FAQ's: Before You Book

Questions we regularly receive from clients before they book their river cruise or coach tour.

Touring FAQ's

Skip to River Cruise FAQ's

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

Yes, generally you can book a tour for the next season - the dates & itineraries are however always subject to change until the official release date. If you wish to do this to take up on an Early Payment Discount, then please email one of our Tour Consultants.

Can you tell me when tour dates for 2019 will become available?

Tour dates for 2019 are released at different times depending on the destination. We've put a little table together below to help make it clearer. If you join our email newsletter then we will let you know when new dates are released.


Dates Released

Europe and Britain - Summer Departures
Europe and Britain - Winter Departures
April / May
Canada & USA
River Cruises
Jan (Previews) - April (General Release)
May / June
New Zealand
February / March


To confuse things, Operators sometimes release "Preview" brochures with a sample of tours that you can book extra early. These are often popular tours likely to sell out quickly. These are normally released a month or two before the dates listed above.

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.

Could you please tell me the average age of the people that go on these tours?

All of the tours on our site are "open age" except for Contiki (18-30's) & TopDeck (18-39's). The general age of travellers on the rest of the tours tends towards 40+. To compare all tour Operators have a look at our comparison table.

How many people will be on the coach with me?

The numbers onboard each coach differs from one tour operator to another. If you go to the 'Tour Operators' section of our website this information is displayed for you. You can also access this information if you select the 'General Info' tab on each itinerary page.

Can we get a brochure mailed to us?

We do not mail out brochures. Our website provides you with all the tours, river cruises and information contained in over 80 brochures along with the trips that they couldn't fit in their printed brochures. If you wish to view the electronic brochure of a tour you are interested in, then a link to it is available on the 'Overview' tab of each tour itinerary (click on the brochure image).

Why is it important that I give my name as it appears on my passport when booking flights?

Due to increased travel security around the world, it is now more important than ever that your airline ticket matches your first and last name exactly as it reads on your passport. Additionally, any changes to your air booking, which include spelling, could be subject to a change fee, penalties, or cancellation.

When will I receive my travel documents?

Travel documents, including any paper tickets or e-ticket itineraries and other information, are mailed to you approximately two to three weeks prior to departure from Australia , provided full payment has been received.

Can I earn Frequent Flyer points if booking flights with you?

Frequent Flyer points may be awarded 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 on flights.

When can I purchase optional excursions?

Your Tour Director/Local Host 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.

What is the difference between a twin-bedded room and a double room?

A double room is a room designed to accommodate two people, though not necessarily with two separate beds. A twin-bedded room has two separate beds of any size; this is what we usually reserve for our travelers.

What size is a triple room?

A triple room is the same size as a twin bedded room. It will have beds to accommodate three people; however, we cannot guarantee that there will be three separate beds. If there are only two beds, a rollaway bed is normally used.

Can I request special dietary meals?

The meals on tour will provide you with a balanced diet and are based on local foods and menus. We 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. We regret that we are unable to supply meals in accordance with strict religious requirements.

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 SPECIALS are shown on each itinerary page.

Do I need travel insurance?

Global Journeys strongly recommends that all clients have an insurance policy 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 go to our Travel Insurance section for further information.

Even though the 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 the coach tour operators won't offer a reduction in the tour price if doing so. 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 the right hand side of any tour itinerary page.

How much time will I spend on the coach?

Depending on the itinerary and your destinations this will vary. Longer trips will have breaks in between for passenger comfort and to view attractions in between. Time on the coach gives you the opportunity to meet new friends. All coaches are air conditioned for passenger comfort.

How much time will I spend at each destination?

Depending on your tour, this will vary. At times you'll have the opportunity for a picture stop and talk by your tour director other times you'll have a number of hours to visit inside key attractions. On some tours you will 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 director and a local guide?

Your tour director will accompany you from the start to the end of your tour, educating you on the places and the history of the destination. Local guides are included in many cities to give you in-depth information on the culture, history and attractions of the city. Both Tour Director and Local Guides have a passion for travel, people and the destination and look forward to sharing their passion with you. If you chose to book either a "pre" or "post" - vacation extension, please note that your Tour Director may not escort you during this part of your vacation.

