Getting prepared


There is a button at the end of each online itinerary that allows you to see the Essential Trip Information. This provides a more comprehensive look at the details of your chosen trip. If you've still got questions, feel free to get in touch with a Book Nile Cruises representative.

Once you've confirmed your booking we will send out a detailed pre-departure information pack covering all sorts of practical information, including a general packing list and any other special items you may need to bring.

Immunisations vary from country to country and we strongly recommend you visit your local doctor or contact the Travellers Medical and Vaccination Centre or the local equivalent in your country to discuss health requirements for your trip. These organisations will advise you about appropriate inoculations. In some places anti-malaria medication may also be required. Some vaccines need to be administered a few weeks before departure, so allow plenty of time. Please note that in some cases a certificate of vaccination is compulsory in order to obtain a visa.

Your pre-departure information pack will contain a suggested list of items to bring, but it doesn’t cover medications. We recommend you carry personal medical items for managing common minor ailments such as colds, diarrhoea, blisters and sore throats etc. Travellers who take regular medication should take an appropriate supply. Asthma sufferers should ensure that they have an adequate supply of their routine medicine as some major cities have high levels of smog.

As a general rule you should pack light but bring all the essentials. Leave space in your luggage for souvenirs. You will be required to carry your own bags, and sometimes you will need to lift it on and off public transport, so you should consider using a backpack or soft duffel bag. Suitcases are okay on some of our trips, but not always practical. Each airline has specific rules about luggage allowances – check directly with them or ask your travel consultant to confirm for you.

Some places we stay have laundry facilities, and those that don’t may have laundry facilities nearby. It is a good idea to bring some travel wash and a travel clothesline to cut down on packing space. It is particularly useful if you are on a multi-day activity adventure, such as trekking in remote areas.

It depends on the trip. Generally these will only be used for more active trips, though we will let you know in the pre-departure information pack that is sent out to you on confirmation of your booking.

Our trips are designed to be enjoyed by anyone who is reasonably fit. However some trips visit remote areas with limited or non-existent medical facilities so you must be in good health. Factors such as bumpy roads, dust, traffic, stairs, humidity, delays and unfamiliar customs and cultures also add to the physical toll. Keep in mind you will sometimes need to carry your own bags.  Each trip has a physical rating assigned to it, to find out more click here.

Many countries require you to have a visa before arrival. After you've booked your trip we will send you a pre-departure information pack containing all the visa information. It’s best to get visas sorted in advance because the processing time can be quite long.

You'll be able to access the internet in most cities, and unless you're on safari or in the desert your tour leader can point you in the direction of an internet cafe or wi-fi. Be aware that the connectivity can be slow, unreliable and expensive in some countries.

Your mobile will probably work in most major cities. Check with your service provider before you go if they have a reciprocal agreement with the countries you are travelling to and make sure you are aware of any fees associated with global roaming on your device.

Probably. Once you’ve confirmed your booking with us, we send you an information pack that is specific to the trip you’re going on. So if you’re climbing Aconcagua or cycling through Provence, we'll send you all the relevant information before your departure date. If you still have questions or want more information you can always contact us.


Booking the trip


No. Whilst this site is designed to make booking as easy as possible, we appreciate that sometimes it’s nice to talk to a human being, so give us a call! We can do the whole booking procedure over the phone.

Unfortunately it is not possible to do sections of our tours. However, some of our longer tours are made up of smaller tours completed back-to-back, so it might be possible to book a shorter trip separately.

The prices quoted on the site do not include international flights. But our partnerships with the major airlines means we can get you the best price on flights for your intended travel dates. Just ask.

Generally the final payment is due in full 56 days before the departure of your trip. If you’ve booked your trip within 56 days of the departure date, full payment is needed at the time of booking. Last minute bookings require payment up front before confirmation. Please note that polar trips require full payment 120 days before departure.


You and your travelling companions


Book Nile Cruises doesn’t offer typical group tours, and our customers aren’t typical group travellers. Book Nile Cruises travellers are looking to see a side of a destination they wouldn't see on their own. They want to immerse themselves in the cultures they visit. It’s all about authentic experiences with highly experienced leaders who are local to the region. Many meals are included, you will mostly travel in private transport and you will stay in comfortable accommodation with private amenities.

Not at all. Every year we take thousands of solo travellers around the world. Our small group tours are twin-share (single ladies share with ladies, chaps with chaps) and there's no single supplement to pay on the majority of our small group tours. Of course if you'd prefer to have your own room (at a little extra cost) we can arrange this on most trips, simply let us know when you book. If you’re not comfortable sharing a room with someone of the same gender, or don’t identify with the gender assigned on your passport, please let us know at time of booking and we’ll arrange the rooming configuration accordingly. 

For Adventure Cruising and Polar tours, there may be a single supplement to pay depending on the tour, though this will ensure your own cabin - please enquire when booking. 

Book Nile Cruises is committed to making travel as widely accessible as possible, irrespective of ability or disability. Before booking a tour, we ask that you review the itinerary and recommended physical rating and carefully consider whether you are physically and mentally able to complete the itinerary. Please bear in mind that on many trips you will be required to carry your own bags and use public transport. 

Reasonable adjustments can be made to our operations to facilitate the requirements of disabled travellers. For instance, by booking ground floor accommodation or having leaders communicate important directions in writing as well as verbally. Many of our travellers have also been able to enjoy our trips while travelling with a friend or companion who can assist with their specific needs. Please tell us at the time of booking if you have any specific travel requirements and we will do our best to meet them where practicable. 

If joining an existing group trip is not practical for you, there is also the option of arranging a private departure instead. Please contact our sales team for further information in this regard.

