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About Christmas Markets Rhine River Cruise
Join our winter wonderland journey along the Rhine River, which starts in Switzerland with stops in France, Germany, and Holland! Each town is festively lit and decorated and strains of Christmas carols fill the air.
One of Europe’s most legendary rivers awaits you on this winter wonderland journey along the Rhine River, which starts in Switzerland with stops in France, Germany, and Holland! Each town is festively lit and decorated and strains of Christmas carols fill the air. Be sure to pack your camera so you capture the romance and splendor of this magical journey with solo travelers.
Inclusive Features of Our Christmas Market Cruise:
- Basel, Switzerland – Welcome reception; cruising as we depart Basel, where the countries of France, Germany & Switzerland meet!
- Cruise – Deluxe, 7-night cruise in a River View Stateroom aboard the Avalon Tranquility II. Categories B, A, P are Panorama Suites with Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows that transform the living space into a unique Open-Air Balcony®
- Briesach: Excursion to the Black Forest; Christmas market
- Strasbourg: Guided sightseeing, visit La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral; Christmas market
- Heidelberg: Guided visit of the castle, take pictures of the castle – bring your tiaras! See the Great Vat in Heidelberg; Christmas market
- Mainz: Visit the Gutenberg Museum; Christmas market
- Rüdesheim: Visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum; Special Treat for STI Members; Christmas market
- Rhine Gorge: Cruise through the gorge
- Cologne: Guided city walk; Christmas market
- Amsterdam: Canal cruise
WHAT MAKES THIS THE PERFECT TRIP FOR SINGLES?
- ALL Meals Included and All Shared with other Singles, not Alone
(B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner
Superb dining with all meals on board daily featuring full breakfast (B), lunch (L), and dinner (D), including a welcome reception, welcome dinner, and Captain’s dinner
- Complimentary Sparkling Wine with Breakfast – Break out the Mimosa’s!
- Complimentary Wine from Europe’s most Famous Wine Regions with Every Dinner on the Cruise
- Complimentary Beer and Soft Drinks with Every Dinner on the Cruise
- All Excursions Included and Enjoyed with Other Solo Travelers, not Alone!
- More Time at Leisure vs. Time Spent on a Bus
- Special Attention from Experienced, Professional Singles Travel Concierge*
- Company of Other Singles with Similar Interests and Zest for Life
- Private Members Only Chat for this Tour – Plan your Trip and Make New Friends!
Minimum of 20 guests required. If no director, a guest will be designated as an “STI Ambassador” to coordinate the first day’s activities.
Inclusive features are subject to revision at the discretion of STI. In the event of water level problems on stretches of any river, it may be necessary to operate part of the itinerary by motor coach. Ages listed are not meant as a restriction, but are simply used as a guideline. Singles Travel International does not guarantee the number of guests, ages or ratios.
Day 1 – Friday – December 14
Board your overnight transatlantic flight.
If you are taking advantage of our pre cruise package, you will depart on December 13 from North America, to arrive in Zurich on December 14th and transfer to Radisson Blu on your own.
Day 2 – Saturday – December 15 (D)
Arrive in Zurich, Switzerland. Transfer to Basel (Embarkation)
Welcome to Zurich, Switzerland, home of the Matterhorn and the majestic Alps! Flights into Zürich must arrive before 3 pm. Our river cruise vessel is docked on the Rhine River in Basel, where France, Germany, and Switzerland meet. Transfers to Basel are included and flights into Zürich must arrive before 3 pm. Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.
This afternoon, board the Tranquility II and before dinner, meet your cruising companions and crew at a WELCOME RECEPTION at approximately 6:00 p.m.
Day 3 – Sunday – December 16 (B,L,D)
Located at the foot of Kaiserstuhl Mountain on the French-German border, Breisach is the gateway to Germany’s BLACK FOREST region, an area of unrivaled natural beauty. The area got its name because the pine forests are so dense, local residents described them as black. The most well-known products from this region are Black Forest ham, Black Forest cherry cake, and cuckoo clocks! This afternoon there’s free time in Breisach to visit the Christmas market —or you may join an optional excursion to Colmar in France’s Alsace region.
