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Europe River Cruising

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A European river cruise or tour is a very special event, often the trip of a lifetime. We encourage anyone considering a European holiday to plan ahead, and compare the alternatives carefully to avoid any pitfalls. At first glance many brochures seem to offer the same things but you need to look more closely. This check-list provides a guide to what you should look out for.
 
What is included in the price?
We encourage you to consider what the holiday is likely to cost you at the end of your tour, not the beginning. People usually get what they pay for so, if one product is significantly less than another, try to understand why. It’s unlikely to be generosity but rather things like the quality and location of hotels, plus the number and quality of inclusions such as meals, sightseeing, special events, entrance fees, local guides and tipping. Check which, and how many of these are actually included in the price. All the ‘little extras’ that you have to pay for can add up to a sizeable amount by the end of the holiday.
Check to see what’s included; refreshments, tea/coffee, beer and wine with meals, laundry/pressing services, room service, cabin amenities and facilities etc.
A brochure will often talk about ‘included sightseeing’; make sure you ask what that means. Do they simply take you to the venue then leave you to queue and pay your own entrance fees, or do they include the entry fees and escort you in ahead of the queue?
Beware of ‘optional’ tours, often these are portrayed as a means of providing flexibility for guests but what do they cost? Has the price been inflated so that the tour operator or Tour Director can be paid a commission? At Scenic Cruises we negotiate the best price and pass savings back to you.
 
Cabins, Suites & Private Balconies
A river cruise is like holidaying on a floating hotel. Your cabin will be your home for a week or two so you need to be sure of what you’re getting. Check the size of your cabin to make sure that you’re going to be comfortable. And check the services, facilities and amenities that are being provided.

Many operators claim to offer private balconies, be sure to check that they are true balconies. Some offer an internal area alongside the sliding doors/windows. When the doors are opened you find yourself against the railing of the ship, you can’t actually step outside.
 
Dining, Lounges & Bars and Viewing areas
Apart from satisfying yourself that the meals will be suitable, ask whether dinner is served at one or two sittings. Are you restricted to group tables or can you make up your own tables of two or four? Some vessels have less dining space and that places restrictions on dining flexibility. Also, be sure to find out which meals are actually included in your tour and those that aren’t. If you believe the brochure is unclear, ask for clarification. 

Space restriction also needs to be considered for public areas such as lounges and bars. Look for public areas that are spacious and light-filled with excellent views.

Your vessel is the viewing platform from which you will see a great deal of Europe. Make sure there are ample spacious viewing areas with comfortable seating.
 
Shopping, City Visits & Airport Transfers

Be sure to take care when shopping in Europe. It is common that certain shopping venues will pay a commission to either the tour director or the tour operator. In fact some Tour Directors receive only a basic salary and earn the greater part of their income from shopping commissions. At Scenic Tours we do not take guests on shopping excursions. If required we will make suggestions, but there is no link back to the company or our Tour Directors. 

When a brochure lists the cities visited, does that mean a drive-through in your tour coach leaving just a blurred memory of what might have been a European jewel? Or does it mean a proper guided tour, with a professional English speaking guide, and Whisper Headsets so you don’t miss a word? Check this for each city on your tour.

Be sure to find out whether or not you tour representative meets you at the airport and takes you to your ship/hotel or do you have to make your own way, with or without some sort of voucher? What about at the end of the journey?

 
Passport & Visas

What validity do I need on my passport?
All passengers are required to possess a passport valid for 6 months beyond the conclusion of their trip.

Should I bring copies of my passport and visas?
Yes. As your passport will be kept on board the ship throughout the cruise portion for transit formality reasons, we recommend you bring a photocopy of your passport/visas with you to carry on you at all times when on shore.

Please note: passengers who have selected the Guided Excursion to Bratislava as a Scenic FreeChoice activity from Vienna are required to carry their passports with them on this sightseeing tour as Customs may wish to view passenger passports.

