What to Expect
A considerable amount of effort has gone into identifying high quality, comfortable accommodation for our guests.
The majority of our hotels are four star or above, but occasionally our search for historical locations takes us well 'off the beaten track' and we may settle for a good three star establishment.
All hotels have been selected for their character, location and facilities – often they have a historic link to the tour theme.
You will find breakfasts served in your hotel each morning.
We normally stop for an informal light lunch each day – or provide one.
When it comes to the evening meal, many of the hotels we select specialize in regional cuisine – alternatively we will dine as a group at local restaurants within walking distance, where we will always try to ensure that menu choice is available. We leave the choice of wine and beverages to you, although drinks will occasionally be included with meals where it is the local custom to do so.
For details of exactly which meals are provided, see the 'essentials' box found alongside each tour's itinerary.
We use modern, comfortable, airconditioned coaches on all our tours. But their specification will be dependent upon the group size and therefore we cannot guarantee that WC facilities will be available on board, although we will ensure that we make regular comfort stops. As no smoking is allowed on board the coaches, smokers will also benefit from such a routine.
A particular feature of our tours is their informality and inclusiveness.
Our groups are drawn from a wide spectrum of backgrounds and interests – but the common theme and the skill of the tour guide/manager ensures that everyone feels welcome and relaxed. Clients get to know each other well and, if not already, become great friends. For that reason we have restricted the numbers on each tour to between 6 and 22. This means that we can include more in our daily activities as there is less time spent waiting for others to catch up.
Small groups are also welcomed by local restaurants which results in a greater variety in dining. And most importantly, it means that you can spend more time with our expert tour guides and, should you require it, get more attention from our experienced tour managers whilst we dine together.
The Cultural Experience takes your financial protection very seriously.
The Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT) provides financial protection under ABTOT Combined and The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 for Midas Tours Limited t/a The Cultural Experience, ABTOT number 5390, ATOL number 10153, and in the event of their insolvency, protection is provided for the following:
1. non-flight packages;
2. flight inclusive packages that commence outside of the EU, which are sold to customers outside of the EU; and.
3. flight inclusive packages, flight only and linked travel arrangements (LTAs ) sold as a principal under ABTOT Combined.
ABTOT Combined cover provides for a refund in the event you have not yet travelled or repatriation if you are abroad. Please note that bookings made outside the EU are only protected by ABTOT when purchased directly with Midas Tours Limited t/a The Cultural Experience.
In the unlikely event that you require assistance whilst abroad due to our financial failure, please call their 24/7 helpline on 01702 811397 and advise you are a customer of an ABTOT protected travel company.
You can access The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 here:
When you buy an ATOL protected flight or flight inclusive holiday from us, you will receive an ATOL Certificate. This lists what is financially protected, where you can get information on what this means for you and who to contact if things go wrong.
The price of our ATOL-protected flight inclusive Packages includes the amount of £2.50 per person as part of the ATOL Protection Contribution (APC) we pay to the CAA. This charge is included in our advertised prices.
We, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL Certificate or holiday itinerary, will provide you with the services listed on the ATOL Certificate or itinerary (or a suitable alternative). In some cases, where neither we nor the supplier are able to do so for reasons of insolvency, an alternative ATOL holder or supplier may provide you with the services you have bought or a suitable alternative (at no extra cost to you). You agree to accept that in those circumstances the alternative ATOL holder or supplier will perform those obligations and you agree to pay any money outstanding to be paid by you under your contract to that alternative ATOL holder or supplier. However, you also agree that in some cases it will not be possible to appoint an alternative ATOL holder or supplier, in which case you will be entitled to make a claim under the ABTOT Combined scheme.
