Frequently Asked Questions

General

What are the booking conditions for my tour?

What is the average Albatross group size?

On our European Summer Tours it is just 22 like- minded people. This is much smaller than the standard tour group size you will find elsewhere. An average group is made up of about 8 or 9 couples and 4 or 5 single travellers. Some groups may be as small as 11 or 12 fellow travellers and we cap all tour European Summer Tours at only 28 guests. We believe travelling in smaller groups ensures a more pleasurable touring experience and allows us to select more private hotels and attractions.

NOTE: On our Christmas & New Year Tours and ANZAC Day Tours our group sizes are larger – an average of 32, capped at 40 guests.

What is the typical age of an Albatross traveller?

The typical age of an Albatross traveller is 45 years and over. Our unique style of touring allows our tours and itineraries to attract a wide variety of travellers, from empty nesters to baby boomers and families on our Christmas & New Year tours. Perhaps more importantly, it is about the type of people we carry, usually Australians and New Zealanders. People who want to see and experience more, people who want a more authentic European holiday experience.

Why do you stay longer at each stopover?

Because it is a much better way of touring! Longer stays allows you to experience more in each town, city or region. Another bonus is you are not constantly moving hotels. How delightful to unpack for a number of nights and really experience where you are staying, explore the local area and develop a real feel for the region. Stay longer – see more!

Who will I be travelling with?

Our unique touring style and better itineraries attract a wide variety of travellers, from early empty nesters to baby boomers. Perhaps more importantly, it is about the type of people we carry… usually Australians and New Zealanders. People who want to see more, experience more and who want a more authentic European holiday experience.

How do Albatross tours differ from other European Coach tours?

Albatross tours are specifically designed for you, the Australian and New Zealand traveller. With our small group sizes and leisurely 2, 3, 4 and even 5 night stays you get more time to relax and savour the superb places we visit.

Our touring programmes offer the perfect balance of included regional and city sightseeing along with that essential free time to do your own exploring.

Will I have free time while touring?

Yes, absolutely! And since we do not sell ANY optional excursions your free time remains free! We believe the perfect touring holiday includes a balanced mix of included activities as well as free time to enjoy tour surrounding. Let’s face it, part of the joy of a destination is to relax and enjoy a leisurely lunch or wander through the streets and experience the local culture.

Do you offer pre and post tour accommodation?

You will receive your travel documents 4 weeks prior to the tour departures, assuming full payment and booking forms have been received. If you are departing our fair shores earlier, please ensure you, or your Travel Agent, have advised our Reservations team and we can of course get them to you earlier.

Before you book

Do prices shown on the website and in the brochure include airfares?

All pricing shown is for the land only tour price and airfares are not included.

Are Albatross' tours escorted from Australia?

All of our group tours meet with the Albatross Tours Manager at the hotel on Day 1 of the tour.

Please Note: our Swiss Christmas and New Year Holidays are non-escorted tours and therefore do not have Tour Managers.

If I am a single person travelling, do I need to pay the Single Supplement?

Yes, however individual passengers can request us to match them in a twin share room with another traveller of the same sex. If Albatross Tours are unable to match you in a twin share room by the final tour balance payment date the single room supplement rate will not be charged.

Is my tour guaranteed to depart?

Some of our departures are automatically guaranteed to run! You will be happy to know that we undertake to run any tour even on as little as 10 passengers (and that is a lot less than most other companies). Plus we are very happy to tell you how many guests we have booked on any tour, giving you peace of mind when you book.

How much money do I need to budget for optional meals and excursions?

Nothing! Unlike most other tour companies we simply don’t sell extra ‘optional’ tours once you arrive. All the excursions, activities and meals we outline are already included. Most dinners, even special regional restaurant dining is already included. To help matters we also include a glass of wine, beer or soft drink with dinner and later, tea or coffee.

Are your tours English speaking only?

Yes, we market to Australian and New Zealand passengers only and therefore we do not have multi-lingual commentary on our tours.

Are your Tour Managers English speaking and where do they come from?

Yes, all our Tour Managers are English speaking. Many of them do speak a number of other languages as well. Our Tour Managers are either UK or Europe based and have vast knowledge and experience of the countries/areas you will travel in/through.

Do you guarantee snow on your Christmas or New Year tours?

Unfortunately we cannot guarantee snow and it is out of our control. Usually there is good snow coverage around most of our Christmas hotels.

Which of your Christmas tours are most likely to get the best snow?

Unfortunately we cannot guarantee snow however the most likely locations are Switzerland, Austria and Germany for snow over Christmas in Europe.