What visas do I require?
It is the sole responsibility of each passenger to have necessary visas and to comply with entry, health or other requirements of the countries visited.

Please note: If your nationality (passport) differs from the country in which you reside, please take the time to check especially carefully with your local consulates concerning visa and passport requirements for your travels. Holidays can be disrupted or have to be altered altogether if the correct documents cannot be supplied at airports or borders, so check very carefully that you have the required papers.

Can Scenic Cruises arrange my passport and visas?
No, Scenic Tours and/or their employees and their agents are not responsible for passport, visa requirements, entry, health or other requirements of the countries visited or for any loss sustained by you for failing to comply with laws, regulations, orders and/or requirements of countries visited, and will not be liable for any costs or cancellation penalties or inconvenience where travellers do not have a travel authorisation, and are not permitted to travel.

Can Scenic Cruises organise my travel insurance?
No, this is the responsibility of the passenger. As a convenience to our customers we have partner with TripMate to over travel protection. Please visit http://www.tripmate.com/wpF352S for more details. Alternatively, your travel agent can can assist you. As a convenience to our customers We strongly advise you to take out travel insurance to cover any unforeseen circumstances, which may arise as defined in the respective proposal forms. It is a good idea to take your travel insurance documents with you.

 
Luggage
How much luggage can I bring?
The luggage allowance whilst on tour is one suitcase with a maximum size of 76 x 53 x 28 cms (30 x 21 x 11’’) and weight of 20 kilograms (44lbs). You may also carry a small backpack or the Scenic Tours issued overnight bag on board the coach for the duration of the tour. Additional bags beyond the luggage allowance may incur additional charges and are to be settled directly to the hotel or as required. It is advised that you check airline luggage requirements directly with your most significant airline carrier.

Is porterage included?
Handling and porterage of your luggage (as per the luggage allowance above) is included in your tour.  Additional bags beyond the allowance may be charged or it may be the responsibility of the passenger to forward the baggage to another destination. Luggage handling is not included during any independent or non-escorted touring. In this situation, luggage handling and porterage will need to be organised directly with the hotel porters.

Should I attach the Scenic Tours luggage label provided prior to departure?
No, please wait until you have claimed your luggage at your destination airport. This will ensure airline companies will not tear off this tag, as it is required to easily identify your luggage for transfer services and hotels.

Will my luggage be secure?
We strongly advise that you do not pack anything of value in your check-in luggage and that you check-in ONLY your own suitcases. Do not carry items packed by other people. Never accept packages or articles from anyone unknown to you to carry on board the aircraft. As a sensible precaution against luggage tampering, including theft, lock your luggage.

What happens if my luggage goes missing?
It is highly unlikely for your luggage to be mislaid, however we suggest if travelling as a couple to pack each suitcase with back up clothes and toiletries for each person. We also suggest writing your personal and tour details on a label INSIDE each suitcase (including name, address, telephone number, departure and return flight details). Write only your name and destination address on outside labels.

What clothing should I pack?
  • Casual sportswear for daytime that can be mixed/matched/layered 
  • Jumper/warm jacket/gloves/hat/scarf for cooler mornings and nights
  • Swimwear 
  • Comfortable walking shoes with rubber soles for good grip 
  • Sunglasses and sun hat 
  • Women require a minimum of one skirt or dress
What else do I need to pack?
The following list may be useful when packing for your trip:
  • Airline tickets and passport (plus a photocopy and extra passport photos) 
  • Travel and travel insurance documentation, and itinerary (make a copy for your emergency contact) 
  • Travelers cheques/cash/debit or credit card and emergency contact numbers if lost or stolen, plus local currency for first day and a money belt 
  • Spare memory card for your digital camera or film in clear plastic containers 
  • Only those keys needed on return
  • Personal medication and prescriptions, extra glasses/contacts and prescriptions
  • Sunscreen, lip balm and insect repellent 
  • Pocket calculator, address book, journal and pens 
  • Tissues and anti-bacterial hand wipes or hand sanitiser  
  • Raincoat or umbrella 
  • Plastic bags for dirty laundry, washing powder and elastic clothesline 
  • Travel alarm clock, earplugs and sleep mask 
  • Adaptor plugs, mobile phone charger, battery charger 
  • Face cloth / flannel
 
Health & Fitness
Should I provide Scenic Cruises 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 the US, 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 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 Cruises. We strongly advise that you reconfirm your meal requests with the Scenic Cruises 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.
 

