Scenic FAQ's

Frequently asked questions when planning your Scenic river cruise, tour or Scenic Eclpise ocean cruise with Global Journeys.

General FAQ's

Do I still receive my Scenic Club benefits if I book with Global Journeys?

Yes, you can read more about Scenic Club here. Your Global Journeys Consultant will help you with any questions you have about this.

Can I book any Scenic trip with Global Journeys?

Yes you can, and we now have Scenic's full range on our website.

How do I select my Scenic Freechoice activities?

Scenic Freechoice activities are subject to availability, operational and seasonal factors. All activities can be reserved, subject to availability with the Scenic Tour Director whilst on tour unless otherwise stated. Please note a minimum number of people are required for some activities to operate.

River Cruising FAQ's

Will there be a Cruise Director on my cruise?

Yes, an experienced English speaking Cruise Director accompanies every trip.

What is the language on the Space-ships?

The language on board is English. All staff, crew and tour guides speak English and all announcements and lectures will be made in English.

What is the electricity on the ships?

On Board Electricity on board all ships is 220V. A power plug adaptor will be required to use small appliances such as electric shavers, clocks, mobile phone chargers etc. We do not provide the required adaptors.

Are there hairdryers in the cabins?

Hairdryers are available in all cabins on river cruise ships.

Are there laundry facilities on the ships?

Limited laundry facilities are available on board cruise vessels and costs are additioanl and the responsibility of the guests. When stay in a hotel you can generally arrange laundry direct with the hotel although it can be costly. Some hotels will provide an iron for you upon request.

What are the seating arrangements in the Crystal Dining Room?

The Crystal Dining rooms are single dining sessions with open, unreserved seating. The restaurant manager is responsible for the seating arrangements.

When is the Sun Deck open for use?

Due to the number of low bridges on the waterways, there are times where the Sun Deck is not accessible which limits access to the vitality pool. Otherwise, the Sun Deck is available for guests to enjoy at all other times.

What clothing do I need to pack?

We recommend casual and comfortable clothing. Please bring comfortable walking shoes as you will need these daily whilst sightseeing, which includes walking over rough and uneven ground. Closed-in shoes are recommended to keep out the dust and sand. Dinner attire is casual-open-neck shirts, slacks and dresses. Coats and ties may be worn but are not required. For winter months we recommend a warm coat, gloves, water-resistant footwear and an umbrella.

Communication FAQ's

How do I make telephone calls back to Australia?

Phoning home from hotels is expensive. All hotels will add a service charge to the cost of any phone calls you make from your room which can be very high. Ship-to-shore telephone calls can also be extremely expensive. It is always cheaper for you to use public telephones. If you decide to make a direct call to Australia – always remember to dial the international access code 00 followed by the country code 61 (Australia), the area code (without the 0) and your phone number. Local phone cards are available at tobacco stores, kiosks and post offices.

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. This is especially important in holy places and when visiting indigenous people. If someone is giving a public performance then permission is not usually necessary – but if in doubt, ask or refrain.

Please Note: Photography is prohibited in 'restricted' areas such as bridges, dams, ports and airports as well as military installations or security-sensitive places such as police stations.

Can I photograph or film in museums?

Museums and attractions have differing rules regarding cameras and videos. While some do not allow cameras to be taken in at all, at others a fee or a permit may be required. Your guide will advise of the rules at each particular site and what is required. Please tell your guide if you will require a permit at the time and he/she will purchase a special ticket and advise you accordingly. In many museums, tombs and temples the use of a flash is strictly prohibited.

Can I easily obtain batteries and memory cards?

Generally, yes. In Africa batteries and memory cards are expensive and difficult to obtain in much of Africa so it's best to bring extras with you.

Food & Drink FAQ's

Can you accommodate special dietary requirements?

Yes. If you have not already advised your Global Journeys Tour Consultant 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.

Please Note: The selection of foods in China, Vietnam and Cambodia for vegetarians and other dietary requirements can lack variety and flavour. Your Tour Director will do their best to make sure your requirements are met however it is recommended that you bring a small supply of energy bars, nuts or dried fruit from home to supplement your diet.

What type of food can I expect?

Your tours cover an amazing range of cultures and landscapes and the food available en route reflects this diversity, 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.

Are there any foods that I should avoid?

Avoid eating Icecreams sold by roadside vendors, Undercooked meat, Unpeelable fruits or vegetables and reheated food. Remember to make sure fresh fruit has been washed and wash your hands before and after eating.

Is the water safe to drink?

The tap water is safe to drink in the following travel destinations: Canada, Alaska, USA, Australia, Norfolk Island and New Zealand. Do not drink the tap water in the following travel destinations: South America, Antarctica, Africa, China, India, Vietnam and Cambodia.

