FAQs

BEFORE YOU GO

When should I book my tour?

We suggest you fill out a reservation form as soon as you decide which tour and departure date you would prefer. Booking at least 3 months in advance is recommended to ensure your preferred departure dates are still available and to allow enough time to apply for necessary visas.

How long has SNA been in operation?

SNA Tours have been in operation since 2010. We are the number one tour operator in Australia and Canada sending thousands of people to Asia. We have dedicated sales offices in both Sydney, Australia and in Canada in the Vancouver suburb of Richmond, as well as two operations offices in China – Beijing and Chengdu.

When is the best time to travel to China, Vietnam, Japan or India?

The best time to travel is dependent on which season meets your travel preferences. The best times to visit are usually between April – June and September – October, however many people prefer to travel during the off-peak season when there are fewer tourists.

Can SNA offer a ‘land-only’ package?

Land only packages can be accommodated, please contact the customer service team to discuss the package costs and suitable dates.

Can I travel if I have a medical condition?

If you have a medical condition that will require equipment or may affect your ability to perform some activities outlined on the tour itinerary, please inform us immediately. We hold the right to deny participation on tour to any passenger we feel may hinder or affect the experience of other travellers.

Can I participate if I’m in a wheelchair?

It is possible to participate in our tours if you are in a wheelchair, but as a minimum mobility guideline, we recommend passengers are able to walk for 30-45 minutes or climb the equivalent of four flights of stairs independently, as well as be physically able to embark and disembark a bus or coach and use a washroom unassisted. Where possible, we would also advise that passengers with limited mobility or a disability travel with a support person.

We can supply a wheelchair service in most of our destinations for an extra fee. As standard this would be the wheelchair itself, but in some destinations we can also provide a support person - the price of this varies in particular cities. We need a minimum of 3 weeks’ notice prior to departure to arrange such service. For more information, please contact our customer service team.

Which airlines do you use?

The airlines we use are dependent on your destination. We most frequently use Sichuan Airlines, China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines. We are unable to accommodate airline requests, however; in some cases, we can offer an upgrade to a specific airline for an additional fee.

Can I fly business class or upgrade my flights?

Yes, you can upgrade your International flights to Business Class for $3,000 for China and $5,000 for Japan per person. Please contact the SNA Customer Service team to discuss the details and update your booking. Please note domestic flights can only be booked in Economy.

Why do I have to pay a city surcharge?

We have three primary origin cities – Sydney, Melbourne and Vancouver. These cities are the main gateway cities for all tours with SNA. However, if you’re flying from Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Calgary or Toronto we can arrange return flights from these secondary origin cities for an additional fee of $350. Alternatively, you are free to arrange your own flights to the primary origin cities.

I live in a regional area and will have to travel to my closest departure city – what time will my flight depart?

In this situation, you need to let us know as soon as possible so that we can request the flight information earlier - once we have your flight information, we request that you arrange your domestic flight/travel to arrive 4-5 hours prior to your international flight so that you have ample time to board your and have some flexibility in case there are changes to your flight.

Can SNA cater for travellers with specific food allergies?

If you have a dietary requirement or are allergic to specific food(s) please indicate as such on your reservation form. We will try our best to accommodate all food requirements right from the beginning, starting with your in-flight meals.

What are the SNA tour sizes?

The average tour group consists of 28 participants but our tour groups can range from anywhere between 8 and 37 people. We require a minimum of 8 people to make each tour departure date available. If your preferred departure date has less than 8 people, we will place you on a waiting list or we will offer you an alternative tour departure date.

What are the tour inclusions?

For the most part, our tour inclusions remain the same, however, we recommend that you read the fine print carefully to ensure you are aware of what is or is not included. Inclusions for our all-inclusive tours are: economy airfares, airline surcharges and taxes, airport transfers, domestic flights (if applicable), all transportation, luxury accommodation, experienced English speaking guides, tour tipping (unless stated to be paid separately), most meals (these are outlined in the tour itinerary), sightseeing admission fees and included entertainment and cultural activities.

What are the tour exclusions?

Exclusions usually include travel insurance, visa fees, some meals and beverages, tour tipping (if applicable), single supplement fee, anything of a personal nature, laundry and anything listed as optional on your tour itinerary. Our optional tours are available for an additional fee and may be purchased on site with your tour guide. If you choose not to join an optional tour, you may enjoy this time exploring the city at your own pace. If you want to extend your tour, this is possible at an additional fee. Please contact our customer service team to discuss extension packages.

