Should I provide Scenic Tours with my health and fitness details prior to travelling?
We will supply a Health and Fitness form in your travel wallet. These forms are designed to provide us with instant information if an emergency should arise. These forms will be returned unopened at the completion of the tour. It is not compulsory to fill out these forms but is strongly recommended.
Can I take prescription medication into Europe?
Yes and its advisable to pack an ample supply of any medicine you are taking, copies of prescriptions and the telephone/fax number of your doctor. Because of strict drug laws in some countries, drugs you take on doctor’s orders should be carried in their original container showing the prescription label. Always keep your medication in your hand luggage.
Are there any health risks that I should be aware of?
Viral gastroenteritis is a very common virus that can be found almost anywhere, but its opportunity to spread is greater in contained environments. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. It may also include fever, stomach issues and headache. The symptoms usually start 12 to 48 hours after viral infection and can last from 1 to 10 days. Most people who become sick with viral gastroenteritis recover quickly with no further problems. However if the illness is more severe, further medical care may be required to treat dehydration. The most effective protection from personal contamination is ensuring strict attention to personal hygiene and in particular, frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water and refraining from hand-to-mouth contact.
Colds and other viruses can spread quickly in an enclosed area such as a ship. Continue to practice common-sense hygiene and respiratory courtesy. Wash your hands often and cover your coughs and sneezes. It is recommended that passengers carry an anti-bacterial hand sanitiser, which does not require rinsing with water. Use a sanitiser frequently i.e. after shore excursions, prior to meals and throughout the day. If you have any questions regarding your health or safety while on tour, please do not hesitate to ask your Tour Director.
Motion sickness can be a problem for some people when cruising, flying or travelling on coaches and trains and it is a good idea to take precautionary measures. Drugs for treating motion sickness can be purchased at most pharmacies in Australia, however a side effect can by drowsiness. Alternatives such as ginger tablets and acupressure wristbands are also available and work well for some people.
What vaccinations do I require?
Recommended vaccinations and other health protection measures vary and are subject to change. You must consult your doctor on current vaccinations needed for your destination.
What sort of fitness level do I require to travel in Europe?
It is not possible for large coaches to be used for some city sightseeing therefore many towns and cities will be visited by way of walking tours and accordingly, a reasonable level of fitness is required. Much of Europe is based on a myriad of old buildings and there are split-levels, steps and uneven surfaces everywhere. High-heeled shoes are not suitable for cobblestone streets and steep inclines in medieval towns and cities. It is essential to have comfortable, rubber-soled walking shoes. Due to the amount of walking on your cruise shore excursions, which typically run for up to 3 hours, a reasonable level of fitness is required.
Can I travel in a wheelchair?
Due to the structure of old buildings, access to some establishments may not be convenient for wheelchair use, and facilities for the disabled in general may be limited. Many areas are pedestrian only. Marksburg Castle has a number of stairs which may impact guests with limited mobility access to all touring areas, but this will not impede participation of the medieval banquet.
There are also areas of the ship that cannot be accessed by wheelchair and passengers will need to be able to get on and off the ship out of the wheelchair, due to space. For more information please contact us.
What sort of first aid and medical items should I bring with me?
It may be useful to bring a supply of basic items with you. A first aid kit may include band-aids, antiseptic, aspirin, cough medicine, throat lozenges, cold and flu medication, diarrhoea medication, mild laxative, eye ointments/drops for minor infections, a general antibiotic and any special medications you may need personally. Please remember to bring a letter from your doctor or a copy of the prescription for any medication that you are carrying with you.
Will my special requirements be met throughout the tour?
Your special requirements have been passed onto all suppliers. Special requirements refer to airline seating, special dietary and medical needs. These requirements are on a request basis only and cannot be guaranteed by Scenic Tours. We strongly advise that you reconfirm your meal requests with the Scenic Tour Director upon joining your tour.
Are there medical personnel available on the ship?
Doctors are not available on board the ship, however we can stop anywhere along the way for medical emergencies.
How much foreign money should I bring with me?
Before you leave on your trip, it is a good idea to obtain a small amount of cash in the currency of the country you arrive in. If it is not possible to obtain the currency you require, then it can be purchased at the airport on arrival. Many locations will accept travellers cheques or credit cards. For incidentals and small vendors we recommend getting some local currency.
Are all credit cards accepted on all legs of the tour?
