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Discount Coach Tours strongly recommend you read Uniworld Boutique River Cruises’ most frequently asked questions below which is useful information for your trip so that you are well informed.

Europe Boutique River Cruises

We hope that the information provided below will help answer any questions you may have about Uniworld Boutique River Cruises.

Which direction of the cruise should I book? Is one better than the other?

It does not matter which direction you choose, as each direction contains the same included features. Timings of activities may, of course, vary a little due to cruising times up- or downstream, but you will not see or do more in one direction than in the other. The progression of your journey may be a matter of preference. For example, for the Eastern European cruises, you might want to start in Eastern Europe and work your way up to Western Europe, or you may prefer to do the opposite.

Which itinerary would you recommend?

For first-time river cruise passengers without a special interest in a particular region, an excellent first cruise choice is Amsterdam to Budapest. This journey will introduce you to four countries and many must-see sites, including Rothenburg, Nuremberg, Budapest, and Vienna, as well as hidden gems like Wertheim and Miltenberg. Cruising highlights include the romantic Rhine, the scenic Wachau Valley, and the Main-Danube-Canal—a marvel of modern engineering.

Second- or third-timers who have done Amsterdam to Budapest or Amsterdam to Vienna, and who are interested in the cultures and traditions of Eastern Europe, may enjoy a Black Sea Cruise such as "Eastern Europe Explorer." Those who prefer to stay in Western Germany and enjoy lots of daytime sailing and lovely scenery will love "Legendary Rhine & Moselle."

If you have already cruised along the Rhine, Main, and Danube rivers, we would suggest taking in the fabulous scenery along Portugal and Spain's Douro River—a real hidden gem. The entire Douro River Valley is a Unesco World Heritage Site. Not many ships are allowed on the river; in fact, Uniworld is the only North American river cruise line who operates a ship in Portugal! Russia also offers sensational sightseeing, and our "Imperial Waterways of Russia" takes you to the best sights along the Volga River. Please note that while our Douro River and Russian cruises are offered on some of the most comfortable ships of the region, they may not have all the amenities of a Uniworld company-owned ship.

Do we always dock in the heart of the city?

It depends; in many places you will dock within walking distance to the city center, but there are places where the river only touches the outskirts of a town (i.e. Bamberg or Nuremberg), and thus a motorcoach transfer is necessary.

Is there a lot of walking on the tours?

As we visit mostly historic cities, many of the tours are partly or entirely walking tours. Cobblestones are also very common in Europe. To be able to fully enjoy all excursions, passengers should be in good health and able to walk well (including up and down stairs); otherwise they may not be able to participate in all the tours. River ships are not wheelchair accessible.

Are there ever any other ships docked next to us?

Yes, this happens and is a normal part of river cruising. As river cruising has become more popular, traffic on the rivers has increased, and it is perfectly normal to moor next to another ship or sometimes even between two ships. The assignment of the exact berthing is up to the harbor authorities of the port of call, and neither Uniworld nor the Captain of the ship has any control or influence over this.

On what side of the ship should I book the stateroom?

It does not matter, as there is no "better" side of the ship. On some days, port-side staterooms will be docked facing the shore; on other days it will be the starboard-side staterooms.

River cruise ships always dock facing upstream. Views from cabins may occasionally be restricted when the ship is docked, particularly when other ships dock next to our ship. River ships often dock next to each other, as docking spots are limited. The Harbor Master is always in control of this, not the ship’s Captain.

If during our cruise a Christmas Market is closed, what do we do?

There is usually an arrangement made for a city tour and/or free time to spend in the city center.

What are the tipping guidelines?

On our ships in Europe (excluding Russia), our suggestion for tip per day, per guest would be: €2 - €3 for the local guide and €1 - €2 for the driver. At the end of the trip there will be two envelopes to be used for tips, one for the crew and one for the Tour Manager. Our suggestion for tips at the end of your cruise would be: €3 for the Tour Manager and €10 for the crew on the ship (per day, per guest). Gratuities can be billed to onboard accounts and paid with a credit card (Uniworld company-owned ships in Europe only) or cash (cash is accepted in Euro or USD only). Personal checks cannot be accepted.

Can our Uniworld cruise/tour booking be extended or customized?

Yes. For many itineraries, guests have optional extensions to choose from. For registered groups of 10 or more paxs, customization is available.