It is best to not even allow your mouth near tap water, which includes brushing your teeth. Have bottled mineral waters opened in your presence and regard all ice as unsafe. Scenic Tours include bottled water for all touring days, with meals, at your hotel and on board cruises.

When do I advise my choice for Scenic Freechoice Dining?

Scenic Freechoice Dining is subject to availability and is restricted to limited numbers and dining times. Pre-selection of your preferred dining choice will be required prior to your arrival into each applicable destination. Your Tour Director will do all possible to accommodate your choice; unfortunately this may not always be achievable. Scenic Free Choice dining is not available in Eastern Canada.

Do I need to be aware of anything else when dining?

In Canada, Alaska & USA entrées are actually main courses and appetisers are what we would refer to as an entrée. For travel in East Africa, South America & Antarctica, use caution when eating salad items that may have been washed in tap water.

Health & Fitness FAQ's

Should I provide Scenic 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.

We strongly recommend a visit to your doctor and dentist prior to your tour. If you are aged 70 or over at the Tour Departure date you must provide us with a doctor's letter confirming you are fit and healthy enough to take part in the specified tour including reference to the itinerary, destinations and tour departure date. You must advise us of any pre-existing medical conditions that might reasonably be expected to increase your risk of requiring medical attention, affect the normal conduct of the tour and/or the enjoyment of other tour members. You will be required to fill in our Health and Fitness form and hand it to your Tour Director on the tour departure date.

What health precautions should I take?

South America & Antarctica:

  • Be careful about the water you drink and only drink bottled water that has not had the seal broken.
  • In the tropics or at high altitude you can get sunburned surprisingly quickly, even through cloud. Use a sunscreen, hat and barrier cream for your nose and lips.
  • Calamine location and aloe vera gel are good for mild sunburn. Eyes should be protected with good quality sunglasses.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water and drink only bottled or boiled water, or carbonated drinks in cans or bottles.
  • Avoid tap water, fountain drinks and ice cubes.
  • Eat only thoroughly cooked food or fruits and vegetables you have peeled yourself and don't eat food purchased from street vendors.
  • Don't eat dairy products unless you know they have been pasteurised.
  • If you will be visiting an area where there is risk for malaria, take your malaria prevention medication before, during, and after travel, as directed (see your doctor for a prescription).
  • Protect yourself from insects by remaining in well-screened areas, using repellents (applied liberally at 4-hour intervals) and permethrin-impregnated mosquito nets, and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants from dusk through dawn.
  • To prevent fungal and parasitic infections, keep feet clean and dry, and do not go barefoot; and don't handle animals (especially monkeys, dogs, and cats), to avoid bites and serious diseases (including rabies and plague).

Africa:

  • Take your malaria prevention medication before, during, and after travel, as directed (see your doctor for a prescription).
  • Protect yourself from insects by remaining in well-screened areas, using repellents (applied liberally at 4-hour intervals) and permethrin-impregnated mosquito nets, and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants from dusk through dawn.
  • Seasonal outbreaks of cholera in Zambia and Kenya are common. Please consult your GP or travel clinic on precautionary measures.
  • Please ensure you only drink bottled water and avoid ice cubes and raw or undercooked foods.
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. Also please refer to the Australian Government's Smart Traveller website for additional information.

South America & Antarctica:

  • Malaria tablets may be recommended by your GP.
  • A Yellow Fever Vaccination Card is required for entry to and exit from many parts of South America including Peru.

Africa:

  • A Yellow Fever Vaccination Card is required for entry into Kenya.
  • Malaria tablets are advisable for all non-African visitors.
  • Seasonal outbreaks of cholera in Zambia and Kenya are common. Please consult your GP or travel clinic on precautionary measures.

Asia & India:

  • If you are entering India from an infected area such as Africa, then you must be vaccinated against Yellow Fever.
  • Hepatitis (both A and B, depending on your individual circumstances), meningitis and typhoid shots are also recommended, as is a booster shot for tetanus.
What sort of fitness level do I require to travel?

We welcome you if you have a disability or other special need, provided you are able to care for yourself or are accompanied by a companion capable of providing all the assistance you require. Please note that although we will use reasonable endeavours to provide you with all the activities on your Itinerary, depending on your disability, you may not be able to participate in every activity and the Tour Director will have the right to refuse your participation if the Tour Director believes your health and safety or the health and safety of other passengers may be impacted by your participation. You must advise Global Journeys of any disability, medical condition or dietary requirement at the time of booking.

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. For trips to South America, Africa & Asia, a good level of fitness is required.

