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Scenic River Cruises FAQs

Your passport and Visa

Can scenic arrange my passport and visas?

No, Scenic and/or their employees and their agents are not responsible for passport, visa requirements, entry, health or other requirements of the countries visited or for any loss sustained by you for failing to comply with laws, regulations, orders and/or requirements of countries visited, and will not be liable for any costs or cancellation penalties or inconvenience where travelers do not have a travel authorization, and are not permitted to travel.

Can scenic organize my travel insurance?

No, this is the responsibility of the passenger; however your travel agent can do this on your behalf. We strongly advise you to take out travel insurance to cover any unforeseen circumstances, which may arise as defined in the respective proposal forms. It is a good idea to take your travel insurance documents with you.

Should I bring copies of my passport and visas?

Yes. As your passport will be kept on board the ship throughout the cruise portion for transit formality reasons, we recommend you bring a photocopy of your passport/visas with you to carry on you at all times when on shore.

What validity do I need on my passport?

All passengers are required to possess a passport valid for 6 months beyond the conclusion of their trip. Please note: If your nationality (passport) differs from the country in which you reside, please take the time to check carefully with your local consulates concerning visa and passport requirements for your travels. Holidays can be disrupted or have to be altered altogether if the correct documents cannot be supplied at airports or borders, so check very carefully that you have the required papers.

What visas do I require

Visa requirements can vary and it is the sole responsibility of each passenger to have the necessary visas and to comply with entry, health or other requirements of the countries visited. More advice can also be found at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s website.

Your Luggage

How much luggage can I bring on a scenic cruise?

The luggage allowance while on tour is one suitcase with a maximum size of 30 x 21 x 11 inches (76 x 53 x 28 cms) and weight of 44 lbs (20 kilograms). You may also carry a small backpack or the Scenic overnight bag on board the coach for the duration of the tour. Additional bags beyond the luggage allowance may incur additional charges and are to be settled directly to the hotel or as required. It is advised that you check airline luggage requirements directly with your most significant airline carrier.

How much luggage can I take on an aircraft?

It is advised that you check airline luggage requirements directly with your most significant airline carrier.

Is porterage included?

Handling and porterage of your luggage (as per the luggage allowance above) is included in your tour. Additional bags beyond the allowance may be charged or it may be the responsibility of the passenger to forward the baggage to another destination. Luggage handling is not included during any independent or non-escorted touring. In this situation, luggage handling and porterage will need to be organised directly with the hotel porters.

Should I attach the scenic luggage label provided prior to departure?

No, please wait until you have claimed your luggage at your destination airport. This will ensure airline companies will not tear off this tag, as it is required to easily identify your luggage for transfer services and hotels.

What clothing should I pack?


Casual sportswear for daytime that can be mixed/matched/layered
A warm jacket/gloves/hat/scarf for cooler mornings and nights
Comfortable walking shoes with rubber soles for good grip
Sunglasses and a sun hat
Women require a minimum of one skirt or a dress

What else do I need to pack?

The following list may be useful when packing for your trip:

Airline tickets and passport (plus a photocopy and extra passport photos)
Travel and travel insurance documentation, and itinerary (make a copy for your emergency contact)
Travellers cheques/cash/debit or credit card and emergency contact numbers if lost or stolen, plus local currency for first day and a money belt
Spare memory card for your digital camera or film in clear plastic containers
Only those keys needed on return
Personal medication and prescriptions, extra glasses/contacts and prescriptions
Sunscreen, lip balm and insect repellent
Pocket calculator, address book, journal and pens
Tissues and anti-bacterial hand wipes or hand sanitiser
Raincoat or umbrella
Plastic bags for dirty laundry, washing powder and elastic clothesline
Travel alarm clock, earplugs and sleep mask
Adaptor plugs, mobile phone charger, battery charger
Face cloth / flannel
Small torch and batteries (there is minimal lighting at remote locations)
Please note: All hotels on tour provide towels, irons, hair dryers, soap and shampoo within the room.

Asia tours:

First aid kit including anti-itch cream for insect bites, antibiotics and medication for motion sickness, diarrhea and vomiting
Multiple photocopies of your passport to assist with Hotel check in

What is the appropriate dress for visiting holy places?

When visiting churches and monasteries, modest dress is required i.e. no shorts, miniskirts, or sleeveless tops.

Will my Luggage be secure?

We strongly advise that you do not pack anything of value in your check-in luggage and that you check-in ONLY your own suitcases. Do not carry items packed by other people. Never accept packages or articles from anyone unknown to you to carry on board the aircraft.

Health and Fitness

Are there any health risks that I should be aware of?

Viral gastroenteritis is a very common virus that can be found almost anywhere, but its opportunity to spread is greater in contained environments. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. It may also include fever, stomach issues and headache. The symptoms usually start 12 to 48 hours after viral infection and can last from 1 to 10 days. Most people who become sick with viral gastroenteritis recover quickly with no further problems. However if the illness is more severe, further medical care may be required to treat dehydration. The most effective protection from personal contamination is ensuring strict attention to personal hygiene and in particular, frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water and refraining from hand-to-mouth contact.

Colds and other viruses can spread quickly in an enclosed area such as a ship. Continue to practice common-sense hygiene and respiratory courtesy. Wash your hands often and cover your coughs and sneeze. It is recommended that passengers carry an anti-bacterial hand sanitizer, which does not require rinsing with water. Use a sanitiser frequently i.e. after shore excursions, prior to meals and throughout the day. If you have any questions regarding your health or safety while on tour, please do not hesitate to ask your Tour Director.