Day 4 – Monday – December 17 (B,L,D)
Situated on the border of France and Germany, Strasbourg blends the cultures of both countries in a delightful way. On your walking tour, you will discover Europe at its most quintessential. Visit the monumental red-sandstone GOTHIC CATHEDRAL with its ancient murals, stained-glass windows, and fascinating astronomical clock, as well as the magical LA PETITE FRANCE district, home to half-timbered houses, quaint shops, inviting bistros, and a waterfront promenade. Explore Place Kléber, a large historic square in the heart of the city, and Place Gutenberg in the heart of medieval Strasbourg, which features a statue of the inventor of the printing press. Dating back to 1570, the traditional CHRISTMAS MARKET is one of the oldest and finest in Europe. Located around Place de la Cathédrale and Place Broglie, its centerpiece is a giant Christmas tree. As you stroll through the festively decorated and illuminated streets you’ll notice the pleasing aromas of mulled wine, sweets, spice cakes, and biscuits—a truly magical atmosphere! This afternoon, an optional excursion into the Alsace wine country is available.
Day 5 – Tuesday – December 18 (B,L,D)
This morning, an excursion takes us to Heidelberg, home to Germany’s oldest university, which was founded in 1386. Visit the ruins of HEIDELBERG CASTLE, towering magnificently over the city and among the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. You’ll also see the famed GREAT VAT, the “World’s Largest Wine Barrel.” At nearly 23 feet high and 28 feet wide, it holds over 58,000 gallons of wine and has a dance floor on top of it! The Christmas market in Heidelberg is scattered over five town squares, and you’ll find a wide array of crafts and regional delicacies. In the afternoon, arrive in Mainz, which today is Germany’s largest and most important wine market. The Altstadt (Old Town) has many intriguing shops and the whimsical Fastnachtsbrunnen (Carnival Fountain) on the Schillerplatz is a tribute to the jesters at the city’s annual Carnival celebration. Gutenberg, father of modern printing, was born here, and during a GUIDED WALK you’ll visit the captivating GUTENBERG MUSEUM. Then there’s free time to explore the local Christmas market in this beautiful city.
Day 6 – Wednesday – December 19 (B,L,D)
Rüdesheim – Rhine Gorge
This morning, dock in pretty Rudesheim, a typical Rhine Valley wine town. Visit SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM to see and hear a large collection of self-playing calliopes and music boxes from the 18th to the early 20th centuries, and enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT. During the festive period the entire town transforms itself into one large Christmas market, offering products and specialties from a number of nations, all presented in a distinctive manner. You’ll be spoiled by the selection of shops offering a vast variety of Christmas presents and decorations. In the Market Square you’ll find Europe’s largest nativity scene, with life-size figures. Downstream from Rüdesheim is the dramatic RHINE GORGE, the most beautiful stretch of river. Here, ancient castles stand sentry on lofty cliffs rising 400 feet above the water. Cruise past the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where echoes of enchanted siren song lured sailors to their doom
Day 7 – Thursday – December 20 (B,L,D)
One of Germany’s largest cities and capital of the Rhineland, Cologne, straddles both sides of the Rhine, and is known for its soaring, twin-steepled gothic cathedral. This morning, join an included GUIDED CITY WALK. The Old Town abounds with cafés, shops, and taverns. Be sure to try a Kölsch pale lager, locally brewed in Cologne for over a hundred years! Wander through the fabulous and magical Christmas market before leaving Cologne and sailing to Amsterdam.
Day 8 – Friday – December 21 (B,L,D)
Welcome to Amsterdam! Holland’s sophisticated, modern capital has a rich and fascinating history. This delightful 700-year-old city with its elegant and classic architecture, cafés, and restaurants has a distinct ambiance. There is no better way to see Amsterdam than by CANAL BOAT, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” There’s free time this afternoon to enjoy the city or perhaps join an optional excursion.