Can I travel in a wheelchair?

We regret that we are unable to accept wheelchair bound guests. Guests who travel with a collapsible wheelchair may also encounter some difficulties due to the structure of old buildings with access to some establishments not being convenient for wheelchair use. Facilities for the disabled in general may be limited with many areas being pedestrian only.

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. We strongly advise that you reconfirm your meal requests with the Scenic Tour Director upon joining your tour.

Can I smoke on tour?

A "non-smoking" room often means the establishment has merely removed the ashtray. Where possible we have requested non-smoking rooms and non-smoking sections of restaurants. On board the Lake Nasser and Nile Cruise Ships, smoking is only permitted on the outer decks. Smoking is not allowed in cabins or in public areas. Smoking is not permitted on motor coaches used during the land touring and shore excursions.

Where should I be worried about altitude sickness?

Some South American cities such as Cuzco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu are situated at altitudes of 3,200 metres above sea level or higher. At these levels, altitude sickness (caused by lack of oxygen at high altitudes) affects most people to some extent. Mild symptoms include headache, lethargy, dizziness, difficulty sleeping and loss of appetite. AMS may become severe without warning. Please consult your doctor before departure to ensure you have an adequate level of fitness and health.

Luggage FAQ's

How much luggage can I bring on a Scenic tour or cruise?

The luggage allowance whilst on a tour or cruise is one suitcase with a maximum size of 76 x 53 x 28 cms (30 x 21 x 11'') and weight of 20 kilograms. You may also carry a small backpack or the Scenic Tours issued overnight bag. Additional bags beyond the luggage allowance may incur additional charges and are to be settled directly to the hotel or as required.

South America & Antarctica: We recommend when travelling to South America that you use hard suitcases that can be securely locked and that your hand luggage is a bag with a shoulder strap that is easy to carry or a robust backpack. If your tour visits Machu Picchu, you are required to pack down to hand luggage for one night's accommodation with a maximum weight for overnight luggage of 5 kilograms. Remaining luggage will be stored in the Sacred Valley. Excess luggage will incur a charge and may not travel on the same train.

Africa: When travelling in Kenya you need to take a small soft bag to pack down into, as suitcases are unable to be taken in safari vehicles. Suitcases will be stored in Nairobi whilst touring and returned to you at Nairobi Airport

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.

Are there any extra airline baggage fees?

Most domestic carriers within the USA and Canada have introduced new baggage fees and charges either for the first piece of luggage and/or additional pieces. Our policy for passengers travelling on our international tours permits one piece of luggage regardless of whether the airlines have any further free luggage allowance. If you are travelling through on a domestic connection as part of your international ticket, they may allow the on carriage of your luggage to your final destination free of charge, but this is not guaranteed. If a separate domestic USA/Canada flight and/or ticket is necessary on your itinerary, the airline may charge you a baggage fee and this may vary for each airline.

Should I attach the Scenic 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.

What clothing should I pack?

In General:

  • 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
What is the appropriate dress for visiting holy places?

When visiting churches and monasteries, modest dress is required i.e. no shorts, miniskirts or sleeveless tops.

Turkey and Morocco: As these are Muslim countries and you need to dress conservatively. To visit mosques, clean and modest dress is appreciated and often required. Thighs, shoulders and tops of upper arms should not be shown. Men also need to cover their bare legs and cannot enter mosques wearing shorts. Some holy places will supply scarves for tourists to borrow.

Egypt and Dubai: Being conservative Muslim nations, modesty in dress is expected. In religious buildings, both men and women need to cover their shoulders and legs. Some holy places will supply scarves for tourists to borrow.

India: Conservative and modest dress is expected - it is recommended you cover as much skin as possible. In religious buildings, both men and women need to cover their shoulders and legs. Women should also wear baggy clothes that do not emphasise their contours. In mosques, churches and temples it is obligatory to take off your shoes.

What else do I need to pack?

The following list may be useful when packing for your trip:

  • Airline tickets and passport (plus extra photocopies and passport photos)
  • Travel and travel insurance documentation, and itinerary (make a copy for your emergency contact)
  • Travellers 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 cards and batteries 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
  • Small torch and batteries (there is minimal lighting at remote locations)
  • Overnight bag (for overnight rail journeys)
  • First aid kit
  • Binoculars (for Africa & Middle East tours)

Please Note: All hotels on tour provide towels, irons, hair dryers, soap and shampoo within the room.

Money & Tipping FAQ's

What currency will I need to take?

