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Frequently Asked Questions

Browse the General FAQs below, then click on a FAQ link if you're looking for answers to commonly asked questions about a specific destination or our family departures.

Alaska Columbia & Snake Rivers
Galápagos Hawaiian Islands
Mexico’s Sea of Cortés Washington & British Columbia
Kids & Family  


GENERAL FAQs

BOOKING / RESERVATIONS 
Q.  Where can I find Rates and Dates?
A.  Directly beneath the header image on each itinerary page is a row of tabs. The first tab is always ITINERARY. The next tab is RATES & DATES. Simply click each tab and scroll to navigate pages related to that itinerary. See illustration below.


Rates & Dates i 

Q.  What credit cards do you take?
A.  We accept all major credit cards.

Q. When is final payment due and will you send me a reminder?
A.  Though you may apply payments as often as you like, the final payment is due 60 days prior to your departure. We will send you a friendly reminder approximately 75 days prior to the departure date. Please also check our Terms & Conditions for more information.


Q. Can I make payments via Paypal?
A.  Our reservation system is currently not set-up to accommodate payments via Paypal.

Q. Are your prices per cabin or per person?
A. All of our prices listed are per person based on double occupancy, except when noted differently.  

Q. How do I buy a Bon Voyage gift for a traveler?  
A. We'll aren't you sweet! You can find our Bon Voyage Gift lists and order forms in the "Wine and Cuisine" section of our Life Onboard page.  And while you're feeling generous, our office staff loves treats too. ;)  


ACTIVITIES & EXPLORATION 
Q.  How available are the guides?

A.  Our experienced Expedition and Heritage Leaders and guides enjoy sharing their knowledge and introducing you to the wildlife, culture, and geography of the places we visit. They are available to you both during excursions and throughout the day and evening on board.


Q.  How active are the adventure cruises?
A.  Activity levels and types of activities available vary by itinerary and destination, but we do like to play! On kayaking excursions, open paddles are at your own pace, short guided paddles are relatively easy for most of our guests, and guided paddles lasting up to 6 hours will require greater endurance. Hikes range from easy shorewalks to more rigorous treks over rugged terrain. Among the many activities available, guests can also enjoy stand-up paddle boarding, snorkeling, and exploring the waters and shore by inflatable skiff.


Q.  How physically fit do I need to be to enjoy my voyage?
A.  While our cruises are designed for any fitness level and lifestyle, many of our excursions from the ship require various levels of physical fitness. To help ensure your enjoyment, our hikes are ranked with an activity level ranging from 1 (Easy) to 5 (Difficult). We understand that not all guests desire the same level of physical activity. Therefore, we offer a variety of adventure activities, yoga classes, and spa services for your enjoyment.


Q.  Can I explore on my own during my adventure?
A.  Throughout your adventure, there will be opportunities for you to explore at your leisure by kayak and stand-up paddle board*. There is also free time for exploration in towns and villages. Due to permit restrictions and for safety reasons, you are not allowed to hike in remote wilderness areas on your own. *available on every vessel except the S.S. Legacy


Q.  Do I need to bring my own gear?
A.  Most of the gear required for your explorations is available on board. Our expedition vessels and upscale yachts are equipped with kayaks, paddle boards, inflatable skiffs, wetsuits, and snorkeling equipment. Aboard the Wilderness Adventurer, Wilderness Discoverer, and Wilderness Explorer, there is a nominal daily use fee for wetsuits and snorkeling gear; the use of all equipment is included in your fare on our generously inclusive cruises. For a complete list of what to bring, please refer to the packing list specific to your destination.


Q.  When do I sign up for activities?
A.  Included excursions, such as kayaking*, hiking*, paddle boarding*, and skiff excursions*, are organized on board each day. Your Expedition Leader will present the options, review the activity levels, and talk with the guests individually to “take your Adventure order” and help you determine the activities best suited to your physical abilities. Massage appointments are made on board during the cruise as well (TIP: it gets busy towards the end of each week, so reserve your massage earlier in the week!) 

