FAQ's: Before You Book

Answers to common questions regarding booking your tour or cruise with Global Journeys

General questions
Can I book a trip that is departing beyond the dates you have on your website?

No. But don't worry we have the most up to date pricing and itineraries, often even before the brochures hit the shelves, so if you can't see a date for next season on our site - then it hasn't been released yet.

Can I book from anywhere?

Yes. You can book our trips and cruises from anywhere. Please be aware that all trips are in english and at present we only provide prices in Australian and New Zealand dollars.

Can you tell me when departures for 2020 will become available?

Generally trip departures for 2020 are released at different times during the year depending on the destination. We've put a little table together below to help make it clearer.

Destination
Dates Released
Europe and Britain - Summer Departures
August (Previews*) September (General Release)
Europe and Britain - Winter Departures
April / May
Canada & USA
June
River Cruises
Jan (Previews*) - April (General Release)
Ocean Cruises
Regularly throughout the year
Asia
May / June
Australia
September
New Zealand
February / March
Africa
August

 

* To confuse things, Operators sometimes release "Preview" brochures with a subset of trips that you can book early. This subset is generally made up of their most popular trips likely to sell out quickly. These are released a month or two before the general release date.

Can we get a brochure mailed to us?

We do not mail out brochures. Our website provides you with all the itineraries, prices and destination information contained in over 230 brochures along with trips Operators couldn't fit into their printed brochures. If you wish to view the electronic brochure, then a link to it is available on each itinerary page (click on the brochure image).

When will I receive my travel documents?

Travel documents, including any paper tickets, e-tickets, e-docs, itineraries and other information, are emailed to you approximately two to three weeks prior to departure from your country of origin provided full payment has been received.

How is my airfare determined if I purchase my flights through Global Journeys?

Flight prices are quoted at the best price available at the time you make the reservation. An additional non-refundable deposit is required for air booked in conjunction with any land tour or cruise (i.e. air-inclusive holiday). However, once your airfare is confirmed, and Global Journeys has received your full air and trip deposit, your air-inclusive holiday price is guaranteed.

Flights are only available when booked in conjunction with a tour or cruise. Any revisions or changes to your airfare after receipt of full land and air deposit are subject to revision fees and/or airline imposed charges or cancellation fees. Please ask if any such charges apply before making changes, as all changes at your request are payable by you.

Can I earn Frequent Flyer points if we book our flights with you?

Frequent Flyer points may be applied to airfares, but it is subject to the terms and conditions of the Frequent Flyer programme. Please note Frequent Flyer points can not be used to upgrade your flights.

Are there any discounts or money savings offers to take advantage of?

Global Journeys offer exclusive savings and discounts to help you stretch your money further, including all applicable savings offered by each Operator including Earlybird Specials, Early Payment Discounts, Young Traveller Discounts just to name a few. All these discounts will automatically be included in your quote to achieve our best possible price. Our own additional exclusive deals are shown on each itinerary page.

Do I need travel insurance?

Global Journeys strongly recommends that all clients have an insurance policy in place to ensure your peace of mind before and whilst travelling. It's important that you protect yourself in case of trip cancellation/interruption should unforeseen circumstances prevent you from travelling as planned, travel/baggage delay or loss of baggage and medical expenses.

Please visit our Travel Insurance section for further information.

Touring questions
Will I be travelling with people from other countries?

It is quite typical to find 6-10 different nationalities on any one tour. You'll forge new friendships with other guests from Australia, America, Canada, Europe, New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore, Japan, and UK. All tours and river cruises are English guided only.

How and when can I find out if the tour I am interested in will definitely depart?

Find the tour(s) that you are interested in and select from the available dates, we will then email you a quote for that date letting you know the availability and whether it's a 'definite departure'. If it's not, we'll also let you know the closest available date that is definitely departing.

When can I purchase optional excursions?

Your Tour Guide will go through the optional excursions for purchase while you are on tour. You may choose and purchase any optional excursions at that time. A list of optional excursions will be included in your documents for review prior to departure. Note: There are a limited number of Operators that allow you to pre-book excursions before departure. Information on how to do this will be provided once your booking is confirmed.

What size is a triple room?

A triple room is the same size as a twin-share room. It will have beds to accommodate three people. If there are only two beds, a rollaway bed is normally used.

Can I request special dietary meals?

Most Operators can accommodate passengers who prefer a vegetarian diet and can assist with diabetic, gluten free and other medically recommended diets. Please advise at time of booking. Operators generally are unable to supply meals in accordance with strict religious requirements.