Day 9 – Saturday – December 22 (B)
Our vacation ends with breakfast this morning and your homebound flight arrives the same day. Stay an extra day in Amsterdam, at the Moevenpick Amsterdam City Hotel, for more!
Itinerary and hotels are subject to change at the discretion of Avalon Waterways without compensation. Singles Travel International is not responsible for the consequences of any changes.
Once you make your online reservation, an STI reservation specialist will contact you to review and recommend additional services. Depend on them for assistance with airfare, proper protection, pre and post tour services. Once that step is complete, you will receive a final invoice from us confirming your reservation details.
READ your invoice and the FAQ page very carefully and advise if any changes need to be made.
Please submit a COLOR copy of your passport to us within 7 days of your reservation (within 24 hours if reserved after September 6). Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your return.
REVIEW our exciting optional excursions and make your reservations early to get in on promotions and so you don’t miss out on any limited or time-sensitive Add-Ons.
SOCIALIZE by saying hello to your fellow travelers on the chat!
Your “Final Vacation Details & Meetup Information” including transportation and how to meet up with the group will be posted here 14 days prior to trip start date. Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The cruise only begins in Basel, Switzerland at 6 p.m. on December 15, and ends in Amsterdam, Holland on the morning of December 22, 2018. Therefore the tour is 7 nights/8 days. Note: Flights from North America must depart on December 14 in order to arrive in Zurich on December 15. Your return flight from Amsterdam arrives in the U.S. on the same day, so the actual length of the trip is 8 nights/9 days (first night on airplane).
Planning to join us in Zurich for an extra day before your cruise? Depart North America on December 13 to arrive December 14.
A deposit is due at time of reservation. Refer to the Price and Options tab for the amount. Final payment is due in our office by September 6, 2018. A reminder will be emailed to you 7 days prior to due date and your card will automatically be charged. If you make a reservation after September 6, full payment will be automatically charged at time of reservation and penalties will apply.
Yes. All cancellations must be made in writing to Singles Travel International and are subject to per person penalties as follows:
– After deposit and at anytime of cancellation, a minimum charge of $350.00 plus credit card charges will apply in addition to other penalties listed below.
– Between September 6 and October 15, 2018 – 35% penalty applies.
– Between October 16 and November 15, 2018 – 50% penalty applies.
– After November 15, 2018 any cancellations or “no-shows” – 100% penalty.
Note that if you elect to take a roommate and he/she cancels after our cut off date, we will do everything to find a new match. However, if no match is found, the difference in cost for a single cabin/room is the responsibility of the guest who cancels. No refund will be given to the guest who cancels, regardless of cruise or tour company policy as stated above. Singles Travel International is not responsible for costs related to cancellations after our cut off date.
Make sure you are at the Avalon Tranquility II in Basel, Switzerland by 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 15, 2018. Our local cruise director will be awaiting your arrival at the vessel, will assist with check in and provide specific details on our vacation.
Singles Travel International is a vacation event company that plans singles events and markets our events at our expense to create a “singles only” experience. We do not allow guests to join the group unless the reservation has been made by STI. Our policy is firm for tours and cruises, as well as pre and post trip hotel stays. Members and friends that “show up” will not be allowed to participate without paying an equivalent fee to the rest of the group that made the reservation with STI. Your credit card on file will automatically be charged.
Of course. We offer packages on both occasions, please contact us to add extra hotel nights to your package. Transportation to and from the hotel in Zurich is included in our package. In Amsterdam, it is not included in our package, but is available for purchase at $49 on July 24 and $69 if adding our post cruise package. (Rates are subject to increase at any time before final payment is made). Although we make every effort, Singles Travel International does not guarantee roommate shares for optional pre and post cruise stays. If no roommate is found, single occupancy rates prevail and are payable 30 days prior to departure.
Radisson Blu Hotel, Zurich Airport
Rondellstrasse, 8058 Zürich, Switzerland
Phone: +41 44 800 40 40
Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre
Piet Heinkade 11, 1019 BR Amsterdam, Netherlands
Phone: +31 20 519 1200
*Hotels subject to change by Avalon Waterways up to time of departure.
