Old World Prague & the Blue Danube

Highlights & InclusionsItineraryPricing Information Terms & Conditions
Departure Date: September 17, 2018
Duration: 12 Days / 11 Nights
Price from: $3,445
Single Room Supplement: $595
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In order to bring you the greatest selection of destinations and itineraries, Gutsy Women Travel has worked with our partner GCCL to reserve space on this 2017 guided vacation. This trip is open to men and women, and will operate with a larger group size than our traditional Gutsy Women departures.


Highlights & Inclusions

  • Be sure to mention booking code G7-25972 to receive all the Gutsy benefits!
  • Airport transfers are included when you purchase our operator's International air to coincide with trip's day by day agenda.
  • Available Post-trip: Berlin & Dresden, Germany
  • Available Post-trip: Highlights of Poland: Warsaw & Krakow
  • International airfare, airport transfers, government taxes, fees, and airline fuel surcharges, unless you choose to make your own air arrangements
  • Accommodations for 8 nights aboard a private river ship with wireless Internet access now in all common areas and cabins, and 3 nights in Parkhotel Praha, Prague or similar
  • 28 meals: Daily breakfasts, 8 lunches, 9 dinners—including 2 meals in local restaurants—plus all onboard house beer & wine, as well as soft drinks
  • 8 included tours with personal headsets and 5 exclusive Discovery Series events—Customs of Central Europe discussion • Home-Hosted Visit • Bratislava's Next Generation discussion • Apfelstrudel baking demonstration • School visit
  • Local Program Directors, a Grand Circle Cruise Line exclusive: These dedicated experts are with you (and no more than 47 travelers) every step of the way to provide insider’s knowledge and the perspective that will enrich your experience
  • Gratuities for local guides and motorcoach drivers
  • All port charges: a value of $125 per person
  • Baggage handling for 1 piece of luggage per person, including tips
  • 5% Frequent Traveler Credit toward your next Grand Circle trip—an average of $269


Itinerary

Follow in the footsteps of the Habsburgs on an enhanced Danube River Cruise Tour that celebrates not only the iconic ports of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, but also some of central Europe’s most stunning river valleys. Explore the storied capital cities of Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, and Prague on this comprehensive four-country journey—experience a slice of daily life in Slovakia ... sip Austria’s famed Wachau Valley wines on a NEW discovery ... behold the storybook delights of Cesky Krumlov ... and cruise the legendary Danube in comfort aboard an award-winning river ship. Discover it all—from the impressive landscapes to local flavors—for less. In fact, we’ve reduced prices up to $500 per person on most 2017 departures.

DAY 1 Depart U.S.

Depart today for your flight to Budapest, Hungary.

DAY 2 Budapest, Hungary • Embark ship


MEALS: D
OVERNIGHT: Private Grand Circle River Ship

Arriving in Budapest, you'll be met at the airport by a Grand Circle representative and transferred to your ship, joining travelers who took our Budapest, Hungary, pre-trip extension.

Early this evening, gather onboard with your fellow travelers for a Port Talk—something you'll enjoy every evening throughout your Danube River Cruise Tour to learn a bit about Budapest. Your Program Director will describe the approaching port area and town prior to arrival so you can prepare for the next day's activities, including any free time you may have. After dinner aboard ship, enjoy a scenic cruise as the ship crosses from the Buda side of the Danube to Pest.

DAY 3 Budapest • Captain's Welcome Dinner


MEALS: B L D
OVERNIGHT: Private Grand Circle River Ship

After breakfast, set off on a tour of Hungary’s lovely capital, situated on both sides of the magnificent Danube River. In Buda, on the western bank of the Danube, you’ll see Castle Hill, encircled by ramparts that protect the massive castle complex. Destroyed during World War II, the palace has been restored, approximating its original splendor, and it is now a vast museum complex, where remains of the original structure are displayed.

Later, cross the Danube and see Heroes’ Square, with its Millennial Column set off by equestrian statues of historic ninth-century Magyar conquerors. The adjoining colonnade displays more statues of kings, dukes of Transylvania, and liberty fighters who influenced the history of Hungary.