*available on every vessel except the S.S. Legacy


Q.  What is there to do in the evenings?
A.  During evenings on board you can relax, rejuvenate, and engage with your fellow adventurers. Each day offers a cocktail hour followed by a delicious and healthy meal, plus there are opportunities to learn from locals and our Expedition and Heritage Leaders and guides. And while our comfortable public areas on board are inviting, you may also choose to watch a DVD in your cabin.


ADAPTERS
Q.  Will I need a special converter or adapter for the electricity?

A.  All electrical outlets on our vessels are standard 110 Volt, the same voltage as in North America. If you live in other parts of the world, you may need a special adapter.


ARRIVAL
Q.  When arriving at the airport on my embarkation day, how will I get to the vessel? 

A.  On the day your voyage begins, our representatives at the airport will greet you upon arrival if we have received your completed Flight Information Form. Please see your personal itinerary included in your final documents for details.

We’ll provide a transfer from the airport to our vessel or the hotel of your stopover package (booked by us) as long as we have received your air travel information at least 45 days in advance. Otherwise you will be expected to make your own arrangements for initial transfers. Make sure you have provided us with your flight numbers and flight departure and arrival times.


Don't "miss the boat!" Make sure your flight times meet our arrival & departure guidelines.   

DISEMBARKING
Q.  On the last day of the cruise, what time will we disembark the ship?

A.  Most vessels disembark by 9:00 a.m. Specific disembarkation procedures will be announced on board.


GRATUITIES
Q.  How are gratuities handled?
A.  Gratuities are a personal matter and are entirely at the discretion of the traveler. Gratuities are shared equally by all crew members. Payment for gratuities can be made with cash, checks, travelers checks, and credit cards. Recommended amounts are available on request. 

Q. Is it customary to tip the wellness instructor for massage services after a massage?
A. Massage gratuity is not customary on our vessels and when received it is included in the tip pool. 


HAIRDRYERS
Q.  Are there hairdryers on board?

A.  Each cabin aboard our vessels has a hairdryer.


INTERNET / EMAIL / PHONES
Q.  Do you have Internet or email access on your vessels?

A.  All of our boats are equipped with communication devices designed to conduct the ship's business and for emergency purposes. All vessels except La Pinta (Galápagos) do not have email/internet access available for public use.

La Pinta provides free internet access to guests via a satellite connection. Connections are low-bandwidth and occasionally intermittent; the quality depends on the islands and the reception can be hit or miss. Satellite internet is best utilized for email communication and not guaranteed to be accessible at all times. Two internet enabled computers are located in the library and Wi-Fi is accessible in the public areas (not in the cabins).


Q.  Will I be able to use my cell phone or is there access to a phone aboard the ship?
A.  Cell phones generally work best near more populated areas.  A satellite phone is available on the bridge of each ship and yacht for emergency guest use at additional cost.


LAUNDRY
Q.  Are there laundry services on board?

A.  There is no laundry service on our vessels, however there are dryers for guest use aboard some of our vessels.


LIBRARY
Q.  Do you have a library on board?

A.  Yes, we have a library of books, DVDs, and games available for your use on board all of our boats and yachts. The Safari Explorer even has a wine library.


MEALS
Q.  What time are meals?

A.  Onboard meal times vary depending on the day’s scheduled activities. Generally, we provide an early riser continental breakfast starting every morning at 6:00 a.m., a full breakfast starting around 7:30 or 8:00 a.m., lunch is around noon, and dinner is served around 7 - 7:30 p.m. Appetizers are also served at Cocktail Hour each evening before dinner.


Q.  How should we dress for meals?
A.  All meals are casual and feature open seating. There is no need to dress up at any time, simply wear what's comfortable, even for the Captain's Farewell Dinner!


Q.  Can special dietary considerations be accommodated?
A.  We are able to accommodate most special dietary needs. All booked guests are required to submit the completed Medical Information Form alerting us to any food allergies or other dietary requirements you may have. Completing this form will ensure that the chef has enough notice to prepare for your needs. We recommend that you check in with the chef or hotel manager upon your arrival to the ship to confirm your request.


MEDICAL
Q.  Are there any medical facilities or personnel on board your vessels?

A.  Our crew is trained in both first aid and CPR and there are first aid supplies on board. While we do not have a physician on board, we are never too far from a port where medical facilities are available.