Even though our tour starts and ends in London, are we able to join (or finish) the tour in another city?

With most tours you can - however generally Tour Operators won't offer a reduction in the trip price if you do. Please ask at time of enquiry.

I want to do a tour of Europe, when is the best time to go?

Global Journeys have included a weather indicator for each month of the year - you can find this on each itinerary page.

How much time will I spend on the coach?

Depending on the itinerary and the destinations you are visiting this will vary. All trips will include comfort stops.

How much time will I spend at each destination?

This varies based on each itinerary. At times you'll have the opportunity for a picture stop and talk by your tour guide, other times you'll have a number of hours to visit key attractions. On some tours you'll have multiple night stays in the one destination giving you ample time to explore in your own time.

What is the difference between a Tour Guide/Director and a Local Guide?

A Tour Guide/Director will accompany you throughout your journey. Some indepenent trips use Local guides in each city to give you in-depth information on the culture, history and attractions of the region. If you choose to book pre or post accommodation or tour extensions your Tour Guide/Director may not accompany you during this part of your holiday.

Is there an option to buy a type of 'cancellation protection' when we make a booking?

Some tour operators provide an option where you can pay an extra non-refundable amount when you deposit your trip which gives you additional protection if you have to cancel before or during your holiday. Each policy is different, read about them below. If you wish for us to include this in your quote then please let us know before making your deposit.

River cruising questions
There are so many different river cruise operators, how do I make sure I choose the right one?

Deciding who to travel with is not an easy task. If you've travelled with a particular river cruise Operator before, and you loved the trip then it's not such a hard decision, and most of them have a special 'frequent traveller discounts' for repeat clients. When pricing your quote we'll take this into account. To help you compare River Cruise operators we have provided you with a quick guide which you can find here: Compare River Cruise Operators.

I want to do a European river cruise, what's the best time of year to go?

The most popular time to visit Europe is early summer, especially June and July. Part or all of August is often considered part of the low season in many cities (except for Paris, where it's July). Europeans go on vacation at this time, which means the beaches are packed, but the cities are devoid of locals and replaced by travellers. From August 15 to 31, most European cities either close down entirely (Rome is the most notorious) or go on severely shortened hours. From mid or late November through Easter (except for Christmas week) is low season in most places. However there are some great river cruises which allow you to take in Christmas time in Europe, something very unique. The Shoulder Season usually includes Spring (Easter through mid June) and Autumn/Fall (late September to mid or late November). Global Journeys have included a weather guide for each month of the year - you can find this on each itinerary page.

I'm a solo traveller, do river cruises cater for me?

For a single traveller who prefers the privacy of their own room, single accommodation can be requested. A single supplement normally applies (unless there is a special on) on normal twin-share rooms.

I'm thinking of joining a river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest, should I try to secure the port or starboard side of the ship?

Because most of Europe's historic towns and cities are often located on or close to the main rivers, it makes no difference which side of the ship you choose. There's always plenty to see along both sides of the river. Remember that Europe is very compact - you only have short distances to travel between towns (and even between countries).

I have special food requirements, will I be catered for?

All meals onboard are prepared by accomplished chefs and consist of local food adjusted to suit the tastes of international passengers. Generally that will include a buffet breakfast, and in Europe a buffet lunch. On the Yangtze, a mix of Western and Chinese dishes are generally offered. Dinner is generally a multi-course meal. If your vegetarian, on the first day of the cruise you need to make the Tour/Cruise Director aware of this so they can advise any chefs onboard the ships. However if you need gluten free meals you'll need to let us know beforehand so we can advise the Operator. Gluten intolerant passengers will also need to make the Tour/Cruise Director aware of your requirments, on the first day of the cruise.

How do I get to the cruise starting port?

Global Journeys can arrange for your flight into the city where the tour starts, or any other city if you wish to have pre-cruise touring days. This applies to the end of the river cruise as well if you wish to stay on, or extend your holiday.

Should I arrive a day or two ahead of the departure date?

Flying in on the same day as your river cruise departure does reduce your holiday expense, however flying in a day early lowers your stress level and is recommended. If you are cutting it close, a flight delay or cancellation could be a disaster. It is your responsibility to meet the ship, and a last-minute flight/transfer to the ship's next port won't be cheap. A night in a hotel before your cruise can also help you unwind and enjoy your first day on the ship.