Joining the Flight to Your Destination

Please ensure you check with the airline to confirm the departure times of your flights between 48 to 72 hours prior to departure. It is important you arrive at the airport at least two-three hours in advance for international flights. This will allow you to check in your baggage and pass through security and customs.

 

Joining and Departing Your Tour

Please note that these instructions are for the standard tour or cruise. Passengers with pre and post tour accommodation should check their Booking Summary for details specific to their booking i.e. transfers and first night accommodation.

 
Arriving in Amsterdam

Passengers with Booked Arrival Transfers: Upon arrival into Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport, please claim your luggage and advance to the customs exit where your Scenic Tours representative will meet you. Please look out for the Scenic Tours sign. If you arrive before 2:00pm you will be transferred from the airport to the Double Tree by Hilton where a Scenic Tours hospitality room will be available for your comfort. At approximately 3:00pm you and the rest of the group will be transferred to the pier for embarkation. Guests who arrive 2pm onwards, will be transferred directly from the Airport to the pier for embarkation.

In the event that you miss your transfer due to unforeseen circumstances, our transfer company details in Amsterdam are: Partners & Sam, emergency contact is Dorita Vermeulen, +31 20 616 0403. Our Scenic Tours office phone number in Europe is +41 43 521 1839 should you require further assistance.

Passengers With Scenic Pre Tour Accommodation: Passengers with Scenic pre-tour accommodation in Amsterdam will be transferred from the airport to their pre-tour hotel. On the day of embarkation, passengers will be transferred from their hotel to the pier by our shuttle transfer company. Please ensure you are waiting at the front of the hotel for your 3:00pm transfer.

Passengers Under Own Arrangements to Join the Tour: Passengers will also have notation in their joining instructions advising of the 3pm shuttle OR alternatively they will need to make their own arrangements to the ship (they will need to call the ship directly to get exact location of ship, contact number is in documents also.)

Embarkation at the ship starts no earlier than 3pm

 
Arriving in Budapest

Passengers With Booked Arrival Transfers: Upon arrival into Budapest Ferihegy International Airport, please claim your luggage and proceed to the arrival hall. Flights from the EU countries (excl. Great Britain) arrive at terminal 2A. Flights from any other destinations arrive at terminal 2B. A Scenic Tours representative will meet you in the respective arrival hall. Please look out for the Scenic Tours sign. You will be transferred from the airport to the Marriott Hotel Budapest, where a Scenic Tours hospitality room will be available for your comfort. At approximately 3:30pm you and the rest of the group will be transferred to the pier for embarkation. Guests who arrive 2pm onwards, will be transfered directly from the Airport to the pier for embarkation.

In the event that you miss your transfer due to unforeseen circumstances, our transfer company details in Budapest are: Central European Tours - emergency contact no.: +36 703 624 649. Our Scenic Tours office phone number in Europe is +41 43 521 1839 should you require further assistance.

Passengers With Scenic Pre Tour Accommodation: Passengers with Scenic pre-tour accommodation in Budapest will be transferred from the airport to their pre-tour hotel. On the day of embarkation, passengers will be transferred from their hotel to the pier by our shuttle transfer company at 3:30pm. Please ensure you are waiting at the front of the hotel for your 3:30pm transfer.

