Small Banner

Alaskan Cruise | Vancouver

Tips For Travelers

Tips For Travelers
Average Temperature

In Vancouver the average high is 72 and the average low is 57 during our trips.  Along the Inside Passage in Alaska, temperatures range from a high of 65 to a low of 48.  We suggest that travelers look at the weather for Vancouver, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan before final packing.  It’s always good to dress in layers and have a waterproof outer layer along with an insulating, inner layer. 

Beverage Packages on Cruise Ship

Your cruise includes the Signature Beverage Package for all adult travelers age 21 and over and the Quench Beverage Package for those under 21.

The Signature Beverage Package includes specialty coffees, cocktails, wine, beer, ports, mocktails, smoothies, juices, water and soda.  There is a maximum of 15 beverages that are $9 or less per day.  Charges for additional beverages or those that are over $9 will be the traveler’s responsibility.

The Quench Beverage Package includes juice, Coca-Cola products, bottled water, mocktails and coffee.  There is not a daily limit of beverages with this package.

Cash Allowance

Upon check-in at the Auto-Owners Insurance Hospitality Desk in Vancouver, you will receive a cash allowance in Canadian Dollars for each agent and guest.  Our intention is not to cover every cost you incur on your trip, but to help with costs such as your optional shore excursions, lunches on your own or dinner on a free night while in Vancouver.  

Cell Phone/Data Service

Prior to using cell phones internationally, please contact your cell phone service provider for their availability, rates, roaming fees and charges related to international service. You can turn off the cellular data on your phone and only use the complimentary Wi-Fi at the hotel in order to access the Auto-Owners Insurance Mobile App for this trip while in Vancouver. Onboard the ship, there are internet packages for purchase.  However, keep in mind that satellite internet may be unreliable while the ship is moving and while in some ports that have limited service.  You may want to check with your phone service carrier to see if they offer any special “cruise ship” internet packages.

Contact Information

Auto-Owners Insurance will provide cards in your pre-trip package that will have your contact information while on the trip. We recommend that you leave these cards with your family and office so you can be contacted in case of an emergency.


The local currency in Vancouver is the Canadian Dollar.  Many shops and restaurants will accept US Dollars but change may be given in Canadian currency.  Credit and debit cards are also widely accepted. Exchange rates and foreign transaction fees are determined by your credit card company or bank. We recommend you check with your credit card company or bank in order to determine the current fees and exchange rates that they charge.  You may want to explore obtaining a “premier” credit card to use while out of the country as many “premier” credit cards do not charge a foreign transaction fee which is typically 3% of the charge amount.

The ports of Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan are all in Alaska and the US dollar is the local currency.

Duty Free Allowance

You may bring back gifts or articles up to a value of $800.00 per person into the USA without incurring customs duty. Items should be available for customs inspection. You may include one liter of alcoholic beverages within this $800.00 exemption. It is recommended that you keep ALL receipts together and with you in your carry-on bag for any items purchased while abroad to make filling out the customs forms easier for you. For more information on U.S. customs regulations, please refer to Customs Duty Information.

Electrical Appliances

The Fairmont Waterfront hotel uses standard US 110 volt outlets. The state rooms on the ship have standard US 100 volt outlets at the desk and special shave outlets in the bathrooms. All rooms at the Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver have irons and ironing boards. The staterooms on the cruise ship do not have irons.  Laundry and pressing services are available onboard the ship.


All gratuities for group events, housekeeping and porterage at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel and onboard the ship have been covered by Auto-Owners Insurance. No additional gratuities are necessary; however they can be given at your own discretion. You will be responsible for any gratuities for services that you obtain on your own.

Identification Requirements

All travelers, regardless of age, are required to have a passport book in order to travel on this trip.  It is required that your passport be valid for at least 6 months beyond the duration of your trip.

Note: A passport card is not valid for air travel to Canada. Your name on your airline ticket must exactly match your passport. Once you receive your flight confirmations, please verify that your name is spelled correctly and contact Gavel International immediately if there is a discrepancy.

Incidental Accounts

When you check-in at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel, you will be asked to provide a credit card to establish charging privileges. Your hotel incidental account will need to be settled upon your check-out of the hotel.

During the on-line check in process for the cruise, you can register your credit card. All purchases while onboard the ship are charged to your onboard expense account by using your stateroom key card. Cash is not accepted for individual transactions.  Cash is accepted in the casino. When you board, a hold will be placed on the credit card you provide in the amount of $60 per cruise day. At the end of your cruise, you will only be charged for the amount of your final onboard statement.

Legal Drinking Age

The legal drinking age in Vancouver is 19. Onboard the Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam, the legal drinking age is 21. The monitoring and consumption of alcoholic beverages is your responsibility. Auto-Owners Insurance and Gavel International will not be responsible for monitoring or controlling access to alcoholic beverages for any guests.

Mobile App

Approximately 1 month prior to travel, you will receive an email from the Auto-Owners Insurance Registration Desk at Gavel International with downloading, activation, and log-in instructions for the Auto-Owners Insurance Incentive Travel Mobile App. The personalized app will provide the most up-to-date information available throughout the program. We encourage you and your guests to download the app to your personal devices prior to leaving for Vancouver. The travel app is designed to provide a more interactive experience for all attendees.  You'll be able to view general trip information regarding the destination, hotel and transportation, optional activities, your personalized agenda and flight schedules. While onboard the ship, you will be able to use Holland America’s Navigator app.  This app is only accessible while you are on the ship and does not use cellular data.

Special Requests/Medical Needs

If you have specific dietary requirements or medical needs, such as a wheelchair, please indicate these requirements in your online registration so that proper accommodations can be made. You may also contact the Auto-Owners Insurance Travel Desk at Gavel International with your needs.  If you are confined to a wheelchair and require special arrangements, please contact Auto-Owners Insurance or Gavel International with your specific needs so that handicap accessible rooms and/or handicap accessible vehicles for transfers can be arranged for you, based on availability at the hotel and on the ship.

Most airlines will allow medical supplies or equipment on board as additional items at no extra charge. Some medical items can be carried on the plane, as an “additional carry-on item” as long as they meet the standard size and weight limits. If your supplies/equipment are included in a larger bag that contains other non-essential items, that bag will not be considered a free item and will be subject to normal baggage fees.  Check with your airline for their policies and restrictions and if advance notice is required.

Travel Dates

If you cannot travel on the group travel dates, you cannot arrange a visit on your own at a later date. The Auto-Owners Insurance Incentive Travel program is a group function and is not planned for individual visits. There will be no compensation for unused travel.