When should I book shore excursions?

Your river cruise will stop at several ports. When it does, you are free to do what you like. You can go exploring on your own arouund town or join go on an organised excursion. Many of the Operators on our site offer various options (and mostly at no additional charge). These options could include walking tours at night, cycling tours, historical walks and gastronomic discoveries.

If this is your first river cruise we would recommend that you orgnaise any shore excursions while onboard with the cruise operator. Besides the convenience you can also rely on the transport provided & there's no chance that you will miss the ships' departure. (They will not wait for you if you are delayed on a private tour).

What happens in the evening, are we cruising during the night?

River cruises journey during the night and day. Some evenings local entertainment is provided onboard after which they disembark and the ship usually leaves the port, while you are dining, socialising and sleeping.

At each stop, am I able to wander on my own or do I have to join the guided tours?

You can do your own thing or join one of the groups to do a personalised walking tour. There is time to wonder on your own, go back to the ship for lunch or enjoy lunch at one of the local cafes. Sometimes included day trips take most of the day.

I've heard there is an option to buy a type of 'deposit cancellation protection' when we make a booking? What's that all about?

Most of the river cruise operators provide an option where you can pay an extra non-refundable amount when you deposit your river cruise which gives you additional protection if you have to cancel your cruise before or during your holiday. Each operators policy is different, read about them below. If you wish for us to include this in your quote then please let us know before making your deposit.

I have trouble with sea sickness on ocean cruising, am I likely to have the same problem with river cruising?

Sea sickness is not a problem on a river cruise as the ships are designed to virtually glide along & so you hardly realise you are moving. (Typically 12-15 mph cruising speed). The fact that you can see both banks of the river also means sea sickness is a rarity as there is no sense of a moving horizon.

I will be cruising during the Summer, do the ship's have swimming pools on board?

Because the ships are restricted in size to enable them to navigate the rivers and locks, there is not sufficient space for full size pools, but some have spa pools and internal pools available.

Ocean cruising questions
How do I know which cruise line is for me? What are my options?

There's a cruise line to suit virtually every traveller. Some fleets consist of large ‘resorts-at-sea’ with a vast selection of onboard recreation and entertainment facilities for non-stop fun between ports. Other classic vessels offer a traditional cruise experience while luxury lines provide a boutique setting and some extra indulgences.

You can opt for a casual or more formal atmosphere and choose to share your experiences with an intimate few (some ships accommodate fewer than 100 guests) or over 5,000 fellow globetrotters. To help you compare Cruise operators we have provided you with a quick guide which you can find here: Compare Cruise Operators.

What do I need to consider when choosing my cabin?

On most larger cruise ships there are four basic categories to choose from. These are Inside/Interior Staterooms (no window to the outside), Outside/Oceanview Staterooms (a window or porthole), Balcony Staterooms (a veranda accessible directly from your stateroom), or Suite (varying in configuration and facilities). Interior staterooms are the smallest and most economical, ranging through to suites with the most space at a higher price tag.

Often smaller luxury or expedition vessels have fewer distinctive categories, some with only suites or all balconies.

What is a ‘Guaranteed’ stateroom?

When you book a ‘Guaranteed’ stateroom you won’t be assigned a cabin number straight away. You will be guaranteed a stateroom in the category you have booked or higher and will be notified of your cabin number week or sometimes just days before your cruise embarkation.

These staterooms often come with a lower price tag and the potential of an upgrade. An upgrade is never a sure thing so only book a category that you are happy to cruise in. If you are travelling with others or have a preference of cabin location, be mindful that a guarantee may be assigned anywhere on the ship.

I get motion sickness; will I get seasick on an ocean cruise?

If you feel discomfort driving or flying, this does not mean you will experience seasickness on an ocean cruise. Ships have stabilisers designed to minimise movement and therefore the prevalence of motion sickness. However, if you are susceptible you might consider a stateroom on a lower deck and in the centre of the ship where it is steadier than the aft or the bow. There are also preventative medications available; consult your doctor to discuss your options before you cruise.

What is included in my cruise fare?

Cruise fare inclusions will vary by cruise line, and there is an option to suit every budget. You can opt for a more bare-bones fare which includes all the necessities or go for a more inclusive option.

Generally, the price you pay will include your accommodation, standard meals, most entertainment and some activities on board. Often there will be additional onboard activities or shows which incur a surcharge, and you’ll also need to budget for expenses such as drinks, meals in specialty restaurants where surcharges apply, shore excursions, internet, services such as spa or salon treatments, and any other incidentals you may choose to purchase.