How to book

How can I book an Albatross Tours?

You can book an Albatross Tour directly with us or through your Travel Agent. 

If you wish to book with us there are three ways you can get in touch:

Phone - 1300 135 015 (inside Australia) or 0800 446 232 (from New Zealand).
Online - Complete our online booking enquiry form. Click here for the booking form.  
 
 

What's the next step once I have made a booking?

Once you are confirmed on a tour, an Invoice and a Booking Form will be sent to you. A $500 per person non- refundable deposit is payable within 7 days.   We also ask that you return your completed Passenger Details Booking Form with your deposit payment.  

How do I complete the booking form?

What happens if I don’t complete and return the booking form?

If we have not received a completed booking form from you, then we are not able to provide travel documents.  

When is final payment due on my booking?

Full payment is required 60 days prior to travel. 

What payment options are available?

A variety of payment options are available for your convenience. 
 
- Australian bookings can make payment using; cash, cheque, direct deposit, BPAY, VISA and MasterCard.
- New Zealand bookings can make payment using; direct deposit, VISA and MasterCard. Please note a 2% merchant fee is applicable for all VISA and MasterCard transactions.
 
All payment details are provided on the bottom of your booking confirmation.
 

Can Albatross assist with travel insurance, flights, transfers or pre & post tour accommodation?

Yes we can, if you need any quotes on any of these additional services including flights, transfers, travel insurance and pre & post accommodation, please contact our reservations team via phone or email and we would be happy to provide you with a quote. 
For travel insurance we use QBE Insurance. To get a quote online click here . Or you can phone/email us and one of our friendly reservations consultants will assist you. 
  
Before you depart

How much luggage can I bring?

Hotel porterage is included for one large suitcase per person. Since we carry smaller groups there is usually extra space to stow more bags and any further luggage. Please liaise with you Tour Manager and Driver regarding porterage for additional luggage. Club Albatross members are entitled to additional porterage. Click here for more details.

What type of clothing do you recommend?

European Summer Tours

Depending on the time of year and regions you are travelling to, it may be quite warm (June/ July) or it may get quite cool (September/October).

Here are a few tips on things to pack when travelling on one of our European Summer tours:

  • Dressing for dinner is smart but casual is probably the easiest formula. We do not expect anyone to ‘dress for dinner’ however you might like to bring along a dinner outfit for a special dinner or event.
  • Depending on your tour, some hotels you will be staying in may have leisure facilities including swimming pools, whirlpool/spas and saunas, so please pack swimwear if you would like to use these facilities.
  • Many churches and religious sights require conservative clothing to be worn. In Italy, Turkey and Mediterranean countries ladies are often required to wear longer skirts and their shoulders covered.
  • Comfortable shoes are always a must. When sightseeing you may be spending some time on your feet so please make sure you bring comfortable shoes.

Christmas & New Year Tours

The weather can get rather cold, but there is no reason why you should be uncomfortable as your first class coach is fitted with heaters and double glazed windows. Once you arrive at your hotel you will be greeted with a warm and comfortable atmosphere.

Here are a few tips on things to pack:

  • Ensure you travel with some warm clothes in your carry-on luggage during your flight as this will come in handy when you first arrive.
  • Try to ensure your feet are warm and dry at all times. Warm, thick socks and reasonably sturdy waterproof ‘day to day’ shoes are a must.
  • Remember to bring woollen gloves, scarves and beanies/ hats.
  • More layers are better than thicker layers. Ensure you remember thermal underclothes, woollen jumper and a good jacket or overcoat.
  • Your Christmas hotel should be very warm, surprisingly so. Ensure you pack some light weight warm clothes.

What type of hotel rooms are available?

The available hotel room types available are:

Twin rooms: Throughout much of central Europe traditional style hotels often only offer ‘French Twins’. These are 2 separate beds and mattresses that may be pushed together or even attached together.

Double rooms – On occasion there may be dedicated double rooms available however you may find you are allocated a ‘French Twin’ room instead as this is the European style of hotel room.

Single rooms – Single rooms in many hotels are customarily smaller than twin and double rooms.

Do you offer hotel room upgrades?

A small number of our hotels we are able to provide upgraded rooms however for the majority we only have standard rooms available. We do ensure all hotels used do offer comfortable facilities to make your touring holiday as enjoyable as possible.

How do I know when my tour is guaranteed to depart?