Are we able to take our children and is there an age restriction?

Passengers who are under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult who is 21 years of age or older. Uniworld’s long-term experience is that most young children (especially those under 8 years of age) do not enjoy or appreciate the river cruise experience. There are no special arrangements, activities, or accommodations for children on Uniworld river cruises and tour programs. An exception to this is our Multigenerational Family-Friendly Cruise Program, which is offered on select itineraries during the summer months. Please contact your travel agent for more details. Adults accompanying children are responsible for their behavior during the trip.

Is there entertainment onboard the ship?

Yes, depending on the itinerary, there could be local performers or musicians offering entertainment onboard the ship.

Russia Boutique River Cruises

How do I get a Russian Visa?

Please go to http://zvs.com/ or the Russian consulate for a Russian Visa. If a Russian Letter of Invitation is required for your Visa application, Uniworld can assist you with obtaining the letter. However, you must apply for the Visa on your own or through a service.

What about the weather?

Prepare for a variety of weather conditions depending on your travel season and the river you will be cruising on. Layering clothing items is always your best bet, as this allows each person to adjust to any temperature, including artificially maintained temperature, by removing or adding items throughout the day.

What should I wear ashore?

Comfortable, sporty, smart-casual daywear is appropriate both onshore and onboard. For holiday season departures, you’ll find coats, sweatshirts, heavier cotton or wool tops and long-sleeved shirts, and corduroy or heavy khaki pants perfectly suitable. You will find a significant amount of walking over uneven terrain during your time ashore. We recommend comfortable walking shoes with good ankle support. Don’t forget to pack a waterproof jacket (preferably hooded), or even a heavier-weight coat for colder temperatures.

I have concerns about my physical ability. What do I do?

Guests with mobility concerns need to discuss their concerns with Uniworld staff in advance of their departure. Guests requiring the use of a mobility device, such as a wheelchair, motorized scooter, or walker, may not be able to participate in many shore excursions or use them onboard the ships. Also, guests who may be limited in their ability to walk long distances may also have difficulties as there is often uneven terrain on many shore excursions.

How accurate are the shore excursion/tour descriptions?

Uniworld does everything possible to ensure that shore excursions are performed as promoted and as outlined in the previous pages. In certain circumstances or for reasons beyond the control of Uniworld, it may not be possible or practical for the excursion to be performed exactly as written. The decision to not operate, to alter the operation, change content, and/or otherwise adjust or modify any element of the excursion as advertised is at the sole discretion of Uniworld, always taking into account the safety and best interests of the guests, and the intent of the overall product delivery. Any such modifications to excursions will not result in eligibility for a refund.

Can the itinerary change? What happens if it does change?

You can count on the value of Uniworld’s experience and regional knowledge to make sure you enjoy your cruise/tour even when conditions beyond our control occur. The very nature of a river, its sources, and networks of bridges and locks means that there will be times when weather or other conditions in a region require Uniworld to make adjustments and modifications to the operation of an itinerary. Although every effort is made to keep itineraries as advertised, Uniworld reserves the right to make changes and substitutions as may be necessary to ensure the safety of our guests and the vessels. Itineraries may need to be altered specifically because of water levels. Time permitting, every possible effort will be made to alert guests in advance of boarding of any known changes. Otherwise, all guests will be informed onboard of changes and amendments. Any changes to itineraries, including the addition of extensive motorcoach touring to effect delivery of the intended itinerary operation, will not result in eligibility for a refund.

What time will excursions depart?

All shore excursions are carefully coordinated to the ship’s daily schedule. Just prior to dinner each evening, or perhaps earlier, your Cruise Manager will brief all guests about what activities will take place the next day. This briefing includes information about departure times, specifics about the shore excursions/tours not covered in this booklet, suggested shopping and restaurant recommendations, and other important information about the port of call. In addition to the briefing, a daily program will be distributed to each guest’s stateroom every evening. This program provides a written overview of all events taking place the next day—whether onboard or ashore.

How can I book the optional excursions listed in the booklet?

Reservations for the optional excursions on your cruise can be made directly with your Cruise Manager onboard the ship. Charges for optional excursions will be added to your onboard account. On pre- and post-cruise extensions, payment for optional excursions will be made directly with your Local Host via credit cards. We cannot accept cash payments for optional excursions. A briefing will be held the day prior to go over any information you may need to make an informed purchase decision. Operation of optional excursions is subject to a minimum number of participants. No refunds are available for any optional excursions canceled by the guest within 24 hours of the start of the excursion, or if the excursion was pre-purchased.