Passengers Under Own Arrangements to Join the Tour: Make your own way to the shuttle bus departure point, details below, where a bus transfer to the embarkation pier is provided to you free of charge. Please arrive at the shuttle bus departure point in time for the 3:30pm transfer. Passengers will also have a notation in their joining instructions advising of the 3pm shuttle OR alternatively they will need to make your own arrangements to the ship (they will need to call the ship directly to get exact location of the ship, contact number is in documents also.)

Shuttle bus departure point: (Budapest)
At the hotel Marriott bus parking on Apaczai Csere Janos street.
Down the small ramp to the left of the main entrance
Hotel Marriott
Apaczai Csere
Janos Ut 4, Budapest

Embarkation at the ship starts no earlier than 3pm

 
Arriving in Bucharest

Passengers With Booked Arrival Transfers: Upon arrival into Bucharest International Airport, please claim your luggage and proceed to the arrival hall. A Scenic Tours representative will meet you in the respective arrival hall. Please look out for the Scenic Tours sign. You will be transferred from the airport to your hotel.

In the event that you miss your transfer due to unforeseen circumstances, our transfer company details in Bucharest are: Central European Tours - emergency contact no.: +36 703 624 649. Our Scenic Tours office phone number in Europe is +41 43 521 1839 should you require further assistance.

Passengers Under Own Arrangements: Passengers must make their own way to the hotel.

 
Arriving in London

Passengers With Booked Transfers: Upon arrival into London Heathrow International Airport you will be transferred by our London transfer company Dot2dot to your hotel.

To join your transfer, collect your luggage and pass through Customs. Once you have passed through Customs make your way to the Dot2dot customer service desks located in the Arrivals Hall. The location of Dot2dot customer service desks varies depending on which terminal you arrive in. A transfer voucher is enclosed in your booking summary and should be presented at the Dot2dot customer service desk.

Please note that the Dot2dot counter at Heathrow Airport does not open until 6am. If your flight arrives earlier please wait close to the desk until this time. Your transfer will be provided once the desk opens.

A Dot2dot representative will escort you to the departure point and remain with you until the transfer to your hotel departs.

Passengers Under Own Arrangements: The following transport options are available from the airport to the city. Please note train and taxi charges are approximate only and subject to change.

Taxis: London Heathrow is 32 km (20 miles) west of central London. Follow the signs in each terminal Arrivals areas for taxi ranks. The journey time to central London is approximately 45-60 minutes and will cost you between £35 and £60.

Train: The London Underground, Piccadilly Line connects all Heathrow terminals including Terminal 5, with frequent services to central London between 05:00 and 23:40 (Heathrow Terminal 4 station closes at 23:35 Monday to Saturday, and 23:05 on Sunday). Journey time approximately 50 minutes to central London.

 
Arriving in Paris

Passengers with Booked Transfers: Upon arrival into Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport, please ensure that you have collected all your baggage prior to clearing customs. Advance to the Arrivals Hall, where our Scenic Tours representative will assist you with your transfer to your Paris hotel. Please look out for the Scenic Tours sign.

In the event that you miss your transfer due to unforeseen circumstances, our transfer company details in Paris are: Scenic Paris, Emergency number: +41 43 521 1839.

Passengers Under Own Arrangements: The following transport options are available from the airport to the city. Please note train and taxi charges are approximate only and subject to change.

Taxis: Travel time is approximately 45mins and the fare would be €50-70. Surcharges may apply for extra luggage, at night, Sundays and public holidays.

Train: Charles de Gaulle has two train stations - 1 station for Train and 1 station for RER connection on line B (direction "Robinson / Saint-Remy les Chevreuse"). A free shuttle links the train stations and the terminals.

 
Arriving in Prague

Passengers With Booked Transfers: Upon arrival into Prague International Airport, please ensure that you have collected all your baggage prior to clearing customs. Advance to the Arrivals Hall, where the Scenic Tours representative will assist you with your transfer to your Prague hotel. Please look out for the Scenic Tours sign.

