23 March 2021

Scenic Group (Emerald Cruises and Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours) Travel Policy and Advisory Update: COVID-19

On behalf of the Scenic Group team, we hope that you and your families are all well. 

Whilst there has been encouraging progress made within Australia and many countries starting to implement a COVID-19 vaccination program, the timeframes for the roll-out varies significantly for each region that Scenic Group (Emerald Cruises, Evergreen Cruises & Tours and Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours) operates in. 
 

Based on the continuing international travel restrictions, quarantine requirements, attraction closures and extension of lock-downs in many countries, it is currently impossible for us to fully operate our scheduled international River Cruise and any international Land Tour itineraries, departing from 1 to 30 June 2021. 

We have also received notification from the Canadian Transport Ministry that they are imposing an Interim Order closing Canadian ports and waters to cruise vessels, which makes it impossible to operate our scheduled Canada touring itineraries, departing until 31 December 2021. The Government of Canada advises that they continue to evaluate this situation and make changes as necessary to ensure the health and safety of all Canadians. 

This situation is completely out of our control and the COVID-19 pandemic is a Force Majeure Event, as defined within the Scenic Group terms and conditions. 

Europe River Cruising: 1 to 30 June 2021 departures
For guests with a Europe River Cruise departing from 1 to 30 June 2021, we will provide a Future Travel Credit (FTC) Voucher for the full amount that has been paid to date. The flexible conditions for your FTC Voucher are as follows:

  • Valid for travel commenced through to 30 June 2024
  • The FTC voucher is based on the amount paid for your reservation to date
  • The FTC voucher can only be applied to any river or ocean cruise booking within the Scenic Group (Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, Emerald Cruises and Evergreen Cruises & Tours), subject to availability and any FTC capacity limits applicable to your selected cruise
  • The credit can be applied to any existing booking or when re-booking your future travel
  • Is fully transferrable to another guest
  • Upon the expiry of the FTC Voucher on 30 June 2024, guests who choose not to travel may contact us to receive a cash refund equal to the amount paid


Land Touring: Africa 1 to 30 June 2021 and Canada 1 June to 31 December 2021 departures
For guests with an International Land Tour departing from 1 to 30 June 2021 or a Canada Land Tour departing to 31 December 2021, we will a Future Travel Credit (FTC) Voucher for the full amount that has been paid to date. The flexible conditions for your FTC Voucher are as follows:

  • Valid for travel commenced through to 30 June 2024
  • The FTC voucher is based on the amount paid for your reservation to date
  • The FTC voucher can be applied to any land tour, river or ocean cruise booking within the Scenic Group (Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, Emerald Cruises and Evergreen Cruises & Tours), subject to availability and any FTC capacity limits applicable to your selected land tour or cruise
  • The credit can be applied to any existing booking or when re-booking your future travel*
  • Is fully transferrable to another guest
     
Scenic Eclipse: 2021 Arctic Voyages & East Coast USA departures
For guests with a Scenic Eclipse 2021 Arctic Voyage departure between 1 June to 30 September 2021, or the East Coast USA Adventure 27 September 2021 Voyage departure, we will provide a Future Travel Credit (FTC) Voucher for the full amount that has been paid to date:

  • Valid for travel commenced through to 30 June 2024
  • The FTC voucher is based on the amount paid for your reservation to date.
  • The FTC voucher can be applied to a river or ocean cruise booking within the Scenic Group (Scenic Luxury Cruises and Emerald Cruises).
  • The credit can be applied to any existing booking or when re-booking your future travel.
  • Is fully transferrable to another guest.

Upon the expiry of the FTC Voucher on 30 June 2024, guests who choose not to travel may contact us to receive a cash refund equal to the amount paid.

*The FTC voucher cannot be applied against stand-alone products or upgrades from third parties or Service Providers (as defined in our Terms and Conditions) in conjunction with the standard tour itinerary. 

 

Guests Holding Future Bookings
The safety of our guests and crew remains our first priority and we are closely monitoring this constantly evolving situation. New updates relating to the suspension of operations will be provided up to 3 months prior to your cruise or tour departure date. You can stay up to date with the policy information on this page, and if your booking is affected by a future suspension, you will be contacted as a priority.

Re-booking using a Future Travel Credit
With many people now planning and looking forward to travelling in 2022 and 2023, we have started to see increasing demand for popular cruise and tour destinations, departures and suites. 

To re-book your preferred departure with your Future Travel Credit (FTC), or if you have any questions regarding the above or the FTC process, please contact your Travel Advisor or the Scenic Group Reservations team.