There is no specific age limit on our tours, but the majority of Book Nile Cruises travellers are in their 40s, 50s & 60s. Some of our trips involve walking on rocky terrain, cycling and climbinb stairs (particularly in Europe) so check the Essential Trip Informaiton to see if a trip is right for you.

Some of our trips include travel by boat, ship or canoe. We will assume you can swim unless you tell us otherwise. If you cannot swim you must let us know so we can inform your tour leader. Swimming is by no means compulsory during any of our trips, and you do not have to swim if you don't want to.


Money matters


An experienced English-speaking leader local to the region, airport arrival transfer (all itineraries), all transport (all private), all accommodation, sightseeing and entrance fees, many meals as indicated, 24 hour local emergency support, local and specialist guides where needed, quality equipment where needed (including trek packs and bikes)

The 'Money Matters' section of the Essential Trip Information for your desired tour will give you an idea of some typical prices in the places you're visiting, and your pre-departure pack will have more details. Remember that with Book Nile Cruises some of your meals, your transport, accommodation and entrance fees to major sites are paid in advance so you don’t need to factor these into your budget.

We recommend a combination of cash, an ATM card and perhaps a credit card as back-up. Travellers cheques are a safe way to carry money, however in some places it can be difficult to cash them. As a general rule, American dollars are accepted throughout the world but make sure you have small denomination bills, and that they are not ripped or marked, as this may affect your ability to change them. And remember to check with your bank about using your cards overseas.

Your tour leader works hard to ensure you have a great trip, so please don’t hold back if you feel they have earned a tip for their efforts. You can choose to tip them individually or make a group presentation at the end of the tour. Full details of tipping are covered in the trip-specific pre-departure pack that we send before you leave.

If you want to bring gifts for local people please ensure they are useful, like pens or school books and not lollies. We urge you to distribute gifts in an organised and responsible manner - either through the headmaster of a school or the director of a charity. You could even ask your tour leader for advice on the most beneficial approach, and they might have ideas of what you could buy locally that would be useful. Some children, and even adults, might ask for things as you pass them on the street or in villages. Handing them something might bring you each a moment of joy but it only encourages begging and is destructive in the long term.


On trip


One of the main reasons travellers choose Book Nile Cruises is because we use tour leaders who were born and raised in the region. They are highly qualified, speak excellent English and boast intimate knowledge of their homeland. Travelling with a local leader means you will enjoy a local perspective, meeting their friends along the way, eating where the locals eat and seeing sights you won’t find in guidebooks. Aside from the benefit to you we are providing income and training to local people. We work to ensure our staff and local partners are the best in the business. Throughout the regions we visit, our operators possess a wealth of knowledge and experience so you can be confident you’re in safe hands. They are out in the field, continually monitoring and refining our adventures to ensure we offer the most innovative trips, as well as the best value for money.

All our trips are a combination of organised activities and free time. Our detailed itineraries give you an idea of how much free time to expect. It also depends on the trip, eg. some of our trekking adventures may have less free time than other trips. Many of your most memorable experiences will occur when you branch out and do your own thing, so we know it’s important that you have time to yourself. The framework is in place and the details are taken care of, but on many days you decide what you want to see and do.

Despite designing balanced itineraries that allow you to explore the places you are visiting, we know there is always more to discover. So if you want to arrive early or extend your visit after the trip has finished we can help arrange additional accommodation. We also have trip extensions around some of the start and end cities, for example many people add a Zanzibar beach extension to the end of their Mount Kilimanjaro trip!

You'll stay in centrally located, quality accommodation with private amenities. We generally choose smaller hotels to avoid large chains, and ty to offer more authentic accommodation that reflects a region. Read the 'Accommodation' section of the Essential Trip Information for a detailed breakdown on the style of lodgings used on your tour.

We love introducing you to the flavours of the world. Our leaders are local to the regions you visit, meaning they can take you to out of the way places for the most interesting cuisine. Their local knowledge comes in handy for deciphering menus and you can get tips on local delicacies and the most interesting markets to visit.

No problem. Just let us know in advance so we can inform our local leaders. That way they can make sure you are looked after in the local restaurants. Keep in mind that in some places your diet might be slightly limited, as meat often forms an integral part of the local diet.

Airport transfers are usually included in the price of Book Nile Cruises tours – just check online or with our travel consultants. Tours always start in a specified hotel and we let you know exactly when you need to be at that hotel.

Yes. In all cases, we can organise extra accommodation for the start and end of the tour. Just let us know and we’ll get a quote for you. We also have trip extensions in many of the destinations we travel to, meaning you can take a short break after the main event. One small exception – visa regulations prevent us from booking additional accommodation in Bhutan.

We mostly use private vehicles, and sometimes local transport where it adds to the experience (ie. Shinkansen). In certain areas, whether it’s the old quarter of a city or a remote rural valley, the best way to explore is on foot, so we try to incorporate some walking. We might also use boats, ships, camels, bicycles which all add to the immersive nature of our trips. Read the itinerary carefully for details on what kind of transport is used on your trip.

Our itineraries indicate travelling time and mode of transport. Although there are some days where we travel relatively long distances, our trips are organised to make travelling as convenient and efficient as possible. We occasionally take domestic flights. Travelling by land between different parts of a country or region is sometimes a highlight of a trip, with interesting communities and spectacular landscapes encountered en route.

You’re best to contact one of our travel consultants or visit the country pages of our website for an indication. More information on climate and seasonal weather is contained in the trip-specific information pack, which you will be sent on confirmation of your booking.


Question still not answered?

Feel free to get in touch with us for any questions you might have about travel ideas, planning or anything else!

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