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ABTA ATOL

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Essential Passenger Information

 

Blankets:
Blankets are easily accessible in a drawer in each cabin. The may be needed in the cold season when night time temperatures normally drop to below 20C.

Board account:
A normal procedure whereby you will be required to sign a bill for all items ordered and presented with the account on the last day.
 
Bridge policy / No go areas:
Clearly indicated as "crew only", please do not enter these areas or the bridge without the permission of the Cruise director. We operate an open bridge policy, but ask that you be considerate to the ship's officer's tasks.
 
Cabin / Stateroom:
During your voyage with us, we want you to be extremely comfortable while experiencing extreme bliss.
Our stewarding team will do their best to ensure the highest standards of excellence and create a homely environment. Please note that all cabins have: mini bars, phones, mini- safes, luggage storage, wardrobe, writing desk, hair driers, bathrobes and slippers. Junior Suites also have an iPod in the room.
Televisions and iPods are also available upon request. Superior, Deluxe staterooms and both the Junior Suites are individually decorated with their own balconies with sliding doors, ensuring a sufficient amount of lighting in your stately cabin. Your cabin is very spacious and has a unique character. Welcome to your private sanctuary.
Board account:
A normal procedure whereby you will be required to sign a bill for all items ordered and presented with the account on the last day.
 
In room dining / room service:
There is an in room dining menu in your cabin. Please feel free to order from it 24 hours a day. The bill will be charged to your cabin.
 
Daily Schedule:
A printed daily program for the following day will be placed in your cabin during dinner time. We have a daily turndown service every evening. Please keep observing the notice board for any changes to the schedule, and also be aware of our daily cruise briefings.
 
Dress Code:
The dress code onboard and ashore is informal and relaxed. In the day time, feel free to wear comfortable casual attire. While in the evenings, smart casual would be appropriate.
 
Drinks:
Mineral water is free. All soft drinks, local beers and local spirits will be charged directly or put in your board account.
Fresh brewed Coffee and tea are available during breakfast only, unless of course room service is ordered. Imported spirits and liquors, wine, espresso and imported mineral water will be charged as well.
A complimentary daily cocktail will be served made with local ingredients.
 
Electricity:
230 volts two round pin type, same as in Continental Europe - on board are various adapters for different types of plugs you may carry along.
 
Safety on Board:
Your safety is our first priority. The ship is fitted with modern smoke detectors, fire alarms, extinguishers, sprinkler systems and life rafts.
Alarms are situated along all decks. Fire extinguishers are located at regular intervals around the decks and outside all cabins. Radio Communicator, Radar, PA system, satellite phone, life jackets, life rafts, fire hydrants, flares and signals are well placed. Life jackets and extinguishers are in each cabin.
On the back of your cabin door is a plan of the ship showing the position of your cabin in relation to the Emergency Muster Station.
Muster station 1 is located on main deck mid ships. In the event of muster station 1 being unsafe, please proceed to muster station 2, which is located on the upper deck and await instructions given by the crew.
In the event of an emergency the ship will blast repeatedly and the alarm bells will be rung.
If either in or very close to tour cabin, put on your life jacket, proceed immediately to the Emergency Muster Station 1 and await instructions. Both Muster stations are clearly indicated with signs.
If you are not in your cabin when the alarm goes off, do not return to your cabin, but proceed at once to the Muster Station and await instructions.
 
Excursions:
When mooring, you are welcome to come and go from the ship as much as you like.
Our next sailing time will be displayed on the daily schedule and passengers are requested to note this before disembarkation. Group shore excursions are organized by the cruise director, fluent in English, German and French.
You will be accompanied by a member of Heritage Line. Fifteen minutes prior to casting off our captain will sound the ship's horn to warn you to return to the ship. Passengers are encouraged to sign out on the special board, this way we can keep an account of our cherished guests and not sail without you.
Approximately 30mins prior to departure you will hear 3 long blasts of the ship's whistle and on departure 5 short blasts.
 
Gratuities:
Gratuities are encouraged and we recommend $5 per person per day. This all depends on passenger satisfaction.
 
Guides:
Our guide services are conducted in English. Guides in other languages are available through special arrangement at a minimal additional cost which may include using guest accommodation at guest rates.
 
Food Safety and Hygiene:
Purified water that goes through a thorough filtration system is used for cooking, drinks, ice, and food preparation onboard. Drinking water is bottled water only. When venturing away from the vessel never accept ice in drinks, ice creams, crushed sugar cane, salads or fruit skins.
 
