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SHANGRI-LA EXPRESS

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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FAQS

SHANGRI LA EXPRESS TRAIN FAQS

We understand that you will have many questions about booking this luxury Shangri La Express experience. The most frequently asked are below but please do not hesitate to contact us about any further questions you have as we are delighted to help.

HOW FAR IN ADVANCE DO I NEED TO BOOK ?

Due to its high demand and limited availability, the Shangri La Express trip only has limited departures throughout the year. Therefore, we advise clients to book as early as possible in order to avoid disappointment.

CAN YOU BOOK INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS FOR US ?

Absolutely! Our ATOL licence allows us to book international and even internal flights. We are an appointed operator and have great access to the best British Airways offers. Please let us have the airports where you wish to fly and we will give you a quote.

IS CHINA SAFE TO TRAVEL IN ?

China is a safe country to visit and it is extremely rare that foreign tourists have any problems. You can also travel by private train, so this should not be an issue.

ARE YOUR TOURS FINANCIALLY PROTECTED ?

Yes! All our trips are covered by financial protection. If the trip includes a trip with a flight, our ATOL number is 10287. Insurances that meet the UK travel regulations regarding package tours for trips without flights. A number Y1699 is our ABTA membership. This means we must adhere their strict conduct code.

CAN YOU OBTAIN & ADVISE ON THE VISAS FOR US ?

Visas are often complicated. This is why we recommend that you work with a specialist Visa agent and we recommedn CIBT. We can provide all required documentation that must be accompanied with your application.

CAN YOU BOOK EXTENSIONS IN CHINA FOR US ?

We can arrange a wide range of trips in China and Tibet to complement and enhance your Shangri La Express trip. The China Travel Company is our sister company and offers a wide range of private and tailor made tours there.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TRAIN CABIN CLASSES ?

It is crucial that you choose the right type of cabin for your trip. We have put together a section on each type of train cabin available on Shangri La Express. Please see our section about cabin classes for additional information.

ARE THERE PORTERS TO HELP WITH BAGGAGE ?

We can get your main luggage on and off of the train by using the porters available at the stations and in the hotels.

ARE THERE DAILY BRIEFINGS ON THE PLACES WE PASS THROUGH ?

The brochure for the chosen route will detail the journey and places visited by the passengers as they board the train. Every day, passengers will receive updates detailing weather forecasts and information on excursions.

ARE ALL OFF TRAIN EXCURSIONS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE ?

All excursions are included on most of our tours. We may occasionally offer optional excursions that require additional payment.

WHERE ARE THE OFF-TRAIN TOUR GUIDES FROM ?

We provide local guides who are English speaking.

ARE THE GUIDES ENGLISH SPEAKING ?

Yes, both local guides and the onboard tour manager speak English. If you need an interpreter please contact us. We will try our best to accommodate your requests (some additional charges may apply).

ARE CLIENTS WITH LIMITED MOBILITY ABLE TO GO ON ALL EXCURSIONS ?

Please request a wheelchair to be used on off-train excursions. This must be done at the time you book. There will be charges if we have to provide assistance. It is possible that you may not have the ability to participate in all of these excursions.

CAN PASSENGERS MAKE THEIR OWN ARRANGEMENTS FOR OFF TRAIN EXCURSIONS ?

Passengers can arrange their own travel arrangements, but they must return to the train before the departure time. The train cannot delay and must leave according to schedule. The train can be moved to another platform or depot during an offtrain excursion. If passengers wish to plan for their day, it is essential that the Tour manager is aware.

HOW MANY PEOPLE TRAVEL TO THE SAME SITES AT THE SAME TIME ?

The bus can transport up 35 passengers. There are also options for group tours to visit museums or sites specific locations.

CAN PASSENGERS MAKE A REQUEST TO SEE THE ENGINE OR DRIVE IT ?

Safety concerns mean that passengers cannot drive the train. However we can allow passengers to observe the engine while we're stopped at stations. You can ask the Tour manager to arrange this for you.