Do I have to pay the single supplement fee if I am a solo traveller?

Yes, a single supplement fee will apply if you are a solo traveller and at SNA Tours, all solo travellers will have their own private hotel room. We understand that there will be some solo travellers who would be happy to share a room. Therefore, if you are happy to share, SNA Tours will try our best to match you up with another solo traveller of the same gender. However, if we cannot match you up with another solo traveller the cost of the single supplement fee will need to be paid. Please contact our customer service team to further discuss.

Can I customise a tour so that I can see only the places I want to in the time I want to see it?

When you are making that effort to travel for 12-15 hours to reach China, you might want to see the best of it and in the best way possible, our itineraries have been created with a lot of thought and experience and to ensure you have enough time in each city to see the best of China!

Unfortunately, we do not offer single custom tours, we do group tours, which often cost 25- 50% less than custom tours with more inclusions.

What are the refund and cancellation policies?

SNA Tours bring you the best value-for-money deal possible. This means that once the 30-day Booking Guarantee Period ends, there will be penalties for cancelling.

Once the 30-day period ends a minimum of $350/person fee will be charged to cover administrative costs incurred.

Once tickets are issued, no refund is possible.

Should there be a health or other serious issue, please contact SNA with supporting documentation and we will assess the claim on compassion grounds.

Can I arrive a day early to rest and relax?

Yes. SNA are now offering a 1-day early arrival “rest and relaxation” upgrades for some destinations. You will get to have 1 meal and a full day of rest in your arrival city hotel. Please contact the SNA Customer Service team for availability, to discuss the details and to add this to your booking.

Can I decide my travel flight path?

The short answer is no. SNA facilitate hundreds of travellers across dozens of dates and half a dozen origin cities. This means they need to have the flexibility to manage across multiple airlines and cannot provide each passenger or travel group with their own preferred flight path. The more direct flight path, the higher the cost. Admittedly, this is a trade-off when traveling at this amazing price.

BEFORE YOU TRAVEL

Do I require a visa?

All of the destinations we visit (excluding Japan) require Australian, New Zealand and Canadian passport holders to secure a valid entry visa prior to departure. You may choose to have your visa applied for on your behalf by SNA Tours for a small additional fee. When visiting Vietnam and Cambodia, your tour guide will assist you in securing a visa for Cambodia whilst crossing the border from Vietnam. For all visa information visit the Resources section on our website.

Do I need travel insurance?

We strongly recommend that all travellers invest in full coverage travel insurance and this can only be done prior to departure and in your country of origin. If you would like to apply for travel insurance through SNA Tours, please indicate as such on your reservation form or contact our team immediately. If you wish to travel and are 65 years or older, you are required to obtain travel insurance and send evidence of this to SNA Tours.

Why do I have to pay tour tipping?

Tour tipping is standard in the tourism industry and helps pay for the drivers, guides and porters who ensure your tour is enjoyable. The tour tipping can be found in the fine print of each tour and is payable upon booking. Whilst at your destination you will not be expected to tip again, unless you embark on the Yangtze River Cruise or any optional tours.

What are the bedding configurations of the accommodation on tour?

China, India and Vietnam clients have the choice of twin (2 single beds) or Queen. In the case of families travelling with children, we do offer triple room (usually 2 single beds plus a roll away). However, this is strictly for small families. We also always try our best to book the rooms as close to each other as possible.

What is the luggage allowance?

The allocated luggage allowance is usually one piece of carry-on luggage no more than 5kgs and one piece of checked luggage no more than 20kgs. Luggage allowances may differ depending on which airline you fly with, so it is always advised to check with the airline directly prior to departure.

Will I need any vaccinations?

We suggest that you visit your doctor or travel clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure. Your health professional will be able to give you the latest advice on vaccinations needed for the countries you will be visiting. It is the sole responsibility of the traveller to ensure they have the necessary vaccinations.

When will I get my ticket(s)?

We negotiate great deals with airlines ahead of time, purchasing tickets in bulk at different times throughout the year to provide you with the very best value for money.

Unfortunately, this means there is no pre-set time when you will get your tickets other than in advance of your travel. Sometimes this can occur months in advance while in others, it’s 30 days or less prior to travel. Rest assured we have everything under control and no one has ever missed their flights in SNA tours 6-year history.

Your tickets will be issued electronically, but are no longer needed by the airlines. Upon check-in, you just need to show your passport and visa.

Where will I have a stopover on my flight?

