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Herman The Cat

Scenic River Cruise Coronavirus Cancellation Policy

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Scenic have posted their new policy today, April 6th, that covers their cancellations up to June 30th

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1 hour ago, Jamesh1910 said:

Scenic have posted their new policy today, April 6th, that covers their cancellations up to June 30th

 

Thank you — I had been checking multiple times per day.  It’s not posted on the 
ScenicUSA website yet, though. It will be interesting to see what it is and hopefully the USA website will post it today.

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This is off the Canadian site

 

 

Scenic Group Travel Policy and Advisory Update: COVID-19

Our Reservation Centre is currently experiencing unprecedented high call volumes resulting in unusually long wait times. We appreciate you require updated information to finalise your future travel plans and we are working as quickly as possible to be able to provide the relevant details.

6 April 2020

OPERATIONAL UPDATES

We hope that you and your families are all well and adapting to the increased health and safety restrictions, required to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

As the situation continues to escalate at a rapid rate in many countries, with Government lockdowns, travel restrictions and border closures, it has become impossible for us to operate our scheduled departures. This has required the temporary suspension of all Scenic Group (including Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, Emerald Cruises and Evergreen Cruises & Tours) operations for land tours, river and ocean cruises, up to and inclusive of 30 June 2020 and for all Oberammergau 2020 departures.

Our flexible policy for guests with bookings departing from 1 May to 30 June 2020:

To support your future travel plans, Scenic Group will be providing a Future Travel Credit for suspended departures.

If you hold a river or ocean cruise reservation during this period, Scenic will provide:

· A 110% Future Travel Credit for the full value of your Scenic booking, to re-book and travel by 31 December 2022

If you hold a land tour (including Egypt cruise tours) reservation during this period, Scenic will provide:

· A 100% Future Travel Credit for the full value of your Scenic booking, to re-book and travel by 31 December 2022

The flexible conditions for your Future Travel Credit are as follows:

· Valid for travel commenced through to 31 December 2022

· This can be applied to any booking within the Scenic Group (Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, Emerald Cruises and Evergreen Cruises & Tours)

· The credit can be applied to any existing booking or when re-booking your future travel

· Is fully transferrable to another guest

· Upon the expiry of the Future Travel Credit voucher on 31 December 2022, guests who are unable to travel may request a cash refund equal to the amount paid

· Scenic follows the Travel Industry regulations as provided by Consumer Protection British Columbia

Our flexible policy for guests with Oberammergau bookings departing in 2020:

The local authorities in Oberammergau have postponed the Passion Play until the summer of 2022 and we are waiting for the new dates to be confirmed.

If you have booked a Scenic river cruise and Oberammergau land package, then the following options apply:

· 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, or

· You can move to 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.

Our flexible booking and cancellation policy for guests with bookings departing from 1 July to 31 December 2020:

All guests with a booking to depart from 1 July 2020 and guests considering a booking after that date, have the option to transfer their booking to an alternate date without a Scenic fee, up to 30 days prior to departure. Scenic will waive all cancellation fees with the value of the booking applied as a Future Travel Credit and we will review the timing for the full payment when re-booking. Please note, if you choose to cancel there may be third party fees applicable, which will be at the guests own expense.

This allows guests more time to make decisions about their future travel plans. This policy will apply to all brands within the Scenic Group: Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, Scenic Eclipse, Emerald Cruises and Evergreen Cruises & Tours.

Most governments have implemented strict travel restrictions and border controls that limit the arrival of people who have travelled, visited or transited through other countries, beyond those currently within the Scenic Group policy as outlined above.

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 team, we are here to support you during this challenging time and we look forward to exploring our precious world with you again very soon.

Read our FAQs here
Read our statement from the Scenic Group Chairman and Founder, Glen Moroney, here.


We appreciate that the situation is constantly evolving and it can be quite overwhelming. We will continue to update you as much as possible through our websites. If you have any further questions please contact our Reservations Centre and we appreciate your patience as there may be delays due to the unusual higher volume of calls.

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Scenic should offer a cash refund NOW and not make customers hold a voucher for 2 years and THEN "if they can't travel will get a cash refund"!  What if they go out of business for COVID19 or something else in the future...there will be NO money to refund.  Scenic is Australian based and who knows what type of bailouts will be offered to cruise lines like they have in the States.  Demand cash refunds NOW if Scenic cannot travel to ANY location.

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Scenic is offering  110% future cruise credit through Dec,31, 2022, no refunds, which I am ok with.  I would have preferred a refund, but am willing to accept this proposal.  However, they are not honoring the original discounts that we were offered, and charging more for the cruise next year.  Even with the 110% FCC, they want $600 more for the same cabin, same date next year.  I am not ok with that.  They will have had our money for 20 months by the time the cruise comes around.  I hope when this if all over that Jazzbeau will do a recap of how river cruise lines handled this situation to help us make a decision as to which line to choose in the future.  There are a lot of cruise lines to choose from, and Scenic should be aware their actions, may affect their future business.