Our Flexible Booking and Cancellation Policy
All guests with a booking scheduled to depart from 1 July 2021 to 31 December 2022 (or 31 December 2023 for Scenic Eclipse), have the option to transfer their booking to an alternate date without the Scenic Group fee, up to 60 days prior to departure. The value of the booking will be applied as a Future Travel Credit (FTC). 

Please note, the final payment is due as per your booking conditions, and if you choose to cancel or transfer there may be third party fees applicable, which will be at your own expense. This flexible booking and cancellation policy excludes Russia, South America, Australia and New Zealand land touring.

We will continue to monitor the changing global situation and remain committed to doing our best to assist with your concerns and adjusting travel plans.  

On behalf of the Scenic Group team, we are here to support you to plan and re-book your journey, using the Future Travel Credit vouchers. We all look forward to welcoming you soon.

Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What should I do next?
A. If we cannot operate your departure as scheduled, then Scenic Group will send you an auto notification letter, for the booking with the applicable Future Travel Credit details. We will automatically apply the Future Travel Credit on your record so there is no need to take any immediate action. Our reservations team will be working through these bookings in departure date order and would appreciate your patience in waiting for us to contact you. This will ensure we process the changes as quickly as possible. However, if you would like to secure your reservation now for a future travel date please contact your Scenic or Emerald Cruises/Evergreen Travel Advisor or our reservations team. 
Q. Do I need to use my FTC all at once and on one booking?
A. No, as a part of our flexible Future Travel Credit (FTC) conditions, you can utilise your FTC across multiple bookings, whether this is a new or existing booking. 
Q. What happens if I re-book, but my cruise or tour is suspended again?
A. For any guests who are impacted again by a suspension, any additional FTC vouchers attached to your current impacted booking will also remain available for future use, meaning you will not lose any of your credit and/or applicable vouchers.
Q. When should I re-book and are there any benefits of me booking now?
A.

As we are seeing an increase in interest in our 2022 and 2023 itineraries, we highly recommend booking now to secure your preferred departure, Earlybird offers and current pricing. Our Flexible Booking Policy* has also been included should you need to amend the date in the future.  

*excludes Russia, South America, Australia and New Zealand

Q. If I have a FTC for a suspended cruise booking, why can I only re-book on a Scenic Group river or ocean cruise?
A. We would like to allow our guests the opportunity to re-book onto the destination that they were originally due to depart on, or a similar destination. Should you wish to book on a different destination, this can be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Please contact our Reservations Team or your Travel Advisor to discuss further. 
Q. What is the current situation and when do you expect to operate again?
A. We are closely monitoring the changing global situation and will continue to take guidance from Government advisory notifications and travel restrictions (including port and border closures). The inability to operate our schedules applies to all Scenic Group international cruise and tour departures for guests from Australia and New Zealand up to 30 June 2021, for Canada land touring departures to 31 December 2021 and for Scenic Eclipse Arctic and Americas season departures up to 5 October 2021. 
Q. My booking has not been affected by a suspension and my departure is scheduled after 1 July 2021. Can I hold the funds in Future Travel Credit?
A. No, however you can defer your travel plans to an alternate departure date.
Q. What is your policy if I cancel my booking for a cruise or tour which remains scheduled to depart?
A. If you choose not to take up the option of the Future Travel Credit (FTC) for any cruise or tour that remains scheduled to depart, you may opt to cancel your booking under our standard terms and conditions. You can then consult with your travel insurance company to enquire if you are eligible to lodge a claim. If required, we can provide a letter to assist you in making your claim.
Q. I have an upcoming Australia or New Zealand land tour, which is close to departure. If the borders are closed, or I live in a declared hotspot, what should I do?
A. In this situation, we will have a dedicated team contacting our affected guests and will be in touch as soon as possible to discuss your options.  
Q. What happens if I am on tour or cruise and COVID-19 restrictions are announced?
A. We have a well-trained emergency team on standby, located in our Australia office as well as a team of ground staff who are in regular communication. This team is available 24/7 and they will work together with our staff on the ground, to determine the best course of action to look after the safety of our guests and crew.  
Q. Is there a flexible booking policy for Future Travel Credit voucher holders?
A. The below flexible booking policy applies when using a Future Travel Credit (FTC) to re-book: 

•  Included flexible cover means you can re-book with confidence and protection. 
•  You can defer travel after re-booking up to 60 days prior to travel*, with no Scenic Group fees (3rd party fees may apply).  
•  Should you need to cancel your re-booking, you can do so up to 60 days prior to travel*, with no Scenic Group fee (3rd party fees may apply). Your FTC will then be held for a further 24 months to use on a future departure. 
•  Final payment is due as per your booking conditions. However, changes can be made up to 60 days prior to travel*, with no Scenic Group fee (3rd party fees may apply).  