In order to accommodate singles from all over the world, our tours and cruises are priced as land/cruise only. Therefore, airfare is additional. Singles Travel International is a licensed ticketing agency and oftentimes has low negotiated fares.
In order to be ready to begin the tour in Basel, fly into Zurich (ZRH) on December 15. You may be required to depart your home city on the day before. The trip concludes at 8 a.m. on December 22 in Amsterdam (AMS) and we recommend scheduling your flight after 11 a.m. If you add extra nights in Amsterdam, schedule your flight any time on departure date.
Airport transfers are offered as options with our cruise/tour and are included in Zurich, but not in Amsterdam. We recommend that you book your airport transfers with us. Please notify us at time of booking or at least 30 days prior to departure of your flight arrival and departure times.
On tour end date (December 22), transfers are $49 one way from the ship to the airport and transfers are available between 6:00 a.m. and midnight. Transfers on non tour dates are available at a rate of $69 each way.
Our tour does not include your airfare and transfers. You are responsible for alcoholic beverages (except when included in STI events and wine/beer during dinner on the Tranquility II), incidentals such as laundry and phone calls, plus gratuities to STI staff ($10-15 per day), local guides and the cruise staff. You may also be charged a delivery fee, imposed by our vendors for special delivery of documents including international and expedited documents.
Roommate Match: Our site is so popular that we guarantee to find a roommate for you or the single cabin is on us! In order to take advantage of our offer, you must be paid in full by September 6, 2018. Of course, single cabins are available at an additional rate assessed by Avalon Waterways. Even after the cut-off date, we get so many calls that finding a roommate is easy. So please let us know if you are interested when making your booking.
Our guarantee is based on the lowest, inside cabin share rate. If you opt for a higher category and we are unable to match in that category, you are responsible for the difference to move a member into your cabin to make a match. You may also opt to take your own cabin at that time for the single cabin rate. Assessments are made at final payment date, 90 days prior to departure.
Roommate matches are based on the same sex, general age range and smoking preference whenever possible, but not guaranteed. STI reserves the right to make any match up until day of cruising, including roommate changes once onboard for members who select the Share & Save option.
We highly recommend that our guests contact their roommates in advance. Booked members have access to our private online chat. Meet your roommate as well as the other members on your vacation. Singles Travel International makes every effort to accommodate requests, but does not guarantee the satisfaction or success of a roommate match. It’s the responsibility of the guest to contact his/her roommate and ask the appropriate questions.
Optional pre and post cruise/tour stays are not eligible for the guarantee. Chances are excellent that we’ll find you a match, but if no match found by 30 days prior to departure, member pays the single supplement.
Read more about Roommate Matching on our Frequently Asked Questions found at the Help Center.
Please contact your preferred carrier directly to make your reservation. If Singles Travel International issues a promotional economy fare, granting of frequent flyer credit is entirely at the airline’s discretion. If the flights are eligible, to ensure you earn frequent flyer credit from the airline, give your frequent flyer account number when you check in for your flights. In addition, save your boarding passes and the passenger receipt from your airline ticket. You may need to submit these to the airline (not to Singles Travel International) to claim any credit allowed.
Another exciting Suite Ship® graces the rivers of Europe in 2015. The intimate setting of the Avalon Tranquility II features two full decks of Panorama Suites with Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Windows that transform the living space into a unique Open-Air Balcony®. With 200 square feet, Panorama Suites are more than 30% larger than the industry standard-perfect for stretching out and relaxing-or even throwing a private cocktail party for up to six adults in the spacious sitting area. Onboard amenities and services include complimentary computer use in public areas and free Wi-Fi access, a Fitness Center with state-of-the-art equipment, a hair salon, elevator, and a spacious Sky Deck with shade system, whirlpool, deck games, and the delightful Sky Bistro for al-fresco lunches of light grill fare.