Food and Beverage Outlets:
The Funnel Bar and Lounge and The Jaya restaurant are located on the Terrace deck and are open from 6 am.
 
Footwear:
Rubber flip flops are provided for your comfort on board the vessel.
When ashore, guests should use comfortable non slippery walking shoes. During certain seasons, the river banks and paths used can be muddy.
Thus, we ask you to take off your footwear when returning on board so that we can clean your shoes and return them later.
 
Hairdryers:
Available in all cabins.
 
Insurance Requirements:
Please note: Passengers must be fully insured to cover any risks of medical expenses and repatriation; the company is no way responsible for such liabilities.
 
Insect Precautions:
External doors and the sliding windows should be kept closed at all times ‐ day and night.
You will find an insect spray in your room to be used when you find an insect inside your cabin. At night, if on deck or going ashore, make sure to rub ankles and other exposed parts with repellent.
During the day mosquitoes are less of a problem than other forms of insect life. Switch off lights when leaving your cabin so as not to lure them in.
Mosquito nets are available on request. For more information on the insects in the area, please visit
www.pleasanthealth.com/website/travel_immunization/insect_precautions.htm
 
Internet:
Broadband internet is available in the lobby lounge/reception area while mooring in Phnom Penh port and other locations along the route.
 
Itinerary:
The cruise itinerary is a general overview of the main ports of call, much depends on river conditions and other local factors. A daily schedule will be posted one day in advance. This schedule contains a fact sheet with as much information we can gather on the sites we intend to visit.
 
Library:
Our modern library is located on the upper deck, well stocked with books, arts literature, music and games.

Loud Speaker System:
Announcements through this system will inform you about the departure time for excursions, schedule changes or emergencies. Please be informed that announcements can only be heard in all public areas as well as on the outside decks, all announcements do not go through to your cabin. But just in case of emergencies, we will call you via the in‐house phone.

Meals:
Breakfast and lunch is either a hot or cold buffet or an A La Carte menu.
Dinner is served in 'The Jaya' with either a buffet or set menu.
We have a mixture of Asian and Western cuisine and they are always vegetarian dishes offered.
The meals comprise of as much locally purchased products (such as exotic fruit, organic vegetables and locally caught fish and prawns) as possible, to give you a real taste of the lands you journey through.
Special diets may be catered for with advance notification.

Medical:
We carry first aid equipment and some medical supplies. All senior staff and IMO certified personnel have attended first aid courses.
In the event of serious illness or accidents, we are never more than 2 hours by car or speed boat from a main hospital or 5 hours from Saigon or Phnom Penh where there are international hospital facilities and air evacuation facilities.
We have a rescue boat that can accommodate up to 6 passengers. It is advisable to check with your doctor that you are fit for travel, and whether any prophylactic drugs or inoculations are required.
We do not have facilities for disabled people or wheel chair access. They are no elevators.
If a passenger is seen to be unfit or unable to access a ship and mount stairs unaided then the management reserves the right to refuse to carry that passenger.

Mobile Phones:
Cell phones work in nearly all parts of the Mekong with the exception of Cambodia for a short section downstream passing Kampong Chhnang and in the midst of the Tonle Sap lake. A majority of the routes we pass along have excellent coverage.

Money Matters:
The common currency on board the ship is US$. All passengers will have their own ship account, which allows you to sign a bill for all purchases and services throughout your cruise.
All bills will be charged in US$ by cash or credit card (Master or Visa card). Please note that only bills with an amount over $25 can be settled by credit card.
We do not accept traveler cheques on board our ship. The local currencies are the Vietnam Dong and the Cambodian Riel. Local currency during the cruise is not needed but accepted.
We have a money exchange service available on board. In both Vietnam and Cambodia, the US Dollar is accepted.

Moving About the Ship:
Please be careful when moving about the decks, they can be slippery especially after rainfall. The stairs on board may be steeper than you may be used to. It's best to always use the handrails.

River Conditions:
These vary depending on the season. In the dry season (November-March) the water level of the river will be quite low and in some places will have dropped more than 50 meters from its monsoon level (June-Sept).
Though the river can be miles wide, channels may be narrow and hard to follow. There is thus some risk of running a ground on submerged sand banks. Our captain has to take extreme care.
As the ship is a sea going vessel, the stability on the water is quite high. In case of high seas or even at the Tonle Sap Lake the winds can be very strong if need be, we will provide 6 ballast tanks which will be filled to ensure a comfortable cruise.

Safe:
All cabins have been fitted with strong, durable safes.

