Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Make a Reservation?
You may book your Uncommon Journeys holiday directly with us by calling 800-323-5893. As a Tour Operator, we also work with accredited Travel Agencies worldwide. Booking requests may also be made online and once a request is placed, one of our Reservations staff will contact you to complete the booking process.

 

When are payments due and how much?
A deposit of 35% is required to confirm your reservation and final payment is due at 90 days prior to departure. All payments may be made using any major credit card or by check.

 

What do I do with my Guest Registration Form?
Upon confirmation of your booking, you will be sent out a “Guest Registration Form” which we require to be returned by the date of final payment (90 days prior to departure). Required information on this form is: Emergency contact details, details on any Medical problems which are relevant to your ability to travel, special requests, and immigration details (for international travel only). 

 

Do I need a passport?

Travel by Land or Sea
Travel document requirements vary based on itinerary and whether international travel is required. For tours that are scheduled to end outside the U.S., a passport that is valid for six months beyond the completion date of your travel is required. Passports or Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant documents are required for tours to Alaska, Bermuda, Canada, Caribbean, Hawaii, Mexico and the Panama Canal. U.S. and Canadian citizens ages 16 and above may present one of the following valid WHTI-compliant documents:

  • Passport (recommended travel document) (valid for travel by air, land and sea)
  • Passport Card (valid for land and sea border crossings only)
  • State Issued Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) – (valid for land and sea border crossings only)*
  • Other documents approved by the Department of Homeland Security

For a list of approved documents visit:
http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis_pa_tw_2223.html

 

Is there a restriction on how much baggage I can bring?
Airlines, limousines and other transfer vehicles have luggage allowance policies which may limit the amount and/or weight of luggage you may take with you and/or impose excess luggage charges. You are responsible for complying with the policies. Please keep this in mind when packing. Luggage handling is included on tour for one large bag per person. Should you desire to check more than one bag on the land portion of the tour, an additional porterage fee will apply.

Traveler advisory - Baggage fees and other charges may be directly assessed by airlines or airports.

 

When will I receive my final documents?
Final documents for your holiday contain everything needed for your travels and will include our “Helpful Hints” which detail the operation of the tour and who the tour manager will be and how they will make contact with you. Also included are a detailed “day to day” itinerary as well as any connecting travel arrangements or pre and post-tour options that we have booked for you. This package is sent out between two and three weeks prior to departure.

 

What clothing should I bring?
With only one exception where cruises are involved, casual clothing is recommended. Our holidays do not require that one dress up or bring formal clothing. On tours which may include a cruise, further guidance will be given in the final documents about the cruise line’s onboard events and dress.

 

What about tipping?
Tipping is included at all hotels and included meals during the tour.  In the final documents, further guidance will be given for the advice on tipping where appropriate for Tour Managers, local Step-on Guides, and aboard trains.

 

What is the weather going to be like?
Forecasting weather is difficult and we will defer to the experts in this.  For long-range weather information please refer to http://www.weather.com/forecast/. Your final documents will contain clothing and weather information relevant to the region which you will be visiting.

 

Are there laundry facilities available?
On most tours we will be in regions where laundry services will be available.  In more rural areas of the National Parks and aboard trains laundry facilities are not available. Aboard cruise ships, self-service laundry facilities are provided as well as dry cleaning and laundry services.

 

Can I bring my own alcohol aboard?
Aboard trains and land tours, you may bring personal alcoholic beverages for consumption while on tour.  We ask that personal alcohol NOT be consumed in public areas. Aboard cruise ships, there are generally limitations on the quantity of alcohol allowed. Please refer to the cruise line’s documentation regarding their on-board policies.

 

Where can I get details about train accommodations and room sizes?
Both Amtrak and VIA Rail have detailed on-line profiles of their sleeping car accommodations. The accommodations profiled by VIA Rail are identical to those found aboard our Private cars. These can be found at:

Amtrak Superliner Cars (most routes):
http://www.amtrak.com/media/train_tour/superliner/superlinerSLEEPER_CONTROLLER.html

Amtrak Viewliner Cars:
http://www.amtrak.com/media/train_tour/viewliner/viewliner.html

VIA Rail Double Berths:
http://www.viarail.ca/en/resources/berths

VIA Rail Double Bedrooms:
http://www.viarail.ca/en/resources/cabin-two

 VIA Rail Roomettes:
http://www.viarail.ca/en/resources/cabin-one

 VIA Rail Suite:
http://www.viarail.ca/en/resources/suite

 

Do you offer discounts for AARP, AAA membership, etc..?
Our holidays are priced in a manner which includes the group discounts offered by our hotel and railway suppliers and for this reason, our rates are not further discountable. Some discounts may apply to your pre or post-tour connecting Amtrak travel.

 

Are Children allowed on tours?
All guests under the age of 18 must be accompanied by and occupy the same accommodations as an adult aged 25 years or older.

 

Can I Bring Oxygen aboard?
Uncommon Journeys does not provide oxygen for guests. If a guest requires oxygen, they will need to bring it with them. The guest may contact a supply company that will deliver it to the tour for them. We will need to know how many containers, what size they are and the type. We do not allow liquid oxygen on board our cruise ships at any time. If the guest needs oxygen for their flights, they will need to arrange this directly with the airline.

Uncommon Journeys will have to be notified AT THE TIME OF BOOKING of any required breathing machines to make sure cruise and train space is booked correctly. Not all cabins and sleeping compartments have the outlets available to power such devises. Please ask about the elevation on the tour you are booking as several places visited by Uncommon Journeys are at or above 7,000 feet above sea level. No refunds will be given if departing a tour is necessary due to respiratory complications.

 

What do I do if I have special dietary needs?
We ask that you to be responsible for your own health during our tour, and to keep with you, any medications or required health instruments during daytime sightseeing.  While at restaurants, please communicate your needs to the wait staff directly.  There is limited ability within the National Parks and other rural areas to accommodate special dietary needs.

 

Can you accommodate guests with disabilities?
Uncommon Journeys does not discriminate against persons on the basis of disability. We seek, to the extent feasible, to accommodate guests with disabilities however due to the nature of many itineraries, it is not always possible to accommodate these guests.  Generally, all passengers must be able to alight and disembark trains and buses without additional assistance in order to join our tours. Should guests require additional considerations for their disability such as specialized hotel or railway accommodations, these cannot be guaranteed and must be requested at the time of booking.

 

Room shares:
Uncommon Journeys does not arrange for, nor accept single room share requests.