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At Cox & Kings, we believe that a good holiday is not luck, but judgement. We have compiled the following information to outline the nature of travel in North America, and to help you prepare for your holiday. However, even with the most meticulous planning, minor problems can occur and, while our local representatives are always on hand to rectify such occurrences, we do request that you have a patient and broadminded approach to travelling in North America.
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.
International flights: Our itineraries use a number of reputable airlines and our costs are based on Economy Class, unless otherwise stated. Upgrading to Premium Economy on some routes and Business or First Class is normally possible, subject to availability. Some flight routings involve a change of aeroplane en route to your destination, so please take note of the flight details on your confirmation invoice, as these will show the amount of scheduled transit time in the stop-off city. Please also note that ‘non-stop’ flights have no scheduled touchdowns en route, while ‘direct’ flights mean there is no change of aircraft but stops are possible, and indeed probable, as per the airline’s 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 made after this date. However, if you specifically require a non-stop flight please ensure that you request this at time of booking.
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. Some charter flights or float aeroplanes to islands or remote hotels may have lower limits and it may not be possible to leave behind excess baggage. Therefore, it is advised not to bring any excess baggage on tours that feature light-aircraft aeroplanes. Please check with your travel consultant regarding specific routes.
Internal flights: 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.
Flight delays & insurance: 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 and, while the airline will sometimes make alternative arrangements to get you to your next destination at no extra cost, additional costs may be involved for accommodation in the event of an overnight cancellation and also after your arrival at your next destination. These may be in the form of additional accommodation costs, transfers and onward travel. It is important that your insurance covers you against the costs incurred 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. The insurance policy offered by Cox & Kings is designed to mitigate the costs and effects of such delays in certain circumstances and we strongly recommend that you are insured against such eventualities.
Flight amendments: Most tours use special airline fares, which normally restrict changes of date, route and airline. Any such changes made after a ticket has been issued will normally necessitate the purchase of a new ticket at the passenger’s expense.
Special requests: Cox & Kings will endeavour to request any specific meals or services, 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 one of the premium classes. We are able to request general seating preferences for Economy Class passengers. However, with all special requests, please remember that they are ‘requests’ and as such are at the discretion of the airline and cannot be guaranteed.
Airport departure taxes: International UK departure taxes are 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. .
Cruises from Cox & Kings are offered subject to the conditions of carriage of the individual cruise company. The itineraries described are subject to change or cancellation at the discretion of the ship’s master. As some of the cruises travel to remote parts of the world the cruise companies reserve the right to change the itinerary due to weather conditions, availability of anchorages, political conditions, ability to obtain necessary permits or other factors beyond its control, without consultation. Decisions made will always be in the best interests of the travellers and with regard to the safety of the vessel. Travellers will have no right to any refund or other considerations in the event of these itinerary changes. Should a passenger not take part in an activity or make use of the services available then no refund will be given.
Cox and Kings can arrange self-drive holidays in Canada and Alaska. Although driving on the roads can seem easy as they are in good condition and generally there is not much traffic, some areas are very remote and lacking in infrastructure such as petrol stations and roadside rest areas. We therefore recommend that you are always rested and make sure you fill your tank at every opportunity available. In such remote areas it is also worth noting that mobile signal can be non-existent or very limited, especially in Alaska.
Some flights to, from and within North America depart and arrive very late at night or early in the morning. Although Cox & Kings will endeavour to book you on a flight that departs / arrives at a reasonable time, often there is little or no choice and some very early check-in / check-out times may be required. Sometimes it is necessary to leave your hotel before 6am in order to maximise the opportunities for sightseeing during your holiday.
In some cases, hotels will be undergoing refurbishment works, which in most cases do not impact on guests’ comfort. Cox & Kings will inform you of such works, provided they are notified to us in time, and we will endeavour to obtain rooms as far away from any construction work as possible. Please bear in mind that hotels run on full capacity during peak season and specific rooms can rarely be pre-booked.
Check-in & check-out times: If a flight arrives very early in the morning, you may be taken for breakfast or sightseeing before being allocated your room. Cox & Kings will endeavour to make your room available as early as possible in these instances.
Single supplements: On some occasions, single and double rooms carry the same price, which means that single supplements for certain itineraries can seem high. Single rooms cannot always be guaranteed at all hotels and lodges, especially in peak season.
Often, the location and standard of single rooms may not be as good as that of doubles. If you are in doubt, we suggest you request a double room in advance, at an additional supplement. If you are unhappy with your room while on holiday, please query this with a Cox & Kings representative at the time.
From time to time, our ground agents may have to amend your itinerary. This could include changes to the order of activities and, in some extreme cases, excluding 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. 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.