Motion sickness can be a problem for some people when cruising, flying or travelling on coaches and trains and it is a good idea to take precautionary measures. Drugs for treating motion sickness can be purchased at most pharmacies in Canada, however a side effect can by drowsiness. Alternatives such as ginger tablets and acupressure wristbands are also available and work well for some people.

Can I take prescription medication?

Yes and its advisable to pack an ample supply of any medicine you are taking, copies of prescriptions and the telephone/fax number of your doctor. Because of strict drug laws in some countries, drugs you take on doctor’s orders should be carried in their original container showing the prescription label. Always keep your medication in your hand luggage.

Can I travel in a wheelchair?


Due to the structure of old buildings, access to some establishments may not be convenient for wheelchair use, and facilities for the disabled in general may be limited. Many areas are pedestrian only. Marksburg Castle has a number of stairs which may impact guests with limited mobility access to all touring areas, but this will not impede participation of the medieval banquet.

Vietnam and Cambodia:

We regret that wheelchairs cannot be accommodated on these tours.

Should I provide scenic with my health and fitness details prior to travelling?

We will supply a Health and Fitness form in your travel wallet. These forms are designed to provide us with instant information if an emergency should arise. These forms will be returned unopened at the completion of the tour. It is not compulsory to fill out these forms but is strongly recommended.

  • We strongly recommend a visit to your doctor and dentist prior to your tour.
  • If you are aged 70 or over at the Tour Departure date you must provide us with a doctor’s letter confirming you are fit and healthy enough to take part in the specified tour including reference to the itinerary, destinations and tour departure date.
  • You must advise us of any pre-existing medical conditions that might reasonably be expected to increase your risk of requiring medical attention, affect the normal conduct of the tour and/or the enjoyment of other tour members.
  • You will be required to fill in our Health and Fitness form and hand it to your Tour Director on the tour departure date.

What sort of first aid medical items should I bring with me?

It may be useful to bring a supply of basic items with you. A first aid kit may include band-aids, antiseptic, aspirin, cough medicine, throat lozenges, cold and flu medication, diarrhoea medication, mild laxative, eye ointments/drops for minor infections, a general antibiotic and any special medications you may need personally. Please remember to bring a letter from your doctor or a copy of the prescription for any medication that you are carrying with you.

What sort of fitness level do I require to travel?

We welcome you if you have a disability or other special need, provided you are able to care for yourself or are accompanied by a companion capable of providing all the assistance you require. Please note that although we will use reasonable endeavours to provide you with all the activities on your Itinerary, depending on your disability, you may not be able to participate in every activity and the Tour Director will have the right to refuse your participation if the Tour Director believes your health and safety or the health and safety of other passengers may be impacted by your participation. You must advise us (or your travel agent) of any disability, medical condition or dietary requirement at the time of booking.

It is not possible for large coaches to be used for some city sightseeing therefore many towns and cities will be visited by way of walking tours and accordingly, a reasonable level of fitness is required.


  • Much of Europe is based on a myriad of old buildings and there are split-levels, steps and uneven surfaces everywhere. High-heeled shoes are not suitable for cobblestone streets and steep inclines in medieval towns and cities. It is essential to have comfortable, rubber-soled walking shoes.
  • Due to the amount of walking on your cruise shore excursions, which typically run for up to 3 hours, a reasonable level of fitness is required.

Please Note: Scenic reserves the right, at its discretion to cancel your booking and refund the money paid by you, less any unrecoverable costs, if it is deemed you are not suitable for the trip booked. It is your responsibility to advise Scenic of any pre-existing medical conditions that might reasonably be expected to increase the risk of you requiring medical attention, or that might affect the normal conduct of a trip and the enjoyment of other trip participants.

Vietnam and Cambodia:

  • The land touring program requires passengers to be able to walk for up to 0.6 – 1.2 miles (1 – 2 kilometres) over steps and uneven ground.
  • For your safety and enjoyment, you should be in good physical condition to participate in all tours.

What vaccinations do I require?

Recommended vaccinations and other health protection measures vary and are subject to change. You must consult your doctor on current vaccinations needed for your destination. Also please refer to the Canada Government’s Travel Voyage website for additional information.


  • If you are entering India from an infected area such as Africa, then you must be vaccinated against Yellow Fever.
  • Hepatitis (both A and B, depending on your individual circumstances), vaccination shots are also recommended, such as a booster shot for tetanus.

Will my special requirements be met throughout the tour?

Your special requirements have been passed onto all suppliers. Special requirements refer to airline seating, special dietary and medical needs. These requirements are on a request basis only and cannot be guaranteed by Scenic. We strongly advise that you reconfirm your meal requests with the Scenic Cruise Director upon joining your tour.

Weather and climate

How do I know if I am suffering from altitude sickness?

How altitude sickness affects you can range from mild to severe and occurs because less oxygen is reaching the muscles and the brain, requiring the heart and lungs to compensate by working harder. Symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) usually develop during the first 24 hours at altitude but may be delayed up to 3 weeks. Mild symptoms include headache, lethargy, dizziness, difficulty sleeping and loss of appetite. AMS may become severe without warning. Please consult your doctor before departure to ensure you have an adequate level of fitness and health.

What can I do to try to prevent symptoms of acute mountain sickness?

  • Drink extra fluids. The mountain air is dry and cold and moisture is lost as you breathe.
  • Evaporation of sweat may occur unnoticed and result in dehydration
  • Eat light, high carbohydrate meals for more energy
  • Avoid alcohol as it may increase the risk of dehydration
  • Avoid sedatives
  • Altitude Sickness tablets are available to help prevent/ reduce symptoms, consult your physician for advice on whether these are suitable for you.
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