F A Q

Frequently Asked Questions

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You will receive detailed travel tips and tour information five weeks prior to departure, but these
are the questions most frequently asked in advance and some tips which are useful early.

 

 

 

 Where do I find the prices for your tours?

The prices for tours are given in tables near the bottom of the detailed tour description page for each tour (e.g. "Bavarian Castles Tour" page or "Day Tours from Munich" page).  For overnight tours there are different prices for double and single occupancy.  Some tours have special prices for children or for triple occupancy.

 Is the airline ticket included on the price?

No, airline tickets are extra.  Transportation will be provided from the airport for your arrival, and the airport transfer for your return is provided.

 Who are these trips intended for?

These trips are for people of all ages who are interested in castles, history, adventure and cultural trips.  Even some people who are not interested in castles, have found our trips fun and informative.

 I only speak English.  Is that a problem?

Not at all.  English is the only language on the tour.  You have your private guide and translator with you all the time in case of any problems.  Most people you meet along they way are able to speak English at least a little, and speak it very well if they are working in a tourist-related business.  All the tour guides, castles guides, local guides and of course your tour director speak excellent, easy-to-understand English.

 Where do the guests come from?

From everywhere in the English-speaking countries, including the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.  A mix of people from various countries makes a more interesting tour experience for everyone.

 How big are the groups?

The maximum participants is limited to 30 – to make sure you enjoy every single aspect of the tour to the fullest.



 
 Is there really much of an advantage to this sort of "all-inclusive" tour?

With current world economic conditions the way they are, booking and paying for your European vacation package in U.S. dollars makes traveling overseas a bargain and gives you peace of mind, knowing that you have already paid for most aspects of your vacation.  Instead of flying to Europe and paying for local accommodations, transportation, sightseeing, and meals in Euros, which are strong against the U.S. dollar right now, you can purchase nearly all of your vacation arrangements up front with U.S. currency.

 What time of the year is the best time to travel?  When can we expect the best weather?

The best times to travel to Europe are when there is lots of sunshine – early summer (May, June, and early July when the holidays have not started yet) or early fall (September and early October).  Many European hotels do not have air conditioning.

The weather has become very unpredictable recently.  It can be unusually warm or cool for the season, but the dates we picked for you are in the usually sunny and comfortably warm season.

The Christmas Market tour is scheduled in December and we usually have snow in the valleys during that period, and of course on the mountains.

 Why is it so difficult to get to many of the castles on your own?

Many of the castles we visit are far away from the cities, frequently on strategically chosen heights of land.  Getting there by public transportation is often quite difficult.  In some cases there are only one or two connecting buses or trains per day.



 
 What kinds of transportation are used?

We have horse carriages, cable cars, boats, ski lifts, and we walk – but of course most of the time we use our sparkling luxury coach with 47 seats, air-conditioning, toilet, reclining seats, radio. TV, and DVD, driven by our wonderful, safe and very experienced driver.

 Are the entrances to the castles included?

Yes, the entrance fees for every castle visit in the itinerary is included in the price.  All transportation costs (buses, carriages, boats, cable cars) are also included.  There are no hidden extras.  There are no "optional" excursions or activities for you to pay for at extra cost.

 Are all meals included?

All breakfasts are provided.  Lunches are on your own.  Most dinners are provided (all except one or two, as noted in the itinerary).  Guests seem to enjoy picking their own spots from the choices available at noon.  The group is together most evenings for dinner, but guests have one or two nights free (depending on the length of the tour) to make their own plans.

 

 
 Can I talk with a past passenger?

Certainly!  Contact us and we will provide you with the necessary information.  You can also read comments from participants in past tours on our References page.

 How do I register for a tour?

Instructions and a choice between an online form, email, or telephone are provided on our Reservations page.

 How fast does email move between Germany and other countries?

Normally email moves very quickly, but occasionally there are bottlenecks in the international systems that may delay messages for several hours.  Some internet service providers' services are faster than others.  Most email delivery problems are the result of overly aggressive spam filters.  Go to your email service's "safe list" and add the address "astrid.baur@t-online.de" to it to ensure that our messages aren't blocked.  If you are expecting a reply that doesn't arrive within one day, please send a follow-up email and we will resend and / or telephone you.

 What travel documents are required for these tours?

A valid passport is required for traveling to Germany and the European countries included in our tours.  Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months beyond the beginning of your trip.  No Visa is needed for U.S., Canadian, Australian, or British citizens.  Other citizens (including those residing in North America) must consult with the German Consulate to determine if a visa is needed.



 
 Are there ATM machines available?

ATM machines are very common in Europe and provide ready access to cash, allowing travelers to carry as much money as they need for each day.  Remember to obtain your PIN number in advance, and call your bank to ask the maximum daily withdrawal limit.

 When you use ATMs and request money, are you requesting local currencies or U.S.?

You request the amount you want in local currency, get the local currency.  And you pay in U.S. Dollars or your home currency.

 Are credit cards accepted?

Major credit cards are accepted by shops and restaurants.  Visa and MasterCard are the most widely accepted.  Discover is not accepted.

 Should we bring Travelers Checks or cash?

Cash in fine as long as you carry it in a safe place, like a money belt, and cash is accepted everywhere.  Travelers Checks are not accepted by many businesses.  You need to cash them at a local bank.  The availability of cash from ATMs and the widespread use of credit cards has diminished the use of Travelers Checks.  Travelers Checks can be replaced if they are lost or stolen.  Keep your receipt and the list of checks that shows which ones you have used in a place separate from the checks themselves.  And keep a copy of them at home.

 

 
 What do I need to pack?

You will get a detailed package designed for your tour with lots of tips on packing five weeks prior to the tour.

 Will I need to bring a hairdryer or an electrical adapter for charging a camera battery?

Electricity in Germany and central Europe is supplied at 220 volts.  Plugs with two round pins are used.
To avoid hassles or disasters, bring as little electrical equipment as possible.  Hair dryers and alarm clocks are provided, and an iron can be supplied.

Some new items (such as digital camera chargers, laptop power supplies, and electric razors) are marked as being able to work on both 110 and 220 volt systems.  These may be used with an American to European AC plug adapter which you should obtain before leaving North America.

 I have heard that all pills must be in their original containers. 

Because of strict drug laws in Europe, drugs you take on doctor’s orders should be carried in their original container showing the prescription label and vitamins should be in their original containers.

 Other questions?

Please send us a note at the address below and we'll try our best to answer for you.



 

 

Contact Information

Email is fast, flexible, and free. You can write to us at  this email link .

You can call us in Germany  (Eastern Time + 6 Hours)

        U.S. Phone:  (202) 580 - 8732  /  Castles Office:  +49  8362  924 8800 

 

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