These conditions are applicable to Polar trips.
Booked a Discovery & Wildlife, Cycling, Walking or Family vacation? Please refer to our general booking conditions.
Please read carefully:
1. Your trip contract
The contract is between the Company and you (“Explore Worldwide” and “you” in these conditions), being any person travelling or intending to travel on a trip operated by us including any person who is added or substituted after booking. We both agree that English law (and no other) will apply to your contract and to any dispute, claim or other matter of any description which arises between us (except as set out below). We both also agree that any dispute, claim or other matter of any description (and whether or not involving any personal injury) which arises between us must be dealt with by the Courts of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland only. No employee of the Company other than a director has authority to vary or omit any of these terms. No promise of a discount or refund will be binding on us unless confirmed by us in writing.
2. To secure your booking
(Please refer to Clause 17 “Late Bookings”) To secure a booking, we or our authorised travel agent must receive payment of the minimum deposit of £500 - 30% of the total trip price, per person, depending on the trip/vessel (or full payment if booking within 130 days of the start of your trip or at an earlier stage for some trips). A higher deposit will be payable if any supplier(s) requires additional payment at the time of booking / prior to balance due date. On occasions, full payment for a service such as your flights may be required at the time of booking. The applicable deposit will be confirmed at the time of booking. All clients (including anyone who is added or substituted at a later date), whether booking in person, by telephone, via our website, by e-mail or facsimile or by any other means, will be deemed to have agreed to the following four conditions:
a) they have read and accepted our Booking Conditions and information pages contained in our brochure and/or on our website.
b) they appreciate and accept the risks involved in adventure travel.
c) they do not suffer from any pre-existing medical condition or disability which may prevent them from actively participating in the trip. If any person suffers from any medical condition or disability which will or may affect their trip arrangements, please contact us before making your booking to discuss your requirements.
3. Payment for your trip
The balance of all monies due must be received by us or our authorised travel agent not later than 130 days before the start of your trip. For certain trips, full payment must be received sooner. We will tell you at the time of booking when this is the case. If you don’t pay your balance by the due date, we reserve the right to treat your booking as cancelled and cancellation charges will apply. Any monies paid by you to an authorised travel agent for trips operated by us are held by the agent on our behalf. Deposit and balance payments must be made in the same currency and sufficient payment should be sent to ensure the company receives the total invoiced price as guaranteed. You can pay by cheque, credit or debit card. We accept Visa and Mastercard.
4. If you change or transfer your Booking
After a contract has come into existence any requests to change any aspect of your holiday itinerary must be made in writing. The Company will make every effort to assist you but cannot guarantee that it will be able to meet such requests. An administration fee of $50 per booking plus any additional costs or charges incurred by us or incurred or imposed by any of our suppliers will be charged if a confirmed booking is changed, up to balance due date. If we are able to accommodate a request to change to a different holiday or departure date, the price payable will be that applicable to the alternative holiday. Thereafter all changes will be treated as cancellations and subject to the charges below.
Transfer of Booking:
If you or any member of your party is prevented from travelling, in circumstances which we consider reasonable, that person(s) may transfer their place to someone else, subject to the following conditions:
- that person is introduced by you and satisfies all the conditions applicable to the holiday;
- we are notified not less than 7 days before departure;
- you pay any outstanding balance payment, an amendment fee of $100 per person transferring, as well as any additional fees, charges or other costs arising from the transfer. As most airlines do not permit name changes after tickets have been issued for any reason, these charges are likely to be the full cost of the flight / an alternative flight; and
- the transferee agrees to these booking conditions and all other terms of the contract between us.
You and the transferee remain jointly and severally liable for payment of all sums. If you are unable to find a replacement, cancellation charges as set out in clause 5 will apply in order to cover our estimated costs. Otherwise, no refunds will be given for passengers not travelling or for unused services.
