Are foreign languages used during your tours?
All Grand Circle Program Directors and OAT Trip Leaders are fluent in both English and the local language. So while all tours and commentary will be in English, you’ll also enjoy the benefit of having someone on hand to teach you helpful phrases and translate when necessary.
Can a group of travelers charter an entire departure?
Yes-and even if your group of travelers isn't large enough to fill a departure, you can still earn free travel by becoming a Group Leader. Read more about our Group Travel program.
Can I bring my grandchildren on a Grand Circle or OAT trip?
While we specialize in vacations for travelers over 50, you can bring children aged 13 or older on Grand Circle and OAT trips. Please note, however, that our land-based programs often include lengthy motorcoach sightseeing tours that may not be enjoyable for younger travelers.
Can I mix and match an extension from another Grand Circle or OAT vacation with the trip I’m currently booked on?
We are unable to mix and match extensions and trips. However, on select vacations, if you wish to remain overseas after your trip to explore on your own, we can arrange for you to fly home up to 30 days after the initial departure of your trip. View our Breakaway policy.
Can you accommodate travelers with special diets?
We can usually accommodate special dietary requirements (vegetarian, salt-free, low-calorie, kosher, etc.); be sure to notify our Travel Counselors before you depart if you have not already done so. If you prefer a special airline meal on your international flight, please call the airline directly to reconfirm your requests after you receive your airline tickets.
Do you make any provisions for travelers with disabilities?
Most Grand Circle trips are not wheelchair or motorized scooter accessible, as wheelchair or motorized scooter assistance or accessibility in international destinations cannot be guaranteed. Be sure to ask your Travel Counselor. If your trip is wheelchair-accessible and you require a wheelchair, you must provide your own small, collapsible wheelchair. On some tours, travelers requiring walkers, crutches or other mobility aids may have difficulty moving around due to cobblestones or other uneven terrain, and should consider other Grand Circle destinations. Grand Circle cannot accommodate motorized scooters of any kind on any international trips. For more information, review the “Medical Issues” section of our Terms & Conditions.
Do you offer any trips in Alaska or Hawaii?
No. With the exception of the U.S. National Parks, Grand Circle and OAT specialize exclusively in foreign travel. Limiting our focus in this way helps us bring you the most discovery-rich travel experience at the very best value.
Do you offer any trips that are shorter than 14 days, other than Holiday Cruises?
Yes. If length is a factor when choosing a trip, use the "Search" feature on the left-hand side of our home page. You can sort your search results by "Trip Length" and easily determine which is best for you.
How can I get mail about destinations that interest me?
If you're interested in receiving promotional materials by mail--or if you're already on our mailing list, but would like to receive mail better tailored to your interests--tell us what destinations you’d like to visit by filling out your Travel Planner.
How close to a departure date can Grand Circle or OAT take reservations?
In general, we can take bookings up to 15 days prior to departure for River Cruises and most OAT adventures; up to 35 days prior to departure for Extended Vacations and Escorted Tours; and up to 45 days prior to departure for CruiseTours. At that time, we're required to finalize our passenger information with the airlines and hotels, and we release all unused space back to the vendors. On select tours, we are able to take bookings within 5-7 days of departure, subject to air availability. All bookings inside 45 days of departure are by request and are confirmed on a case-by-case basis. Please contact our Travel Counselors for more details.
How many people will be in my group?
Depending on your trip, Grand Circle groups number 35-45 travelers. The group size on OAT's land adventures is 16; Small Ship adventures range from 16-32, depending on the size of your ship.
How physically fit must I be to enjoy my trip?
Feeling healthy and confident of your mobility is essential if you want to fully enjoy your trip abroad. Most Grand Circle programs features a fair amount of walking up and down inclines in towns with uneven or cobblestone streets. For your comfort and safety, we recommend our trips only to individuals in good physical condition. If you’re considering an OAT adventure, you should live an active lifestyle, enjoy good health and mobility, be comfortable participating in 6-8 hours of daily physical activities and sightseeing, and able to walk 3-6 miles unassisted over the course of each day.
I’m not ready to make a reservation. Can Grand Circle or OAT hold space for me?
Due to limited availability and the popularity of our trips, we are unable to hold space without a deposit. However, once you make a deposit you'll have a good deal of flexibility. You can transfer your deposit without penalty to any trip or any date, provided you are more than 121 days from departure on a River Cruise or Small Ship adventure, or more than 71 days from departure on a Grand Circle or OAT land vacation. For more information about the deposit amount required to secure your reservation, click here.
Many of your trips feature extensive motorcoach sightseeing. Are there restrooms on the coaches?
Most full-sized coaches have restrooms for emergencies. There are no restrooms onboard minibuses used on some OAT trips. However, all motorcoaches and minibuses make frequent stops to ensure your comfort for the whole ride. Often, we'll break up a long transfer with an included walking tour in a location of interest en route to our destination, so you'll have ample time to stretch your legs as well.
What type of accommodations are used on Grand Circle and OAT tours?
While your accommodations will vary from trip to trip, we use our worldwide buying power to negotiate low rates on quality hotels--and pass the savings on to you. Grand Circle selects hotels conveniently set in pleasant, safe areas, with easy access to attractions and entertainment. OAT chooses smaller lodgings, sometimes with an emphasis on authenticity, rather than amenities (though you'll always have your own private bath or shower). On the water, we feature privately owned ships, private charters, and small ocean ships. You can view a selection of accommodations when you select any trip from our search results page.
Why aren't pre- and post-trip extensions available on all departures?
To ensure that our optional pre- and post-trip extensions have enough participants to run, we only offer extensions on select departures throughout a destination's travel season. Airline schedules may also limit us to offering extensions on certain dates only.