Visit multiple countries and cities and unpack only once, so you spend your time experiencing and enjoying Europe rather than dealing with the logistics of travel. Enjoy a highly personalized cruise experience, spacious deluxe staterooms and suites, contemporary décor, and popular onboard amenities, such as a fitness center and deck complete with whirlpool. An Internet corner and Wi-Fi access allow passengers to share their experience with friends and family at home.
– **Club Lounge**
Fascinating landscapes serve as the ultimate backdrop as you relax in your ship’s Club Lounge. Coffee service is always available, so grab a cup and exchange vacation stories with fellow travelers, play a board game with newfound friends, or settle in with a good book from the ship’s library.
– **Sky Deck**
When it comes to meeting new friends, witnessing the splendid scenery, or just taking a moment to relax, the Sky Deck is the ideal place. Modern deck furniture enhances your experience as you soak up the sun or drink in the moonlight, and as you photographically capture your destination’s most scenic beauty and quintessential character.
– **Main Bar & Lounge**
With an airy, open layout and contemporary design, this attractive space features rich hardwoods, plush fabrics, and floor-to-ceiling windows lining the walls—a relaxed, comfortable area that’s perfect for viewing remarkable scenery, taking in the evening entertainment, and enjoying an after-dinner drink, glass of local wine, or coffee with newfound friends.
– **Dining Room**
On an Avalon cruise, expert chefs select the finest ingredients to create delectable dishes that are both inspired and memorable. Each day you’ll embark on an epicurean adventure in your ship’s elegant dining room. Enjoy open seating, bountiful breakfast and lunch buffets, multicourse dinners paired with complimentary regional wines, and the five-star service you’d expect from a fine resort.
– **Lobby & Reception**
On an Avalon river cruise, our number one priority is you. That’s why throughout your journey a friendly, English-speaking crew stands ready to answer your questions, meet your needs, and help you create the vacation of a lifetime. It’s also why we designed a main lobby and reception area bathed in natural light, where you’ll be warmly greeted and will feel immediately at home. You can even stay connected to the folks back home at the onboard Internet Center.
– **Fitness Center**
On an Avalon river cruise, you can benefit from both a mind and body experience. The Fitness Center is well equipped so you can stick to your fitness program while on vacation. Take advantage of state-of-the-art cardio equipment while enjoying the view of the unforgettable passing landscapes.
Featuring the most spacious square footage on the European waterways today, your luxury stateroom is designed with your comfort in mind. As floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors reveal the ever-changing passing landscapes*, you’ll appreciate the private bathroom with shower, flatscreen TV, hotel-style bed with Egyptian super-combed cotton linens, large closet, minibar, and individual climate control.
Features exclusive to the Avalon Tranquility II®:
– Headsets for all guided shore excursions in Europe
– Services of a professional Cruise Director
– Sightseeing with Local Guides
– Revolutionary engineering
– Silent Drive System (SDS)
– Non-smoking interior
– Internet access & Wi-Fi hotspots
– Elegant polished metal & glass throughout
– Onboard lectures, activities & nightly piano music
– Observation Deck with Panoramic picture windows for landscape viewing
– Hair Salon
– Fitness Center
– Spacious Sky Decks with shade system for sunning
– 6-person whirlpool
– Lounge & Bar
– Complimentary coffee & tea available throughout the day
– Fine dining
– Buffet breakfast items are conveniently color coded to indicate foods that are low calorie, low fat/low calorie, high fiber, low cholesterol, and high energy
– Complimentary wine, beer or soft drinks will be included on all onboard dinners
– Open seating throughout the dining room for all meals
– Flatscreen satellite TV & radio
– Comfortable, hotel-style beds
– Comfortable beds that can be configured as two twins or one queen
– European-style duvets
– Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
– Private bathroom with shower
– Large closets
– Minibar, hairdryer & safe
– Individual climate control
– Royal Deck passengers (Category P) may order Continental breakfast to their staterooms
– All staterooms (except D/E) have French balconies (cannot actually step out, waving only!)