We are not able to confirm if there will be a stopover or where that might be on your way to and from your chosen destination.

When you purchased your group tour, we endeavour to find the best path to get you from your origin city (Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane or Adelaide) to your destination. Most of the time, this means we need to go through a large hub airport to then connect with a domestic flight. We always seek to ensure the minimum amount of layover time that meets with the required transfer times set by the airlines and/or designated airports.

If you wish to pay an additional cost to upgrade to a better, more direct flight path or to business class, you may contact SNA customer service and we can discuss the options available.

When will I receive my itinerary?

You should receive this when you book your tour. If you haven't received this as of yet, please contact SNA Customer Service.

A detailed day-by-day summary of your hotels and other travel details will be sent to you at least one week prior to travel to ensure it is complete and accurate. Your confirmed hotel list is sent out seven days prior departure.

This is because sometimes small details change at the last-minute due to the complexity of travel to developing countries.

When will I get my visa(s)?

Visas are processed in bulk, based on travel tour dates and group sizes. Each country has its own visa process which unfortunately can vary widely beyond our control. Developing countries are notorious for inconsistent processing, which is why we strongly suggest you leave it up to us to deal with it.

We have dedicated customer service personnel to hand-hold your visa application through each step to ensure nothing goes wrong. Unfortunately, there is no pre-set schedule we can confirm other than you will receive them ahead of your travel. Please contact SNA if you have concerns about your visa.

ON TOUR

What is the accommodation like on tour?

We only use luxury accommodation that is between 4 – 5 stars. If you are travelling to a remote or small city, accommodation of this calibre may not be available. In these instances, we will provide the best accommodation available.

What are the bedding configurations of the accommodation on tour?

If you are holidaying in China, India or Vietnam you have the choice of Twin (2 single beds) or Queen rooms, you can outline your preference on your reservation form. We always do our best to accommodate your preference; however, as accommodation is subject to availability, we can't always guarantee you will get your first preference. In the case of families travelling with children, we can offer triple rooms (usually 2 single beds plus a rollaway) and we will also try our best to book the rooms as close to each other as possible.

What are the meals like on tour?

Most of the meals on tour are a selection of authentic dishes of the country you are visiting. Breakfasts will usually consist of a selection of Western and Asian cuisines and lunches and dinners will include a number of dishes shared among a small group of people. With each meal one drink is usually included; however alcohol or additional beverages will need to be purchased.

What is the transport like on tour?

The transportation on tour will include private, air-conditioned buses to transport guests between sites and cities. Overnight journeys on sleeper trains will also be used for some journeys. On the sleeper trains, each compartment will consist of four berths with cushioned beds, air conditioning and lockable doors. A small pillow, sheets and a quilt will also be provided. Facilities on board are basic with both western-style and Asian-style toilets. An upgrade to a high-speed train is also available and includes one night’s accommodation.

What can I expect from the guides on tour?

We carefully select our guides to ensure that they are experienced and have extensive knowledge of the sites and cities in which they tour. They are locals with exceptional English and are friendly and helpful.

What should I take on tour?

We suggest that travellers pack comfortable and durable clothing and walking shoes. Ensure you pack shoes, socks, pants and a jumper or jacket. A waterproof jacket or umbrella is advised and so too is a hat and sunscreen. A small backpack is ideal to use as carry-on luggage and to take with you on day trips and tours. We suggest you pack clothing suitable for the season and destination you are travelling in. Spring – sports coats, light jackets, sweaters, long pants, shorts and long-sleeved shirts. Summer – short sleeved shirts, t-shirts, skirts, sandals, caps and rainwear. Autumn - sports coats, light jackets, sweaters, long pants, shorts and long-sleeved shirts. Winter – Coats, thick sweaters, gloves, beanie, thick socks and padded shoes.

On which vessel will I be cruising the Yangtze River?

You will be cruising on the Yangtze Gold 6. For more information on the ship and its facilities, please Click here.

Is there a doctor on board the Yangtze River Cruise Ship?

Yes, there is a standard General Practitioner on the ship, but no nurses or specialists.

Out of office hours, who do I contact if I encounter an emergency whilst on tour or travelling to or from Asia?

If you are still in Australia, you can call the Australian Emergency number: +61 423 465 007, if you’re already in your destination Country, please use these numbers listed below.

  • Vietnam: +84 979 406 301
  • China: +86 185 0002 5953
  • Japan: +81 806 7614 020
  • India: +91 997 1786 262