Following lunch onboard, enjoy free time in Budapest to explore on your own. Perhaps you'll visit the Church of Our Lady, formerly used for the coronations of Hungarian kings. Its popular name of Matthias is in recognition of the Renaissance king who ruled in the 15th century and whose heraldic sign—a raven—is displayed on one of the towers of the church. Dating back to the 13th century, the structure is an interesting mix of architectural styles used during reconstruction of the building at different times in its history. Note that during the 150-year Turkish occupation of Hungary, the church served as Eski Djami (Old Mosque) for the Turks. Inside the church you can view art of Bertalan Szekely and Karoly Lotz, 19th-century Hungarian painters.

Tonight, enjoy a Captain's Welcome Dinner.

DAY 4 Budapest • Optional Hospital in the Rock tour • Danube Bend • Customs of Central Europe discussion


MEALS: B L D
OVERNIGHT: Private Grand Circle River Ship

Enjoy the morning at leisure to continue exploring Budapest, or choose to join an optional tour to discover the fascinating Hospital in the Rock. Connected to underground caves below Castle Hill in Buda, this hospital that tended to scores of sick and wounded during World War II, and again during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. It was even concerted into a nuclear fallout shelter during the Cold War. Today, it is a museum, with wax figures in period clothing and vintage medical equipment giving visitors a feel for the intensity of the work performed here.

Then, return to the ship for lunch on board and begin your Central European River Cruise towards Bratislava. As you do, you'll enjoy scenic views of the historic city of Esztergom, along with riverside views of the remarkable 16th-century basilica that stands near the banks of the Danube.

Tonight, learn about a few of the cherished customs of Central Europe, passed down through the generations, through the lens of your Program Director's personal experiences during an exclusive Discovery Series discussion.

DAY 5 Bratislava, Slovakia • Home-Hosted Visit • Bratislava's Next Generation discussion


MEALS: B L D
OVERNIGHT: Private Grand Circle River Ship

Arrive in Bratislava this morning, setting off on a walking tour after breakfast of Slovakia's capital, the famous Danube city with a picturesque setting at the foot of the Little Carpathian Mountains.

Once the capital of Hungary, the city has a history dating back to Celtic and Roman times—with the Slavs settling here in the fifth century under their ruler, Bretislav. Under Hungarian rule, it was known as Pozsony, its German-speaking settlers called it Pressburg, and since 1918, it's been called by its Slavic name: Bratislava. The cityscape is dominated by its massive namesake castle, which was a favorite residence of the Habsburg Queen, Maria Theresa, and other aristocrats whose lovely houses cluster at its base.

Explore Old Town, the historic heart of Bratislava, where you can witness the beautiful St. Martin's Cathedral, built in the 14th and 15th centuries. Stroll along the pedestrian zone to Michael's Gate with its 15th-century tower, offering excellent views of the city. You'll also walk by the Old Town Hall and the neoclassical Primate's Palace, built in the 1800s for the archbishop. In the Palace's Hall of Mirrors, Napoleon and the Austrian Emperor Francis I signed the historic Peace of Pressburg after the battle of Austerlitz in 1805.

Enjoy time on your own in the city before returning to the ship for lunch. This afternoon, get a taste of local life in Bratislava when you visit the home of an area family for a Home-Hosted Visit complete with coffee and cake.

This evening, partake in an onboard exclusive Discovery Series discussion about Bratislava's next generation before dinner with your fellow travelers.

DAY 6 Vienna, Austria • Optional Musical Vienna tour


MEALS: B L D
OVERNIGHT: Private Grand Circle River Ship

Explore Vienna, Austria, this morning, starting at the Ringstrasse—Vienna's grand main boulevard—one of the many achievements of the Emperor Franz Joseph. In 1857, the Emperor ordered the demolition of the ancient city walls, which were no longer needed as fortifications and were impeding the growth of the city. In their place was constructed an elegant 2.5 mile-long boulevard, encircling the city center. The buildings that line the Ringstrasse bring together all the greatest architectural styles in an exuberant celebration of all that seemed possible during the Industrial Revolution.