Does each motorcoach or walking group have its own tour guide?

Yes. Each motorcoach or walking group has its own English-speaking local tour guide. Uniworld tries very hard to ensure that our guides are of the highest quality, well-versed in their subjects, and most of all, making sure that you have the best possible time ashore.

What about tipping?

Gratuities should always be in accordance with each guest’s personal satisfaction. And Uniworld endeavors to work with the best local guides available. Please refer to the“Gratuities” section of the Cruise Companion booklet for specific recommendations and guidelines.

What is the transportation like on excursions?

Uniworld works with some of the world’s best tour companies, all of which are chosen with exact standards in mind. To ensure your maximum enjoyment of each excursion, all motorcoaches seat 40 - 45 people and are air-conditioned whenever possible. There are a few destinations where the equipment may not be of a similar standard and, in such cases, the best possible transportation will be arranged. Rest stops are provided throughout the course of the excursion, as most motorcoaches used for excursions will not have onboard toilets.

Is smoking allowed on shore excursions/tours?

Smoking is not allowed while on the motorcoach, and many historical venues now request that visitors not smoke anywhere on site. We ask all our guests who smoke not to do so while on excursions/tours. Responsibility and Waiver The Passenger accepts the terms and conditions of the Passenger Ticket Contract when participating in any organized shore excursion/tour that is provided by Uniworld. Participation in some shore excursions or tours may also be subject to an independent operator’s own Terms and Conditions.

Egypt Boutique River Cruises

How far in advance can I request an Egyptian Visa?

90 days prior to your departure.

Are there ATMs?

ATMs abound in the tourist areas of Egypt.

Are we able to take our children and is there an age restriction?

Passengers who are under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult who is 21 years of age or older. Uniworld’s long-term experience is that most young children (especially those under 8 years of age) do not enjoy or appreciate the river cruise experience. There are no special arrangements, activities, or accommodations for children on Uniworld river cruises and tour programs. An exception to this is our Multigenerational Family-Friendly Cruise Program, which is offered on select itineraries during the summer months. Please contact our reservations department at (800) 733-7820 for more details. Adults accompanying children are responsible for their behavior during the trip.

What are the best buys in Egypt?

Egyptian cotton is world famous: cloth, textile, and garments are a good deal. Brass, silver, gold, handmade jewelry, papyrus, carpets, spices, handicrafts, perfumes, and reproductions of antiquities are on sale. It might not be advisable to buy something that could appear to authorities to be of historical value and importance.

What are the tipping guidelines?

Our suggestion for tip per day, per guest would be: USD $2-$3 for the local guide and USD $1-$2 for the driver. At the end of the trip there will be two envelopes to be used for tips, one for the crew and one for the Tour Manager. Our suggestion for tips at the end of your cruise would be: USD $4 for the Tour Manager and USD $6 for the crew on the ship (per day, per guest). All tipping is cash only.

What type of clothing is appropriate?

No need for a tie, jacket, or formal evening wear. Smart, lightweight (cotton/linen) casual attire is suitable for even the best restaurants, bars, and hotels. It is best to be mindful of the culture; conservative clothing is highly recommended (nothing too form fitting or too skin revealing).

Could I use my credit card while in Egypt?

Credit cards are accepted at major tourist establishments but are not widely accepted at smaller shops.

Could I drink the water in Egypt?

It is highly advisable not to drink the water out of the tap due to high cholrine content. Bottled water is widely available.

Are there any baggage weight restrictions for flights within Egypt?

The maximum baggage weight limit on domestic flights is 43 lbs per person.

Are there camel rides available?

Sorry, there aren't any camel rides available for purchase from Uniworld while on the tour.

Could we hire a private guide or Egyptologist for a group tour?

Yes, an Egyptologist may be available for a private group tour. Please ask for details and availability.

Vietnam & Cambodia Boutique River Cruises

We hope that the information provided below will help answer any questions you may have about Uniworld Boutique River Cruises. If you have any questions or concerns not answered here, please contact your travel agent.

What about the weather?