Schedule Changes:
Schedule changes may be possible due to technical complications or unpredictable incidents and river conditions.
The ship purser will immediately inform you of changes regarding the excursions or make an announcement by loud speakers PA. Please also keep an eye on the notice board for any subsequent notice of any changes to planned timings.

Security:
In the countries in which we operate tourists are rarely targets for theft and when sailing most of passengers do not bother to lock their doors.
A 24 hour security watch is kept on the gangplank controlling access to the ship, but please keep your door locked when not in use and at night.
All cabins have a combination type safe - please use a number you can remember like the last 4 digits of your phone number or your date of birth.
Heritage Line cannot be held liable for loss of money, jewelry or other valuable items from the ship or whilst on an excursion ashore during a voyage.

Ship's office:
The main office is on the Lobby Lounge. The Purser or his assistant will be on duty at appropriate times, in case of inquiries or assistance.

Boutique Shop:
Conveniently located on the Upper Deck, "L'extreme Orient2 offers a collection of magazines, literature, toiletries, travel items, clothes and handicrafts

Smoking:
Smoking is permitted only outside your cabin. To prevent any unnecessary accidents, it is forbidden to smoke in your cabin or dining room. The danger of fire should never be ignored.

Towels:
To ensure an eco‐friendly sustainable environment, towels will only be changed if they are placed on the floor in your cabins.

Visas:
For Vietnam: You need a visa for Vietnam. It is normally valid for 30 days and cost around US$25. You are advised to get it from a Vietnamese embassy or consulate abroad. Passengers may also obtain a visa upon arrival at Ho Chi Minh Airport.

N.B.:
Obtaining a Vietnamese visa on arrival cannot be issued on the river border from Cambodia. Please be aware, when entering Vietnam from Cambodia you should state that the entry date for arrival in Vietnam is the day you arrive in Cambodia.
Typing a wrong entry date can result in a 24 hour delay for the ship and a penalty. For more information go to:
www.vietnamembassy-usa.org/consular_services/visa_info/

Cambodia: (Option 1)
Upstream: Passengers can obtain the Cambodian visa upon arrival at the border Vietnam / Cambodia on the Mekong River, by paying around US$25 net per person added to room bill or whichever means appropriate. Please carry two passport photos per person.

Downstream:
Passengers can obtain the Cambodian visa upon arrival at Siem Reap airport by paying US$20 net per person directly on the spot. Please carry two passport photos per person.

Upstream: (Option 2)
The visa can be done immediately as the cruise ship exits Ho Chi Minh City, the Cambodian immigration department is very close and conveniently located on the other side of the river.
(Hue River) Visa will be stamped in Chau Doc, not Phnom Penh. As the passengers are on the cruise, their passports will be taken to the Cambodian consulate in Saigon, and returned including the visa before reaching Chau Doc.
Visa costs are not included in the price of your vacation.

Vietnam/Cambodia Border:
All passengers should be aware of a slight delay in either option 1 or 2 on the Vietnam - Cambodia border.
Normally a crossing takes about 2 hours, it can be longer if a passenger's visa application is not written out correctly. Passengers do not have to disembark.
The life on the ship goes on pretty much uninterrupted. The cruise ship stays still.
Please be patient about this, and note that our revised schedules take this stop into account. This is not a delay, it is a scheduled stop.

Water:
The ship's water is purified through a filtration plant (reverse osmosis) the water is suitable for washing and brushing teeth but should not be drunk.
Bottled mineral water is provided free of charge. We have a central boiler system in place, please wait for a short while for the heater to warm up.
A laundry bag is provided for your laundry needs, and the laundry list is to be found on the welcome folder on your desk.
Our employees collect laundry each morning and return them the following day. Please mark up the list of all the items. The charges will be posted to your bill. In case you do not want specific items to be ironed please advise us.

Time:
Vietnam and Cambodia are 6 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. Over the winter period, please add 1 hour.

Etiquette Guidelines:
Vietnamese are generally tolerant and easy going citizens. Please try to avoid political discussion and remember that the national hero "Uncle" Ho Chi Minh enjoys near divine stature and any impertinence shown to his name or memory can be extremely offensive.

 
Be aware of the following:
Shoes and socks are not permitted to be worn in temples
Do not point with your feet
In the company of monks or elders, never cross your legs
Do not touch people on the head or upper body
Do not shake hands with monks or nuns as people in general rarely shake hands; rather, smile and nod
Women should never sit down next to a monk
When bargaining at tourist centers or markets, ask for a discount like you are asking for a favor

 

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