In the event that you miss your transfer due to unforeseen circumstances, our transfer company details in Prague are: Milmark - emergency contact phone number is +420 602 361 385. Our Scenic Tours office phone number in Europe is +41 43 521 1839 should you require further assistance.

Passengers Under Own Arrangements: The airport is 16km west of the city. The following transport options are available from the airport to the city. Please note bus or taxi charges are approximate only and subject to change.

Taxis: Travel time is approximately 20-30mins and the fare would be approx. CZK600-900. Prague taxi drivers have a poor reputation due to overcharging so negotiate price before journey.

Bus: The airport is well serviced by buses. Buses stop across the road from the arrivals hall on the ground level of both terminals. There is a non-stop service running from both terminals to the city. Buses leave every 30 minutes 0500-2100. Transfer time to city 30-35 mins. Adult fare CZK45. Buy tickets from the driver.

 
Disembarkation in Amsterdam and Budapest

9am All guests disembark the ship and are transferred to our Hospitality rooms at either the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel or the Budapest Marriot. (this includes all passengers on their own and any passengers with flights after 2:30pm)

There will then be a standard coach transfer at 3pm from the Hotels to the airport for all passengers on later flights.

*Passenger with flights departing 2:30pm or earlier transfer directly to the Airport

Important Note: ALL PASSENGERS ARE REQUIRED TO DISEMBARK SHIP BY 9:00am

 
During your travels you will encounter new customs and different ways of life. Appreciate and enjoy these differences, as this is one of the highlights of travelling. Even though you may not speak the language, a smile and a thank you is universally understood. Friendliness and tolerance towards others, especially your fellow tour guests, is essential for everyone’s enjoyment of the holiday.  The following information ensures you are best prepared to enjoy the incredible experiences ahead.
 