5. If you cancel your booking
Should you wish to cancel, cancellation charges will be imposed. These are calculated from the day written or verbal notification is received by us or our authorised travel agent as a percentage of the total trip price per person cancelling, excluding any amendment charges. The cancellation charges shown below are those which will apply to most trips. However, some suppliers have conditions which require the payment of higher or different charges (including the imposition of 100% cancellation charges well in advance of the normal balance due date) which you will have to pay in the event of cancellation. You will be advised at the time of booking if this is the case for your trip.
a) 90 and more days before trip start date – loss of deposit
b) Less than 89 days before trip start date – 100%
Amendment charges are not refundable if you cancel your booking. We strongly recommend that comprehensive travel insurance is taken out which includes cover against cancellation charges. Depending on the reason for the cancellation, you may be able to reclaim the cancellation charges (less any applicable excess) under the terms of your insurance policy. In the event of the cancellation of a booking where you are liable to pay to us cancellation charges in excess of the amount already paid to us at the time of cancellation, you cannot transfer or add these charges to another booking or use any amounts paid to us in relation to the cancelled booking by way of part payment for another booking. Part cancellation of a booking may result in additional costs being payable by the remaining members of your party. Please also see clause 4.
6. If you have a complaint
If you have a complaint about any of your trip arrangements, you must tell both the relevant supplier and our representative at the time. We will provide you with a 24 hour emergency duty telephone number to enable you to contact us directly if your complaint cannot be resolved in country by our representative. It is only if we and the supplier know about problems that there will be the opportunity to put things right. If you don’t complain on the spot this may affect your ability to claim compensation. If your complaint cannot be resolved on the spot you should notify us in writing within 28 days of the end of your trip.
7. Passports, visas and vaccinations
You are responsible for arranging, and must have, a valid, acceptable passport and any visas and vaccination certificates required for your entire journey and trip. Any information we give about these matters or related items (climate, clothing, baggage, personal gear etc) is given in good faith but without responsibility on our part. We regret we cannot accept any liability if you are refused entry onto any transport or into any country due to failure on your part to carry all required documentation. If your failure to have any necessary travel or other documents results in fines, surcharges or other financial penalty being imposed on us, you will be responsible for reimbursing us accordingly.
8. Travel and cancellation insurance
You must have travel insurance when you travel with us. You and your belongings are at all times solely at your own risk. You are wholly responsible for arranging your own insurance. You must ensure that you have personal travel insurance with protection for the full duration of the trip in respect of at least medical expenses, injury, death, repatriation, cancellation and curtailment, with adequate and appropriate cover for at least US$100,000 emergency medical evacuation plus US$100,000 medical expenses. If you make your own arrangements you should ensure that there are no exclusion clauses limiting or excluding protection for the type of activities included in your trip. You must ensure that all travel insurance purchased meets your particular requirements and you should arrange supplementary insurance if need be.
9. IMPORTANT: LIABILITY INSURANCE
Limited insurance is held by the operator. The client acknowledges and accepts that there may be no policy covering the Company’s liability to its clients for death, injury, damage or loss occurring anywhere in the world. The client also specifically acknowledges that with respect to passenger accident liability cover this cover may be very limited or may not exist at all. The client acknowledges that the company has taken reasonable steps in safeguarding its liability. Although the Company does hold various insurances this booking condition states that the client must assume he/she is not covered by any Company insurance policy, including all liability insurance, for death, injury, damage or any other loss.
10. Trip participation and client responsibility
You agree to accept the authority and decisions of our employees, Explore Leaders and agents whilst on trip with us. If in the opinion of any such person(s) or any other person in a position of authority (such as, for example, an airline pilot or hotel manager), your health, level of fitness or conduct at any time before or during a trip is endangering or appears likely to endanger your health or wellbeing or any third party (including any other clients of the Company) or the safe, comfortable or happy progress of the trip, you may be excluded from all or part of the trip without refund or recompense. Where you are excluded, we will have no further responsibility towards you (including any return travel arrangements) and we will not meet any expenses or costs incurred as a result of the exclusion. In the case of ill health, we may make such arrangements we see fit and recover the costs thereof from you. If you commit an illegal act (including, for example, causing any damage) you may be excluded from the trip and we shall cease to have responsibility to/for you as above. No refund will be given for any unused services. When you book with us, you accept responsibility for any damage or loss caused by you or any member of your party. Full payment for any such damage or loss (reasonably estimated if not precisely known) must be made direct to the accommodation owner or manager or other supplier or to us as soon as possible. If the actual cost of the loss or damage exceeds the amount paid where estimated, you must pay the difference once known. If the actual cost is less than the amount paid, the difference will be refunded. You will also be responsible for meeting any claims subsequently made against us and all costs incurred by us (including our own and the other party’s full legal costs) as a result of your actions. You should ensure you have appropriate travel insurance to protect you if this situation arises.