WHAT ARE THE BOOKING AND PAYMENT TERMS ?

On booking a non-refundable deposit of 20% of the total tour price plus any international flights we are booking for you. Full payment is required 90 days before the trip start date.

International flights, beverages not included, visa fees and any services not mentioned are not included in the price.

Shangri La Express Cancellation conditions:
 Up to 61 days prior to departure: 20 % of total price
60 days or less prior to departure: 100% of total price

Any part of the program that is missed because of late arrival is non-refundable.

HOW DO I MAKE A BOOKING ?

Call our office on +44 020 8191 0620 or email enquiry@theluxurytraintravelcompany.com and speak to one of our consultants. Provisional reservations can be held for up to 7 days without payment. After this time confirmation is required or the cabin will be provisional reservation will be released. Upon receiving confirmation, an invoice will be issued and deposit payment is due upon receipt of this. The deposit payment secures your place on the tour.

IS THERE A CHARGE FOR USING A CREDIT CARD ?

All credit card transactions incur a 2% surcharge. There is no additional charge for debit card transactions.

WHEN IS THE DEPOSIT DUE ?

Once you have confirmed that you are traveling, we will send your confirmation letter and invoice. When you receive the invoice, you will need to pay a deposit in order to confirm the trip from your side. Deposit payments are non-refundable.

WHEN IS THE FINAL BALANCE DUE ?

The balance is due 90 days prior to departure. We will not issue a final balance so please make a note of the balance due date. Cancellations received within 90 days of departure are subject to full loss of payment.

WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY TRAVEL DOCUMENTS ?

Approximately 1 month prior to departure you will receive, by e-mail, an ‘Update Letter’ containing further information on your tour (weather, what to pack etc.) along with all the relevant visa information.

DO YOU ISSUE A TRAIN TICKET ?

Our trains do not require a ticket for travel. A ticket for the train will not be provided nor travel vouchers.

HOW MANY TOUR MANAGERS ARE THERE ONBOARD ?

One senior Tour Manager and a number of additional assistants depending on the number of passengers.

IS THERE A DOCTOR ON BOARD AT ALL TIMES ?

Shangri La Express Trains employs a doctor to travel with the train and passengers. The doctor is available for primary care 24 hours a days. Although they can provide a wide range of medicines, if you take prescription medication, it is important to bring enough supplies to last the trip.

Does the doctor speak English? We always try to provide an English-speaking physician in normal circumstances. However, it is possible for exceptional circumstances to prevent us from providing this service. In these instances, translation will also be provided.

WHAT HAPPENS IN THE EVENT HOSPITAL TREATMENT IS NEEDED ?

We will take you to the hospital, and will make every effort to ensure you get the best possible care. If necessary, we will also contact your family members at home.

HOW MANY PEOPLE DO THE CABIN ATTENDANTS LOOK AFTER ?

It depends on what train you're on but, on average there are 2 cabin attendants who look after 10 passengers.

CAN YOU CATER TO SPECIFIC DIETARY REQUIREMENTS ?

Wecan accommodate most dietary requirements. For further information, please contact us.

ARE BEAUTY TREATMENTS AVAILABLE ONBOARD ?

These are not available onboard but may be available in then tour hotels.

WHAT ACTIVITIES ARE AVAILABLE ONBOARD ?

Passenger can participate in lectures and language classes aboard the Shangri La Express. The Bar Lounge Car has a variety of DVDs and books.

IS THERE SET SEATING IN THE DINING CAR ?

There is a policy of free seating. All passengers can choose their own seating arrangements for meals. Daily programme will provide information on meals times.

IS INTERNET AVAILABLE ON THE TRAIN ?

Although the train doesn't have Wi-Fi, we do have several internet adaptors for use in our Shangri La Express Lounge Car. These adaptors can only be used with personal laptops. They are not available in advance. The internet coverage is not always available outside of larger cities or towns.

WHAT IS THE MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE LIKE ?