Travel & Accommodation
Who will be escorting the tour?
Your holiday is a special time and our Tour Directors and Cruise Directors make all the difference. From your very first day their warm greetings and professionalism signal the start of a wonderful rapport. For all land tours and cruises that have city extensions in Paris, London or Prague, you will have the services of a Tour Director. Whilst on your cruise you will be taken care of by a Cruise Director. Our Directors have your best interests at heart and will take care of all arrangements for you. Please note that that your city extension or land Tour Director will not join you on the cruise.
Are there likely to be changes to my itinerary?
On certain occasions, for operational or local reasons, it may be necessary to change your hotel accommodation or a brochured attraction in a particular location. If this does occur, you will be notified of such changes as soon as possible.
Is there any specific cruise information I need to be aware of?
Cabin Allocations: Please be aware that cabin allocations as per your Booking Summary are subject to change. Once on board your Cruise Director will be available should you have any queries.
Changes in Programs:  Scenic Cruises reserves the right to change vessels at any time for any reason including water level problems, excessive winds or ‘force majeure’ event. In the event of water level problems on stretches of any river, it may be necessary to operate part of the itinerary by motor coach. If this occurs, the ship detailed in your documents may change. For further details please refer to our full Terms and Conditions.
Cruise Director: Whether you’re looking for theatre tickets, a local landmark or a service to the nearest golf course, our Cruise Director or the team at Reception look forward to taking care of you and also offer helpful suggestions. 
On board Language: The official language on board is English. All staff, crew and local guides speak fluent English. All announcements and lectures will be presented in English.
Currency/Exchange of Money: We offer an on board currency exchange service. Contact Reception for more information when on board. 
On board Account: All purchases are charged to your on-board account. The final bill can be settled in cash or by credit card at the end of the cruise. The currency on board the ship is the Euro.
Pre-Paid Money Cards: Please note Scenic Cruises' ships are unable to accept Cash Passports, Travelex Cards or similar as they do not have a function to refund on these cards. 
Tipping: All gratuities and tipping on land tours and river cruises whilst with Scenic Cruises are included.
Passports: It is a requirement of the European Authorities that passports be available for inspection at any time. Therefore we will keep your passport secure in our safe at Reception. 
Reception: The reception desk is staffed 24 hours a day.
Butler Service: A personal butler is available at all times for guests in our Royal, Junior Suites and all cabins located on the Danube Deck. Your service includes: packing and unpacking, complimentary ironing for two items per person per day, shoeshine, arranging cocktail drinks with friends, reservations for any additional requests such as theatre tickets, limousines, shore arrangements, salon appointments and more. Our cabin attendants are happy to deliver drinks to guests staying in other cabins at any time.
Cabin Service: The mini bar will be restocked daily. Please advise us if you require any additional drinks in your cabin. Housekeeping staff are available to serve you at any time. 
Tea/Coffee: The making of tea and coffee in cabins is prohibited by law for safety reasons. 
Dining: It is our pleasure to provide a maitre d' seating service for your convenience and comfort at the Crystal Dining Room for all meals. We operate an open seating service. Having a free choice of seating allows you to join friends for dinner as you wish. Breakfast and lunch are a full buffet service offering a wonderful selection of hot and cold dishes. Dinner will be à la carte and will be served personally. Beer and wine is included during the lunch and dinner service.
Portobello's Italian Restaurant: Scenic Cruises are pleased to offer a second dining experience on board our ‘Scenic Space-Ships’. Every guest has the opportunity of dining in this intimate environment at least once per 14 night cruise. 
Dietary Requests: If you have special dietary requests, please advise your travel agent or Scenic Tours at least 4 weeks prior to departure, and also advise the your Cruise Director. Please note that facilities to accommodate special dietary requests on board are limited and, while the chefs will try to accommodate requests, no guarantees can be made. 
Refreshments: All Scenic Cruises provide an additional specialised tea and coffee service for your enjoyment at no additional charge. This self-service, state-of-the-art facility is located in the lounge and available at your convenience.
Air Conditioning and Heating: All cabins have individually controlled air conditioning, allowing you to regulate the temperature to your own needs. 
Electricity: On board electricity is 220 volt. 
Bicycles: We provide bicycles on board for your convenience and we encourage you to take the opportunity to make use of the many scenic rides along the waterways and local villages. A safety helmet and bike lock is provided. Please contact reception for bookings.
Safe: There is a safe in every passenger cabin. Please contact reception or housekeeping staff for assistance. Please remember to remove all items from the safe before disembarking the vessel at the end of your cruise.
Telephone: With your cabin telephone you may call cabin to cabin and also outside the ship.
Television: For your enjoyment we feature state-of-the-art satellite televisions. For technical reasons reception may be interrupted during particular parts of the journey or while we pass through locks.
Internet: The internet on the ships is intermittent. Connectivity is variable and is impacted by bridges, locks and mountains etc. The internet is not broadband speed and cannot be used to download large amounts of data (e.g. videos, music etc). 
DVD'S: There are a limited number of DVD’s available and there is a charge for any in room DVD or internet connection.
Dress Code: There is no special dress code on board. A casual atmosphere prevails during the day either on excursion or on board the ship. For the evening meal there is no requirement for formal jackets or ties and casual evening attire is welcomed. However as the welcome and farewell evenings are more formal occasions you may wish to dress accordingly. There also will also be entertainment nights that you may wish to dress up for. Please note shorts are not appropriate for the evening meal.
Bathrobes: You will be provided with a Scenic Cruises bathrobe in your cabin for the duration of the cruise. Should you wish to purchase one, you may order from the gift shop.
Laundry Service: We provide an on board service for all laundry for a fee. You will find the order form in your wardrobe and housekeeping will collect this from your cabin.
Travel Irons: The use of travel irons in cabins is prohibited by law for safety reasons. There is a pressing service available on board at a charge. 
Hairdryers: There is a hairdryer in every passenger cabin.
Public Bathrooms: In some locations you will be charged a small fee when using a public bathroom. We recommend you carry a small amount of local currency with you at all times. 
Smoking: Smoking is not permitted inside any of the motor coaches or on board the Scenic River Cruise Ships. Inclusive of the public areas, smoking is not permitted in the cabins or on the private balconies.
Entertainment: Every evening in the lounge, a musician will perform for your enjoyment. We will also welcome special guest performers on board to entertain you. 
Library: You may borrow books from the ship's library, free of charge. Please return any books that you have borrowed before the end of the cruise. 
Hairdresser: Our hairdresser is available in the salon located on the Moselle deck. You can make an appointment for a selection of hair services with Reception. 
Massage: The massage facilities are located in our wellness room on the Moselle Deck. You can make an appointment with Reception.
Gift Shop: Daily essentials from toothpaste to shaving items may be purchased from our on board shop located in the Atrium. Logo items are also available in the shop.
Questionnaire: We kindly ask you to fill in the questionnaire given to you at the end of the cruise. We are looking forward to all comments in order to constantly improve our service.
 
