7 September 2020

Scenic Group Travel Policy and Advisory Update: COVID-19

On behalf of the Scenic Group team, we hope that you and your families are all. We understand that you, our business and the travel industry will need to continue adjusting plans, as the Australian and New Zealand Government health, safety and boarder restrictions continue to evolve during this pandemic.  
 
As we have previously advised, due to the continued Federal and State 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 all Scenic Group (including Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, Emerald Cruises and Evergreen Cruises & Tours) departures up to 31 December 2020.  

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 (FTC) for affected departures. Please note that the FTC Voucher value and following terms may vary depending on the specific suspension. 
 
Our flexible policy for guests with bookings departing during this period:  
To ensure your future travel plans will be protected, if you hold a:  

  • Scenic Group River cruise departing from 1 November 2020 to 31 December 2020, Scenic Group will provide a 110% Future Travel Credit (FTC) Voucher for the amount paid to date
  • Scenic Eclipse Ocean cruise reservation departing from 1 November 2020 to 31 December 2020, Scenic Group will provide a 100% Future Travel Credit (FTC) Voucher for the amount paid to date
  • Scenic Group Land tour (including Egypt & Canada cruise tours) reservations departing from 1 November 2020 to 31 December 2020 will be provided a 100% FTC Voucher for the amount paid to date. 
  •  
    The flexible conditions for your FTC Voucher are as follows:  

  • Valid for travel to re-book and commence through to 31 December 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 and Evergreen Cruises & Tours) 
  • The FTC Voucher can be applied to any existing booking or when re-booking your future travel, and; Is fully transferrable to another guest  
     
     
    If you choose not to take up the option of the FTC voucher, you can opt to forfeit your future travel credit voucher under our standard terms and conditions
     

    Our flexible booking and cancellation policy for guests with river cruise, ocean cruise and international land tour bookings departing from 1 January to 31 March 2021:  


    All guests with a booking scheduled to depart from 1 January 2021 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 30 days prior to departure. 

    Scenic Group will waive all cancellation fees with the value of the booking applied as a Future Travel Credit (FTC) and we will review the timing for the full payment at time of transfer. Please note, if you choose to cancel or transfer there may be third party fees applicable, which will be at the guests own expense.  

    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 period and 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. However, if you would like to secure your reservation now for a future travel date please contact your Scenic or Emerald Cruises/Evergreen Travel Agent or our reservations team. 

    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. The temporary suspension of all Scenic Group operations applies to departures up to 31 December 2020.
    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 can opt to cancel your booking under our standard terms and conditions, 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. 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 travel suspension or who have cancelled their booking voluntarily under our flexible change policy. 

    *Excluding Russia, North America and South America Land Touring 
  • Q. What if I held a reservation for departure prior to 1 November 2020?
    A. The following policy applies to ensure your future travel plans will be protected, if you held 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  
     
    The flexible conditions for your FTC Voucher are as follows:  
    • Valid to re-book and for travel to commence by 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  

    • The FTC Voucher can be applied to any existing booking or when re-booking your future travel, and;  
    • The FTC is fully transferrable to another guest
    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 
    • 1 November to 31 December 2020 suspended departures, rebook and travel up to 31 December 2023 

     
    These Future Travel Credit Vouchers are also fully transferrable to another guest, booking or another brand within the Scenic Group. 
    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. 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.  

    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. 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 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 and Ocean Cruises.
    Q. What if I have an Oberammergau booking?
    A. Scenic Group prior notifications for Oberammergau will remain the same. 

    If you hold a Scenic river cruise and Oberammergau land package, then you can move your current 2020 booking and reserve a comparable 2022 Scenic river cruise, same suite category, with the Oberammergau land package at the 2020 pricing. Alternatively, you can choose a 110% Future Travel Credit for the full value of your Scenic booking, to re-book and travel on any Scenic river cruise up to 31 December 2022. 

    We are working closely with the Oberammergau organisation to arrange a 2022 river cruise itinerary including the Passion Play. These details will be communicated directly to guests and their travel agents as soon as they are available. 
    We note that this situation is constantly evolving and it can be quite overwhelming to plan 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.