For the time being, travel is going to be a bit different than we have previously experienced. As the world collectively dusts itself off and starts looking over the horizon, here is what Encore is doing to ensure groups will have a positive, safe, and life-changing travel experience in the year ahead.
Earlier this year, many destinations were either denying entry to unvaccinated visitors or introduced vaccination requirements in order to move freely within the country. Given these restrictions, all group leaders and travelers need to be fully vaccinated in order to travel with us in 2022. You are responsible for arranging for your vaccination to meet local requirements and should be prepared to provide suitable documentation of it throughout your tour.
Encore does not have a vaccine mandate for 2023, however, group leaders and travelers must still follow the health and safety-related entry requirements for the countries they will visit. Each individual traveler is responsible for meeting these requirements.
Travelers should also be on the lookout for common symptoms of COVID in the days leading up to their trip and should not travel if these symptoms exist.
We are carefully reviewing protocols related to audience capacity, outdoor venue options, stage design, additional impromptu performances, physical distancing guidelines, and increased customization options. We will also continue to abide by the rules and regulations put in place by the host country.
All tour managers (and bus drivers) are fully vaccinated and are being updated with new procedures to maximize health on tour.
We will adhere to the use of face masks, hand sanitizer (which we will provide) and physical distancing on all our tours.
We are reviewing plans with hotel, transportation and activity providers and adjusting itineraries where needed.
Our worldwide duty officer system operates around the clock to react instantly to concerns.
All Encore participants are enrolled in an international medical insurance plan that will provide needed care should someone fall ill.
Things feel uncertain right now; we get it. That’s why we’re providing the utmost flexibility, generous policies and the promise that we will do everything possible to help you and your participants feel confident to travel again.
Both Encore and our parent company, ACIS, live by the belief that travel changes lives. Over the past few years we’ve all missed out on so much. Now, with vaccinations in place, safety measures well defined and Encore's experience successfully operating programs in the past year, not only can you feel it’s ok to travel, you can feel great about it.
Encore has nearly 30 years of experience leading exceptional performance tours around the world. We wouldn’t continue to operate tours if we couldn’t continue to deliver high-quality, life-changing experiences. With the ongoing changes happening around the world daily, we have also instituted flexible policies to provide peace of mind. Participants registering on a 2023 tour can do so with no risk until April 1, 2022. With fully refundable payments, there is no risk. Plus, all participants who would like additional cancellation coverage after that date may upgrade their protection coverage and cancel for any reason and receive a full refund. In addition, Encore's Peace of Mind policy allows 2022 group leaders, at any point up to 45 days before departure, to move their same itinerary to any other travel date in 2022 or to the same travel season in 2023 for no change in cost. Our 2023 Peace of Mind policy allows for those same changes up to 60 days before departure.
All group leaders and travelers aged 12 and above will need to be fully vaccinated in order to travel with us in 2022. Please check with the destination you are traveling to for the definition of fully vaccinated and if they require a booster shot. If requiring vaccinations continues to be the responsible policy in 2023, you can expect the requirement to remain.
Travelers will be required to follow all local requirements regarding masking. Encore continues to recommend masking on the bus, public transportation and anywhere inside where social distancing is not possible, to ensure the health of our travelers.
If local entry or exit requirements become so restrictive that we are no longer able to operate the tour, we will work with the group leader to move the tour date or destination, even if this is within 45 days of departure. Delivering a high quality and safe experience is always our goal, and we will simply not run a tour if local restrictions would sacrifice the overall travel experience.
Refunds depend on your protection plan. We strongly advise participants to upgrade their coverage to our Ultimate-Plus or Ultimate plans that provide a full refund (less the cost of the protection plan itself) for any reason up to four days prior to departure, and a full refund for a covered reason up to 1 day prior to departure. Participants who do not elect to upgrade have Basic Protection which provides a partial refund up to 30 days prior to departure.
Yes! Both Encore and ACIS have several fixed-date options for that are open to both small groups and individual travelers. We are also excited to announce the arrival of our new music appreciation product, Encore Experiences.
Encore travel vouchers give you a chance to springboard toward future travel with Encore, ACIS or our parent company AIFS. You can use the voucher on any Encore or ACIS program outside of the USA and Canada including our fixed-date trips like Encore Experiences. Vouchers can also be used on college-level programs, namely AIFS’ College Study Abroad and Global Experience’s International internship programs. Study abroad programs are offered in 22 countries, with short-term, semester and academic year options. Internships are available in 13 different locations and cover career fields ranging from business to non-profit to technical fields. Our vouchers are fully transferable, meaning you can sell them to a friend who is interested in any of these programs too. Each new traveler can only use one voucher to pay for part of their trip and vouchers need to be redeemed for travel starting within two years of their issue date.
Unfortunately, if you test positive for Covid you can’t travel until after your quarantine time has elapsed. With our Ultimate-Plus or Ultimate protection plans you would be due a full cash refund (less the cost of the plan itself) up to one day prior to departure because this is a medical cancellation. If you did not elect to upgrade your protection coverage, you are due no refund under our basic plan.
Please feel assured that just as Encore has taken care of all our passengers for the past three decades, we will take care of a Covid-19 positive traveler. If symptoms require medical attention, care will be provided and covered by the protection plan the passenger is enrolled on. If a Covid test is warranted, it will be provided and if positive the traveler will quarantine according to local requirements. Students will continue to be chaperoned either by an adult in their group or Encore staff, or if necessary, a parent will be flown over. Encore will manage the logistics of booking the passenger’s and chaperone’s alternate return flight.
We sincerely hope none of our travelers become ill on tour, but in the case that happens, we have a full plan in place. The ill participant will go into isolation subject to the laws of the destination and a chaperone will stay with them. If a chaperone is unable to stay, an Encore staff member will help or, if necessary, a parent will be flown over. According to the CDC, individuals who are fully vaccinated do not have to self-quarantine after exposure to a person with COVID-19 and can travel, unless they too have COVID-19 symptoms. This means that unless restricted by local health authorities, vaccinated participants can continue on with their trip or return home at the end of the trip even if other participant(s) on the tour receive a positive COVID test while overseas. All travelers returning to the U.S. will need to test negatively before their flight, per U.S. regulation.
No. Encore will continue to follow CDC recommendations and isolate Covid-positive travelers until they test negatively. In the event that local requirements are more stringent, we will be bound by those policies.
Encore will work with individual participants to determine their return date and travel arrangements depending on local restrictions and the health of the participant.
Encore has lifted our requirement for pre-departure testing, but in line with the CDC we continue to recommend it. Some countries do require pre-departure testing, and all travelers are responsible for meeting the local entry requirements for all of their destinations.
Encore will arrange all necessary Covid tests for participants returning home with the group. If a traveler elects an alternative arrangement, they are responsible for procuring their own tests.