Some Operators (particularly luxury lines) will already include some of these extras in your fare, perhaps offering a selection of free shore excursions, complimentary specialty dining, or beverage packages free of charge. Suite guests will also find additional privileges included in their fare.

Can I request special dietary meals?

Cruise lines can accommodate most special dietary requirements with prior notice. Please let your Global Journeys Cruise Advisor know at the time of booking so these requests can be made on your behalf.

I have special needs, am I still able to cruise?

Yes, most cruise lines can accommodate passengers with special needs, if advance notice is given to ensure individual requirements are met. Most ships have accessible staterooms that offer more space and accessible bathrooms; however, these are limited so it is essential to book early. It is important to notify your Global Journeys Cruise Advisor of any special requirements when you book.

What is there to do on ‘Sea Days’? Will I get bored?

On days where you do not make landfall you will have plenty of activities to choose from on board. On larger ships you may find anything from ropes courses to arcades, while on boutique liners you’re likely to have lectures, classes, or destination-themed activities on offer. On expedition-style ships that focus more on destinations you’ll find fewer facilities on board, however, these lines generally opt for more time on shore, so you’ll need less to fill your time at sea.

Do I have to book shore excursions, or can I do my own thing in port?

In port you have the option to take shore excursions organised through your cruise line or you can opt to explore independently. This could mean taking a tour through another Operator or sightseeing on your own. It is entirely up to you.

The biggest benefit of shore excursions booked through your cruise is that your ship will not depart without you even if there is a delay onshore. However, if you choose to sightsee independently and you are late getting back to the ship, it may have already set sail without you. Catching up to the next port will be at your own expense.

Shore excursions booked through your cruise line will also be run by licenced and tried and tested Operators on the ground. It is not uncommon for your ship to dock away from the centre of a destination or far from major attractions, so you’ll need to do some research if you plan on getting around on your own.

I am a solo traveller, do ocean cruises cater for me?

Yes. If you are cruising solo some cruise lines offer single cabins (or ‘studios’) which are designed and priced for one passenger. These are generally smaller than standard twin-share staterooms but have all the same basic facilities. You may also find a designated solo travellers lounge on some ships, and often there are events hosted for guests travelling alone to mingle. On ships where single staterooms are not available, or you prefer the space of a twin-share cabin, you can opt to pay a single supplement for sole occupancy.

What is the difference between Traditional Dining and Flexible Dining and when do I select my preference?

Dinner in the main dining room/s is often served based on an early and a late sitting to avoid everyone arriving en masse (particularly on larger ships). ‘Traditional Dining’ means you are booked at a fixed dining time and table each evening. You can nominate a preferred table size and guests on the same reservation will be accommodated together with other passengers (the same group each evening).

Flexible Dining allows you to arrive when you want and dine with different passengers nightly. Some lines allow you to make reservations once on board to minimise queuing on arrival.

Often you are required to select Traditional or Flexible Dining when you reserve your cruise, as sitting times can book out. On smaller luxury ships and expedition vessels (and some larger lines) you may not need to, as all guests may be accommodated in the same venue/s with open dining or the option to make reservations on a nightly basis.

How do Beverage Packages work?

A 'Beverage Package' allows you to pay an upfront fee for drinks within the scope of your package rather than paying per drink on board. Options vary by cruise line and you can choose between different tiers and inclusions. It is usually required that each person in your stateroom purchase a Beverage Package to avoid one guests ‘buying’ drinks for the others. You’ll also only be permitted one drink at a time.

Do I need to take out travel insurance if I am only cruising domestically?

Yes, even if you are an Australian cruising domestically, it is important that you protect yourself in case of trip cancellation/interruption should unforeseen circumstances prevent you from travelling as planned, travel/baggage delay or loss of baggage and medical expenses.

Please note that Medicare benefits are only payable if services are provided by an accredited Medicare provider, which may not be the case onboard (even on domestic sailings between Australian-only ports).

Please visit our Travel Insurance section for further information.

The Small Print
We’ve tried to make this FAQ guide as accurate as possible, but it is general advice and each tour and cruise Operator has their own rules and regulations. We've outlined those in the FAQ section on each Operator page. Please double check the essentials like visas, health and safety, airport information etc with the relevant authorities before you travel. Global Journeys takes no responsibility for loss, injury or inconvenience caused as a result of the information provided above.

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