USA The following conditions form the basis of your contract.
1) MAKING A BOOKING AND PAYING YOUR DEPOSIT AND FINAL BALANCE
A deposit of 10% per person must be paid on completion of the booking form. In order to help spread the payments we require a further 10% payment 150 days prior to your expedition start date and a further interim payment of 20% by 31 March in the same year as your expedition. If you are booking within 8 weeks of your intended departure date then we require full payment. Should we be unable to process your booking for any reason then your deposit will be returned to you. We must have the full balance payment at least 8 weeks (56 days) prior to departure.
There is an early-payment discount available if you pay either 50% or more of the total sum owed, or 100% of the total sum owed, prior to the 150 day payment date. The discounts available are as follows:-
For 2 week expeditions, £25 discount for greater than 50% payment or £50 discount for 100% payment
For 4 week expeditions, £40 discount for greater than 50% payment or £80 discount for 100% payment
For 6 week expeditions, £60 discount for greater than 50% payment or £120 discount for 100% payment
For 8 week expeditions, £75 discount for greater than 50% payment or £150 discount for 100% payment
All correspondence will be sent to you at either of the addresses you give on your completed Booking Form, unless you clearly indicate otherwise. In the event of the alteration or cancellation of a confirmed booking by you, conditions in section 3 will apply. Please note that the person completing the Booking Form undertakes full payment of all the expedition components booked therefore should have the full consent of the person named on the Booking Form. Payment of your deposit confirms you comply with these booking conditions.
2) THE PRICE OF YOUR EXPEDITION AND SURCHARGES
Whilst we reserve the right to amend prices upwards or downwards at any time, it is our policy to offer expeditions at a clear and firm price. However, the factors which may force us to surcharge you are government action, changes to the cost of currency or fuel – unless full payment is made six months or more prior to your departure date.
3) IF YOU NEED TO CANCEL YOUR BOOKING
Should you have to cancel your booking we ask that you advise the UK office promptly in writing or by email. The cancellation will take effect from the day the written confirmation is received. Cancellation will incur a £50 handling charge. Additional cancellation charges, which become effective more than 30 days after the date of booking*, are as follows:
|More than 185 days before departure||No further cancellation charges|
|185 days before expedition start date to 150 days before expedition start date||Loss of 10% of total expedition costs|
|149 days before expedition start date to 70 days before expedition start date||20% of your total expedition costs|
|69 days before expedition start date to 42 days before expedition start date||40% of your total expedition costs|
|Less than 42 days before the expedition start date||100% of your total expedition costs|
* this applies only to bookings taken before 1 March in the year of the expedition. Bookings taken after the 1 March in the year of expedition are subject to the cancellation charges as shown in the above table.
Note if you are doing a dissertation/thesis topic then you are able to cancel up to 15 April in the year of your expedition with no loss of deposit, if documentary evidence can be produced that your university will not permit you to undertake the dissertation or thesis topic chosen.
4) IF OPERATION WALLACEA CANCELS YOUR BOOKING
In the unlikely event of Operation Wallacea deeming travel to your particular destination unsafe for any reason, more than 3 months before departure, we will provide a suitable alternative. As a result we are unable to refund any monies, beyond the conditions outlined above. We undertake not to cancel any expedition closer than 3 months to the expedition start date unless in exceptional circumstances such as war, riots, civil strife, industrial action so severe that alternative transport and accommodation cannot be provided, terrorist activity, natural and nuclear disaster, fire, adverse weather conditions, technical problems with transport and similar unforeseeable circumstances where compensation payments cannot be made.
5) IF OPERATION WALLACEA CHANGES YOUR BOOKING
We undertake not to make any significant changes to your booking. However since this is a field research project, from time to time certain aspects will change between the planning stages and the project delivery. These can include (but are not limited to) details of the accommodation, survey methods, and transportation between sites. We will inform you of any significant changes and will provide a suitable alternative to the original project. Such changes will not constitute being offered a refund when a suitable alternative is made available.
6) IF YOU WANT TO TRANSFER YOUR BOOKING
If you want to transfer your booking to the following year or to another named person who does not currently hold a booking with Operation Wallacea then you need to obtain prior approval from the Opwall UK office. In the event that you make your decision to transfer after 1 January in the year of the expedition, then you need to pay an additional 10% to secure the transfer. If the decision is made before the 1 January in the year of the expedition then no further payments beyond the 10% deposit are required. No transfers are allowed after 1 April in the year of the original booked expedition. Only one transfer to a future year or of the named person per application is allowed and once that transfer is made then all monies paid would be forfeited in the event that the completer of the form wanted to cancel.
7) IF YOU WANT TO CHANGE YOUR BOOKING
If you decide to move on to another project or expedition, you can do this free of charge, capacity allowing, until 1 April of the year of your expedition. You will be asked to fill in a new booking form to confirm the change of project. If the project or expedition you want to move to is longer you will be invoiced for the difference in price. If it is shorter, your payment schedule will be adjusted to take the new total amount payable into account. If, following you confirming that you wish to change your booking, you should decide to cancel, cancellation charges will apply in line with your original booking rather than the new booking.
8) JURISDICTION AND LEGAL ASPECTS – Expedition Packages
The Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT) provides financial protection under the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 for Operation Wallacea, and in the event of their insolvency, protection is provided for the following:
- non-flight packages commencing in and returning to the UK;
- non-flight packages commencing and returning to a country other than the UK; and
- flight inclusive packages that commence outside of the UK and Republic of Ireland, which are sold to customers outside of the UK and Republic of Ireland.
1, 2 and 3 provides for a refund in the event you have not yet travelled. 1 and 3 provides for repatriation. Please note that bookings made outside the UK and Republic of Ireland are only protected by ABTOT when purchased directly with Operation Wallacea.
In the unlikely event that you require assistance whilst abroad due to our financial failure, please call our 24/7 helpline on 01702 811397 and advise you are a customer of an ABTOT protected travel company.
9) JURISDICTION AND LEGAL ASPECTS – Travel Packages
Flight inclusive packages for participants travelling from the UK are covered under the ATOL scheme, but ATOL protection does not apply to all services listed in the Operation Wallacea brochure. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to www.atol.org.uk/atolcertificate.
Operation Wallacea has insurance in place to provide medical and repatriation cover up to £1million for all participants on the expedition. This insurance does not cover other insurable costs such as cancellation and curtailment of your expedition due to your ill-health, flight and travel delays, loss of personal baggage or theft of possessions etc. It is a condition of your booking with Operation Wallacea that you take out travel insurance to cover these items.
11) WHAT DOES THE BOOKING WITH OPERATION WALLACEA NOT INCLUDE?
- Costs of flights and transport to and from the start and finish points of each expedition
- Accommodation and food costs before or after the expedition start and end dates
- Transfers between forest and marine sites in Madagascar and South Africa
- Additional insurance cover beyond the £1 million expedition medical and evacuation insurance cover provided by Opwall
- Costs of additional elective training (e.g. canopy access course, dive training beyond PADI Open Water)
- Dive equipment rental
- PIC cards and PADI training Manuals
- Local taxes
- Park or Reserve entrance fees
- Visa costs
- Vaccination or prophylactic medicine costs