Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

General

Imagine watching sleepy French towns pass you by as you sit in the comfort of your own room. Tasting authentic cuisine in your familiar home away from home after a long day of exploring the Orient. Spotting the twinkling lights of Budapest as you relax on the sun deck of your “floating hotel”. River cruising has made all this and more possible!

Unlike land tours, river cruising allows you to see a variety of cities and sites without the hassle of packing and unpacking with each move to the next destination. This offers you the opportunity to sit back and relax. Luxury travel is a top priority in the river cruise industry with new standards being set every year. World-class cuisine is always included and countless excursions are available for you to enjoy. The slower pace of the river cruise experience will also allow for you to savor the sites. With an average ship capacity of under 250 passengers, river cruising allows for a more intimate travel experience. Fewer crowds mean more time for you to enjoy all there is to offer.

Preparing to Travel

A passport is required for all international travel. It must be valid for at least six months after your return date.

Please click here for all visa or entry information regarding each country in your itinerary. Note that all information comes directly from the State Department and is valid only for U.S. citizens. Non-U.S. citizens must contact the necessary consulates to determine the documentation required for their country.

Any visa, passport, or entry fees are not included in any cruise fare for any cruise line.

Failure to obtain the correct AND necessary entry requirements prior to departure may result in problems regarding said entry into each respective country. It is of the utmost importance that all visas are obtained and are correct. No refunds will be given if any passengers are not able to participate in the tour if correct documentation was not correctly obtained.

Airline baggage allowance may vary compared to that of the cruise line. Please check with the airline regarding their baggage allowances. Any baggage fees incurred with the airline is not included in any cruise fare.

Please ensure that all luggage has your name and contact information on it prior to departure.

It is encouraged to exchange some currency before leaving for the river cruise. Most river cruise lines do not offer currency exchange onboard their ships. Exchange rates offered at airport exchange locations are generally higher than most banks or other local institutions. ATM machines are always a way to get local currency while onsite.

Immunization and vaccination requirements vary by country. Please consult your personal physician, a local travel clinic, or the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The State Department website also has information. You can find individual country information provided by the State Department here.

Onboard

Any special dietary restrictions should be reported in writing at the time of reservation. A reasonable effort will be made to meet these requests, but it cannot be guaranteed that all requests can be met.

Many ships offer fitness equipment and a pool or whirlpool onboard. This will vary by cruiseline, ship, and itinerary so please consult your final documents for more information.

If gratuities are not already included in your cruise fare the following guidelines are recommended:

Europe:

  • Cruise Directors or Managers: €2-3 (Euros) per day, per passenger
  • Ship’s Crew (to be divided among ship personnel): €12 (Euros) per day, per passenger
  • Local Guides: €1-2 per tour, per passenger

Other destinations:

  • Gratuities vary per itinerary. Please see final documents for full tipping information

Most ships will offer onboard WIFI and/or internet. This will vary by cruise line, ship, and itinerary so please consult your final documents for more information.

There is not a specific dress code for most cruises. It is generally casual attire while onboard and onshore. Dinner guests should usually follow more of a “smart casual” attire with men wearing sports jackets and women in a cocktail dress or pants suit. Some itineraries include special dinners and events which may be more formal. Please consult your itinerary for details.

Most areas of the ship (including staterooms) are non-smoking. In many cases, it is only acceptable to smoke on the Sun Deck outside. This will vary by cruise line, ship, and itinerary so please consult your final documents for more information.

Most ships offer laundry services onboard at an extra cost. This will vary by cruise line, ship, and itinerary so please consult your final documents for more information.

Yes, all staterooms are air conditioned on each ship.

Most ships and hotels will require an adapter or converter. This will vary by cruise line, ship, and itinerary so please consult your final documents for more information.

Yes, all onboard staff will speak English on every itinerary.

Most ships offer in-room safes. This will vary by cruise line, ship, and itinerary so please consult your final documents for more information.

This is possible on most ships, however, this request must be communicated before sailing. This will vary by cruise line, ship, and itinerary so please inquire for more information.

Most cruise lines provide hairdryers in each stateroom. This will vary by cruise line, ship, and itinerary so please consult your final documents for more information.

A majority of the major cruise lines do not employ medical doctors on board any of the ships. Some exceptions are made for Russia, Africa, and Asia. If medical attention is required, efforts will be made to contact local providers. Cruise lines are not responsible for any expenses incurred from said local medical attention. Travel insurance is very highly recommended.

If a passenger plans to travel with a disability (physical, emotional, or mental) or severe medical condition requiring any accommodation or special assistive devices it must be reported in writing to the cruise line at the time of booking.

Reasonable effort will be made by all cruise lines for said accommodations, but they are not responsible for any other suppliers such as airlines, hotels, or restaurants.

If a passenger is not self-sufficient, it may be required that a companion travel with said passenger thus taking responsibility for assistance needed while traveling, as well as, in the case of an emergency.

Individual or personal assistance such as pushing a wheelchair, assisting with walking, etc is not provided by the cruise staff. A qualified and physically able companion should travel with any passengers that may need this extra assistance.

Most river cruise ships do not have ATM machines onboard, but they are widely available throughout Europe, in airports, and in most major cities visited during the cruise. Exceptions include parts of Africa and Asia. Most ATM machines will give out local currency, making this a favorable way to obtain foreign currency with minimal fees. It is highly recommended to notify your bank of travel prior to departure. ATM fees may apply.

Onshore

Major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, and American Express) are accepted in most shops, hotels, and restaurants (exceptions include Africa and Asia). However, in some cases, there may be a minimum charge to use a credit card, so always have some local currency on hand. Just in case, it is advisable to bring two or more credit cards. It is highly recommended to notify your bank of travel prior to departure. For security purposes, it is also advisable to make copies of the front and back of your credit cards. This is just in case one gets lost or stolen. A foreign transaction fee may apply.

Most shops and restaurants do not accept traveler’s checks anymore, but they may be exchanged for currency at a local bank or some hotels. Service charges may apply. Some ships accept traveler’s checks as payment for shipboard accounts.

Many cruise excursions require a moderate amount of walking. Many streets (especially in Europe) are made of cobblestone and stairs are prevalent. Most cruises offer slower paced excursions. Please consult your individual itinerary for more information.