At Cox & Kings, we believe that a good holiday is not luck, but judgement. We have compiled the following advice to outline the nature of travel in Europe and to help you prepare for your holiday. However, even with the most meticulous planning, problems can occur and, while our ground staff are always on hand to rectify such occurrences, we do request that you have a patient and broadminded approach to travelling in the region and respect the local traditions.
Cox & Kings supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) Travel Aware campaign to help you stay safe and healthy overseas. Find out more at FCO Travel Aware. The FCO website provides travel information for many countries around the world which includes advice on safety and security, entry requirements and health, as well as general information. Cox & Kings strongly recommends that you, and everyone on your booking, visit the FCO website and read the advice about the country you are planning to visit prior to booking. You should also revisit the advice regularly prior to your departure as it may change frequently. It is also possible to sign-up to receive FCO e-mail updates for your destination so you are aware of any changes to advice they issue and we recommend you do this. There are different levels of advice, and sometimes this includes advice against travelling to certain areas or countries. To check the current travel advice, visit gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice and follow @FCOTravel on Twitter and Facebook.com/fcotravel.
On our tours the following carriers will be used: Aeroflot, Air Iceland, Air Malta, Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Croatia Airlines, CSA Czech Airlines, easyJet, Finn Air, Iberia, Icelandair, Jet2, Lufthansa, Monarch, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, Ukraine International Airlines and Wow Air. The name of the airline is clearly listed on the tour page, together with the stop-off airport, should this apply. We do not print flight timings in our brochure; however, you will find full details relating to your international flights printed on your confirmation invoice. All flight times as stated on your confirmation invoice are based on local times.
Some flight routings involve a change of aeroplane en route to your destination and will entail a transit time in the airport terminal while waiting for your connection. Please take note of the flight details as stated on your confirmation invoice as these will show you the amount of scheduled transit time in the stop-off city. Please note that all flight timings are subject to change by the airline. It is important to note the difference between a ‘direct’ flight and a ‘non-stop’ flight. Non-stop flights do not have any scheduled touchdowns en route, while direct flights mean that there is no change of aircraft, but that stops are possible, and indeed probable, as per the airlines’ timetables. Unfortunately, airlines change their schedules regularly, and although we will advise you of any stops or plane changes at the time of booking, we cannot be held responsible for any changes after this date.
All our itineraries are based on Economy Class. However, should you wish to upgrade to Business Class this is normally possible subject to availability. If you would like to take this option, please contact our reservations department, who can often offer an upgrade at specially discounted prices.
Baggage allowances vary according to the destination, flight and class booked, although in the majority of cases the allowance for Economy is 20kg and Business is 30kg.
Occasionally, when travelling on internal flights with local carriers or on light aircraft, it may be necessary for operators to change schedules at short notice. If this should happen, everything possible will be done to minimise the inconvenience. Such a change may cause a delay to your onward travel arrangements and require an extra night’s accommodation at your board point, alternative travel by another airline or another method of transportation. Although these arrangements are at the discretion of the airline, Cox & Kings will endeavour to help in any way it can and ensure that arrangements go as smoothly as possible.
Unfortunately, due to the increase in air traffic, government restrictions and changing weather conditions, flight delays have become more commonplace. These delays can cause problems with onward connections and / or hotel and holiday arrangements, which need to be rescheduled. The airline will sometimes make alternative arrangements to get you to your next destination at no extra cost; however, additional costs may well be involved in the form of additional accommodation costs, transfers and onward tickets. It is important that your travel insurance covers you against the costs that you may incur as a result of cancellation or delay to your flight. Unfortunately, since most services are paid for in advance, any services missed due to delays are non-refundable. Please also bear in mind that many international flight tickets are non-changeable and non-refundable. The insurance policy offered by Cox & Kings is designed to mitigate the costs and effects of such delays in certain circumstances and we strongly advise that you are insured against such eventualities.
Most of the tours shown in this brochure use special airfares. These have certain conditions that normally restrict any change of date, route or airline. Any such change made after a ticket has been issued will normally necessitate the purchase of a new ticket at the passenger’s expense.
