FAQ

When are your trips?

An Across group departs each Thursday from the UK between Easter and the end of October, arriving in Lourdes in time for lunch on the Friday. Each trip returns on the Saturday ten days after departure.

How long are your trips?

Our normal Lourdes pilgrimages are 10 days. Other trips may vary in length.

Where do I join the Jumbulance?

The Jumbulance starts in the north of the country, usually Glasgow and travels southwards on the motorways uplifting pilgrims at motorway service stations on route.  In the interests of vehicle scheduling, we make a limited number of stops.

Who looks after those who need care?

An Across group consists of 25 persons. 10 of those are VIPs, those who are sick or disabled, and the other 15 are volunteer carers, chaplain, nurses, doctor and helpers. 

Do we all board together?

If you are in a group, your organiser will choose the place of departure. For individuals, we can arrange with you directly the nearest stopping point to your home.

Where do we stay in Lourdes?

We stay in a specially equipped hotel that caters specifically for pilgrims who are less able to travel.

Hotel Méditerranée
23 Avenue du Paradis
65100 Lourdes
Tel: +33 (0)5 62 94 72 15

What equipment does the hotel have?

Across have provided the hotel with lots of equipment, including six fully adjustable hospital beds, hoists, commodes, wheelchairs, and other items of medical equipment.

What if I need something different?

Please let us know your needs if you think they may not be catered for. It’s important that we know what we need to care for you in every circumstance that might arise.

What do I need to bring?

You need to bring your passport and EHIC card. If you use a hoist to transfer please bring slings with you. Ensure you have enough medication for 12 full days and pack it in your hand luggage. If you use any special equipment, please bring that too.

Does the Hotel have WiFi?

Yes!

Does the Jumbulance have WiFi

No. We find that the trip is such an important part of our pilgrimage, when people bond and share their stories, we have chosen not to add WiFi to the Jumbulance

Does Across only take very ill persons?

No! Whilst Across has the facility to take heavily dependent persons to Lourdes each group is made up of persons with varying degrees of illness or disability. Those who are most in need of the Jumbulance facilities will always be given priority, but the inclusion of those with lesser disabilities allows the carer team to devote more time to those who need it.

How much does a pilgrimage cost?

The cost for 2018 is £705.81 per person which includes travel, meals and refreshments en route, Channel crossing (via the Eurotunnel), full board accommodation in Lourdes, the support of experienced staff in Lourdes, transport in and around Lourdes, and the use when necessary of wheelchairs, lifting equipment, emergency oxygen and some medical equipment. External grants may be available to help with your fare. If you feel you will have difficulty paying the full amount please talk to us as soon as possible.

Does the price vary?

We charge the same price to everyone but there is a subsidy available for nurses and young people. The actual cost of the trip is £900. The balance is subsidised by the charity from legacies, regular donations and fundraising.

I am a nurse, is it cheaper for me?

Yes, a discount is available for up to two nurses on national and local groups, the fare for nurses in 2018 is £352.90. The balance is paid by the charity. Please contact us to check that you qualify.

Does the cost include all medical equipment?

We include what medical equipment we have, but persons on constant oxygen must purchase their own. Please do ask us about your specific circumstances; we are here to help.

Does the cost include insurance?

The price including travel insurance is £750. If you don’t take our travel insurance you will need to provide us with the details of your own policy.

How do we pay?

If you book as an individual, we will invoice you direct or through your carer. For groups, we send one invoice to the organiser for the whole group.  

What should I expect to spend in Lourdes?

All your meals are provided, including on board the Jumbulance. Many groups operate a kitty during the week, which may cover your day trip out of Lourdes, drinks in a café, a contribution to the Sanctuaries and donations for Masses. Your group leader will contact you before you leave to let you know how much and exactly what is included in the kitty. There is usually free time to do some shopping for souvenirs or gifts if you would like any. It is worth remembering that Lourdes is a tourist town and drinks, ice creams etc may be more expensive than you’re used to.

Do I have to have my application from completed by my GP?

Anyone who is travelling as a VIP or an Able/Unable helper must have their form signed off by their GP within six months of their departure.

Do I have to be Catholic?

No. We welcome helpers and VIPs of all faiths and none. Lourdes is a Catholic Shrine and as such a pilgrimage will include Masses and other religious services which the group will attend together. The majority of Across groups travel with a Catholic chaplain who will be available to you in a totally non-judgemental way throughout the week.

How much luggage can I bring?

Space on board the Jumbulance is limited so please just take what you need for the journey in your hand luggage. All of your medication should be kept in your hand luggage along with your travel documents. There is no individual weight or size restriction for the luggage stored underneath the Jumbulance but please be mindful of others in the group as this is the only space to store wheelchairs and other essential equipment. If you are unsure whether you can bring something; please get in touch.

Will there be free time, or do we stay in a group at all times?

An Across group is a family and we will follow a programme of activities all together. Other people in the group may be relying on you to get the most out of their experience. There is usually free time included in the programme but please speak to your group leader if there is something you would like to do before leaving the group.