15 October 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 well. 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 border 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 resulted in us being unable to operate all Scenic Group (including Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, Emerald Cruises and Evergreen Cruises & Tours) departures up to 28 February 2021 and Scenic Eclipse Ocean Cruises, Scenic Myanmar River Cruises and Scenic Africa Land Touring up to 31 March 2021.^ 

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 departure. 
 
The following Future Travel Credit (FTC) voucher policy applies for guests with bookings departing during these periods:

  • Scenic Group River Cruises or Scenic Group Land Tours departing from 1 January 2021 to 28 February 2021, we will provide a 100% Future Travel Credit (FTC) Voucher for the amount paid to date^
  • Scenic Eclipse Ocean Cruises, Scenic Myanmar River Cruises or Scenic Africa Land Tours departing from 1 January 2021 to 31 March 2021, we will provide a 100% Future Travel Credit (FTC) Voucher for the amount paid to date


This suspension and FTC Voucher policy excludes Norfolk Island tours departing 6 February 2021, and Tasmanian land tours departing 7 and 14 February 2021 which are scheduled to operate.

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  
  • Upon the expiry of the FTC Voucher on 31 December 2023, guests who are unable to travel may contact us to receive a cash refund equal to the amount paid.


Our flexible booking and cancellation policy for guests with a River Cruise, Ocean Cruise and/or international Land Tour booking, departing from 1 April 2021, is as follows:  


All guests with a booking scheduled to depart from 1 April 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 during this challenging period and look forward to exploring our precious world with you again 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 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 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 departures up to 28 February 2021 and for Scenic Eclipse Ocean Cruising, Scenic Myanmar River Cruising and Scenic Africa Land Touring up to 31 March 2021.
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. 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 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 departures, rebook and travel up to 31 December 2022  
• 1 July to 31 October 2020 departures, rebook and travel up to 30 June 2023 
• 1 November 2020 to 31 March 2021 departures, rebook and travel up to 31 December 2023 

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 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, 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. 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 to my new booking?
A. The Deposit Protection Plan is 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 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.

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.