All clients on Expedition travel must return a signed Medical Form to the Company. The Client acknowledges and understands the destinations visited on Expedition travel are remote, isolated and far removed from medical care facilities. Further, the client understands the honest completion of this form will assist all concerned in an emergency situation.
If you have any medical condition or disability which may affect your active participation in your tour or the tour arrangements of any other person or have any special requirements as a result of any medical condition or disability (including any which affect the booking process), please tell us before you confirm your booking so that we can assist you in considering the suitability of the proposed tour and/or making the booking. In any event, you must give us full details at the time of booking and whenever any change in the condition or disability occurs. You must also promptly advise us if any medical condition or disability which may affect your active participation in your tour or the tour arrangements of any other person develops after your booking has been confirmed.
11. If we cancel or change your trip
While we will do our best to operate all trips as advertised, we reserve the right to change and correct errors in any of the facilities, services or itineraries described in this brochure and/or on our website at any time before or after your booking is confirmed. Most changes are insignificant. Occasionally, we have to make a significant change. If a significant change has to be made, we will inform you as soon as reasonably possible, if there is time before departure. Please note, except for guaranteed departures, our trips require a minimum number of participants to enable us to operate them. If any trip does not have the minimum number of participants required to make it commercially viable, we are entitled to cancel it. We will notify you or your travel agent of cancellation for this reason not less than 6 weeks before the start of your trip. For guaranteed departures, we promise not to make any significant changes to the land only itinerary once the first booking has been made unless we are forced to do so by force majeure (see clause 12). However, if a trip, including a guaranteed departure, consists of a group size of 3 or less, we reserve the right to substitute your Explore Leader with one or more local representatives and we may utilise public transport and/ or taxis for the whole or part of your trip instead of the advertised trip vehicle. Where this is the case, we will tell you as soon as we are able. Any such change(s) will not be a significant change. This guarantee does not, however, apply to any international or domestic flights which may be subject to change or cancellation in accordance with these conditions. A significant change is a change made before departure which we can reasonably expect to have a major effect on your trip. Significant changes are likely to include the following changes when made before departure; a change of the outward or return international flight departure time to/from the UK (where we have booked your international flight) or of the duration of your trip (excluding international flights) of 12 or more hours, a change of UK departure airport (except between any London airport including Stansted and Luton) to one which is more inconvenient for you (where we have booked your international flight) and a major itinerary re-routing. Please note, a change of airline, any advertised mode of transport, named accommodation, flight time(s) for any flight other than any international flight to / from the UK or of the flight time(s) for the international flight to / from the UK we have booked this for you of less than12 hours are not significant changes unless otherwise expressly stated. If we have to make a significant change or cancel, we will tell you as soon as possible and if there is time to do so before departure, we will offer you the choice of:
i (for significant changes) accepting the changed arrangements; or
ii having a refund of all monies paid; or
iii accepting an offer of alternative travel arrangements of comparable or higher standard from us, if available (at no extra cost); or
iv if available, accepting an offer of alternative arrangements of a lower standard, with a refund of the price difference between the original arrangements and the alternative arrangements.
You must notify us of your choice within 7 days of our offer. If we do not hear from you within 7 days, we will contact you again to request notification of your choice. If you fail to respond again we will assume that you have chosen to accept the change or alternative booking arrangements. We regret we cannot meet any visa, vaccination or similar costs in the event of any change or cancellation by us. Similarly, as you are advised only to book fully flexible connecting transport and other arrangements (such as pre or post trip accommodation) which can be cancelled or changed without charge, we cannot pay any cancellation, amendment or other charges you may incur in relation to any arrangements which you have to change or cancel as a result of any change to your trip.