Mobile phone coverage isn't always available. It is more likely to be available in densely populated areas. We recommend you consult your service provider to get more information on coverage.

IS THERE A RECOMMENDED TIME OF ARRIVAL ON THE FIRST DAY ?

We recommend that you arrive between 11.00-16.00 to be on time for the Welcome Dinner. Check-in time at most hotels is between 11.00 and 16.00. Please note that early check-in may be subject to hotel availability. Additional charges may apply.

IS THERE A RECOMMENDED TIME OF DEPARTURE ON THE LAST DAY ?

You can depart anytime before the end of the day. Most hotels have a 12 noon check-out, but luggage storage is available. Late check out is subject to availability and may be subject to additional charges.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO GO WEATHER-WISE ?

The best time to travel in China is Spring and Autumn, and this is when we offer these Shangri-La Express tours.

ARE THERE OPPORTUNITIES TO EXERCISE ON THE TOUR ?

The tour hotels have gyms. The train does not have any exercise facilities. Tours can include moderate walking.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I MISS MY FLIGHT OR ARE DELAYED ?

Clients will be given a 24-hour Emergency Card and their final paperwork prior to departing. This card includes the contact numbers of our representatives both in their home country and at our UK office. They can call the correct person on the card if there are any problems.

ARE THERE ANY LUGGAGE SIZE OR QUANTITY RESTRICTIONS ON THE TRAIN ?

For luggage storage, there is only limited space within the cabin. Soft-topped luggage is easier than hard-topped. Luggage cannot go under beds. An area for luggage storage is provided at each carriage's end. We recommend that passengers unpack their bags and put them in this storage area. We will be happy to assist you.

WHAT IS THE DRESS CODE ON THE TRAIN ?

You can wear casual clothing on and off of the train during the day. In the evening, we recommend wearing smart casual.

WHAT TYPE OF FOOTWEAR IS REQUIRED ?

Walking is part of every tour. We recommend that passengers bring walking shoes. To prevent slippage, we recommend a rubber sole.

DO I NEED TO TAKE MY OWN TOILETRIES ?

Each cabin contains L'Occitane toiletries including shampoo, conditioner, shower cream and shampoo. Each cabin also includes a hairdryer.

DO I NEED TO MAKE SPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS IF TRAVELLING WITH MEDICATION ?

Clients must make sure they have enough prescription medication on hand. Clients should get their medical clearance before traveling. Clients traveling with prescription medication should inform our onboard physician.

ARE ANY SPECIAL VACCINATIONS REQUIRED ?

We are unable to provide medical advice. Clients will need to consult their GP or local clinic for the latest information about vaccinations. We do require that all passengers are double-vaccinated against Covid 19, or can provide exemption certificates.

WHAT IS THE AVERAGE AGE OF PASSENGERS ?

Our tours do not have age restrictions, however most of our visitors are 55+. The average age for our travelers is 64. Tours may not be suitable to young children. Check with us prior to booking.

ARE THERE ANY MINIMUM PASSENGER REQUIREMENTS ?

This is dependent on the specific departure. Some tours have a minimum number. Shangri La Express Trains is able to offer modified services of carriages attached at regular service trains to accommodate smaller groups, or offer an alternative tour. If this is not possible, the full refund will be provided.

WHAT LANGUAGE ARE THE TOURS CONDUCTED IN ?

English will be the official language of the tour. On selected departures, other language guides are available upon request (subjected to minimum numbers). For more information please contact us

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE ?

All accommodation as per the itinerary, both onboard the train and in hotels; all meals starting with dinner on the first day and ending with breakfast on the last day of the tour (on some tours this may differ slightly, please refer to the specific itinerary); a generous allowance of wine, beer, soft drinks and tea and coffee with all lunches and dinners both on and off the train (except where stated otherwise); all arrival and departure transfers; guided off-train sightseeing excursions; the services of experienced tour leaders; complimentary tea, coffee and mineral water 24 hours a day, all gratuities; the services of a doctor (except where stated otherwise).

