18 June 2020

Scenic Group Travel Policy and Advisory Update: COVID-19

Our Reservation Centre is currently experiencing unprecedented high call volumes resulting in unusually long wait times. We appreciate you require updated information to finalise your future travel plans and we are working as quickly as possible to be able to provide the relevant details.

OPERATIONAL UPDATES

We hope that you and your families are all well and starting to adapt your plans as the Australian and New Zealand Governments slowly start to ease the recent health and safety restrictions.

However, due to the continued Government travel restrictions and international border closures, it continues to be impossible for us to operate our schedules for guests with bookings departing from Australia and New Zealand. This has required the temporary suspension of Scenic Group (including Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, Emerald Waterways and Evergreen Cruises & Tours) departures for all river and ocean cruises, and for land tours (excluding domestic Australia tours) departing up to 31 October 2020.
  
The suspension to 31 October 2020 applies only to international departures for guests from Australia and New Zealand. However, as a global business, we are also continuing to review, departures for guests with bookings that reside outside of Australia and New Zealand.

This situation is totally out of our control and the COVID-19 pandemic is a force majeure event as defined within the Scenic Group terms and conditions. However, to support your future travel plans, Scenic Group will be providing a Future Travel Credit for affected departures.

If you choose not to take up the option of the Future Travel Credit (FTC), you can opt to cancel your booking under our standard terms and conditions, and then consult with your travel insurance company to enquire if you can lodge a claim. If required, we can provide a letter to assist you in making your claim.

Our flexible policy for guests with River Cruise, Ocean Cruise and international Land Tour bookings departing from 1 September to 31 October 2020:  

To ensure your future travel plans will be protected, if you hold a:

  • River or ocean cruise reservation during this period, Scenic Group will provide a 110% Future Travel Credit (FTC) Voucher for the amount paid, to re-book and travel by 30 June 2023
  • Land tour (including Egypt & Canada cruise tours) reservation during this period, Scenic Group will provide a 100% FTC Voucher for the amount paid, to re-book and travel by 30 June 2023

The flexible conditions for your FTC Voucher are as follows:

  • Valid for travel commenced through to 30 June 2023
  • The value of your FTC voucher is based on the amount paid for your reservation to date
  • The FTC Voucher can be applied to any booking within the Scenic Group (Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, Emerald Cruises (including Emerald Waterways and Emerald Yacht Cruises) and Evergreen Cruises & Tours)
  • The FTC Voucher can be applied to any existing booking or when re-booking your future travel
  • Is fully transferrable to another guest, and;
  • Upon the expiry of the FTC Voucher on 30 June 2023, guests who are unable to travel may request a cash refund equal to the amount paid

If you choose not to take up the option of the FTC Voucher, you can opt to cancel your booking under our standard terms and conditions.

Our flexible booking and cancellation policy for guests with bookings departing from 1 November to 31 December 2020:

All guests with a booking to depart from 1 November 2020 and guests considering a booking after that date, have the option to transfer their booking to an alternate date without a Scenic Group fee up to 31 December 2021 (or 31 December 2022 for Scenic Eclipse), up to 30 days prior to departure. Scenic will waive all cancellation fees with the value of the booking applied as a Future Travel Credit and we will review the timing for the full payment when re-booking. Please note, if you choose to cancel or transfer there may be third party fees applicable, which will be at the guests own expense. 


This allows guests more time to make decisions about their future travel plans. This policy will apply to all brands within the Scenic Group: Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, Scenic Eclipse, Emerald Cruises (including Emerald Waterways and Emerald Yacht Cruises) and Evergreen Cruises & Tours.


Most governments have implemented strict travel restrictions and border controls that limit the arrival of people who have travelled, visited or transited through other countries, beyond those currently within the Scenic Group policy as outlined above. 

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 during this challenging time and we look forward to exploring our precious world with you again very soon.

Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What should I do next?
A.

If your departure is suspended, or no longer operating 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. 

Q. What is the current situation and when do you expect to operate again?
A. We are closely monitoring the changing global situation and we continue to take guidance from government restrictions and advisories, including port and border closures. All our river cruise and ocean cruise, and international land tour operations are temporarily suspended for residents and guests departing from Australia and New Zealand, until 31 October 2020.
Q. What is a Third Party Fee?
A. Third party fees are incurred by Scenic Group when we contract other travel partners to help package your client’s 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 - 2023 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 suspended departures, rebook and travel up to 31 December 2022 
• 1 July to 31 October 2020 suspended departures, rebook and travel up to 30 June 2023

These Future Travel Credit vouchers are also fully transferrable to another guest, booking or another brand within the Scenic Group (including Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, Scenic Eclipse, Emerald Waterways, Emerald Yacht Cruises  and Evergreen Cruises & Tours). 

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, you can opt to cancel your booking under our standard terms and conditions. 

View Evergreen terms and conditions and Emerald Waterways terms and conditions

Please 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. Why is the Land Tours Future Travel Credit Value only 100%?
A.

Land tours which are operated by Scenic Group have itinerary inclusions that are provided by partners such as airlines, hotels, restaurants and coaches. Therefore, Scenic Group is required to recover these third party costs and we are unable to pass on any additional Future Travel Credit above the 100% value for your clients booking.

Q. What if I have an Egypt or Canada Cruise and Tour?
A.

Similar to the Scenic Group land tours, the Egypt/Canada cruise component is provided by a third party partner. Thus, the Future Travel Credit is only applicable at 100%, as we need to recover these costs.

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 and they may not be combinable with limited promotions such as deposit protection plan and early payment discount.

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 book your new airfares within a certain time frame.
Q. Can I apply Deposit Protection Plan to the new reservation?
A. The Deposit Protection Plan is strictly for new bookings only, these Reservations are suspended and funds on file are being transferred to an alternate departure prior to travel prior to December 2022/June 2023. Although the Deposit Protection Plan is not applicable, if you transfer funds to a new departure, and at a later date are no longer able to travel on selected departure, we will provide a one-time option of transferring to an alternate departure. This will be without any Scenic Group charges or change fees. However, third party fees may still apply and travel still needs to occur prior to Future Travel Credit deadline. 
 
Q. Do I Still Get Scenic Group Status Points for the suspended booking
A. No, as guests will receive a Future Travel Credit this is not applicable. However, upon rebooking 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 that have not been suspended)
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. 
We appreciate that the situation is constantly evolving and it can be quite overwhelming. We will continue to update you as much as possible through our websites. If you have any further questions please contact our Reservations Centre and we appreciate your patience as there may be delays due to the unusual higher volume of calls.