– View Avalon Tranquility II ® Staterooms – see category E & D (2 windows only), B/A and P (both with sliding glass door) for STI options.
Of course not. You will be pleased to find out that nearly 90% of our guests on every cruise sign up and have never met anyone before joining the group. In 25 years, we have perfected the singles cruise experience. It is paramount that our guests meet each other right away and have opportunities to mingle every day. From the moment you board the ship, our STI Concierge Team is waiting to meet you at our Welcome Aboard Get Together. Our first evening begins with a private, welcome aboard cocktail party followed by daily activities both onboard the ship as well as in each port. We dine together each evening in an open seating arrangement so that you have a chance to meet as many people as possible.
As a travel club, matchmaking is not our focus. We offer an opportunity for single travelers to see the world in the company of other singles and do not guarantee ratios or ages. Our vacations are specifically designed for Baby Boomers and active travelers with an average age range of 50-70. We generally have a ratio of 60/40, women to men. Ages listed on our page are not restricted. They are simply used as a guideline.
We recommend that you meet the members of the STI Community online where you may view and interact with members via “Who’s Going” on every trip page. This is the best way to find out exactly who will be on your vacation.
We encourage our members to complete their personal profiles including a photo. Knowing who’s on the trip in advance makes socializing before and during your vacation easier and more fun.
Take a few minutes to plan your wardrobe for the cruise by visiting the following sites.
The weather changes from year to year but nevertheless, it is winter so prepare for all conditions. Dress in layers…hat, gloves and warm feet. Consider a pair of warm boots or a thin pair of rubber boots in case there is snow or slush to walk through. They weigh little and take up almost no luggage space.
If it gets too cold at the Christmas markets, stop for a cup of gluhwein or pop into a nearby beerhall to soak up the warmth and perhaps a bier.
Check out www.wunderground.com for up to date predictions as well as historical data for you destination,
Although during this time of year, the days are shorter, most Christmas markets continue the festivities well into the evening. Check sunrise and sunset times for your cities on www.timeanddate.com.
Currently, most airlines will allow you to check one bag, weighing 50 pounds each, for a fee. In addition you may carry-on one bag plus a personal item such as a purse or briefcase. Please check with your air carrier for up-to-the minute regulations and fees for checked baggage.
Bring along winter clothing and we recommend that you mix and match using 1-3 colors, such as black, brown and khaki or one other color. Comfortable walking shoes are a must. Our cruise will stop in some of the most charming little towns and once we dock, we’re off for adventure. Walking is the best way to see it all. Note that dress code aboard a river cruise is very casual and some days you may have dinner in the same outfit you wore during day when the schedule is full.
Packing Tips: Of course, a scarf is mandatory, it looks chic and turns a daytime outfit into evening easily. Take only what you need; don’t over pack. A river cruise is casual. Save room for souvenirs and purchases. Pack flat and full to avoid wrinkling. Bring wardrobe basics; mix and match around one or two colors. Don’t pack anything valuable, fragile or perishable. Label your luggage with an outside tag, and place an identification card inside each suitcase.
Essential Items for a Winter River Cruise: We highly recommend that you bring the following items.
– A smile and an open minded attitude
– Binoculars for best sightseeing while cruising
– Warm coat (wind-and rainproof outer shell), scarf, hat and gloves
– A good, comfortable pair of broken-in walking shoes
– Warm boots with Goretex lining or Lightweight rubber boots for slushy days
– Several pair of warm, woolen socks
– Bring a good supply of hand and toe warmers (available at Wal-Mart).
– A pair of shoes for restaurants, evenings on the town (ship is casual)
– Collapsible umbrella and/or lightweight raingear.
– Toiletries: all your daily essentials.
– Prescription medications: sufficient supply for the entire trip plus legible written prescription in case of loss. Keep medications in their original, labeled container. Always pack your medications in your carry-on bag!
– Eyeglasses, contacts, contact lens solution. You may want to bring along a written prescription for your eyewear in case of loss.
