FAQ

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Additional Meals
All meals are included in the price of the Silk Road Tours, as is wine or spirits with most dinners. In Turkey, all breakfasts and dinners are included in the price of your guided tour. However, lunch is not included as experience has shown us that the majority of our clients prefer the flexibility of making their own choices. Although lunch is still taken as a group, local venues are chosen throughout the tour to provide a variety of choices for lunch, from full meals to lighter fare such as salads, soups or sandwiches. This gives clients an opportunity to sample traditional local dishes, and to order according to individual taste and appetite. This is also the case on the free day in Istanbul, the only day when dinner is not included. Cost of lunches in Turkey will range from about US$2.00 for soup, to approximately US$9.00 for a full meal, not including beverages. Dinner cost on the free day ranges greatly depending on the choice of restaurant, but generally cost between, US$8.00 to US$50.00 per person.
Single Room / Roommate Policy
Some single rooms* per tour (space is limited) are available at $60 extra per night and are of excellent quality. The sooner you sign-up for a tour, the better the chances are that we will be able to find a roommate for you. If a roommate cannot be arranged, the single supplement will be offered at a discounted price of $40 per night.

*Fertile Crescent Tour, Chinese Silk Road & Japan Tours Single Supplement: $80 to $90 per night
Credit Cards
Please note that credit cards are not accepted. All payments must be made by check or money order payable to Cultural Folk Tours Int'l Inc.
Electricity

For the most part, the electrical current is 220 volts A.C. 50 cycles. Plugs are usually the two round prong European style. American appliances will generally not work without an adapter. Universal adapter kits are readily available in the United States at reasonable costs.

Internet Access

Internet access is offered at most hotels for a small charge or free. Almost all hotels have a business center where internet access is available and most offer this service free of charge. Many hotels offer internet access in the rooms as well.

Group Discount Airline Tickets are available
Air prices depend on the season, weekends and the airline so we recommend purchasing air tickets early for reduced rates. We offer the best available air prices. Please note that air reservations can only be held for 48 hours before they must be purchased. During the high season (End of May to early September and December holidays), air tickets must be purchased at least three months in advance. There will be a penalty fee if any ticket changes or cancellations occur. Due to the current exchange rate, air taxes and rising gas prices, please note that airfare is subject to change.
What to Wear

The weather is usually not as hot as people expect it to be. Most of the northern and eastern region of Turkey gets snow during the winter. In the summertime, cotton clothes are recommended along the Marmara, Aegean and the Mediterranean coastline. As when traveling anywhere, a good rule is to dress comfortably. Mixing and matching will keep packing to a minimum. Casual dress, including jeans or a nice sport outfit, is almost always appropriate for sightseeing excursions, and sturdy comfortable footwear is a good idea. Shorts are perfectly acceptable in Western Turkey. The evenings may be cooler in eastern and central Anatolia and along the Black Sea during early spring and late fall. A light jacket or sweater is strongly recommended throughout Turkey for the evenings. Do take along something for more formal occasions, such as "nights on the town". However, Cultural Folk Tours are informal so please wear what you like and what is comfortable.

If you are on a tour that goes to Mt. Nemrut or Sumela Monastery, it is a must that you bring good hiking shoes; the terrain is somewhat rocky and uneven. Good hiking shoes that offer some degree of ankle support would be a good choice, although tennis shoes that offer good traction would be sufficient. We also recommend that the following items be considered for these particular hikes; windbreaker or sweater, hat, sunglasses, binoculars and camera zoom lens. At the top of Mt. Nemrud, the wind tends to be quite chilly at times and this fact should be considered when packing for your trip. Also bring a flashlight as it comes in handy to see more detailed frescoes.