12. Force majeure
Except where otherwise expressly stated in these Booking Conditions we will not be liable or pay you compensation if our contractual obligations to you are affected by “unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances”, meaning any event beyond our control, the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken. Examples include warfare and acts of terrorism (and threat thereof), civil strife, significant risks to human health such as the outbreak of serious disease including any mutation or variation of, and the ongoing effects of, Covid-19 or SARs-COV2, or natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes or weather conditions which make it impossible to travel safely to the travel destination or remain at the travel destination, the act of any government or other national or local authority including port or river authorities, industrial dispute, lock closure, natural or nuclear disaster, fire, chemical or biological disaster, unavoidable technical problems with transport and all similar events outside our or the supplier(s) concerned’s control.
13. Our responsibility for your trip
Bookings are accepted on the understanding that clients appreciate and accept the possible risks inherent in adventure travel and that they undertake the trips, tours, treks or expeditions featured in our programme at their own volition. Due to political and cultural differences, as well as generally tougher physical conditions, travel to many areas of the world involves risks other than those we take in our daily lives. The Company and the trip operators it works with place extreme importance on the safety of clients. It is important, however, that clients realise that they are responsible for making themselves aware (through government travel advisories, government tourist offices and other sources of information) of the risks involved, and are responsible for making their decisions accordingly. No refund will be made for any unused services which are included in the price. The Company shall not be liable for any delays, deviations or omissions from any trip caused by circumstances beyond its reasonable control, nor for any direct or indirect consequences thereto. The Company shall not be liable to compensate clients for associated expenses incurred as a result of their booking.
The Company’s contractual obligations consist of using our reasonable skill and care in selecting the suppliers and other third parties who will provide or arrange the services which make up your trip. We will have no responsibility or liability for the actual trip services, for any other services or facilities provided or arranged by any supplier(s) or other third party, for the act(s) or omission(s) of any supplier or other third party or for any of their employees, agents, suppliers or subcontractors or any other person(s) in any way connected with the trip services. Please note it is your responsibility to show that reasonable skill and care has not been used if you wish to make a claim. The services which make up your trip are provided subject to the terms and conditions (which may include exclusions and limitations of liability) of the supplier or other third party concerned. The Company accepts no liability for any action or activity undertaken by the client arranged independently of the Company while on a trip. Without limitation, the Company will not be responsible for any injury, illness, death, loss (for example loss of enjoyment), damage, expense, cost or other sum or claim of any description whatsoever which results from any of the following:
- the act(s) and/or omission(s) of the client(s) affected or any member(s) of their party or the act(s) and/or omission(s) of a third party not connected with the provision of your trip and which were unforeseeable or unavoidable or force majeure (see clause 12 above). Regardless of any wording used by us on our website, in brochures, in any advertising material or elsewhere, we only promise to use reasonable skill and care in selecting the suppliers and other third parties who will provide or arrange the services which make up your trip as set out above and we do not have any greater or different liability to you. Without prejudice to clause 1, where any law other than English law is found to apply to your contract with Explore or to any claim you may make, the Company is entitled to rely on and to the benefit of all limitations and exclusions of liability available in accordance with the applicable law to the fullest extent permitted as if the same were written into these conditions and expressly formed part of the client’s contract with the Company. Please bear in mind that standards of, for example, safety, hygiene, and quality may vary throughout the destinations, services and transport your trip involves and may be lower than or different to those applicable in your home country. If the particular services which gave rise to the claim or complaint complied with the local laws and regulations applicable to those services at the time, the services will be treated as having been properly provided whether or not they complied with the laws and regulations of your home country. Clients are responsible at all times for their own personal possessions and for ensuring their security and safekeeping. The Company has no liability for any lost, damaged or stolen personal possessions and clients must ensure they have adequate and appropriate personal travel insurance to protect the same. For all claims which do not involve death or personal injury or personal possessions, if we are found liable to you on any basis, the maximum amount we will have to pay you is twice the price of the trip(excluding amendment