Cox & Kings will endeavour to request any specific meals or services, subject to availability, on the condition that we are told at the time of booking. Specific seat requests with most major airlines can now only be requested if travelling in Business Class. We are able to request general seating preferences for Economy Class passengers; however, please remember that all special requests are ‘requests’, and as such are at the discretion of the airline and cannot be guaranteed.
International UK and foreign local departure tax is included in the cost of your holiday (unless otherwise stated) when you buy your ticket from Cox & Kings. However, in some cases additional local taxes may have to be paid locally, and you will be informed of these before you travel.
The road conditions you will experience in Europe are generally fairly good. The majority of the roads are sealed and in reasonable condition. Please be aware that some tours involve driving on smaller, more uneven roads, which may be uncomfortable, dusty and quite strenuous. The distance covered in some of our tours is also considerable, especially on our tours to Albania, Armenia, Georgia, Romania and regional Turkey. If you have any problems with long journeys, please discuss this with your consultant. Types of vehicles vary according to the country visited and the numbers on a tour. Generally, the following can be used as a guideline for the size of transportation provided: 2-3 passengers, saloon car; 4-6 passengers, minivan; 6-19 passengers, small bus; 20-28 passengers, medium-sized bus.
A number of flights within Europe arrive or depart early in the morning, and while we will endeavour to schedule your tour with a flight which arrives or departs at a reasonable time, sometimes there is little or no alternative and early check-in or checkout times may be required.
Border crossing procedures can change without warning. At the time of publication (September 2014), Cox & Kings has designed all tours to coincide with the opening times of the borders, but if these change and the itinerary is disrupted, we will arrange the best possible alternative.
Accommodation standards vary dramatically throughout Europe. Hotels in eastern Europe, Albania, Macedonia and regional Turkey, generally should not be compared to western European standards. For our tours we have chosen hotels primarily for their location and the facilities available. We will endeavour to supply any extra information that you may require on these hotels. The hotels listed in the tour itineraries may occasionally be unavailable for the required dates. In such an event, we will advise you of alternative hotels, which will, where possible, be of the same or of a higher standard than those featured in the itineraries. There are many new hotels being built in Europe and we may upgrade those featured in the brochure if better options in the same category become available.
All rooms reserved on your tour are standard; however, if you wish to upgrade your room (eg to a lake view or suite etc), please speak to your tour consultant, who will be able to advise you about the options and the applicable supplements.
For all group and individual tours, hotel check-in / check-out time is normally 12 noon, but this does vary between hotels. Early check in and late check out cannot be pre-booked, but can sometimes be negotiated on site.
Many of the sites in Europe are quite spread out and our tours consequently involve a reasonable amount of walking. While the walking is normally easy going, a full day’s sightseeing can be quite tiring and sometimes strenuous.
Although tourism is not a new concept in most parts of Europe, many of the areas visited are still extremely traditional. Therefore, kindly respect local customs and dress codes.
The river cruises and train tours on this site are offered subject to the conditions of carriage of the individual cruise or rail company. Please note that, in exceptional circumstances, they may vary their itineraries with little or no notice if water levels become unsafe, train lines become blocked or to avoid areas of dense traffic. Such changes are rare, but you should check the final itinerary at reception when you embark.
Itinerary changes: From time to time, especially in Russia, our ground agents may have to amend your itinerary. This could include changes to the order of activities and, in some extreme cases, have to exclude a visit to a particular site. This is largely due to the need to accommodate local conditions, such as increased security around places of interest such as squares, museums and palaces among others. Where this information is made available to us in good time, we will advise you prior to your departure. However, the security arrangements and closure of monuments around important public holidays do vary from one season to another and the details are only made available at short notice. Any changes to your itinerary will be advised by the local ground agent. However, on arrival, if you are either unable to locate the airport representative or are unhappy with the changes, we strongly recommend that you contact our local representatives in the first instance. The contact details of our local offices can be found alongside the documents dispatched with the final itinerary.