Suggested items to pack
  • Ÿ Money belt, or something similar.
  • Ÿ Locks, small but sturdy, for your luggage (along with duplicate keys, or combination locks) should always be locked during transport and when you are not in your room. Please note: Turkey is a very safe country.
  • Ÿ Pre-moistened towelettes - very handy for any travel region.
  • Ÿ Books or magazines, which can be given away as you finish them.
  • Ÿ Pepto-Bismol tablets, Tums and/or Alka-Seltzer, along with aspirin and cold tablets
  • Imodium AD. You will be very glad to have them if you need them. Most of these items are also available in Turkey.
  • Ÿ Extra contact lenses or pair of glasses if needed; it will be impossible to replace your originals if lost or broken.
  • Ÿ A travel alarm clock or wristwatch with an alarm; wake-up calls can be unreliable.
  • Ÿ Laundry soap packets; it can be easier (and faster) to wash a few things out by hand than having the chambermaid do them. Also, a flat rubber water-stop can come in handy.
  • Ÿ All personal toiletry products; while available, the quality may not be up to your standards.
  • Ÿ Hair dryers are not necessary as they are available in almost all the hotels.
Payment Schedule
•A deposit of $500 per person, by check, is required upon registration.
Any deposit that is sent toward booking a tour constitutes full knowledge, acceptance and agreement of the cancellation policy in this brochure.
•All payments must be made by personal check or money order.
•Full payment is due 65 days prior to departure.
(Silk Road, Discover Iran with Bora, Chinese Silk Road & Tibet, Asian Summer Festivals, Autumn Japan and Fertile Crescent & Cyprus tours: 90 days prior to departure)
•Application received less than 65 days prior to departure will require full payment at the time of registration.
Travel Insurance
Tour cancellation insurance is highly recommended. Personal travel and cancellation insurance is available through several insurance companies, which we can help identify. Most insurance companies require immediate sign-up for full coverage (If you have any pre-existing conditions, please contact the insurance company before booking the tour). Tour participants who choose not to be covered by the insurance do so at their own risk and will need to sign a release, which states that they have declined the tour cancellation insurance.
Gratuity & notes
On Bora Özkök’s personally led Tours: 5% of the land cost will be added to the invoice, payable in advance to include the following: guide gratuities, baggage handling, housekeeping, hotel concierge service, restaurant wait staff, all local payments and taxes. Gratuity also includes any user’s fees.
On all other CFT Tours: 5% of the land cost is recommended for the guide to be paid in U.S. Dollars at the end of the tour.
Bus Driver on all Tours: At the end of the tour, a $5 per person per day gratuity is suggested and $3 per person per day is recommended for the driver’s assistant if one is present.
What is included in your tour package?
LAND & AIR TOURS
• Transatlantic air travel from JFK or LAX.
• Some domestic flights within Turkey, if applicable.
• Two meals every day throughout the tour, except where noted and for the dinner on the free day.
• All hotel accommodations throughout the tours.
• All scheduled lectures, shows & performances.
• All entrance fees to museums, ancient cities and sight-seeing excursions as set forth in the itinerary.
• All baggage handling for check-ins, check-outs, in hotels and in airports. All local and hotel taxes are included.
• An English proficient guide who will escort you on your tour
• Bottled water on all tours
Land Only - Land arrangements are available for every tour. Land arrangements start at the hotel where the group spends its first night (All Bora tours include free airport and hotel transfers, but all other CFT travelers must make this arrangement on his or her own). Land arrangements end at the hotel where the group spends its last night. Most tours are available on “partial attendance” basis.
What is not included?
Add-on flights. Lunch is not included, in most cases. Tips for the guides. Tips for the bus driver. Wine and beverages are not included on meal menus. Airline tax (Please note that the airline tax price is subject to change at any time without notice.). Cost of Turkey visa application $20. Grand Caucasus, Silk Road and Fertile Crescent visa fees. Room service, valet, laundry, telephone calls. Items of personal nature and other items not specifically mentioned above. Cost of travel, personal and tour cancellation insurance including luggage not included.
Motor Coach / Train
When traveling by train, we will arrange the best available seats. Group tour transportation will be by private, air-conditioned new deluxe motor coaches. The buses are comfortable and there will be ample space for all. We expect an average attendance of 18-24 participants on Bora’s personal tours and 12-20 participants on the other tours in 2015. All tours require a minimum of six members.
Tour Director
2015 was my last year of leading group tours. It has been a wonderful 37 years, guiding tours for over 10,000 travelers and sharing incredible experiences all over the world with them.
My journey started in Turkey with sporting accomplishments in events such as swimming, soccer and marathons. These achievements opened the door to the U.S. for me and, through an athletic scholarship, I received a college education at the University of California, Berkeley. After receiving my architecture degree, I went on to teach Turkish music, folklore and folkdance in 22 countries, very successfully I might add. I recorded several Turkish folk music albums where I played multiple traditional instruments and managed a Turkish Ensemble during their U.S. tour in 1976. I also had a few articles published.
All of this prepared me for my tours of Turkey that I have led since 1979. Now, it is time for me to explore other projects. Among other things, I hope to write my memoirs, see more of the World’s Wonders, spend more time at my Cappadocia Cave Suites Hotel, which serves travelers from over 110 countries, and, of course, lead the occasional private Turkey tour.
As for Cultural Folk Tours Inc.’s future, we will continue to offer quality tours led by the best guides in Turkey. All tours will stay at our incredible award winning Cappadocia Cave Suites hotel.
It has truly been a blessed 37 years. Thank you.