Continue on along the city sidewalks, passing by the well-known Imperial Palace, home to many generations of the Habsburg family, and the renowned Spanish Riding School. You'll also do as the locals do during your tour—enjoy a pause in your day at a local coffee house, savoring the relaxed culture (and accompanying culinary treats) of this famed Vienna tradition. Cap your discoveries with time to pursue your own interests before returning to the ship for lunch.

The rest of the day is yours. You may want to head to the old Jewish Quarter to see the only Viennese synagogue to have survived the 1938 Kristallnacht. Or perhaps explore Austria's capital aboard a fiaker. These horse-drawn carriages have been in business since the 17th century, and drivers are happy to show you the sights and delight you with Viennese anecdotes. You'll also find out for yourself whether or not it's true that drivers whistle strains of Mozart's beloved Magic Flute as they conduct passengers through the city.

After an early dinner onboard, enjoy an evening at leisure. Or, join an optional excursion to one of Vienna's famed concert halls to attend an enchanting performance of the classical Austrian music of Strauss and Mozart.

DAY 7 Vienna • Optional Schoenbrunn Palace tour • Apfelstrudel baking demonstration


MEALS: B L D
OVERNIGHT: Private Grand Circle River Ship

This morning, discover more of Vienna's charms on your own.

Or, join us for an optional tour of the expansive summer estate of Habsburg royalty, Schoenbrunn Palace (whose name means “beautiful spring”). Featuring 1,400 rooms, meticulously maintained gardens, and an architectural legacy that stretches back to the 17th century, the palace is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your visit includes a tour of palace highlights and free time to spend exploring the palace's stunning park and gardens.

As you cruise this afternoon, learn the secrets of Apfelstrudel during an exclusive Discovery Series baking demonstration—and sample the delicious pastry hot from the oven. Then tour the galley to see where your chef creates his sumptuous meals.

After dinner tonight onboard, relax with your fellow travelers.

DAY 8 Krems • Wachau Valley


MEALS: B L D
OVERNIGHT: Private Grand Circle River Ship

Discover Krems an der Donau—a large, charming town set at the confluence of the Krems and Danbue rivers—on a morning walking tour. Then, get an introduction to the region's established wine heritage at Winzer Krems, a famed local producer where you'll also enjoy a tasting.

Return to the ship for lunch, then cruising along one of the most beautiful parts of the Danube—the Wachau Valley—this afternoon, taking in the stunning landscape of sculpted hills and medieval towns built along the river that comprise this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

DAY 9 Linz • Mauthausen • Captain's Farewell Dinner


MEALS: B L D
OVERNIGHT: Private Grand Circle River Ship

Wake up this morning in Linz, the capital of Upper Austria (one of the country's nine states) that bestrides the Danube. Disembark after breakfast to discoverer the city, followed by a bit of free time to further explore on your own.

This afternoon, visit the Mauthausen concentration camp with a local guide.

Tonight, gather with your fellow travelers for a Farewell Drink and Port Talk, followed by the Captain's Farewell Dinner.

DAY 10 Linz • Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic • Prague


MEALS: B L
OVERNIGHT: Corinthia Hotel Prague or similar

This morning, disembark in Linz and begin your transfer to Prague in the Czech Republic. Along the way, you’ll stop in the medieval town of Cesky Krumlov, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for an included lunch at a local restaurant.

You arrive in Prague in the late afternoon and check into your hotel. Your evening is at leisure. Dinner tonight is on your own.

DAY 11 Prague • Optional Folk Show & Dinner


MEALS: B
OVERNIGHT: Corinthia Hotel Prague or similar

After breakfast, set out to explore Prague. During the reign of Charles IV, King of Bohemia and Moravia, Prague was the seat of the Holy Roman Empire. Later, it was the vital center of the Habsburgs. While other European capitals were leveled during World War II, Prague survived virtually intact.

Visit Stare Mesto, the Old Town, with its many wonderful Gothic and Baroque buildings, and see the famous 15th-century Astronomical Clock at the Old Town Hall. Every hour, crowds assemble below to watch Christ and the twelve Apostles appear at two little windows above the clock face, followed by the skeleton of Death tolling the bell. Stroll across the city's famed Charles Bridge, a 15th-century structure spanning the Vltava River that functions as a makeshift performance and gallery space for musicians, artists, dancers, and more.