MOBILITY
Q.  Do any of your vessels have an elevator?

A.  The 88-guest S.S. Legacy has one elevator that connects three public decks.
 

Q.  Are your vessels wheelchair accessible?
A.  We will earnestly try to accommodate guests wishing to travel with us. Our primary concern is the health, safety, and well being of our guests and crew. Guests with some mobility and who provide their own collapsible wheelchairs can generally be accommodated, but our vessels do not meet all applicable standards of the ADA Accessibility Guidelines for buildings and facilities. Guests needing any form of assistance and those who are physically disabled must be accompanied by someone who will take full responsibility for any needed assistance during the cruise and in the event of an emergency.

Vessel interiors and operating conditions can always present challenges to wheelchairs and participation may not be possible for some activities and events. Please be aware that raised door thresholds, steep stairs, and narrow passageways can prevent wheelchair passage. The S.S. Legacy features an elevator which provides access to three public decks. Some ports of call, shore excursions, use of inflatable excursion craft, docks, gangways, and other requirements may preclude a wheelchair guest from leaving the vessel; this decision will be made by the Captain and is binding.


ONBOARD DETAILS
Q.  How are onboard charges handled?

A.  Charges for gratuities wine, beer, cocktails, massages, gift shop purchases, and optional shore excursions will be charged to your personal shipboard account. You may settle your account with one easy payment at the end of your voyage using U.S. traveler’s checks, personal checks, MasterCard, Visa, Discover, American Express, or your debit card.

 

Aboard the S.S. Legacy, Safari Endeavour, Safari Explorer, Safari Quest, and La Pinta, premium spirits, fine wine, and microbrews are included in your fare; the only applicable beverage charges are for super premium alcohol.

Please note that on our Sea of Cortés cruises, the only form of payment for onboard purchases such as additional massages, super premium spirits, apparel, and gratuities are cash (Pesos or US Dollars) or credit cards.


Q.  Can we bring our own alcohol?
A.  Spirits are strictly prohibited, and will be confiscated by vessel crew. This is due to our license and state regulations. Bringing wine on board is permitted under our license, however may be subject to a corkage fee. $20.00 for 750ml and $30.00 for boxes and magnums. Crew will continue to control consumption as needed, including confiscation of wine when required. Aboard the S.S. LegacySafari EndeavourSafari ExplorerSafari Quest, and La Pinta,, premium spirits, wine, and beer are included in your fare.
Aboard the Wilderness Adventurer, Wilderness Discoverer, and Wilderness Explorer, alcoholic beverages range from $4 to $8, with top shelf brands running slightly higher.

Q.  Do you offer celebrations on board for special occasions?
A.  Our crew are happy to help you celebrate a special event during your trip, such as a birthday, honeymoon or anniversary. Advise us of your special occasion when you submit your completed Identification & Contact Form. Please advise us as far in advance as possible.


Q.  What types of amenities do you have on board?
A.  Aboard the expedition vessels, each cabin offers an iPod docking station, hairdryer, shampoo/conditioner, and bodywash.

Aboard the boutique yachts and replica coastal steamer, cabins offers two luxurious bathrobes, a hairdryer, and sundries such as shampoo/conditioner, and bodywash. Each cabin also has an iPod docking station.

Each vessel in the fleet also has an iron on board, but remember, it is casual so no one will look twice if your clothes aren't perfectly pressed.

Q.  Is the water that comes out of the tap in my cabin drinkable?
A.  Absolutely. The onboard water is treated and filtered. We also have re-usable water bottles available on board for guest use if you didn't bring one along.
 

Q: Do you have connecting cabins?
A: The La Pinta is the only vessel in our fleet with adjoining/connecting cabins. If you're considering our other vessels, they are small & intimate so you can certainly book cabins adjacent or across the hall to each other based on availability.


Q: Do our cabins have safes? Where can we secure our valuables?
A: We do not supply individual safes in each cabin. If you have items you'd like stored, the Hotel Manager can store it in the safe in their office.


PACKING
Q.  What clothes should I pack?