- Bora Özkök, Tour Director/Owner of Cultural Folk Tours
Cancellation Policy
Cultural Folk Tours Int’l Inc. reserves the right to cancel any tour prior to departure for any reason, including insufficient number of participants, in its sole judgment. If Cultural Folk Tours Int’l Inc. cancels a tour, participants will receive a full refund of money paid.

The refund Policy below will be strictly adhered to regardless of the reason for cancellation. A WRITTEN CANCELLATION IS REOUIRED FOR ALL REFUNDS. (Oral notices are not valid.) The following refund schedule will be based on the date we receive the written cancellation:

- Up to 75 days prior to departure: Obligatory service charge of $ 200 per person.
- 75- 45 days prior to departure: Forfeiture of full deposit ($ 400 per person) and applicable airline penalty.
- 44-30 days prior to departure: Forfeiture of full deposit, plus 30 % of land cost and applicable airline penalty. (Discounted group airfare tickets are non-refundable after being issued.)
- 29 -14 days prior to departure: Forfeiture of full deposit, plus 60 % of land costs and applicable airline penalty or no air refund.
- 13 days to 72 hours prior to departure: Forfeiture of full deposit, plus 80% of land costs. No air refund.
- Less than 72 hours or during the tour: There will be no refunds.

Transportation Companies Clause/ Itinerary Modifications, etc.
Transportation Companies Clause:
The passage contract in use by airlines and other transportation companies whose services are used in our tours shall constitute the sole contract between the companies and the purchaser of a tour and/or a passage. CFTI Inc. does not assume responsibility for cancellation fees of any special fares due to departure or itinerary changes.
Itinerary Modifications:
Every effort will be made by Cultural Folk Tours Int'1 Inc. (CFTII) to carry out all tours as planned. However, itineraries contained in this brochure are subject to modifications and change, sometimes without advance notice.
Limitation of Liability:
Cultural Folk Tours Int'1 Inc. (CFTII) (its owners, officers, directors, outfitters, agents, and employees) act only as agents for the participants in regard to transportation, hotel accommodations, motor coach - bus travel and /or all other related travel services as stated in the itinerary, and thus, assumes no liability for injury, delay, irregularity, loss or damage to person or property or additional cost resulting directly or indirectly from acts of God, detention, threats or acts of terrorism or similar events, annoyance, weather or failure of any means of transportation to comply with schedules, quarantines, threats, or acts of terrorism or similar events, strikes, civil disturbances, theft, government regulations, discrepancies and or change in transit or hotel accommodations over which it has no control, whether it arises out of or is incidental to the tour or otherwise. Participants release CFTII. from all such claims, demands, damages, losses and liabilities. Although it is very rare, some reasonable changes in the posted itineraries and prices may be made anytime when deemed advisable for the comfort and well being of the participants. CFTII cannot accept responsibility for the property of or personal illnesses or injuries to tour participants during the course of the tour. We reserve the right to refuse to accept or retain any person as a tour participant should that person's health or mental condition, or physical infirmity or general demeanor impede the operation of the tour or the rights, welfare, or enjoyment of other tour participants and to refund only the unused land portion of the tour price. In case of a dispute or claim, litigations agree that all disputes
and claims will be settled only in courts of Cypress, California.
Tour Visas

For Turkey, U.S. citizens will need to visit www.evisa.gov.tr to complete an online e-Visa application and submit online payment in order to download the visa prior to entering the country. The e-visa is only valid when the purpose of travel is tourism or commerce. Please also note that your passport must be valid for six months.

For visas for all other countries, please call us at1-800-935-8875 for more details.

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