TERMS & CONDITIONS NATURE CONNECTS
By booking any of Nature Connects’ trips/events you agree to the terms and conditions below. It is therefore important that you have read these terms carefully before booking. In addition, Nature Connects assumes that you have read the travel information on the website.
These terms and conditions form the basis of your agremeent with Nature Connects (‘the Company’, “we”, “us” and “our”), Chamber of Commerce registration number 63310996. Registered office: Nature Connects, Hondsrug 133, 3524 BW Utrecht, The Netherlands. By asking us to confirm your booking, we are entitled to assume that you have had the opportunity to read and have read these booking conditions and agree to them. Except where expressly stated, these conditions only apply to tour arrangements booked by the client with the Company and which the Company agrees to make, provide or perform (as applicable) as part of their contract with the client. All references in these conditions to “tour”, “trip”, “event”, “booking”, “contract” or “arrangements” mean such tour arrangements unless otherwise stated.
1. THE TOUR AGREEMENT
The agreement is between the Company and the client (“the client” and “you” in these conditions), being any person travelling or intending to travel on a tour operated by the Company including any person who is added or substituted after booking. We both agree that the Dutch 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 Dutch Court 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. SECURE A BOOKING
To secure a booking, the Company must receive payment of the minimum deposit of EUR200 of the total tour price, per person, (or full payment if booking within 90 days of the start of your tour or at an earlier stage for some tours). A higher deposit will be payable if any supplier(s) requires additional payment at the time of booking / prior to balance due date. 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, Meetup 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;
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 tour – if any person suffers from any medical condition or disability which will or may affect their tour arrangements, please contact us before making your booking as referred to in clause 12 below so that we can advise;
d) the person making the booking warrants that he/she is at least 18 years old and has full authority to enter into a contract on the basis of these conditions on behalf of all persons named on the booking and confirms that all such persons are fully aware of and accept these conditions.
A booking is accepted and becomes definite only from the date when the Company issues a confirmation invoice to the client who makes the booking or their authorised travel agent. It is at this point that a contract between the Company and the client comes into existence.
For bookings made via our website, any acknowledgement of your booking request we send to you in the meantime is not a confirmation of your booking. Before your booking is confirmed and a contract comes into force, the Company reserves the right to increase or decrease holiday prices. Please see “Tour Prices” section. The Company or their agents reserve the right to decline any booking at their discretion.
If you book via our website, we will communicate with you by e-mail. You must accordingly check your e-mails on a regular basis. We may also contact you by telephone and/or post if we cannot, for whatever reason, contact you by e-mail. Certain documents may need to be sent by post. References in these conditions to “send” and “in writing” or similar include communication by e-mail. You should contact us by e-mail if you need to do so for any of the reasons mentioned in these booking conditions (for example, to request an amendment). All e-mails should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. PAYMENT FOR THE TOUR
The balance of all monies due, including any surcharges applicable at that time, must be received by us not later than 60 days prior to the start of the tour. This will be shown on the confirmation invoice. Reminders are not sent. If we do not receive all payments due (including any surcharge where applicable) in full and on time, we are entitled to assume that you wish to cancel your booking. In this case, we will be entitled to keep all deposits paid or due at that date.
4. IF YOU CHANGE THE BOOKING
Should you wish to make any changes to your confirmed booking, you must notify us in writing as soon as possible. Whilst we will endeavour to assist, we cannot guarantee we will be able to meet any such requests. An administration fee of EUR75 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 or transferred to a different departure date or tour, up to 90 days prior to departure. Thereafter all changes will be treated as cancellations and subject to the charges below. Changes are subject to availability. For an administration fee of EUR75 per booking, you can request a credit voucher for the amount paid in respect of any cancelled booking. This must be redeemed within 3 months of issue against a new booking. The voucher is not transferable, can only be redeemed against one booking and cannot be exchanged for cash. No refund or further credit voucher will be provided if the cost of the new booking is less than the value of the credit voucher.
b) If a client is unable to travel, in circumstances which the Company considers reasonable, the booking or that client’s place on the booking may be transferred to another suitable person (introduced by you). However, the tour arrangements must remain the same as originally booked. If a transfer can be made, an administration charge of EUR50 per person transferring his/her place if the Company is advised up to your balance due date, after your balance due date it is not possible to transfer a client’s place to another suitable person.
5. PASSPORTS, VISAS AND VACCINATIONS
Clients are responsible for arranging, and must be in possession of, a valid, acceptable passport and any visas and vaccination certificates required for the whole of their journey and tour. Information about these matters or related items (climate, clothing, baggage, personal gear etc.) is given in good faith but without responsibility on the part of the Company. 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 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.
6. CANCELLATION BY YOU
Should you wish to cancel your booking once it has been confirmed, cancellation charges will be imposed. These are calculated from the day written or verbal notification is received by the Company as a percentage of the total tour price per person cancelling, excluding any amendment charges and insurance premiums. The cancellation charges shown below are those which will apply to most tours:
a) 60 and more days before tour start date – loss of deposit
b) 59-46 days before tour start date – 50% of tour cost
c) 45-28 days before tour start date – 75% of tour cost
d) 28-0 days before tour start date – 100%
Amendment charges and insurance premiums are not refundable in the event of cancellation. It is strongly recommended 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 the insurance policy. All claims must be made direct to the insurance company. In the event of the cancellation of a booking where the client is liable to pay to the Company cancellation charges in excess of the amount already paid to the Company at the time of cancellation, the client 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 clients. Please also see clause 4b). To clarify all additional extras, single supplements, pre and post tour nights, and experiences will incur 100% cancellation charges up to 60 days before the tour start date.