This policy applies to guests who have been affected by a booking that has been unable to operate or who have cancelled their booking voluntarily under our COVID policy. 

*Excluding Russia, South America, Australia and New Zealand Land Touring 
Q. What is a Third Party Fee?
A. Third party fees are incurred by Scenic Group when we contract with other travel partners to help package your itinerary. This may include airlines, hotels, Russian River cruises, Dalmatia Ocean Cruises coach and limousine transfers, exclusive access to venues and charters. In these circumstances, Scenic is subject to the third party terms and conditions and needs to make a claim for the costs incurred to deliver the services within your booking. For example, an airline may apply an amendment or cancellation fee on your air ticket. 
Q. What is a Future Travel Credit?
A.

The Future Travel Credit (FTC) provides flexibility for you to re-book a land tour, river or ocean cruise for travel in 2021 to 2024 as outlined in the policy applied for the date of departure for the reservation you are holding.  

To provide additional flexibility you can choose to travel up to the following dates;  

• 1 May to 30 June 2020 departures, re-book and travel up to 31 December 2022  
• 1 July to 31 October 2020 departures, re-book and travel up to 30 June 2023 
• 1 November 2020 to 30 April 2021 departures, re-book and travel up to 31 December 2023 
• 1 May to 30 June 2021 departures, re-book and travel up to 30 June 2024
• 1 May to 31 December 2021 Canada touring departures, re-book and travel up to 30 June 2024
2021 Scenic Eclipse Arctic season and the East Coast USA Adventure (701U) scheduled to depart on 27 September 2021, re-book and travel up to 30 June 2024

The FTC Vouchers are also fully transferrable to another guest, booking or other Scenic Group brand.

Q. Is my Future Travel Credit combinable with all other offers available at the time of booking?
A. Some conditions may apply to the use of your FTC Voucher and they may not be combinable with limited promotions, such as Deposit Protection Plan, Super Earlybird Offers and Early Payment Discount.
Q. What if I choose not to take a Future Travel Credit?
A. If you choose not to take up the option of the Future Travel Credit, a refund of any monies can be paid at the end of the Future Travel Credit validity period. We ask that you email us at that time for this to be processed.   
Q. Will the Scenic Group booked airfares be included in the Future Travel Credit?
A. All components of the Scenic Group reservation will be moved to Future Travel Credit and this includes any Scenic Group booked airfares. This means you are not restricted to book with the same airline or required to book your new airfares within a certain time frame. 
Q. Can I apply the Deposit Protection Plan or Platinum Protection Plan to my new booking?
A. The Deposit Protection Plan and Platinum Protection Plan are not applicable for bookings using Future Travel Credit. After re-booking the Flexible Booking Policy will apply, whereby up until 60 days prior to departure you have the option to transfer to another departure, or cancel and hold funds in credit for a further 24 months. This will be without any Scenic Group charges or change fees. However, third party fees may still apply. Flexible booking policy does not apply to Russia, South America, Australia or New Zealand.
Q. Do I Still Get Scenic Group Status Points for the booking that is unable to proceed?
A. No, as guests will receive a Future Travel Credit this is not applicable. However, upon re-booking you will accrue Scenic Group Status points on the selected departure once your journey has been completed.
Q. Can I extend my final payment? (All departures and all destinations)
A. Yes, we understand your concerns around payment final payment in the current environment. Please contact our reservations team to request a final payment extension review. 
Q. What are your on board safety and health protocols?
A. Scenic Group will ensure that we adhere to the highest standards of hygiene and cleaning protocols on all ships and all tours when operating. Thorough cleaning will be conducted regularly, and hand sanitisers are located throughout the ship to ensure the highest level of personal hygiene whilst on board. For further information, refer to our Cruise with Confidence information for River Cruises, Ocean Cruises and Land Journeys.
We understand that this situation is constantly evolving and it can be quite overwhelming to make future travel plans, with all the current uncertainty caused the various Government travel restrictions. We will continue to update you as much as possible through our websites and if you have any further questions please contact our Reservations Centre. We greatly appreciate your patience and note that there may be delays due to the unusually higher volume of calls.