A.  You should be prepared for a wide variety of weather conditions and recommend that you check the weather forecast for the area before your departure at weather.com. It's best to pack clothes you can layer to be prepared for temperature changes and comfortable clothes for relaxing onboard. Please refer to our online packing list in the Prepare For Your Cruise section of our website.

Q.  You say casual, but just how casual do you mean?
A.  Our lifestyle emphasizes both adventure and comfort. So pack your favorite casual clothes and enjoy the adventure. Daytime or evening, our atmosphere is relaxed. There's no dressing up for dinner here!

Q.  Is there a place to store my luggage?
A.  On all expedition vessels, there is limited storage space underneath the bed. On board the yachts and replica coastal steamer, there is storage in the closet. For ease of storage in your cabin, soft-sided, expandable luggage is highly recommended. 


Q.  Is there a limit to how much luggage I can bring?

A.  While our cabins are surprisingly spacious, storage space is limited. The nice thing about our casual atmosphere is that you don't need to pack evening gowns or tuxedos. Try to limit your bags to two per cabin.

Q.  Do you have boots & rain gear on board for my child or should I bring them with us?
A.  We don't supply rain gear and boots in kids sizes aboard our vessels. It's recommended that you bring your own.  There are other items we suggest you bring for your children. Read about them in our Kids & Family FAQs


PASSPORTS / VISAS / IDENTIFICATION

Q.  What kind of ID is required?
A.  U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. traveling exclusively inside U.S. borders do not need a passport or visa for travel. We only require a government-issued photo ID such as your driver’s license.


Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada entering the U.S. are required to bring their passport.

For other nationalities, passports are required to enter the U.S. It is your responsibility to check with your local U.S. embassy/consulate to confirm visa requirements and to obtain the proper visa/U.S. alien card (green card).

Please note: If you are joining us for a Mexico cruise or if your cruise stops in Canada, you must have a passport book.  Passport cards can not be used to gain entrance to these countries.   


Q.  Why is it important that my passport remain valid 6 months after I return from my international cruise?
A.  The U.S. government requires that your passport remains valid for 6 months after you return. The purpose of the regulation is to guarantee that you will be able to leave the country you are visiting. It also serves to make sure that your passport will be valid for travel to your next port or destination and return into your own country. For non-U.S. passport holders we recommend you check with your country’s embassy or consulate.


SEASICKNESS
Q.  Will I get seasick?

A.  The areas and waters we travel are mostly protected. In the event of high winds or open passageway crossings you may encounter rough waters. Seasickness medication is kept on board all of our vessels, however, it is not recommended for children. If you are prone to seasickness or traveling with children, you should consult your physician prior to your departure. The Captain will update you when there might be extra motion so you can take the medication in enough time to be effective.


SECURITY
Q.  What are your security procedures?

A.  Your safety and security are of utmost importance to us. Upon boarding our vessels, we will check your photo ID, and positively match all pieces of luggage with individual travelers. Similar to checking in for a flight, your luggage will be subject to search as well.


SMOKING
Q.  Is smoking allowed on board?

A.  Smoking is prohibited anywhere inside the vessels. Our smoking guests are welcome to smoke only on the outer aft deck in a designated area. Ashtrays will be provided. To protect the environment, guests should refrain from tossing cigarettes and cigars overboard.


TELEVISION

Q.  Is there a television on board?

A.  The vessels are equipped with flat screen TV/DVD players in each cabin. Large flat screen TVs in the main salon are also available. Television channels are unavailable due to the remote areas we visit. Vessels that have a bow cam will broadcast over one of the channels and daily updates, menus, and schedules can also be viewed on TV. We do have a collection of DVDs on board for you to enjoy in your cabin. 


TIPPING
See "GRATUITIES"


TRAVEL INSURANCE
Q.  Do I need travel insurance?
A.  For your protection, we recommend you purchase travel insurance so you can plan and enjoy your trip with complete peace of mind. We have developed a travel protection plan, in conjunction with Allianz Global Assistance, that offers guests a wide range of protection and services at reasonable rates. For details, see your travel agent or look under Travel Protection in the Booking Information section of our website.

WEATHER
Q.  What’s the weather going to be like?

A.  We recommend that you check the weather forecast for the area before your departure at weather.com.