The rest of the day is yours in Prague to spend as you please. This evening, you can choose to attend an optional folk show, which includes dinner.

DAY 12 Prague • School visit • Farewell Dinner


MEALS: B D
OVERNIGHT: Corinthia Hotel Prague or similar

This morning, visit to a local school (when in session) supported by the Grand Circle Foundation. The day is then yours in Prague.

As it was during the zenith of the Bohemian kingdom, Prague still ranks as the thriving center of the country, with an artistic community reminiscent of Paris in the 1920s. It boasts one of Europe's most notable Jewish quarters, world-class museums and cathedrals, architectural masterpieces that span a thousand years—and mighty Prague Castle. Perched regally over the Vltava River and offering stunning views of the city, Prague Castle is more than 1,000 years old and features residential quarters, chapels, galleries, gardens, and the bustling Castle District surrounding it.

Tonight, gather with your fellow travelers for a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant.

DAY 13 Prague • Return to U.S.


MEALS: B After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home. Or, continue your discoveries with our Highlights of Poland or Dresden & Berlin, Germany, post-trip extensions.




Post-trip: Berlin & Dresden, Germany

Discover two of Germany’s best-loved cities: Dresden, a city risen from the ashes of World War II to reclaim its place as an intellectual and cultural center, and Berlin, the imperial capital turned epicenter of the Third Reich whose eventual liberation affected us all.

It's Included:

  • Accommodations for 3 nights in Berlin and 2 nights in Dresden
  • 6 meals: Daily breakfasts and 1 lunch
  • Included tours: Wittenberg • Dresden • Pima
  • Dedicated services of a local Program Director
  • Gratuities for local guides and motorcoach drivers
  • All transfers

DAY 1 Prague • Dresden, Germany


MEALS: L
OVERNIGHT: Westin Bellevue Dresden or similar

After breakfast at your hotel in Prague, you'll travel overland to Pirna, Germany—stopping for lunch in Litomerice, Czech Republic. You'll also pass the impregnable hilltop Konigstein Fortress, a former royal redoubt and one of the handful of castles in Europe to never fall in battle.

Then, continue on to Dresden. Once you've checked into your hotel, your Program Director will lead you on a short tour of the vicinity to help you familiarize yourself with the city. Your Program Director will point out nearby restaurants where you can savor dinner on your own tonight.

DAY 2 Dresden


MEALS: B
OVERNIGHT: Westin Bellevue Dresden or similar

Rise early this morning and enjoy a full breakfast. Then you're off to tour the city of Dresden by motorcoach. Situated in a broad floodplain, Dresden was founded in the twelfth century by Slavs; only in the early 1300s was Dresden given to the Germanic Wettin dynasty. By the late 1400s, Dresden was the seat of Saxon dukes, and a century later, the city was home to the prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire. It was one of these prince-electors, Augustus I, who first called the finest painters, architects, and musicians from across Europe to Dresden in the late 1500s. From that time onward, Dresden gained a reputation as an open, tolerant city of artists. The city was captured by Napoleon during his march across Europe and played a significant role in the continent-wide social revolutions of 1848, but even during its time as the capital of Saxony, Dresden was never heavily garrisoned. The city experienced exponential growth in the 19th century, seeing its population quadruple as a result of the Industrial Revolution. Many of these new residents were, again, artists from across Europe. These artists helped make Dresden a hub of modern art until 1933.

With the rise of the Nazis in Germany, artists and intellectuals began fleeing the newly proclaimed Reich. Still, Dresden retained its status as an artistic capital and was largely defenseless when war broke out in 1939. Its location far from the front lines and the lack of heavy industry in the Dresden metropolitan area seemed to augur that Dresden would escape the worst wounds of the war. As the tide of the war turned inexorably against Hitler, hundreds of thousands of refugees streamed into Dresden; having escaped Allied bombing, Dresden was perceived as a safe zone. February 13, 1945 marked the beginning of one of the most controversial events in World War II: 1,300 Allied aircraft used incendiary bombs to burn Dresden to the ground. The city was utterly and completely destroyed, and thousands of civilians were killed. Kurt Vonnegut, himself a survivor of the air raids, chronicled these events in Slaughterhouse-Five.