charges) paid by or on behalf of the person(s) affected in total to Explore unless a lower limitation applies to your claim. This maximum amount will only be payable where everything has gone wrong and you have not received any benefit at all from your trip and you have been able to prove failure on our part to exercise reasonable skill and care in selecting the suppliers and other third parties responsible for your trip arrangements. We cannot accept any liability for any damage, loss, expense or other sum(s) of any description which on the basis of the information given to us by you concerning your booking prior to our accepting it, we could not have foreseen you would suffer or incur if we breached our contract with you. Where any claim or part of a claim (including those involving death or personal injury) concerns or is based on any travel arrangements (including the process of getting on and/or off the transport concerned) provided by any air, sea, rail or road carrier or any stay in a hotel, the maximum amount of compensation we will have to pay you if we are found liable to you on any basis will be limited. The most we will have to pay you for that claim or that part of a claim if we are found liable to you on any basis is the most the carrier or hotelier concerned would have to pay under the international convention or regulation which applies to the travel arrangements or hotel stay in question were that claim made against it (for example, the Warsaw Convention 1929 as amended or unamended and the Montreal Convention 1999 for international travel by air and/or for airlines within operating licence granted by an EU country, the EC Regulation on Air Carrier Liability N0889/2002 for national and international travel by air, the Athens Convention 1974 for international travel by sea and the Beme Convention Concerning International Carriage by Rail 1961 (COTIF) as amended for international travel by rail). Please note: where a carrier or hotelier would not be obliged to make any payment to you under the applicable international convention or regulation in respect of a claim or part of a claim, we similarly are not obliged to make a payment to you for that claim or part of the claim. When making any payment, we are entitled to deduct any money which you have received or are entitled to receive from the carrier or hotelier for the complaint or claim in question. Copies of the applicable international conventions and regulations are available from us on request.
14. Prompt Assistance
If, whilst you are on holiday, you find yourself in difficulty for any reason, we will offer you such prompt assistance as is appropriate in the circumstances. In particular, we will provide you with appropriate information on health services, local authorities and consular assistance, and assistance with distance communications and finding alternative travel arrangements. Where you require assistance which is not owing to any failure by us, our employees or sub-contractors, we will not be liable for the costs of any alternative travel arrangements or other such assistance you require. Any supplier, airline or other transport supplier may however pay for or provide refreshments and/or appropriate accommodation and you should make a claim directly to them. Subject to the other terms of these Booking Conditions, we will not be liable for any costs, fees or charges you incur in the above circumstances, if you fail to obtain our prior authorisation before making your own travel arrangements. Furthermore, we reserve the right to charge you a fee for our assistance in the event that the difficulty is caused intentionally by you or a member of your party, or otherwise through your or your party’s negligence.
15. Optional excursions and activities
We and our Explore Leaders may provide you with information (before departure and/or when you are on holiday) about optional activities and excursions which do not form part of your pre-booked holiday arrangements and which are available in the area you are visiting. We have no involvement in any such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. They are provided by local operators or other providers who are entirely independent of us and they may or may not have their own public liability insurance.
They may require a waiver form to be signed. Optional excursions and activities do not form any part of your contract with us even where we suggest particular operators / providers and / or assist you in booking such activities or excursions in any way. Where an Explore Leader collects payment for or otherwise assists in booking any such activity or excursion for you, we and the Explore Leader act solely as booking agent for the local operator / provider of the activity or excursion with whom you will have a contract. The local operator /provider’s terms and conditions will apply. We cannot accept any liability on any basis in relation to such activities or excursions and the acceptance of liability contained in clause 13(1) of our booking conditions will not apply to them. We do not, however, exclude liability for the negligence of ourselves or our employees resulting in your death or personal injury. We do not guarantee that any optional activity or excursion mentioned in our brochure, on our website or elsewhere will be available to book during your holiday and / or will operate as advertised as these services do not form part of our contract and are not under our control. They may not be available for various reasons. Any prices given in advance are indicative only. We will not be liable if you cannot, for whatever reason, book any such activity or excursion or if the activity or excursion does not operate as advertised.
