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Frequently Asked Questions: Guided Vacations

What’s the pace of the trip like?

Trips fall into three categories: Leisurely, Comfortable, and Active.  Categories reflect the length of the trip, number of nights spent in each place, and types of activities you’ll experience. We’ve included the pace on the top of each trip to help you understand how active your vacation will be.

What are the motor coaches like?

All of our guided vacations feature the finest fleet of luxury motor coaches.  You’ll enjoy traveling in comfort with panoramic windows, air-conditioning, and reclining seats.  Insight Vacations utilize 40 seat motor coaches with extended business class legroom.  And most motor coaches feature on-board Wi-Fi connections so you can stay connected with friends and family back home.

How long will I spend on the motor coach?

You will very seldom spend more than a couple hours without stopping for photos or a visit.  Some journeys are much shorter.  Many times you’ll have multiple days at leisure without any travel. When you are on the move, plenty of rest stops are included along the way to ensure your comfort. Your Travel Director will always advise the travel time each day.

How much walking is involved on a guided vacation?

All itineraries involve walking, often on cobblestones and uneven surfaces. You need to be in good physical condition (able to walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day and keep up with the group). If you have questions or concerns, please contact a Travel Specialist. 

Is there assigned seating?

There are no assigned seats, but you Travel Director will implement a daily seat rotation system.  This ensures that everyone gets to enjoy the spectacular view from different angles, and gives you an opportunity to get to know your fellow travelers. 

How many people will be on tour with me?

Group sizes vary from 26 to 52 depending on the type of vacation you choose.

Will I have time to explore on my own?

You’ll enjoy the perfect balance of planned activities and time for personal exploration on all of our itineraries. 

What’s included in the price of my vacation?

The prices listed in our brochure and on our website cover all hotel accommodations and porterage, all applicable sightseeing and admissions as per the itinerary, motor coach, cruise or rail transportation.  Many meals are also included – detailed information can be found on each trip page.

Can I book a group?

We take the hassle out of booking a group vacation and offer some great discounts for 10 or more people.  Learn more about our group discounts here.

What is the size of a triple room?

A triple room is the same size as a twin bedded room.  There will only be two beds and a rollaway may be requested but cannot be guaranteed.

What is an “optional experience” and how do I book one?

Most vacations offer a selection of optional activities which are not included in the price of your vacation but are designed to enhance your travel experience.  A detailed list and costs can be found in your travel documents or on our website.  There is no need to pre-book and you can sign up directly with your Travel Director.  

Where will my hotel be located and what will it be like?

Our trips feature the best hotels in every destination. You’ll stay exclusively in accommodations that have been independently rated as First Class European Standard. These hotels are generally centrally located within a city and feature all the modern amenities including complimentary Wi-Fi. Other hotels are situated in scenic locations outside the city.  You’ll find hotel names listed on each trip page and we encourage you to read unbiased reviews on tripadvisor.com.

Is baggage handling provided?

Yes.  All hotel baggage handling is provided at no extra charge and included in your vacation purchase price.  One suitcase per person will be delivered to your room by hotel staff.

How much luggage can I bring?

You may bring one suitcase per person weighing up to 50 lbs.  You may also bring one piece of hand luggage provided it is small enough to take on the coach.  These details will also be provided in your travel documents.  Please note that air carriers may have their own restrictions and requirements including weight.  We recommend that you contact the airlines directly for additional information. You can also learn more about checked baggage fees and allowances here.

Do you accommodate special needs?

Our partners make every effort to accommodate any special needs requests, whether it be a dietary restriction or physical limitations.  In order to accommodate your needs as best possible, we ask that you let your Travel Specialist know at the time of booking.  You may be asked to fill out a form depending on the type of request.

Can I use my electrical appliances?

Electrical plugs and outlets differ throughout the world, so you’ll need a universal travel adaptor suitable for the countries you are traveling to.  We also suggest that you carry a converter for any electronics that are not dual voltage (such as some curling irons) in order to prevent them from being damaged.

Do you charge a single traveler supplement?

If you are a solo traveler and prefer the privacy of your own room, a supplement will be applied to the price of your trip. The cost will depend on your trip and can be found in the pricing section of the itinerary. On many of our trips we offer discounts on the standard single supplement.  If you’d rather not incur the additional expense, consider the room share option available on most of our vacations. We’ll accommodate you with a fellow guest of the same gender, on a twin-bed basis.  Please note that room shares are not valid on all trips. 

When will I receive my documents?

About 15 days prior to departure you will receive a travel information package that includes your itinerary, hotel list, baggage tag, travel wallet, and more.  Please note that your airline e-tickets and other travel documentation must bear your FULL name as it appears on your passport. It is important that you review your travel documents immediately upon receipt and contact us if any changes are required.

What if I have to cancel my trip?

If your cancellation takes place within 30 days of your booking, your $350 deposit will be fully refunded. However we understand that family or health circumstances can arise at any time, and that's why we recommend travel insurance.  Our optional Travel Protection Plan protects your travel investment, allowing you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. You'll also be covered should you become sick while traveling and need to return home. Click Here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

Can I use my credit and debit cards in Europe? 

Most major credit cards are widely accepted throughout Europe. Credit cards and most debit cards can be used for ATM cash withdrawals onshore (there are no ATM machines onboard the ships). We recommend bringing at least one credit card plus an ATM card. Try to avoid carrying euro notes larger than €100, as merchants may be hesitant to accept them due to counterfeiting. Limited currency exchange is available onboard (cash only) and all major hotels have exchange facilities. Travelers Checks are not recommended.

