safest, most comfortable and firstly happy tour experiences in Helsinki and Finland. We are about to show you fun in safe and sustainable ways.

Tours and guides

How many people can be attending the same public tour with me on the day of my visit?

When we offer services daily, the amount of participants varies a lot from day to day. During the peak season our public walking tours might gather several dozens of people at a time, but then again it might be less than ten people as well. Our theme tours usually provide a more intimate experience depending on the service and the date of your visit. On all our bike tours, we have a maximum of 8 people per guide and extra guides in case if there are more people attending.

For a completely personal experience we are always glad to offer your group a private tour depending on the guide availability, just contact us as early as possible!

I read good reviews on a specific guide. Can I choose who will be guiding me/us?

Unfortunately this is not possible, because we share the shifts between our guides only a few days before each tour depending on the currently active tours as well as availability of our guides and their expertise and language skills. This is to ensure the optimal guide for every tour we conduct. All our guides are trained professionals who have a personal selection of tours they are available for, meaning also that they do only tours they know well and are comfortable with. They have all similarly received equally good reviews from our customers, so you can be sure to have the best possible member of our team for your tour!

Tour photos and other memories
We aim to take photos including all the participants of our tours. Every guide has a smart phone for such a procedure and activities. We publish many of these photos on our Facebook pages: Happy Guide Helsinki, Bike Tours Helsinki & Tom of Finland Experience. Some of them are also presented on our Instagram, TripAdvisor and on our public websites. 
 
In case if you do not feel comfortable to be in our photos, we sincerely appreciate your privacy and it is not a problem. Please just let your guide know about it when you see photos being taken (or even before)! We are always happy to share these memories with you and appreciate even more if you are willing to publicly share your personal memories and experiences in the aforementioned forums!

Bike tour policies

To view the specific policies concerning our bike tours and the minimum requirements to join the tour, please see the Policies section on our Bike Tours Helsinki website!

Companies

My company needs a tour with customized program for our group visiting Helsinki. Can you offer something?

Of course! Besides serving many happy leisure travelers, we have lots of experience organizing customized guiding services and planning of activities for companies from all around the world. We are happy to make suggestions to you after you have contacted us by email and know more about your desires.

How can I cooperate with Happy Guide Helsinki as a travel agent, retailer or someone else with a business proposal?

We are always open to new suggestions and offers. You may contact us or email directly CEO Karri Korppi, info(at)happyguidehelsinki(dot)com and tell what do you have in your mind. We work closely together with several companies, travel agents and other operators in the travel industry.