Frequently Asked Questions
Vanishing Texas Cruises has been in business since 1982 and been providing residents and visitors of the Texas Hill Country an incredible hospitality experience on beautiful Lake Buchanan. We have built our reputation by the continuous intention of exceeding customer expectations and tailoring our service to reach the wide-ranging needs of our diverse customer base.
The Vanishing Texas Cruise experience can take place on either of our vessels, The Texas Eagle II or the Hook’em (our fishing and specialty cruise boat). Both boats provide the same products and services, while offering different features on the boats themselves. The following address our most commonly asked questions:
1) Are the boats safe?
2) What is the difference between a public and private booking?
3) How do you book a cruise?
4) What is your cancellation policy?
5) What is your weather policy?
6) When should we book your cruise?
7) Where do I book the boats?
8) What beverage arrangements can be made?
9) What is your smoking policy?
10) Where do we board the boat?
11) If we bring our own food, do we need to provide plates, cutlery and condiments?
12) Are gratuities included in the price?
13) What is the "Captain's Box Lunch"?
14) How do I get a "Captain's Box Lunch"?
1) Are the boats safe? Absolutely. The ship safety division of Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD) approves both boats. This means they had to meet stringent requirements in the design and construction of the vessels. They are subject to ongoing inspections by TPWD officials. They must be crewed by qualified personnel who have been certified as Captains or crew members. As well, they must maintain or exceed standards of safety equipment and fire fighting equipment required by TPWD and the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA). These boats are approved as passenger vessels and sport a sticker for the public to sight, which ensures that it complies with all regulation set forth by TPWD. Whenever you are inquiring about the safety of a vessel carrying passengers, this is the only way to ensure that they are in compliance. Before the boats leave the dock, the crew will conduct a safety briefing which outlines the safety features of the vessel, what to do in case of an emergency, an introduction of the crew and their qualifications as well as an outline of the course and activities planned for the voyage. Plus, the crew are always intermingling with customers and always have the opportunity to share information about the lake, the vessels, the community, history, wild life, even real estate prices which are all common inquiries from our guests.
2) What is the difference between a public and private booking? When booking the boat privately, the group or individual pays a flat rate for the boat and it is up to them how many guests that they bring. If you have a group of 20 or more, it is often the best way to go. When it’s a private booking, you choose the boat, the time of departure, the music, the food and any program you may want to incorporate into your cruise. Some groups book the boat privately for a smaller number of people as they must enjoy the exclusivity of a private booking and want to keep the experience as theirs alone. If they would like a meal catered, there is an individual charge according to which meal is chosen. If they’d like to pot luck or provide their own snacks, there is a $100 portage fee charge for this.
A public booking runs according to a set schedule and availability. Prices listed for public cruises are all inclusive prices. Remaining seats on public cruises will be filled with other passengers. If the cruise is a meal cruise, everyone on board will be having a meal. If the cruise is not a meal cruise, guests are welcome to bring their own snacks or picnic to enjoy on board.
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3) How do you book a cruise? In order to secure a booking, please contact our call center to reserve your date/space/time. For a private cruise, a deposit of 1/3rd of the boat rental must be made in order to secure your date and time as well as a completed contract. The remainder is due 10 days before your departure date.
For all public cruises we require full payment in advance to secure your cruise space. We require a credit card number, including VC and billing zip code.
4) What is your cancellation policy? Cost of items reserved are charged to your card on the day you made your reservation. You may cancel your reservation less $5 fee per ticket if cancellation is made on or before 12:00 NOON THE DAY BEFORE YOUR CRUISE.
No refunds for any changes or cancellations after 12:00 noon the day before your cruise.
Private charters may cancel 30 days prior to their scheduled tour, 50% of the deposit will be accessed. For cancelation of private charters 29 or less days prior to the scheduled tour 100% of the deposit will be accessed as the cancellation fee.
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5) What is your weather policy? We typically cruise rain or shine. It can be a wonderful experience to be out on the lake regardless of the weather and as anyone from Texas knows, there is no way to accurately predict if the weather will change. We do reserve the right to cancel if lake wind advisories are issued by the national weather service. Also, impending lightening storms may cause a delay or cancellation of a cruise. Since we live in Texas, we can experience quick weather changes. If we feel conditions will be safe, we will still run the cruise and fees will be assessed if the customer cancels. We will call all passengers at least one (1) hour ahead of cruise time to cancel if there are weather concerns. No fees will be assessed when WE cancel a trip. We do NOT pay transportation costs to/from our cruise location. Feel free to check out this weather link for up to date weather reports! www.weather.com
If you have concerns about the weather please call us at any of the following numbers: 512-756-6986 (local call center) or 512-756-6626 (dock location). If wind may be an issue, we generally know that morning or sometimes the day before. When you make your booking, please provide contact information where you can be reached within 48 hours of your booking so we are able to notify you we do a weather watch.
6) When should we book? If you are interested in a weekend or specific date, it is wise to book at least 10-14 days in advance. If you would like to have a date held, we will hold a date for you on a tentative basis for 24 hours. If you are a fair weather sailor and want to wait to see what the weather will be like, you can always take a chance and wait until very close to your date. It is unusual that you can get on a dinner cruise within a day or two, but it is sometimes possible. Just give us a call.
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7) Where do I book the boats? Most bookings are handled by phone. Information can be picked up, or contracts dropped off at our call center located at Longhorn Cavern State Park 6211 Park Road 4 S., Burnet, TX 78611. Is is best to call first to find out availability and organize your details. Our phone number is 800-4-RIVER-4 or 512-756-6986.
8) What beverage arrangements can be made? We provide tea and water on our cruises. If you prefer any other beverage type, you are welcome to bring your own aboard in a small carry on cooler.
9) What is your smoking policy? We allow smoking on the upper back decks.
10) Where do we board the boat? The Vanishing Texas River Cruise is located at 443 Waterway Lane, Burnet, TX 78611. From the town of Burnet at the intersection of Highways 281 and 29, drive west on Highway 29 for 3 miles to FM 2341 Turn right (north) and go 14 miles to Ed Low Drive (you can follow billboard directions from here.)
Turn left on Ed Low Drive for about 1/4 mile. You will be at top of hill and road will Y - go left (on Waterway Lane) down the hill. Stay on paved
road to cruise parking lot. See you in the store to pick-up your tickets.
11) If we bring our own food, do we need to provide plates, cutlery and condiments? Yes. If you bring your own picnic, you’re on your own. Our staff will be happy to provide you with whatever assistance they can, but the food and accompanying materials are up to you.
12) Are gratuities included in the price? No. There are no gratuities added to your public ticket prices. Our staff work hard to make your experience a great one and gratuities are gratefully accepted.
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13) What is the "Captain's Box Lunch"? The Captain's Box Lunch is a ham and cheese on croissant, fruit salad, chips, iced tea and water.
14) How do I get a "Captain's Box Lunch"? When you reserve your cruise ticket, you must reserve your Captain's Box Lunch then or at least 24 hours prior to the cruise departure.
We look forward to seeing you aboard! Reservations may be made by calling our office at 800-4-RIVER-4 or 512-756-6986.