If we, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL certificate or holiday itinerary, are unable to provide the services listed (or a suitable alternative, through an alternative ATOL holder, alternative supplier or otherwise) for reasons of insolvency, ABTOT Limited may make a payment to (or confer a benefit on) you under the ABTOT Combined scheme. You agree that in return for such a payment or benefit you assign absolutely to ABTOT Limited any claims which you have or may have arising out of or relating to the non-provision of the services, including any claim against us, the travel agent (or your credit card issuer where applicable). You also agree that any such claims may be re-assigned to another body, if that other body has paid sums you have claimed under the ABTOT Combined scheme.
For further information visit the ATOL website at www.atol.org.uk or the ABTOT website at www.ABTOT.com
Subject to availability we can lengthen your holiday, or combine it with another, by extending your flight dates, booking the extra accommodation and making other ground arrangements.
We can arrange pre and post tour hotels and regional flights to the tour departure airport. Short-haul flights can usually be upgraded to business class and long-haul to either first or business class. Often it is possible to provide connecting flights from Manchester and other regional airports to worldwide destinations. Please enquire when you book.
Our tours vary as to the amount of physical activity involved and participants have asked for further guidance in this respect. All tours involve a fair amount of walking often over uneven cobbled streets, hillsides or steps. Participants on all tours should be able to walk or stand for at least 60 minutes [to, and at, each observation point] without aid or requiring a rest. You should also be able to carry your own luggage as porterage is not provided. For tours travelling by rail we recommend a suitcase with wheels. Within this all-embracing criteria we have graded each tour as:
Level 1: Tours where the group is generally conveyed by coach between stands – with walking confined to a short stroll to each observation point. Although stamina is required for the standing/walking involved at and around each observation point, museum, etc., the tour is generally untaxing physically.
Level 2: This is our standard tour type. Participants necessarily indulge in a certain amount of walking along country tracks and up slopes in order to reach vantage points from which to view the battlefields concerned. As these vantage points may be exposed to sun, wind or rain, sensible shoes and outdoor clothing are needed – but no more than on a country ramble at home. Distances of up to a few miles a day may be involved - which any reasonably fit person should be able to cope with.
Level 3: These are tours involving requiring a higher level of fitness and stamina i.e. our ‘walking tours’ or those tours regularly involving uphill stretches or walks of more than a few miles a day. Such tours take participants off the normal tourist trail, so suitable walking gear and a day pack will be required. But again, there is nothing here that a regular walker could not cope with.
Hybrid: Where a walk is described as e.g. Level 2/3, this means it is a Level 2 tour with one or two short Level 3 pitches (e.g. a steep climb) which could be avoided by less able participants rather than holding up the rest of the group.
The Cultural Experience reserves the right to refuse to carry anyone who has failed to notify them of any disability requiring assistance, or who in The Cultural Experience's opinion is unfit to travel.
To participate in any of our tours you must ensure that you have adequate holiday insurance to cover: cancellation and curtailment up to the cost of the holiday for each participant, medical expenses, emergency repatriation, loss of luggage, travel delay plus loss of personal items and cash.
We strongly recommend that you and all members of your party be adequately insured as soon as you book your holiday. In any event you must let us have details of your insurance policy at least four weeks prior to departure.
The cost of visas is not included in the price of each tour.
For many countries, your passport needs to be valid for at least six months beyond your date of return. The cost of visas is not included in the price of each tour. Approximately eight weeks prior to your departure we will mail you the requisite supporting documentation for your visa application together with the relevant embassy contact details and the name of a visa handling company. Some countries allow you to purchase your visa on entry. Of the countries we plan to visit in this programme presently Belarus, Turkey, Burma, Russia, Uzbekistan, Iran and India require visas to be obtained in advance. The USA requires advance ESTA authorisation.
Whilst we will provide up to date information and supporting documentation as required, general information concerning passport, visa and health requirements will vary between nationalities and are subject to change.
You are responsible for checking current requirements before departure, the application process ensuring you comply with all requirements, and taking all relevant documents on your holiday. TCE will not be liable for any failure by the Client to discharge these responsibilities and the Client will have to reimburse TCE for any costs they incur as a result of such failure on the part of the Client.
Full cancellation terms will apply if you fail to secure your visa.