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TRAVEL FAQs

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.

What is Variety Cares?

VARIETY CARES™ is a creative non-profit foundation that ties together a like-minded community of worldwide travelers who share the notion that ‘to travel is to immerse yourself, with the destination and its people at heart.

As of January 1, 2022, 5 euros of each passenger cruise participation go towards our efforts via VARIETY CARES, creating a Better World at Sea one cruise at a time. On behalf of our team, the destinations, and the communities we visit a big THANK YOU for your contribution striving for clean oceans, gender equality, and education for all.

Find out more.

Where can I go with Variety?

Our small ships will take you to the most unique destinations worldwide including Greece, Italy, Malta, the Seychelles, Tahiti and the islands of French Polynesia, Costa Rica & Panama, Middle East and the Red Sea, West Africa, Cape Verde and more. Browse all our destinations here.

Looking for something special? Find out more about our Limited Collection Cruises here.

Do I need to be vaccinated?

Until further notice, all guests over 15 years old must be fully vaccinated with a current COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before embarkation. Proof of vaccination will be required at check-in on the pier prior to embarkation. Variety Cruises highly recommends guests to receive their booster vaccinations for extra protection. Check out our Health & Safety measures.

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.

Are children welcome onboard Variety Cruises ships?

Aboard the Variety Cruises boats 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.

Are all the cruises LGBTQIA+ friendly?

All our cruises are friendly to all communities irrelevant of their background. In fact, we strive for diversity and are passionate about the diverse backgrounds of our team, guests, and the communities we visit. All of our boats are LGBTQIA+ friendly and our crew receive LGBTQIA+ training and respect all gender identifications. We are active citizens in terms of improving the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community as well as narrowing the gender gap between men and women in the employment space, as part of our mission with VARIETY CARES. As our fleet of ships explores all corners of the world, although we generally hope to visit areas that are LGBTQIA+ friendly, in those areas where the traditions or rules do not favor members of our community, we will inform our guests of the local customs and safety issues, and ask that our guests be aware of such matters at their own responsibility. How we define a destination as LGBTQIA+ safe is whether a physical or online LGBTQIA+ information center is available for guests to peruse. For LGBTQIA+ specific themed sailings which we playfully call our “straight friendly” cruises as we value inclusivity in all directions, please visit our LIMITED COLLECTION section.

When and where 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.

 

Embarkation points of all cruises:

 

All Greece cruises: Plateia Alexandras (outside Olympiacos FOC headquarters, Closest street address: Akti Kountouriotou 1)

 

Seychelles: 

Mahe (Inter Island Quay): Victoria port

Praslin: Eve Island 

 

Tahiti & French Polynesia: Cruise ships Terminal / Papeete dock ES 3

 

Italy & Malta (Valletta to Valletta) cruises: Valletta Cruise Port (full address: Vault 1, Upper Floor, Pinto Wharf, Floriana FRN 1913, Malta)

 

Costa Rica & Panama cruises: 

Costa Rica: Puerto Caldera (Puerto Internacional de Caldera)

Panama: Colon 2000 (Puerto de cruceros)

 

Cape Verde: Palmeira Port, Sal

 

Egypt, Jordan and Israel:

Aqaba, Jordan: Aqaba old port, berth 7

Tel Aviv, Israel: Ashdod port

 

West Africa:

Dakar, Senegal: Dakar Main Port, Mole 1, Pier 12-16

Banjul, The Gambia: Banjul Main Port, Liberation Avenue, New Jetty

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 Italy & Malta 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 & Panama and Egypt, Jordan & Israel operate from November to April. In the Seychelles and Tahiti & French Polynesia we offer cruises all year round.

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. Long trousers are also advised on exotic islands (Seychelles) due to mosquitos.

Are there any special offers?

For all our special offers and packages please check our Offers section.

I am a repeater. Do I have any benefits?

Of course. Upon completion of your very first voyage with Variety Cruises, you automatically join the VARIETY CLUB, Variety Cruises’ Loyalty Program. As a member of the Variety Club, you will enjoy your exclusive benefits and rewards the moment you book your second Variety cruise, as well as while you are on board and every time you refer your friends to us. Find out your benefits in our Variety Club section.

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, but USD and payments by card are also accepted (American Express is not accepted).

Gratuities are not included in our rates and 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.

Are there any excursions offered?

Most of the shore excursions are not included in the cruise fares (please check the cruise description) 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 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 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 kind of activities are provided on board?

There are fins, masks, snorkels and kayaks available on board most of our boats for use during the swim stops. 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.

What is the official currency while on board?

The EURO is the official currency while on board, but also USD is accepted. Moreover, there is an optional credit system for expenses on board that may be paid/settled at the end of the cruise (American Express is not accepted).

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 Our Boats section.

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.

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 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.

Are Variety Cruises boats wheelchair friendly?

Variety Cruises boats are not suitable for passengers with mobility problems. Cabin bathrooms and staircases are unsuitable for disabled passengers and there are no elevators. Embarkation gang ways do not fit all types of wheelchairs.

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 boats 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.

Is there medical care onboard?

There is no doctor on board any Variety Cruises boats. 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.

How is waste disposal handled?

We sort general waste, plastic waste and food waste and dispose it to the dedicated bins, depending on the ports’ availability/facilities. We always try to purchase products that can be recycled and prepare the appropriate amount of food in order to minimize the waste that is generated. Moreover, we have eliminated the use of plastic on board by offering to our guests Thermos bottles instead of plastic water bottles.

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.

What kind of fuel is used in international waters?

LSMGO (Low Sulfur Marine Gas Oil). If not available, we burn MGO (Marine Gas Oil).

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.

I am a travel agent. Where can I find more information?

At Variety Cruises we are being committed to support partners who wish to get the expertise to promote our small ship and niche products. So, we have a page dedicated to you, the Travel Agent, click here.

Can I book the whole boat or more than 15 passengers at once?

Variety Cruises offers individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations the opportunity to travel as a group on our scheduled cruises, or charter the entire ship for family reunions, special interest cruises, incentive trips, seminars or wedding celebrations. Check out our charters and group offers here.

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