Prepare for a variety of weather conditions depending on your travel season and the river you will be cruising on. Layering clothing items is always your best bet, as this allows each person to adjust to any temperature, including artificially maintained temperatures, by removing or adding items throughout the day. What should I wear ashore? Comfortable, sporty, smart-casual daywear is appropriate both onshore and onboard. You will find a significant amount of walking over uneven terrain during your time ashore. We recommend comfortable walking shoes with good ankle support. Don’t forget to pack a waterproof jacket (preferably hooded).

I have concerns about my physical ability. What do I do?

Guests with mobility concerns need to discuss their concerns with Uniworld staff in advance of their departure. Guests requiring the use of a mobility device, such as a wheelchair, motorized scooter, or walker, may not be able to participate in many shore excursions or use them onboard the ships. Also, guests who may be limited in their ability to walk long distances may also have difficulties as there is often uneven terrain on many shore excursions.

How accurate are the shore excursion/tour descriptions?

Uniworld does everything possible to ensure that shore excursions are performed as promoted and as outlined in the previous pages. In certain circumstances or for reasons beyond the control of Uniworld, it may not be possible or practical for the excursion to be performed exactly as written. The decision to not operate, to alter the operation of, change the content of, and/or otherwise adjust or modify any element of the excursion as advertised is at the sole discretion of Uniworld, always taking into account the safety and best interests of the guests, and the intent of the overall product delivery. Any such modifications to excursions will not result in eligibility for a refund.

Can the itinerary change? What happens if it does change?

You can count on the value of Uniworld’s experience and regional knowledge to make sure you enjoy your cruise/tour even when conditions beyond our control occur. The very nature of a river, its sources, and its networks of bridges and locks means that there will be times when weather or other conditions in a region require Uniworld to make adjustments and modifications to the operation of an itinerary. Although every effort is made to keep itineraries as advertised, Uniworld reserves the right to make changes and substitutions as may be necessary to ensure the safety of our guests and the vessels. Itineraries may need to be altered specifically because of water levels. Time permitting, every possible effort will be made to alert guests in advance of boarding of any known changes. Otherwise, all guests will be informed onboard of changes and amendments. Any changes to itineraries, including the addition of extensive motorcoach touring to effect delivery of the intended itinerary operation, will not result in eligibility for a refund.

What time will excursions depart?

All shore excursions are carefully coordinated to the ship’s daily schedule. Just prior to dinner each evening (or perhaps earlier), your Cruise Manager will brief all guests about what activities will take place the next day. This briefing includes information about departure times, specifics about any shore excursions/tours not covered in this booklet, suggested shopping and restaurant recommendations, and other important information about the port of call. In addition to the briefing, a daily program will be distributed to each guest’s stateroom every evening. This program provides a written overview of all onboard and onshore events taking place the next day.

How can I book the optional excursions listed in the booklet?

Reservations for the optional excursions on your cruise can be made directly with your Cruise Manager onboard the ship. Charges for optional excursions will be added to your onboard account. On pre- and post-cruise extensions, payment for optional excursions will be made directly to your Local Host via credit card. We cannot accept cash payments for optional excursions. A briefing will be held the day prior to any optional excursion go over any information you may need to make an informed purchase decision. Operation of optional excursions is subject to a minimum number of participants. No refunds are available for any optional excursions canceled by the guest within 24 hours of the start of the excursion, or if the excursion was pre-purchased.

Does each motorcoach or walking group have its own tour guide?

Yes. Each motorcoach or walking group has its own English-speaking local tour guide. Uniworld tries very hard to ensure that our guides are of the highest quality and are well-versed in their subjects, so that you have the best possible time ashore. What about tipping? Gratuities should always be in accordance with each guest’s personal satisfaction. Please refer to the “Gratuities”section of this book for specific recommendations and guidelines (pages 13 - 14).

What is the transportation like on excursions?

Uniworld works with some of the world’s best tour companies, all of which are chosen with our exacting standards in mind. To ensure your maximum enjoyment of each excursion, all motorcoaches seat 40 - 45 people and are air-conditioned whenever possible. There are a few destinations where the equipment may not be of a similar standard and, in such cases, the best possible transportation will be arranged. Rest stops are provided throughout the course of the excursion, as most motorcoaches used for excursions will not have onboard toilets.

Is smoking allowed on shore excursions/tours?

