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What will the weather be like?

For the comfort and pleasure of our guests, our itineraries generally follow warm rather than hot weather patterns. The world’s climate being at times unpredictable, our small ships are seldom far from a sheltered bay or port. Our Greece and Turkey cruise programs operate from April to October, however we also offer an off-season themed cruise program in Greece, the Antiquity to Byzantium, operating in March, April, October and November. Our cruise programs in West Africa, Cape Verde, Costa Rica and the Panama operate from November to April. In the Seychelles we are offering 3-night, 4-night and 7-night cruise programs all year round.

What amenities will I find in my cabin?

All cabins have private, nicely appointed bathrooms with showers. All cabins are air-conditioned and fitted with central music and with telephone for intra-ship communication. All ships have in lounges TV’s with satellite channels with at least English speaking channels. There are hairdryers in each cabin. Also, almost all of our ships have TV’s or flat-screen TV’s, safe boxes, mini-fridges, DVD players in cabins. For more details, please visit the Ships section on our website.

What services are available onboard?

Aboard our small ships you will find elegant dining rooms, spacious sun decks and comfortable lounges. No pools are offered as it is common for our guests to swim off our ships or for passengers to reach secluded beaches by tender. Your cruise program is either with breakfast plus lunch or dinner or with all meals. Meals are served at set times and there is flexible seating. Limited laundry service is available at a cost on our small ships. The shore excursions are offered at a supplemental cost. The M/Y Pegasos, the M/Y Harmony V and the M/Y Variety Voyager offer a small wellness suite with massage and other beauty treatments. Sports activities: Swimming off the ships is possible as well as snorkeling, kayaking and canoeing. In some destinations it is possible to organize diving excursions.

What languages are spoken onboard?

Language on board is English but German, French, Spanish or Russian can be spoken by our Cruise Coordinators and Hotel Crew on scheduled cruise sailings. In general there is a multilingual environment and you will have a chance to mix with a variety of nationalities. Excursions and public announcements are usually in English. English and sometimes German and French are widely spoken on all ports of call visited by our small ships.

What is not included in my cruise cost?

Unless a specific package has been purchased, transfers to and from the vessel, shore excursions, wine, alcoholic beverages, telephone calls, gratuities, laundry service and items of a personal nature are not included and may be bought en route or are at a supplemental cost. There is a boutique on board some of our vessels. All onboard charges are in Euros. Gratuities are at our guests discretion. As a recommendation, satisfied customers are expected to leave between Euro 15-18 per person per day on the M/Y Variety Voyager and the M/Y Callisto, or Euro 13-15 per person per day on all other Variety Cruises Vessels. These tips are distributed to all crew members. Guests have the choice to adjust the amount of gratuities reflecting the level of satisfaction.

What should I pack?

Please travel as lightly as possible so as not to restrict space in your cabin. Soft bags are more practical than hard suitcases. Sports or casual clothes are more useful. Plenty of swimwear is required and a pullover or cardigan is recommended for cool evenings. Comfortable walking shoes are suggested when ashore.

What travel documents are required?

Participants must be in possession of a valid passport (expiring not earlier than one month after cruise ends) and should obtain visas and health certificates where required. All requirements should be confirmed with appropriate government consulate or information office prior to departure.

What is the electric current provided on your ships?

Our ship generators provide an electric current of 220v. Cabins are equipped with European type plugs so please remember to bring an adaptor if necessary.

Should I mention any health problems or special needs?

Due to safety reasons it is requested that physical disabilities of any kind should be advised at time of reservation. It is understood that passengers requiring special attention or treatment will be travelling with their personal escorts. The company retains the right to deny embarkation to any pregnant woman beyond the 6th month of pregnancy. Variety Cruises ships are not suitable for passengers with special needs. Embarkation gang ways do not fit all types of wheelchairs. Cabin bathrooms and staircases are unsuitable for disabled passengers.

Should I mention any special dietary requirements?

Every attempt to meet special dietary requirements should be made provided it is requested in writing at least 4 weeks prior to sailing.

What should I know about safety at sea?

An emergency drill is conducted by our crew before the ship sails and is to be attended by all passengers. The drill will provide passengers information about the alarm system, the master station position, life jackets use and other emergency procedures.

Where can I keep my valuables while onboard?

Jewelry, money, documents, etc., should be placed in your individual safe deposit boxes or given to the captain who will deposit items in the ship’s safe boxes free of charge. The company and its personnel bear no responsibility for valuables kept by passengers.

What is the official currency while on board?

The EURO is the official currency while on board. There is an optional credit system for expenses on board that may be paid/settled at the end of the cruise. Most major currencies and traveler’s cheques are accepted/exchanged at their official exchange rate. Credit cards are accepted only on board all Variety Cruises ships.

Is smoking permitted on board?

Smoking is not permitted to any of our passengers or member of the crew in any indoor part of the ship.

What kind of activities are provided on board?

There are fins, masks and snorkels available on board for use during the swim stops. In some of our programs, such as in Costa Rica and Panama or in the Seychelles you will also find kayaks. You can also find a small borrowing library as well as board games and playing cards for your amusement. Movies are often shown in the vessels’ Lounges, so please check in the Daily Program for show times.

Are there any excursions offered?

Shore excursions are not included in the cruise fares and are available according to the cruise schedule/ports of call visited. Details are available in your cabin and provided also on a daily basis by the on board Cruise Coordinator. Shore excursions are subject to shore and weather conditions and based on a minimum participation.

What is the Variety Cruises concept?

The Variety Cruises concept is unique for offering small ship experience in the pampering environment of our premium motor sailers and mega yachts. For years, we have been striving to make our guests feel as if they were spending their precious vacation days on a friend’s private yacht. As you are about to experience, this is not a typical cruise. We assure you that everything under our control has been done to secure a safe, comfortable and enjoyable time onboard. We have combined the cruise experience with ample leisure time in each port, including overnights, so our guests are encouraged to explore the culinary traditions, culture and to get involved with the local culture and the local people. Furthermore, due to their size, our small ships will reach the heart of the destination, where big cruise ships cannot. The best of the ports of call on your itinerary have been carefully selected by our team of experts crafting itineraries for over half a century to ensure you see the best of world-known destinations as well as of-the-beaten track locales, and experience local customs as travelers, not tourists.

When do I embark/disembark?

Passengers are requested to be on board 2 hours prior to departure. Disembarkation is after breakfast at approximately 9am. Please also note that sailing times are listed in the Daily Program and you must comply with the specified “ALL ABOARD” time, also posted on the Notice Board. If you are not onboard by the set time, it will be your own responsibility if you miss the ship. The “all aboard” time is 15 minutes prior to the vessel’s departure time.

Are children welcome onboard Variety Cruises ships?

Aboard the Variety Cruises ships there are no recreational facilities for children and reservations for those under the age of five are not advised. Taking that into consideration please note that children onboard are their parents’ sole responsibility.

Is there medical care onboard?

There is no doctor on board any Variety Cruises ships. In case of an emergency, some members of the crew are trained to offer first aid. Medical care is available on all ports of call visited, which are always very close. In case of discomfort, please contact immediately a crew member.

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