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED ?

International and domestic airfares. Visa, excess baggage and insurance. Personal expenses such as drinks at the Bar Lounge Car or laundry costs are not included. Sometimes, an optional activity may be available that needs to be paid for on some tours.

IS INSURANCE INCLUDED & DO I NEED IT ?

It is a booking condition to be fully insured for any medical expenses you may incur while on vacation. In the event that you are unable, we recommend purchasing cancellation insurance. For more information, please get in touch with us.

WHAT STANDARD OF HOTELS DO YOU USE AS PART OF THE TOUR?

The tour price includes accommodation in hotels as per the itinerary. All hotels are 5-star or the best available in that location. All rooms can be upgraded upon request.

DO I NEED TO TIP ?

All gratuities are included in the tour price and we encourage passengers to refrain from offering gratuities to crew/hoteliers/drivers etc as we will tip on your behalf.

WHAT CURRENCY WILL I NEED TO BRING ?

US Dollars, Euros, and Euros are accepted as currency on the train. While passengers don't require much currency to board the train, they can pay for laundry and other bar bills. It is possible to make one payment at end of tour and run a tab' onboard. If the bill is less than US$100, passengers must pay in cash. International credit cards (VISA/MasterCard) can be used for payments greater than US$100. To purchase souvenirs or to shop on the train, clients will require money. This money can be paid in local currency. In certain cases, it can also be paid in US Dollars. Your Tour Manager (or guide) will tell you where, and how to change it if required.

WHERE & HOW DO I OBTAIN VISAS ?

Visas required should be applied for well in advance. Some may also require a visa support document. It is essential to ensure that you check all visa requirements. There are different entry requirements for each country and processing times. It is also important that you check whether multiple visas, such as a double or single entry visa, are required for certain tours.

We will provide you with all necessary information in order to obtain the required visas. Most visas can be applied only for 3 months prior the departure. During visa applications, which can take many weeks to complete, you must be without your passport.

We recommend CIBT VisaCentral to assist us with visa. We are available for any questions.

CAN I USE CREDIT CARDS & TRAVELLERS CHEQUES ON THE TRIP ?

ATMs can now be found in all the major cities along our routes. All hotels we use will accept major credit and debit cards. Traveller's Cheques are almost impossible to exchange.

ARE TRANSFERS INCLUDED ?

All tours include transfers to and from the airport. Please let us know of your arrival and departure details to help us arrange your transfers.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I ARRIVE AT THE AIRPORT OR TRAIN STATION ?

One of our representatives will meet you at the point of departure and will hold a Shangri La Express Trains sign. If you are arriving by plane, it will take place after you have cleared customs and collected your luggage. The representative will assist you in getting to your hotel transfer vehicle.

CABIN CLASSES

Full details on the cabin classes on Shangri La Express.
LEARN MORE

LIFE ON BOARD

Learn about life on board the Shangri La Express Train.
LEARN MORE

VIEW TOURS

View all the Shangri La Express train tours we offer here.
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Gail & Cathy

★★★★★
"I can’t tell you how much we appreciate all the pre planning you helped us with. Thanks again for all you did for us."

Shakuntala

★★★★★
"We are back and throughly enjoyed all the arrangements you made on our behalf .Thanks for making our dreams come true."

Pauline & Brenda

★★★★★
"Thank you so much for organising our trip of a lifetime. Brenda and I loved every moment. Very best wishes to you."

CONTACT

CONTACT US ABOUT THE SHANGRI LA EXPRESS

We look forward to hearing from you and are happy to answer any questions you have - just call us or use the form below.
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We hold ATOL license 10287 so booking with us gives you 100% financial protection. We are also members of the Association of British Travel Agents. ABTA has strict membership requirements and we are required to adhere to the associations high standards. Our ABTA number is Y1699.
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All trips are operated by HeadsEast Ltd | UK Company number 6717612 | © Copyright 2008-22 HeadsEast Ltd
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