The timings of air, sea, road or rail departures are estimates only. Subject to clause 11 “If we Change or cancel your Trip”, we cannot accept any liability for any change, cancellation or delay in your transportation from or to the UK or during your trip whether any change, cancellation or delay is caused by adverse weather conditions, rescheduling by a transport supplier, airline or airport authority, action by air traffic controllers, mechanical breakdown, industrial action or any other event or circumstance outside our control. Where long flight delays result in lost trip time, no refunds are given by hotels or suppliers. Similarly, except where the Denied Boarding Regulations apply, airlines do not offer compensation for flight delays. It is in recognition of the above that our travel insurance policy offers compensation for flight delays over 12 hours (not applicable to flights within a trip itinerary). However, at their discretion your carrier will endeavour to reduce the inconvenience of any delay by providing meals and accommodation, as appropriate for the time of day or night (dependent on local availability), if you are delayed for more than 12 hours. If you incur payments for any services in the event of a delay, we will not accept responsibility for payment unless we have given our prior consent. If your flight is cancelled or delayed, your flight ticket is downgraded or boarding is denied by your airline, depending on the circumstance, the airline may be required to pay you compensation, refund the cost of your flight and/or provide you with accommodation and/or refreshments under the EC Regulations No 261/2004 – the Denied Boarding Regulations 2004 where applicable you must pursue the airline directly for the compensation or other payments due to you. All sums you receive or are entitled to receive from the airline concerned by virtue of these Regulations represent the full amount of your entitlement to compensation or any other payment arising from such cancellation, delay, downgrading or denied boarding. This includes any disappointment, distress, inconvenience or effect on any other arrangements.
The fact a delay may entitle you to cancel your flight does not automatically entitle you to cancel any other arrangements even where those arrangements have been made in conjunction with your flight. We have no liability to make any payment to you in relation to the Denied Boarding Regulations or in respect of any flight cancellation or delay, downgrading of any flight ticket or denial of any boarding as the full amount of your entitlement to any compensation or other payment (as dealt with above) is covered by the airline’s obligations under the Denied Boarding Regulations. If for any reason, we make any payment to you or a third party which the airline is responsible for in accordance with the Denied Boarding Regulations, you must, when requested, assign to us the rights you have or had to claim the payment in question from the airline. If your airline does not comply with these rules, you should complain to the CAA at caa.co.uk.
17. Late bookings
We emphasise the importance of making a booking at the earliest opportunity, because of the small group nature of our trips. For bookings received within 6 weeks of your trip start date (or at an earlier stage for certain trips), the contract between the Company and the client comes into existence as soon as full payment has been received by us or our authorised travel agent.
18. Building and Development
Many resorts and hotel are continuing to develop. We will endeavour to inform you of any building work of which we are aware in advance of your holiday, which we consider may have a material effect on your contracted holiday services. However, it may be difficult to foresee the extent and impact such activity will or may have at any particular time.
19. Brochure / Website / Advertising material accuracy
The information contained in our brochure, on our website and in our other advertising material is believed correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of printing or publication. However, errors may occasionally occur and information may subsequently change. You must therefore ensure you check all details of your chosen trip (including the price) with us or your travel agent at the time of booking.
CALIFORNIA SELLER OF TRAVEL PROGRAM
Please be advised that California has established a Travel Consumer Restitution Fund. It does not cover non-California residents and, even in the case of California residents, does not cover any foreign travel where the foreign ‘providers of transportation or travel services’ are not in compliance with the Seller of Travel Law (compliances being defined as: registered as a Seller of Travel Consumer Restitution Fund). Thus none of the trips in this brochure qualify and by law you are required to be advised that you would not be eligible to make any claim from that fund in the unlikely event of any default by the Company or any of our suppliers.
Explore Worldwide Ltd
California Seller of Travel Registration #2102544-40.
Registration as a Seller of Travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.
EXPRESS WAIVER OF ANY RIGHT TO SEEK CONSEQUENTIAL, PUNITIVE OR EXPEMPLARY DAMAGES
Regardless of the situation or circumstance giving rise to claim, you waive any right to seek consequential, punitive or exemplary damages against the Company, its owners, officers, directors, agents, contractors, subcontractors and employees, for any reason whatsoever.
Issue date: January 2020
Explore Worldwide Ltd.
Registered Office: Nelson House,
55 Victoria Road, Farnborough,
Hampshire, GU14 7PA, UK.
VAT No. 358 7552 13.