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

Air 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 (i.e. air-inclusive holiday). However, once your airfare is confirmed, and Global Journeys has received your full air and land deposit, your air-inclusive holiday price is guaranteed. Departure is based on the land start date as listed in the tour itinerary. Air is only available to passengers travelling from Australia and only available when booked in conjunction with a land tour. Any revisions or changes to airfare at your request after receipt of full land and air deposit are subject to revision fees and/or airline imposed change or cancellation fees. Please ask if any such charges apply before making changes as all changes at your request are payable by you.

River Cruising FAQ's

There are so many different operators doing European Cruises, 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 coach tour operator or 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 discount' 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 Cruise, what is 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 tourists. Especially 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 fall (late September to mid or late November). Global Journeys have included a weather indicator for each month of the year - you can find this on the right hand side of any tour itinerary page.

I am a solo traveller, does a cruise cater for me?

For a single traveller who prefers the privacy of their own room, single accommodation can be requested. A Single supplement will apply.

I'm thinking of cruising 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 were often located on or close to the main rivers, it makes no difference which side of the ship you choose, as there is always plenty to see along all the rivers. Remember that Europe is very compact - you only have short distances to travel between towns (and even between countries).

Can we get a brochure mailed to us?

We do not mail out brochures. Our website provides you with all the tours, river cruises and information contained in over 50 brochures along with their trips that they couldn't fit in their printed brochures. If you wish to view the electronic brochure of a tour you are interested in, then a link to it is available on the 'Overview' tab of each tour itinerary. If you have any queries on any of the tours, we are here to help.

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

All meals on board are prepared by accomplished chefs and consist of local food adjusted to suit the tastes of international passengers. There is a buffet breakfast and in Europe a buffet lunch including a choice of soups and main courses with appetizer, salad or sandwich and dessert. On the Yangtze, a mix of Western and Chinese dishes are offered; in the Galapagos, you'll be able to taste some Ecuadorian specialties. Dinner is a multi-course meal with choice of soups and entrees. If a passenger is vegetarian, on the first day of the tour/cruise they just need to make the Tour/Cruise Director aware of this so they can advise the hotels and chefs onboard our ships. However if the person needs gluten free meals you will need to let us know beforehand so we can advise overseas.  The passengers will also need to confirm these requirements, on the first day of the tour/cruise ,with the Tour/Cruise Director.

How do I get to the cruise start?

We 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 tour also, if you wish to stay on, or extend your holiday, ask us about the savings that can be made by booking two or more tours with us. Have you seen our city break packages? Designed to fit in with existing longer tours these shorter duration holidays are the perfect pre and post cruise option.

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

Flying in on the same day does reduce your tour expense as there is no extra accommodation cost, however flying in a day early lowers your stress level.  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 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.

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 for a walk around town, hire a taxi, or go on an organized trip. If this is your first cruise we would recommend that you book your shore excursions with the cruise operator. This is convenient as the cruise operator has done the leg work for you. You can also rely on the transport provided & there is no chance that you will miss the boat departure. (They will not wait for you if you are delayed on a private tour). Booking with the operator you also can rely on the excursion provider as they will have been providing the service for a long time & have proven their reliability.

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

River Cruises cruise during the night and during the day. Some evenings there is local entertainment onboard after which they disembark and the ship usually leaves the port, while you are dining, enjoying yourself, and sleeping.

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

Once we dock in the historic village or town and after breakfast we break into groups of approx 15 to do a personalised walking tour and then 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 there are day trips included which take most of the day.

I've heard there is an option to buy a type of 'deposit cancellation protection' when you make your 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, there is not sufficient space for full size pools, but most have Whirlpools available. Have a look at our 'Compare River Cruise Operators' page to see the Operators that do and don't.

The Small Print
We’ve tried to make this guide as accurate as possible but 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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