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I don't think Jazzbeau has the resources to do that, but hopefully Cruise Critic does and will.

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As a TA with 2 group sailings booked, as well as singular bookings, on Scenic products over the next 20 months, I am watching how Scenic responds during this virus situation.  I know that most TA's are monitoring cruise lines, tour companies, and other travel providers, and their responses to cancellations, refunds and rebookings -- certainly this will effect future bookings.

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Unfortunately it seems like Scenic is playing games and using semantics to get out of any responsibility to refund.

 

The majority of cruise lines are using the word “cancel” but Scenic is using the word “suspends”. I think they think this means they don’t have to refund per the T&C.

 

They are also trying to be “cute” and appear generous by offering 110% FCC, and as Texasstar pointed out, the net result is a higher expenditure. They obviously think their customers are not that bright.

 

Apparently this is not the first time they have tried to get out of their responsibilities by not using the word “cancel.”  They lost this class action lawsuit a few years ago when they bussed river cruise passengers around Europe rather than cancelling. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-31/scenic-tours-lose-class-action-over-bus-travel-europe-flood/8859668

 

I do find it interesting that companies like Tauck, Crystal, etc., are using the word CANCEL freely and being upfront etc. whereas Scenic is saying “suspending operations.”

 

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I must report back that Scenic has agreed to let us book the same cruise without additional cost for next year.  My travel agent , forwarded my letter about what I expected them to do, and after speaking to management, they agreed.  No refund, but at least no additional cost.

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We received information from Scenic regarding our July 2020 river cruise that included Oberammergua.  We can move our current booking to a comparable 2022 river cruise at the 2020 pricing.  We are very happy about this information.  But, we are hoping they will refund the money we paid toward our balance and keep only our deposit money.  We have written them an email regarding this and hope we receive a positive response.  We would prefer keeping that money in our own accounts to save for the cruise in 2022.

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We received information from Scenic regarding our July 2020 river cruise that included Oberammergua.  We can move our current booking to a comparable 2022 river cruise at the 2020 pricing.  We are very happy about this information.  But, we are hoping they will refund the money we paid toward our balance and keep only our deposit money.  We have written them an email regarding this and hope we receive a positive response.  We would prefer keeping that money in our own accounts to save for the cruise in 2022.

I think you are expecting too much. Either a refund or price protection for 2 years is reasonable. More is, IMHO, unfair to the company.


Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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I am not expecting a full refund, but I'm not sure it's fair that they keep a very large sum of money for over 2 years.  Our cruise was in July, so the cruise needed to be paid in full by April I believe.  We were sending payments along the way, so we wouldn't need a very big sum of money in April.  So, we probably paid for more than 1/2 of the total. I guess we'll wait and see.  

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Below are the terms of the contract we signed with Scenic.  Since I cannot change a legally binding document, I do not think that they can.Suspend or cancel, it means they are not sailing.  These terms say cancel or delay.  Since it won't sail, the semantics don't matter.  They must refund all monies paid. 

 

5. Cancellation, delays and changes to Your Itinerary 5.1 Although we reserve the right to cancel, delay or alter a Cruise for operational reasons, we will generally not cancel or consolidate a Cruise due to lack of passenger numbers. However, if minimum passenger numbers are not met, we reserve the right to limit the facilities, amenities and activities available on the Cruise Vessel. 5.2 We will endeavour to make any decision to cancel or delay a Tour or Cruise, and to notify You of that decision, at least 60 days prior to the scheduled Tour Departure Date. 5.3 If We cancel a Tour, for whatever reason, before departure: (a) We will use reasonable endeavours to offer You the closest available tour or cruise departure. If the proposed alternative tour or cruise is: (i) cheaper than Your original Tour Price, We will refund the difference to You; or (ii) more expensive than Your original Tour Price, You must pay the difference to Us; (b) if You accept the proposed alternative tour or cruise, Your Itinerary will be amended accordingly and We will give You an updated Itinerary; (c) if You do not accept the proposed alternative tour or cruise within 7 days of being notif ied by Us of the alternative, We will cancel Your Booking, refund to You all monies paid directly to Us and will have no further liability to You; and (d) We are not liable for any third party costs You may incur, which We have not booked on Your behalf , for example airfares or other arrangements booked independently through or paid to a travel agent. 5.4 If We delay the departure of a Tour, for whatever reason, for more than 7 days, You may terminate this Contract and We will provide You with, at Your option, either: (a) a full refund of all amounts paid to Us; or (b) a credit towards future tours with Us which will be valid for 24 months from the date You notify Us of the termination of this Contract.