– Over the counter medications: cold remedy, aspirin/pain reliever, antacid/stomach upset remedy, Band-Aids, money or other anti-bacterial medication.
– Travel alarm clock with illuminated face, especially for guests in an inside cabin.
– Small, Swiss Army type utility knife. Remember to pack this in your checked luggage!
– Travel journal/notepad and reading material.
– Home address book for sending postcards. A useful tip to avoid bringing your entire address book is to pre-write names and addresses of people to whom you want to send postcards on sheets of self-adhesive labels. It saves time and space in your luggage.
– Small, basic sewing kit with a few extra buttons. Remember to pack scissors in your checked bag!
– Photography Equipment: Bring a sufficient supply of film and extra batteries.
A passport is required for cruise travel to Europe. Be sure to confirm that your passport is current and will be valid at least six months after your departure. If you do not have one or need a new one, contact the State Department Passport Office in your area immediately or visit their website.
Non US citizens are responsible for contacting all countries on our itinerary to secure appropriate documentation in advance.
No inoculations are required for travel to Europe. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommends updating all routine booster shots for travel almost anywhere. In addition, we suggest that you have a physical check-up before your trip, and discuss the type of trip in which you are participating with your physician.
You and your physician may access much more, very detailed health information for travelers (including tips on staying healthy while traveling) on the CDC website. Click their “Traveler’s Health” link or call toll-free 24-hours at 1-800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636).
The currency used throughout the cruise is the Euro (in port) and US Dollar (onboard). Exchange rates fluctuate often. You may find the current exchange rates in the financial sections of newspapers and on the Internet. You may also find a number of websites by typing “foreign exchange rates” in your search engine. Two specific websites are: xe.com and Money.com.
Currency Exchange: Many locations will accept major credit cards, but for incidentals and small vendors you will need some local currency. ATM machines will dispense local currency for internationally accepted ATM cards and/or credit cards. They are usually conveniently located in large cities, but are limited in smaller towns and rural areas. You may exchange cash and traveler’s checks for local currencies at hotels, banks and exchange bureaus. Banks no longer make change in many European countries.
Credit Cards: Your credit card will be accepted to settle your incidentals bill at all hotels and in major shops, restaurants and aboard the Tranquility II.
Travel Insurance is available through Travel Guard and in addition to direct access immediately upon completing your purchase, you will receive a quote from Travel Guard regarding travel insurance after reserving your vacation. If you have any questions, Travel Guard professional, expert agents are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us, if you have not received your quote within 3 days.
Your “Vacation Details & Meetup Information”, posted to the FAQ tab, 14 days prior to departure, will include phone contact numbers for our ship as well as for each hotel listed in our itinerary. We suggest you leave a copy of this with your family.
The Tranquility II unlimited, free Wi-Fi as well as computer terminals that you may rent by the hour in the Internet Corner. You may also telephone, telex, radiogram or fax to anywhere in the world and be billed at applicable ship-to-shore rates. Guests may also be contacted onboard our ship via satellite in an emergency, but we recommend that you arrange to make and receive calls, send and receive text messages and read emails on your own cell phones and mobile devices. Check with your phone carrier for rates.
Our office is open Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. In an emergency after hours, please contact Tammy Weiler at 815-715-6998.
All countries you will visit have laws against the purchase and export of certain items, including antiquities, national cultural property and certain animal products, especially endangered species (ivory, rhino horn, tortoise shell, coral, feathers, etc.). Additionally, the United States has laws prohibiting the import of certain items, which include many of the same things. You face having your purchase confiscated and/or heavy fines for exporting or importing prohibited items.
On return to the U.S., your baggage is subject to search by U.S. Customs. Currently, you are permitted to bring back $800 of goods duty free. Persons aged 21 or over may also bring in one liter of liquor and one carton of cigarettes. If you plan to purchase a lot of souvenirs or expensive items, it is important to retain all purchase receipts. However, please note that U.S. Customs may not accept a receipt as true cost if it seems unusually low for the estimated value of the item. You may access the regulations and restrictions governing US Customs on their official website, click here to learn more.
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