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Updated on March 21, 2013
European Focus Private Tours (EFPT) is a division of European Focus, Inc. owned and operated by James and Jenean Derheim, owner and co-owner of European Focus, Inc., with our USA office at 4152 Independence Court, Suite C-1, Sarasota, FL 34234. EFPT reserves the right to decline tours to people who do not meet the established private tour criteria. European Focus Private Tours primary guides James and Jenean Derheim spend from six to eight months per year living and working in Europe for our clients. This answers the Number One question most of our potential clients have, which is “So I have to pay for your airfare to and from Europe too?” The answer is “No, we take care of that as part of our normal costs of doing business.” We lead between 10 and 15 tours between late March and early November, staying at our apartment in Germany between tours. Airfare is not part of the equation when we quote the cost of a tour for you.
All travelers must have health insurance that covers them in Europe. We suggest that you check with your personal physician regarding your intention to pursue international travel. We recommend that you do this not more than 60 and not less than 30 days prior to beginning your tour. Check with your insurance company prior to making your booking (most policies include foreign travel). Copies of insurance documents or a letter from your agent proving that you have insurance that covers hospitalization in the country that we are traveling in should be brought to Europe. Trip cancellation or interruption insurance is mandatory, in case you become ill and have to return to America during your tour. Trip cancellation insurance can be purchased through European Focus, Inc. which is an authorized and licensed agent of ‘Travel Guard.”
Special diet needs must be made clear before you sign your contract so that we can determine if we and our suppliers can meet those needs.
We can take small children, but parents need to know that booster seats from America are not acceptable in the EU due to their different laws. Booster seats would need to be rented by the parent(s) for the duration of the trip for all children under the age of six or who are shorter than four foot, five inches.
President of European Focus, Inc. James Derheim and tour operators Jenean Derheim and their subcontractor Jeffrey Gabardi are not responsible for any injury due to your personal neglect, accident or natural disasters not the fault of James Derheim or any others associated with European Focus, Inc. during your tour. This tour constitutes a private arrangement between the tour goer and James and Jenean Derheim and all others associated with European Focus, Inc. We are happy to provide a contract and liability waiver prepared by our company’s attorney to interested parties in advance of you starting the planning process with us.
Please be realistic when selecting the budget level per person for your custom-designed trip. Due to the highly personal and exclusive nature of our trips, European Focus Private Tours are more expensive than bus tours due to the luxury of having a private guide, private vehicle, upscale lodging, choice of food and personal service. (Applicable to those choosing our top-level VIP service) Our clients are less concerned with cost and more concerned with quality. If you submit an application with a budget of $5,500 per person for a 21-day “Grand Tour” for two people your application will likely not be given serious attention. Costs are high in Europe and hiring a private tour service does not make those costs go down. The dollar has lost half of its buying power since the Euro was introduced in 2002. Fuel prices are very high, with a gallon of fuel in the Netherlands for example costing just over $9. An “average” hotel room for two in Paris? More than $450 per night.
If you request an all city tour (Prague, Vienna, Paris for example or a trip that is mainly concentrated on large cities) you can expect to pay more due to the very high costs of lodging and transportation in those cities. City tours are also a lot of work for your guide. Our specialty and our first love are the smaller towns and smaller cities where the pace of life is slower and the experience more authentic.
Mainly due to the weak dollar, those who wish to enjoy our top-level VIP service should budget around $27,000 – $32,000 for two people on a 14-day trip in central Europe, depending on the level of hotel and transportation you desire. Costs do go down some when you add more people to your group. We never mix and match strangers on our tours, so create a group of close friends or family members.
Prices are provided in the Euro for tours conducted in mainland Europe and in the pound for tours conducted in England and Ireland. You have the convenience of paying in US Dollars, based on the exchange rate in effect on the dates when your payments are due. We provide guidance along the way.
NEW: We offer our new clients an ala carte service whereby the client(s) pay for their own hotel, their own food and extra incidentals such as sightseeing that is not on our trip plan, inter-European travel such as train, ferry, airplane, etc. For more information on this new option, contact us today and we will provide you with options and more information.
Always ask via your Tour Application for a no-obligation price estimate for your Trip of a Lifetime. We are happy to provide this and we never add you to a mailing list.
How does the process work? From the time of your first contact with our company and the receipt of your tour application, you can expect a response from us within 48 hours followed soon after by a ‘First Draft’ tour itinerary for your review. We usually set a timeline at that point of seven days after ‘First Draft’ for a ‘Final Draft’ to be accepted. This system works to ensure that you are receiving our full attention during the crafting of your personalized trip. Once the Final Draft has been accepted, and once you have had a chance to (if you wish, we invite you!) contact some of our references or to check us out in other ways, then we issue you a contract and a request for a deposit to hold the dates chosen for your trip and to guarantee our services.
A deposit of at least 1000 Euro (about $1,350 depending on exchange rates) per person holds your dates. The deposit can be higher depending on the timing of your tour and the size of your group. This deposit is usually paid at the time that a contract is returned, which normally takes place within ten days of your submission of your Tour Application. You are not obligated to anything just for submitting a tour application. However, within one week after that application is received, you will have had time to look at our “First Draft” of your tour itinerary. A decision would be expected within a maximum period of ten days after this “First Draft” is submitted. If no decision is reached within that period then we need to move on to other clients who have expressed interest in our services. If you have travel plans, a special event such as a wedding or anniversary or other circumstance which prevents you from working with us within the ten day period please let us know so that we can delay the process accordingly.
Full payment for your tour is due no less than 15 days prior to your departure, with a 1/3 down payment for the total cost of the tour due about 90 days before the start of your tour.
NEW Starting with our 2012 tour season: Regarding dinners, we usually do not eat dinner with our guests/clients except on the first and last night of a trip although we will make exceptions on a case by case basis for special VIP clients and in certain situations. Therefore, the cost of dinners for an average trip are left up to the client and are not part of your final tour price.
Tour slots are booked on a first come, first served basis. Space will be held as a courtesy for a maximum of 10 days after a “First Draft” of a tour itinerary is submitted to you. You have first choice on the dates that are open, or the dates that you select for your tour. After 11 days, if you have not made a deposit, those dates go back into our available section for others to take.
Cancellations with a full refund of your deposit due to ill health or other reasons will be accepted only up to 15 days after you book your tour. A tour is considered booked on the day your signed contract and liability waiver arrives in our office. This is why trip cancellation and interruption insurance is so strongly encouraged, to protect you and your investment in case the worst happens.
Our Company Vehicle
2012 Volkswagen Multivan “Highline” edition seating five passengers plus driver.