It’s always a good idea to let your credit card issuer and bank know of your plans to travel abroad so they can expect foreign transactions on your account.

Do you have a Past Traveler Program?

Once you travel with any of our partners – Uniworld, Trafalgar, or Insight Vacations – you are automatically eligible to receive a 5% Past Traveler discount on all vacations booked directly through Grand European Travel.

Meet our expert Travel Specialists here

Frequently Asked Questions: River Cruises

The following information applies to cruises in Europe only.  Please contact a Travel Specialist at 1-877-622-9109 to learn more.

What sets Uniworld apart from other river cruise companies?

As the world’s most renowned river cruise line, Uniworld delivers the highest level of service with every journey.  You’ll enjoy unrivaled value with included features you won’t find anywhere else – personalized activities, unlimited access to world-class wines and spirits, onboard and shore gratuities, and more. 

Which cruise itinerary is best for me?

A good choice for first-time river cruisers is a Danube River cruise, which offers an enjoyable “tasting menu” of many top cultural sites. A Rhine River cruise, with stunning scenery and dozens of castles, is another great option. Second- or third-timers may enjoy visiting Eastern Europe via a cruise along the Lower Danube. More experienced travelers seeking something new might consider the Douro River in Portugal.

Can I extend or customize my river cruise or land extension? 

Your Travel Specialist can assist you with booking optional pre- or post-cruise land extensions on many itineraries. If you are traveling with a group of 10 or more guests, the cruise or tour itinerary may be customized to suit the group’s needs.

Where will the ship dock?

In many ports, your river ship is small enough to dock within easy walking distance of the historic city center. Elsewhere, the ship may need to dock farther away and a motor coach transfer will be provided. There may be times when your ship moors next to another ship or between ships, especially in busy ports.

What's the food like?

Uniworld’s classically trained chefs use fresh, locally-sourced ingredients for all onboard meals, which feature both regionally-inspired and western dishes.

Can you accommodate special diets?

Uniworld Staff will do their very best to accommodate your needs given the resources available. Kindly inform us in advance if you have specific dietary requests (e.g., low-fat, low-calorie, gluten-free, sugar-free, vegetarian, etc.). There is a “Traveling Lite” menu for guests seeking more health-conscious options, as well as light lunches, vegetarian options, and generous buffets that offer something for everyone.

What about gratuities, either onboard or onshore? 

All gratuities for ship staff and crew, as well as your onshore tour guides are included in your cruise fare. When going ashore on your own, it’s a good idea to keep in mind that tipping is less expected and more modest in Europe than it is in North America (although equally appreciated).

What should I pack?

It’s best to pack for a range of weather conditions, depending on the season and regions visited. Wearing layers will allow you to easily adjust to temperature changes. We recommend wearing comfortable, smart-casual clothing both onshore and onboard. We also suggest sturdy walking shoes, as you will do a significant amount of walking on shore excursions, often over cobblestones or uneven terrain. A sun hat, rain gear, and a coat or wrap for chilly evenings are useful items to have.

Is there a dress code?

For dining ashore, concerts, special events onboard, etc., men may want to bring a sports jacket and women a cocktail dress or pantsuit, but it is not required. Neckties are optional. Please note that shorts are not allowed at dinner aboard the ship.

Are three people per room allowed?

Triple bookings are allowed only in some suites onboard two ships (the S.S. Catherine and the S.S. Maria Theresa). Please contact a Travel Specialist with specific inquiries and we will do our best to assist you.

Can I use my credit and debit cards in Europe? 

Most major credit cards are widely accepted throughout Europe. Credit cards and most debit cards can be used for ATM cash withdrawals onshore (there are no ATM machines onboard the ships). We recommend bringing at least one credit card plus an ATM card. Try to avoid carrying euro notes larger than €100, as merchants may be hesitant to accept them due to counterfeiting. Limited currency exchange is available onboard (cash only) and all major hotels have exchange facilities. Travelers Checks are not recommended.

It’s always a good idea to let your credit card issuer and bank know of your plans to travel aboard so they can expect foreign transactions on your account.

What is the voltage?

Voltage in Europe and aboard our ships is 220v/50Hz with 2-pin “Schuko” outlets. All staterooms also have 110v outlets. Your electrical appliances from home may require an adapter and / or converter.

Is there onboard internet access?

Select ships offer complimentary Wi-Fi access. Please view your ship’s specific information page or contact your Travel Specialist to find out if Wi-Fi is available onboard. Service may be briefly interrupted in remote areas, while sailing, or when moving through locks, and the speed will likely be slower than what you are used to back home.

How do I book optional excursions once onboard?

Optional excursions can be booked with your Cruise Manager and charged to your onboard account. Some optional excursions need a minimum number of participants to operate. There are no refunds for cancellations made within 24 hours of the tour start time or for pre-paid tours. On pre/post-cruise extensions, you may book optional excursions with your Local Host and pay by credit card (cash not accepted). Optional excursions cannot be reserved prior to the cruise.

Where can I get weather updates on my cruise? 

Uniworld provides a daily printed program that includes updated weather information, and weather reports may also be accessed via the infotainment system aboard each ship.

Have a question you don't see here? Contact a Travel Specialist at 1-877-622-9109.

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