Your Albatross tour will be guaranteed to depart when there is a minimum of just 10 passengers who have booked and deposited on your chosen departure. If for any reason a tour is unable to be guaranteed we will usually advise all passengers with at least 5 months’ notice prior to the departure date.

When and how will I receive my travel documentation?

You will receive your travel documents 4 weeks prior to the tour departures, assuming full payment and booking forms have been received. If you are departing our fair shores earlier, please ensure you, or your Travel Agent, have advised our Reservations team and we can of course get them to you earlier.

How much money do I need to budget each day when on tour?

A lot less than you think! Remember that all excursions and activities we display are included in your tour price, with no later offered extras or option lists. The majority of your meals are already included, with some dinners having wine, tea and coffee available. Many items in Europe are of similar pricing to Australia and New Zealand.

How much should I budget for tips on tour?

Nothing! We have already taken care of that for you. At Albatross Tours we understand that knowing when to tip, who to tip and how much to tip can make you feel uncomfortable. That’s why we have included all tips whilst you ae ‘on tour’ including the end of the tour tips for your Tour Manager and Driver. That’s makes life easier!

Do your tours include arrival and departure transfers?

Unfortunately we do not include arrival and departure transfers. Please ensure you book your transfers or request your travel agent to do so.

Whilst on Tour

What is the food like?

Just like you, we like good food! The daily breakfast is usually an extensive buffet selection. You will also be very happy to know that most dinner are also included. Not just those in your hotel but also special ones in authentic local taverns, restaurants, bistros and beautiful wine estates. Sometimes leisurely, feature lunches are also included. We purposefully leave a few evenings free for you to discover your own local restaurant or bistro.

What time do I need to get up each morning?

Later! It is rare we start a day before 8:30am. Our longer stats mean you are not constantly checking in and out of hotels all the time and packing and unpacking your bags is not a repetitive chore. The pace is so much more relaxed and most mornings you have time for that second cup of coffee over a relaxing breakfast.

Do hotel rooms have tea and coffee making facilities?

Unlike Australia it is not customary for hotels rooms in Europe to have their own private tea and coffee making facilities. Many hotels however will offer tea and coffee in the restaurant or bar.

What standard and size of coaches do you use?

We use first class, full size touring coaches with 40 - 45 seats. Which means on a European Summer Tour where the average group size is 22 passengers everyone gets a window seat and a spare seat! Wi-Fi is available on most coaches and there is an on-board toilet for emergencies.

Note: Occasionally we may also use day charter coaches for sightseeing and in rare cases when touring groups numbers are below 15 we may use a smaller coach, without a toilet.
 

What is the standard of hotels we stay in?

First class, or even better! What is more, to enhance your touring experience we purposely select unique and authentic accommodation. We actually try to avoid modern sterile functional hotels as staying in them can be a dull experience. Instead, it is their style, elegance, location, amazing historical or local character that are important to us, and if they are more personal and family run, then all the better. We see all the rooms being different as adding to the experience and a bonus. Some unique accommodation we use, like Leeds Castle in England, and the beautiful ‘Sassi’ caves in Matera, Italy are beyond classification!

What laundry facilities are available on tour?

Where you are staying three or more nights at one hotel they may offer a laundry service. It is imperative that you check prior to dropping any laundry off that it will be returned before you are due to check out of the hotel! The prices for washing are normally per garment.

Tip: It is very easy to wash small garments by hand in your room and they should dry overnight.

Warning: Hotel laundry rates throughout the world are generally very expensive. Please check with the hotel reception regarding the pricing first.

Do I need to take an electricity adapter?

We do recommend that you take a multi-purpose adaptor with you when travelling to Europe. The electricity supply on Continental Europe and Turkey usually works on 220 volts, and 50 cycles.

How much walking is involved on your tours?

 On some occasions coach drop off points are 10 minutes or so walk away from an old town centre. If you are joining us on one of our walking tours we recommend comfortable shoes and that you are able to walk at a moderate pace.

What meals are included on my tour?

All of our tours include daily breakfast served at the hotel. Certain tours include special lunches, and the majority of dinners including welcome and farewell dinners. Meals are enjoyed in various locations from your hotel to authentic local taverns, restaurants or bistros, to beautiful vineyards. On evenings where dinner is not included you are provided time to discover a local restaurant of your own choice.

Can you cater for special dietary needs?

Yes, of course. When booking your tour please ensure you special dietary needs are advised. Once you arrive and begin your tour please reconfirm your dietary needs with your tour Manager. Please note, whilst every effort is made to ensure your dietary needs are properly catered for we cannot guarantee absolute satisfaction every time.