The trip, for both Oxford and Cambridge students, has been running since 1922Joris Berthelot/Unsplash

A post on the Varsity Trip (VT) Facebook page earlier today (19/01) announced that the committee has “come to the decision that the trip cannot go ahead this March”. 

The post detailed how “the safety of our students has always been our top priority”, and that this decision was taken in light of “Government advice with regard to travel”, “ongoing French Ski Resort closures, travel restrictions and new variants of COVID-19”.

Current UK government COVID-19 travel guidelines ask that “you must not leave home or travel, including internationally, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so”. 

The trip which was scheduled for 19th to 27th March 2021 to correspond with the end of Lent and Hilary terms, had already been postponed after being initially planned for the start of December as is traditional. An unspecified delay to the planned booking date of 26th January was announced on the VT facebook last week (10/01), and this news coming after careful monitoring from the VT team. Nonetheless, performer applications were still occurring until the end of last term (05/12), as the trip was still planned to go ahead.

The Varsity committee acknowledged in their post that "this was a difficult decision" but still remained positive about the exciting future of the trip next year which they hope "to be our biggest one yet!!!"

The annual ski trip, which has been running since 1922, normally brings together over 3,000 students from Oxford and Cambridge and is recognised as the largest student ski trip in the world; proudly proclaiming itself as “the world’s biggest ski trip, run [...]  by students for students” on its website


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Founded in order to host the Blues Ski races between the two universities, the trip has grown into an extremely popular event for skiers of all levels, and the races are still widely attended. 

The trip normally visits one of the larger resorts in French Alps, with the most recent events taking place in Tignes or Val Thorens and this year’s trip was planned for Tignes also. Like other French ski resorts, Tignes is currently closed due to COVID-19, with re-opening dates uncertain and “depend[ant] on the evolution of the health situation and government directives”.