Money, Tipping & Shopping
What monetary currency is in use across Europe?
Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Slovenia, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain all use the Euro as their currency. One Euro is divided into 100 cents. Euro coins differ according to country, but bank notes are of uniform EU design.
Hungary
Hungary’s currency is the forint, which is divided into 100 fillér (please note that fillér coins are no longer in circulation).
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic’s currency is the koruna (Kc) or crown divided into 100 haler.
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 Cruises' 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.
 
Communications

Are internet cafés readily available?
Yes, internet cafés are throughout Europe and are a much more cost-effective way of communicating with friends and family than by telephone.

 
Food & Drink

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.

 
Safety & Other Information

How do I judge how safe it is to travel in these countries?
You must make your own inquiries regarding safety warnings and government warnings in relation to the destinations you are travelling to.

Are pickpockets prevalent?
Crowded tourist sites all over the world are at pickpocket risk so you should always be on alert. Keep your money hidden preferably in an inside pocket or money belt. Make two photocopies of valuables such as your passport, tickets, visas and travellers cheques. Keep one copy with you in a separate place to the original and leave another copy with someone at home.

What else should I be aware of?
While travelling don't carry too much cash and remember that expensive watches, jewellery and cameras may be tempting targets for thieves. 

What side of the road do cars drive?
Be aware that motorists drive on the right on the continent of Europe, so take care when crossing roads. Please also pay particular attention to bicycle lanes, which are often on the sidewalk. In The Netherlands a red pavement usually designates them. Exercise utmost care when crossing them as trams also often cross or share bicycle and pedestrian paths.

What else should I be aware of?
Air-conditioning is not yet as popular in Europe as back home and you may not find it everywhere. In some places due to environmental concerns it is strictly regulated.

European festive days, especially religious holidays, are quite numerous. On these occasions, particularly in May/June, you may find services in general slightly reduced.

Are there any unforseen costs I should be aware of?
Sometimes there is a small charge for public toilets, food and drinks usually cost more and the service may be a little more leisurely than you might expect.

Are there any restrictions on photography?
It may not be possible to use your camera or video camera at some sites of interest, or there may be a fee; please ask your Tour Director for further details. Not everyone might appreciate being on your souvenir home video or holiday photo, so please respect the privacy of local people and cruise directors/local guides by asking permission before filming or taking a photograph, especially in holy places.

 

Choose to spend an extra few days

Scenic Cruises' European river cruises embark and disembark in such magical cities as Amsterdam, Budapest , Bucharest, and Zurich. If you would like to spend some extra time exploring these cities, either before or after your cruise, Scenic Cruises offers exclusive rates at specially selected five-star hotels - the perfect places for your adventure to begin or end.
Choose the number of nights you'd like to stay, and, when you book through Scenic Cruises, we provide your arrival transportation from the airport to your hotel, then from the hotel to your cruise, or from the cruise to hotel to airport upon your departure.
 