Smoking is not allowed while on the motorcoach, and many historical venues now request that visitors not smoke anywhere on site. We ask all our guests who smoke not to do so while on excursions/tours. Responsibility and Waiver The Passenger accepts the terms and conditions of the Passenger Ticket Contract when participating in any organized shore excursion/tour that is provided by Uniworld. Participation in some shore excursions or tours may also be subject to an independent operator’s own Terms and Conditions.

China River Cruises

Why do you need a Passenger Information Form?

For intra-China flights and Tibet permits, you must provide a name that matches what appears on your passport.

Why do you need to know the children's ages?

Children under the age of 12 must be accommodated in the same room as an adult.

What are the minimum/maximum number of guests required to operate a departure?

A minimum of 10 passengers are needed to operate a departure. Departures have a maximum of 35 guests. If the number of passengers is more than 35, the departure will be split into two groups. (It is very important to cross reference passengers that are traveling together).

Are triple bookings (three people per room) allowed on the China programs?

Yes, "Classic China" (a land-only tour) can accommodate a triple booking. All other programs will allow a triple in a suite; the suite will be on request and subject to availability.

Are there any luggage restrictions?

One checked-in piece of luggage with a maximum of 44 lbs. is allowed for all intra-China flights. Approximate cost for excess weight is USD $1.00 per lb.

Should I be concerned about the food and water in China?

Most of the meals are Chinese food. Special meals are served during some of the tours, such as a Peking Duck dinner, a dinner show in Xian, a dumpling lunch in Xian, and hotel dinners.

One bottle of complimentary drinking water is provided per guest, per day in the room or cabin. Additional water can be purchased just about anywhere. DO NOT DRINK TAP WATER OR USE ICE.

What is the transportation used during the tours?

Air: Air China, China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Hainan Airlines

Bus: Bus sizes range from 16-seaters to 45-seaters. The size that will be used depends on the group size. There are no toilets on the buses; normally a break is taken every hour.

What visas do we need?

Tibet: Tibet is part of China; no visa is required, but a permit is required and will be handled in China. Please do not to mention Tibet when you apply for a China visa; otherwise you will need to provide a lot of additional documentation. Passengers only need to apply for a single entry China visa.

Hong Kong: Hong Kong has reunited with China as a special region. USA passport holders do not need a visa.

Do I need to carry local currency/cash?

Major credit cards are accepted in major department stores. ATMs are available but not convenient. We suggest that you bring travelers checks, as travelers checks can be easily exchanged at the hotel front desk. Carry some cash for tips and small items.

Could you tell me more about transfers?

Transfers are available 24 hours on the date of arrival and the date of departure. Normally the wait is not more than 30 minutes.

Will we have Internet access?

Hotel rooms have a laptop hook-up for Internet access. Some hotels don't charge a fee, but others will charge approximate USD $15-$20 per day. You may go to the business center for computer and Internet use for a fee. There is a Internet café available on your Yangtze River cruise ship, but the signal is not strong.

Are there any health concerns?

Vaccinations are not required but passengers should check with their doctor to see if they need any. Passengers traveling to Tibet are recommended to contact their physician since the altitude is very high (approximately 11,000 feet).

When is it a good time to travel to China?

The best season to travel to China is September and October when the temperature is approx. 70°F. June and July are hot and humid everywhere. Rainy season depends on the area; for example, in Beijing it is in April, while in the Three Gorges area it is in June and July.

Can we extend or customize our Uniworld cruise/tour booking?

Yes

Voltage?

Voltage is 220/50Hz. To use any electrical product from the United States, you will need a 2-pin plug and a converter. If it's not for daily use, you can borrow one from the hotel.

What are the tipping guidelines?

Our suggestion for tip per day, per guest would be: USD $2-$3 for the local guide and USD $1-$2 for the driver. At the end of the trip there will be two envelopes to be used for tips, one for the crew and one for the Tour Manager. Our suggestion for tips at the end of your cruise would be: USD $5 for the Tour Manager and USD $10 for the crew on the ship (per day, per guest). All tipping is cash only.

Are we able to take our children and is there an age restriction?

Passengers who are under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult who is 21 years of age or older. Uniworld’s long-term experience is that most young children (especially those under 8 years of age) do not enjoy or appreciate the river cruise experience. There are no special arrangements, activities, or accommodations for children on Uniworld river cruises and tour programs. An exception to this is our Multigenerational Family-Friendly Cruise Program, which is offered on select itineraries during the summer months.

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