Most countries visited in Europe will use the Euro although some still have their own local currency (eg. Scandinavia, Switzerland, Russia & Baltic States). For small purchases ashore or in small towns, local currency is advantageous. Many locations accept major credit cards. ATM machines are located onshore at some stops. Prior to departure you should confirm your ATM card and PIN will work overseas. All purchases on board are charged to your shipboard account. The on board currency on river cruise ships is the Euro. Shipboard accounts may be paid by Euro or credit card. The on board currency on Russian river cruise ship is the Rouble however shipboard accounts may only be paid by credit card.

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?

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. Before travelling ensure your credit cards are valid for at least 30 days after the completion of the tour.

It is recommended you contact your bank before leaving Australia to advise that you will be using your credit card overseas and to check that you can withdraw cash on your card abroad. Be prepared to show identification (i.e. your passport) when making a transaction with your credit card. Ask your credit card company for the emergency number (suitable for international access) to report loss.

Does Scenic 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. Please note: Tipping is NOT included for meals, drinks, taxis and transfers that are not included as part of the tour (including Asian stopovers). As a guide for taxis, tip 10-15% of the fare on the meter. We recommend you pre-negotiate taxi fares to avoid unpleasant surprises at the end of the journey. In restaurants and bars, tip 10-15% of the total bill. If a service charge has already been added there is no need to tip as much or at all.

Travel & Accommodation FAQ's

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.

Europe: For all land tours and cruises 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.

Canada, Alaska & USA: There will be an additional Cruise Representative on board our cruise ships, however it may be a different person to the representative escorting the land portion. The Cruise Representative is available if you require information, cruising tips, or have any questions during Hospitality Desk hours, which are assigned at the discretion of each ship. The Cruise Representative can also be contacted at any time through the ship's cabin-to-cabin telephone. Watch for the newsletter that our Scenic Cruise Representative will deliver to your cabin the first evening on board, which will include details of Hospitality Desk Hours, Welcome Presentation and Disembarkation Meeting times and locations.

Asia & India: There will be a Cruise Director who will coordinate all onboard activities for our Yangtze River cruise, however your Tour Director will be travelling onboard as well and will be available for your convenience if you require information, cruising tips or have any questions.

What level of quality is the booked accommodation?

Europe: Europe's tourist industry is centuries old and its hotels very often reflect the varied traditions and cultures of each country, so do not expect European hotels to be the same as those back home. You may find hotel rooms are slightly smaller. Most European hotel rooms do not have tea/coffee or ironing facilities in the room.

South America & Antarctica: Single rooms are designed for one bed and as such in some locations are smaller than twin rooms. Scenic cannot guarantee that clients will receive a Double Bed at all properties due to limited availability with this configuration, and in some cases, clients may be accommodated in twin share rooms.

Asia & India: In India, some of the hotels you will be staying in are heritage properties (former Royal Palaces and Forts) where no two rooms are the same. These grand heritage hotels were once the residence of the Royal families of these areas. This is a unique opportunity to experience the past lifestyle of Indian Royalty.

What time can I check-in to my hotel?

If your flight arrives before noon (usually 14.00 is check-in time) at the city where your tour starts, the hotel may not have your room available until mid afternoon. We endeavour to ensure that rooms are ready for your arrival times however this is not always possible and is outside our control. Some people use this time to explore the neighbourhood, shop or relax in the hotel public areas. On arrival at your hotel, please check to see if your Tour Director has already posted tour information in the foyer.

Canada, Alaska & USA: In many locations, hotel check-in is generally between the hours of 15.00-17.00. If you arrive early, we suggest you ask your hotel to store your luggage so you can explore the area. You can also rest in the guest lounge or lobby, or request an early check-in or reserve a pre-night.

Egypt & Middle East: You are required to have at least 4 copies of your passport when checking in to your hotel in Egypt.

Asia & India: The usual check-in times are as follows: China - 14.00, India - 12.00 (midday), Vietnam - 14.00 and Cambodia - 14.00.

Will I be pre-assigned a cabin?

Cruise lines do not always pre-allocate cabin numbers. If your cabin number is not shown on your documentation, your cabin will be assigned when you board the ship. Cabin allocation is at the discretion of the ship, your stateroom number is not guaranteed/confirmed until cruise check-in, even if a stateroom number has already been provided in your documentation. From time to time, cruise liners may upgrade passengers at no additional cost, yet this is on a random basis only.

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.

Are laundry facilities available?

Laundry can be arranged direct with the hotel although it can be costly. Some hotels will provide an iron for you upon request.

Where will I be seated on board the coach?

To ensure all passengers have the opportunity to enjoy front and window seats, a daily seat rotation system is employed on our coaches. It works on a scatter system where you are rotated around the coach by numbers, which allows you to get to know other members of the group.


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