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Posted (edited)

Scottjeanne, of course, absolutely correct and this is our view as well.

 

It seems they are trying to be clever and it is semantics. They are not sailing, the cruises are cancelled. It’s pretty black and white; they’re trying to make it gray. They cannot change the terms of the contract to suit there needs and they have no right to hold onto the money/not refund.

 

Other cruise lines are offering a choice of 125% future cruise credit as an incentive to book or a refund. Scenic is offering 110% and no refund. 

 

When did you book and is this for a river cruise or a tour? Your terms and conditions, though the same generally, have slightly different wording.

 

Edited by Herman The Cat

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We booked (and paid in full) August 2019.  We were to spend a week in Belgium, cruise for a week and then see the Passion Play in Oberammergau.  Since the play has been cancelled (with a full refund), and the cruise is cancelled, we would like our money back to make other plans at a time of our choosing.  I still work full time, though I am furloughed right now.  I do not want Scnic to control our money for 30 months.

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4 hours ago, scottjeanne said:

We booked (and paid in full) August 2019.  We were to spend a week in Belgium, cruise for a week and then see the Passion Play in Oberammergau.  Since the play has been cancelled (with a full refund), and the cruise is cancelled, we would like our money back to make other plans at a time of our choosing.  I still work full time, though I am furloughed right now.  I do not want Scnic to control our money for 30 months.

Ok, if your booking included Oberammergau with Scenic I can see why the language is slightly different.

Agreed, we bought a service they can’t provide. They have no right to hold onto the money for 30 months before returning it.

 

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Herman, we booked the Oberammergau play separately.  It was not through Scenic.  They are treating that tour group differently.

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On 4/21/2020 at 2:26 PM, scottjeanne said:

Herman, we booked the Oberammergau play separately.  It was not through Scenic.  They are treating that tour group differently.

Hmmm. May be that you booked after us so the terms are different. 

They may have changed after the last lawsuit they lost.

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I’m wondering if the regulations are different in the U.K. or there are no Brits travelling on Scenic as there seems to be none joining this discussion. CA

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Yes, that is VERY curious! Seems the UK website has the same offer as US...and so does the AU website.

 

Also surprised no Australians or New Zealanders have participated in the discussion.

 

From what my TA says, we would have expected the bulk of passengers cruising with us on Scenic to be from Australia/NewZealand.

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On 4/24/2020 at 6:41 PM, Canal archive said:

I’m wondering if the regulations are different in the U.K. or there are no Brits travelling on Scenic as there seems to be none joining this discussion. CA


Scenic cruises can be booked in the U.K, although I have never seen them marketed in this country. I believe Scenic are the parent company of Emerald which are heavily marketed in the U.K. Perhaps that is the reason not many Brits are joining this discussion.

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We have travelled eight times with Scenic starting well before they launched Emerald they actually started trading in the U.K. under the I think Evergreen flag which they still use in Australia alongside Scenic and Emerald.

I queried because it seems to be North American’s who are challenging their Covid response. CA

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Herman The Cat said:

From what my TA says, we would have expected the bulk of passengers cruising with us on Scenic to be from Australia/NewZealand.

 
 

We did our first river cruise with Scenic last October.  We are from Australia and there were only four Australians (including us), on the ship.  We were very surprised by this, the vast majority were Canadians, then from the US.  The rest were from England or New Zealand.

Edited by djh1959

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12 hours ago, djh1959 said:

We did our first river cruise with Scenic last October.  We are from Australia and there were only four Australians (including us), on the ship.  We were very surprised by this, the vast majority were Canadians, then from the US.  The rest were from England or New Zealand.

DJH — that’s very interesting. My TA specifically asked them and the Scenic US office who said about 70% Australians/New Zealanders. Well, maybe it’s mostly NZ! Scenic is really not that known in the US. Most opting for a luxury river cruise in the US pick Tauck or Crystal. With Tauck, everyone we know said it was about 95% Americans and mostly from the east coast. Crystal didn’t include air and was approximately the same price as Scenic, whereas Scenic included air.  We opted for Scenic because we wanted more variety in the passenger mix and it was a better deal. [For what it’s worth, Crystal is offering cash refund or 125% FCC. I guess we made the wrong decision. 🙄]

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3 hours ago, Herman The Cat said:

We opted for Scenic because we wanted more variety in the passenger mix and it was a better deal. [For what it’s worth, Crystal is offering cash refund or 125% FCC. I guess we made the wrong decision. 🙄]

My friends who have done both, much prefer Crystal......

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