EuroCard, MasterCard, Visa and American Express cards are accepted in all countries in major shops, restaurants and hotels as well as to settle your shipboard account. Before travelling ensure your credit cards are valid for at least 30 days after the completion of the tour. We recommend that you have a pin number for your credit cards, as many businesses now only accept payment with a pin. Also ask your credit card company for the emergency number (suitable for international access) to report loss. Some shops and restaurants require a minimum purchase amount when using them. Due to increasing credit card fraud worldwide, be prepared to show identification (i.e. your passport) when making a transaction with your credit card. Most credit cards charge a fee (about 3%) for currency exchange, which means that every time you use your credit card, you add this fee to the price of goods and services. Check with your credit card company before you go to see what their policy is. It may be worthwhile to take more than one type of credit card as not all types of credit cards are accepted.
Is it easy to exchange cash?
You can exchange cash or travellers cheques at hotels, banks and exchange bureaus as well as small amounts of currency on board your ship for most local currencies, for a fee.
Are ATMs readily available?
Yes, using a debit or credit card is becoming a popular method of obtaining money whilst travelling. In most cases, you pay only your usual bank fee rather than a commission, although this may vary depending on your bank’s policy. Generally, you will get the best available exchange rate as well. Be sure to check with your bank before departing to activate your card and don’t forget to bring your pin number. We suggest however that you don’t rely on ATM’s for all your spending money, as machines may be unreliable. The best idea is to take a mix of cards and travellers cheques so that you are always covered.
Can I take travellers cheques or pre-paid travel money cards?
Yes and they can be easily obtained from your bank. You will find it an advantage to have your travellers cheques in a currency that is easily exchanged such as US dollars or Pounds Sterling and pre-paid travel money cards can be loaded with the currencies of the destinations you are travelling to. Remember to make a separate note of all the numbers and denominations of your travellers cheques as well as an international emergency contact phone number in case of loss or theft. It is worth carrying some cheques in small denominations as it may be difficult to cash larger cheques in hotels and shops. Travellers cheques can be changed at your hotel or a local bank. Many banks charge a set rate, so it could be worth your while cashing more money, less often. Banks usually offer a better rate of exchange than hotels, restaurants and large shops.
Please note: Scenic cruise ships are unable to accept Cash Passports, Travelex Cards or similar as they do not have a function to refund on these cards.
Does Scenic Tours cover tips?
Yes, Scenic Tours has pre-paid certain tips and gratuities for you, including all drivers, local guides, porters (1 piece of luggage only), and meals included in your tour.
What hours are most shops open?
In Europe, stores may close earlier than back home and are usually not open on Sundays (nor Saturday afternoons in some places).
Are there any taxes on shopping?
Many countries have a national sales tax (called VAT) that is levied on most goods and services. In some cases and with the proper documentation from the point-of-purchase, it is possible to have a portion of this tax refunded to you on items taken out of a country in unused condition. Depending upon flight schedules and timing, it may be possible to receive a refund by applying at the airport kiosk before departure.
What do I need to be aware of relating to foreign customs?
All countries you will visit have laws against the purchase and export of certain items, including antiquities, national cultural property and certain animal products, especially endangered species (ivory, rhino horn, tortoise shell, coral, feathers, etc.). Additionally, Australia has laws prohibiting the import of certain items, which include many of the same things. You face having your purchase confiscated and/or heavy fines for exporting or importing prohibited items. On departure from Europe and on return to Australia, your luggage is subject to search.
Can you accommodate special dietary requirements?
Yes. If you have not already advised your travel agent at the time of booking please let your Tour Director know at the start of the tour any special needs or dietary requirements so they can be best accommodated. Remember your favourite food items will not always be available.
What type of food can I expect?
Be mindful that meals on tour will often reflect the local cuisine and delicacies, which may be different to what you are normally accustomed to. Your dining experiences are certain to enhance your tour and introduce you to the local region and culture.
What else should I be aware of?
Europeans generally dine slightly later than might be your custom and they tend to be less sensitive to issues regarding smoking.
As we dock in the beautiful cities and villages along France's grand waterways, you have the choice of taking a self-guided walk or cycling tour. Scenic Tailormade is our new, independent free choice tour option, enhanced by GPS-activated directions and commentary. Once onboard, a free Scenic Tailormade app can be downloaded to your Apple iPhone or iPad, or you can choose to take one of our pre-loaded devices. Whether it's sampling your way through the gastronomic delights of Lyon or traveling back through history, exploring Roman and medieval sites, discover France your way. These exclusive bespoke tours allow you to explore:
*Scenic Tailormade is NOT available in Russia.
Enjoy expert commentary at the press of a button as you relax onboard. Your personal GPS-guided tour-system device can tap into the ship's GPS locator, allowing you to discover all the history behind the landmarks as you pass by.
*NOT available in Russia
While Scenic has always offered the use of bicycles in Europe, in 2013 we will be offering electrical-assisted bicycles. Spend your free time cycling through the European countryside and pretend that you are a local. Bikes are equipped with special mounts for your personal GPS-guided tour-system device.
*NOT available in Russia