Following the war, Dresden was rebuilt from the ground up. Today, the Frauenkirche, a church whose ruins stood as a stark reminder of the war, has been totally reconstructed, incorporating the charred bricks of the original structure as a tribute to the past. Dresden stands as an eternal reminder of the folly of war and the indomitability of the human creative spirit.

Explore Dresden on your own this afternoon and evening, perhaps enjoying Saxon cuisine on your own for lunch and dinner.

DAY 3 Dresden • Wittenberg • Berlin


MEALS: B
OVERNIGHT: Andel's Hotel Berlin or similar

After breakfast today, we depart for Berlin via Wittenberg, where you’ll enjoy a short orientation walk with your Program Director. Then, enjoy free time in the former home of Martin Luther and the birthplace of the Protestant Reformation. Enjoy lunch on your own here and perhaps visit some of the town's splendid churches before we continue on our way. A short two-hour drive through scenic forests and farmlands brings you to Berlin in the early evening. Your Program Director will lead you on a short vicinity walk after checking you into your hotel. Dinner is on your own tonight.

DAY 4 Berlin • Optional Potsdam tour


MEALS: B
OVERNIGHT: Andel's Hotel Berlin or similar

This morning, enjoy an included tour of Berlin. The second-largest urban area in Europe, Berlin is an enormous city, but most of its most iconic sites are relatively close together. Divided at the end of World War II, blockaded by the Soviets during the Cold War, riven by a cruel grey wall, and finally delivered by the sledgehammers of freedom fighters, Berlin is once again a united city. The city's lakes and forests provide bucolic retreats in an urban setting, while its divided history has led to a truly unique collection of architectural styles. If you find yourself in the old Soviet sector of the city, keep your eyes open for extant Ampelmannchen, the “little traffic light man” who adorned East German traffic lights. The Reichstag, site of the final defense of the Third Reich, was rebuilt after World War II and now features an enormous glass dome, emphasizing the transparency and openness of the new Germany. Like so much of Berlin, the future and past are inextricably mixed.

Later on today, use your new-found knowledge of Berlin to explore the city at your leisure. Perhaps you'll explore Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site conveniently located near the city center. Or maybe you'd like to explore Schloss Charlottenburg, the largest remaining palace in the city.

Or, join an optional tour of nearby Potsdam. The residence of the Prussian kings until 1918, Potsdam is home to the Sanssouci, the former summer palace of Frederick the Great and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Even larger than the Sanssouci is the New Palace, built to celebrate the Prussian triumph over Austrian domination in the Seven Years' War. Potsdam played an important role in shaping the post-war world. Stalin, Truman, and Churchill met here to determine how to deal with a defeated Germany, and the city's Glienicke Bridge became known as the “Bridge of Spies” during the Cold War, as the superpowers used its midpoint as a place to exchange captured agents. After dinner at a local restaurant, return to Berlin.

DAY 5 Berlin


MEALS: B
OVERNIGHT: Andel's Hotel Berlin or similar

Explore Berlin at your own pace today.

Perhaps you’ll explore Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site conveniently located near the city center. Or maybe you’d like to explore Schloss Charlottenburg, the largest remaining palace in the city. Lunch and dinner are on your own today.

DAY 6 Berlin • Return to U.S.


MEALS: B

After an early breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home.




Post-trip: Highlights of Poland: Warsaw & Krakow

Immerse yourself among the highlights of Poland, and discover all that Warsaw and Krakow have to offer. Explore the history and charm of Warsaw’s Old Town on an included city tour, discover Krakow’s rich architecture and culture with your expert Program Director at your side, and with your fellow travelers, pay a memorable—and moving—visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Auschwitz.

It's Included: Accommodations for 3 nights in Krakow and 2 nights in Warsaw 7 meals: Daily breakfasts and 2 lunches Included tours: Krakow • Auschwitz • Czestochowa • Warsaw Dedicated services of a local Program Director Gratuities for local guides and motorcoach drivers All transfers

DAY 1 Prague, Czech Republic • Krakow, Poland


MEALS: L
OVERNIGHT: Park Inn Krakow or similar

After breakfast, transfer by motorcoach to Krakow, enjoying an included lunch en route. Upon arrival, check in to your hotel and then explore the area with your Program Director.