Amsterdam - DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Amsterdam Centraal Station
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel is an exciting, new hotel located on the riverbank, within easy reach of local attractions such as the Rijksmuseum, the Anne Frank and Van Gogh museums. Major shopping districts are just a short walk away. The hotel is a destination in itself. City Café brings a stylish new award-winning restaurant concept, where you can choose to dine in or eat al fresco on the large waterfront terrace with its magnificent views.
Each bedroom is an airy, modern sanctuary that offers all the creature comforts you’d expect and some you might not, like an Apple iMac and free high-speed Wi-Fi.
And then there’s Skylounge, a truly spectacular setting to enjoy the unique views over the old town and beyond.
To find out more, please call us.
 
Basel - Swissôtel Le Plaza Basel
Swissôtel Le Plaza Basel is the largest hotel in Basel, ideally located within walking distance to Basel's many cultural sites such as ‘Fondation Beyeler’ or ‘Zoo Basel”, and directly connected to the Congress Centre Basel.
To find out more, please call us.
 
Budapest - Marriott Budapest
The Marriott Budapest is the perfect base to explore this enchanting World Heritage city of vibrant contrasts. Located in the city center, on the bank of the Danube River, all hotel guestrooms feature spectacular Danube views. Just minutes away are attractions like Parliament and Buda Castle, the Chain Bridge and Vaci Utca. Unwind with a cocktail or espresso in the contemporary AQVA Lounge Bar before dining at stylish Peppers! Mediterranean Grill, where you will find a mix of artfully prepared Hungarian-Mediterranean flavours.
To find out more, please call us.
 
Bucharest - JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel
The JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel surrounds you with elegance befitting the chosen hotel of European royalty and international dignitaries. Prestigiously located next to the stunning Parliament Palace, the JW Marriott Bucharest is its own "city within a city" complete with shopping gallery and casino, state-of-the-art fitness club, World Class Health Academy and 6 of Bucharest's finest restaurants including an American sports bar.
To find out more, please call us.
 
London - May Fair Hotel London
There are 5 star luxury hotels, and then there is The May Fair: an icon of expressive contemporary design, bringing together boutique attention to detail with grand hotel service.
To find out more, please call us.
 
Paris - Westin Hotel Paris
In the elegant heart of Paris, surrounded by all the enticements of the first arrondissement, we are moments from the Place Vendôme, Louvre Museum, Place de la Concorde, Tuileries Garden, and the boutiques of Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
To find out more, please call us.
 
Paris - Paris Marriott Opera Ambassador Hotel
The Paris Marriott Opera Ambassador Hotel resides in the centre of the prestigious Opera District, a short walk from the historic Opera House and only two blocks from Galeries Lafayette. This Paris hotel boasts 298 rooms and suites designed in a chic 1920s Art Deco style. The hotel also features an in-house fitness centre, restaurant, bar and 11 meeting rooms.
To find out more, please call us.
 
Prague - Marriott Hotel
This hotel enjoys a central location, mere steps from Old Town and Prague's major tourist attractions. Enjoy complimentary access to hotel's swimming pool as well as one of the largest fitness centres in Prague.
To find out more, please call us.
 
Zurich - Hotel Schweizerhof
The Hotel Schweizerhof Zürich is located opposite the main railway station at the beginning of the famous Bahnhofstreet. The elegant stone façade is a typical example of Zurich architecture. This hotel offers attractive rooms with elegant warm interiors, electrically adjustable beds and bathrooms of Italian granite. Triple glazed windows offer soundproofing for undisturbed relaxation and ultimate comfort – right in the heart of town.
To find out more, please call us.
 
Zurich - Marriott Hotel
The international business hotel Zurich Marriott is situated in the center of the city on the banks of the river Limmat and offers you unlimited comfort, innovation and high end technology in all the guest rooms. The location allows easy access to the business district, shopping and nightlife.
To find out more, please call us.
 

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