DAY 2 Krakow • Optional Wieliczka Salt Mines tour


MEALS: B
OVERNIGHT: Park Inn Krakow or similar

Krakow is a showcase of seven centuries of architecture, as you’ll see during an included tour that spotlights the Wawel Royal Castle Hill, site of the cathedral where the former Cardinal Wojtyla (the late Pope John Paul II) once preached. Enjoy lunch on your own, followed by time at leisure.

Or join this afternoon’s optional tour, which descends 250 feet underground to visit the eleventh-century Wieliczka Salt Mines, a UNESCO World Heritage Site filled with sculptures and chandeliers carved from salt.

DAY 3 Krakow • Auschwitz


MEALS: B
OVERNIGHT: Park Inn Krakow or similar

Today's tour may be an emotional one, as you visit Oswiecim, better known to Americans by its German name of Auschwitz. This is the location of the State Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau, set on the site of the largest of the World War II concentration camps as a memorial to the millions of Jews, Gypsies, and “enemies” of the Nazi regime who were killed here. Grand Circle Foundation has donated to assist in the expansion of this educational center.

Enjoy lunch on your own this afternoon. Later, back in Krakow, enjoy time at leisure to unwind or explore more of the city before dinner on your own.

DAY 4 Krakow • Warsaw • Optional Chopin Piano Recital with Dinner


MEALS: B L
OVERNIGHT: Sheraton Warsaw Hotel or similar

You’ll ride to Warsaw via Czestochowa, stopping for an included tour of the 14th-century Jasna Gora Monastery, home of the famous Black Madonna shrine. You’ll also enjoy an included lunch before continuing toward Warsaw. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure in Warsaw, or take in an optional piano recital, featuring the works of the famous Polish composer Frederic Chopin, followed by dinner.

DAY 5 Warsaw


MEALS: B
OVERNIGHT: Sheraton Warsaw Hotel or similar

Explore the capital of Poland on today’s included city tour. Visit the reconstructed Old Town and the Warsaw Ghetto Memorial in the Muranow quarter. After lunch on your own, enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

DAY 6 Warsaw • Return to U.S.


MEALS: B

After breakfast, you’ll transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Accommodations

Pricing Information

View Specials & Promotions
Arrival DateSingleSharedDouble
Jun 28, 2017 $4,040 n/a $3,445
Air from JFK $1,400
Post-trip: Warsaw & Krakow $995
Post-trip: Dresden & Berlin $895
For further information call (866) IM GUTSY (464 8879) or
email reservations@gutsywomentravel.com.
24/7 booking capability is available via this via the "Request to Book" button listed above.

Be sure to mention booking code G7-25972 to receive all the Gutsy benefits!

Savings have been reflected in pricing noted online & subject to availabilty, so book soon!

Pricing is based on lowest priced cabin category, is subject to change as this price is a lead in price that is subject to availability. Upgrade opportunities are available and will be added to inquiry cabin selection request shortly. Please call (866) 464 8879 to discuss single supplement discounts available to GWT customers.

For pricing on cabin upgrades please speak to our river cruise specialist at time of booking.

In order to qualify for the GWT Past Traveler Discount of 5% on the land portion of the trip, you must advise the reservation specialist at time of depositing on your 2017 trip which GWT trip you traveled on (date/name of departure and year) over the past 5 years.

Please note this departure is not exclusive to women but will be comprised of Gutsy Women Travel participants co-sharing the overall trip capacity with members of GCCL resulting in a larger group size compared to the traditional Gutsy Women Travel trips designed exclusively for women.

Single Room - one person, traveling solo in single accommodation
Double Room - two people, traveling together in same accommodation

Air travel arrangements for Gutsy Women's trip participants are made independently as most women are traveling from various gateway cities within or outside North America. Our river cruise specialist can assist you in securing the best airfare routing available as well as travel protection.

For further information and reservations call (866) IM GUTSY (464 8879) or
email reservations@gutsywomentravel.com.
For online 24/7 booking capability is available via this website.

Please note: Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. All prices are subject to change. Departure dates and prices shown may be updated several times daily, and apply to new bookings only.