7. TRAVEL AND CANCELLATION INSURANCE
Travel insurance is mandatory for all clients whilst on a tour organised by the Company. Clients together with their personal property including baggage are at all times solely at their own risk. Clients are wholly responsible for arranging their own insurance. Please read your policy details carefully and take them with you on the tour. It is your responsibility to ensure that the insurance cover you purchase is suitable and adequate for your particular needs. We do not check insurance policies. The tour is a journey of a hazardous nature and you should ensure that such insurance fully covers all personal requirements including medical expenses, injury, death, cancellation, repatriation, helicopter rescue and air ambulance in the event of accident or illness.
7.1 You must give to us the name, address and telephone numbers of your next of kin or persons to be notified in the event of an emergency.
8. IF WE CHANGE YOUR TOUR
While the Company will do its best to operate all tours as advertised, it reserves the right to change and correct errors in any of the facilities, services, prices or itineraries described on our the website at any time before or after your booking is confirmed. Most changes are minor. Occasionally, we have to make a significant change. If a significant change has to be made, the Company will inform the client as soon as reasonably possible, if there is time before departure.
In case of a significant change before departure the client will have the choice of accepting the changed arrangements (at additional cost if applicable), purchasing another available tour from the Company (paying or receiving a refund in respect of any difference in price) or cancelling the tour with a full refund of all monies paid to us. Very rarely, we may be forced by “force majeure” (see clause 10) to change or terminate your tour after departure but before the scheduled end of your time away. This is extremely unlikely but if this situation does occur, we regret we will be unable to make any refunds (unless we obtain any refunds from our suppliers), pay you any compensation or meet any costs or expenses you incur as a result.
9. CANCELLATION BY US
The Company reserves the right to cancel a tour in any circumstances but will not cancel a tour less than 6 weeks before the start of the tour except for force majeure (see clause 10), or the client’s failure to make all payments (including the final balance and any surcharge) when due. Please note, except for “Guaranteed Departures”, our tours require a minimum number of participants to enable us to operate them. If any tour 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 4 weeks before the start of your tour. For “Guaranteed Departures”, there is no minimum group size and we will not cancel the “land only” itinerary unless forced to do so by force majeure (see clause 10).
If we have to cancel, we will tell you as soon as possible. If there is time to do so before departure and the cancellation does not result from your failure to pay, we will offer you the choice of purchasing an alternative tour offered as a result of consolidation or another available tour from the Company (in either case, paying or receiving a refund in respect of any difference in price) or receiving a full refund of all monies paid to us excluding Annual Insurance premiums if applicable. 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 transport and other arrangements which can be cancelled or changed without charge, we cannot pay any cancellation, amendment or other charges you may incur in relation to any transport or other arrangements which you have to change or cancel as a result of the cancellation of your tour.
10. FORCE MAJEURE
Except where otherwise expressly stated in these conditions, we regret we cannot accept liability or pay any compensation where the performance or prompt performance of our obligations under our contract with you is prevented or affected by or you otherwise suffer any injury, damage, loss or expense of any nature as a result of “force majeure”. In these conditions, “force majeure” means any event which we or the supplier of the service(s) in question could not, even with all due care, foresee or avoid. Such events may include whether actual or threatened war, riot, civil strife, terrorist activity, industrial dispute, natural or nuclear disaster, adverse weather conditions, disease, fire and all similar events outside our control.
11. TOUR PARTICIPATION AND CLIENT RESPONSIBILITY
Clients must provide any information we ask for in good time and are responsible for providing accurate information to the Company. This includes the customer information form that all clients are asked to complete prior to their adventure. Nature Connects will not accept responsibility for any problems or additional costs that arise from inaccurate information provided by the Client. Clients agree to accept the authority and decisions of the Company’s employees, tour leaders, fixers, agents and guides whilst on tour with the Company. If in the opinion of any such person(s) or any other person in a position of authority (such as, for example, the tour leader or hotel manager), the health, level of fitness or conduct of a client at any time before or during a tour is endangering or appears likely to endanger the health or wellbeing of the client or any third party (including any other clients of the Company) or the safe, comfortable or happy progress of the tour, the client may be excluded from all or part of the tour without refund or recompense. Where a client is excluded, the Company will have no further responsibility towards them (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, the Company may make such arrangements as it sees fit and recover the costs thereof from the client. If a client commits an illegal act (including, for example, causing any damage) the client may be excluded from the tour and the Company shall cease to have responsibility to/for them 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. Any clients who have taken part in racist / offensive / abusive or any other form of discriminatory behaviour to clients, guides, or any other people associated with Nature Connects’ tour will be excluded from the tour and will receive a zero refund for any missed services or accommodation.
If a client deviates from the itinerary confirmed by Nature Connects, Nature Connects will hold no responsibility financial or moral for that client. The client will not receive a refund on any missed services or accommodation during the remainder of the tour.
12. SPECIAL REQUESTS AND MEDICAL CONDITIONS
If you have any special request, you must advise us at the time of booking. Although we will endeavour to pass any reasonable requests on to the relevant supplier, we regret we cannot guarantee any request will be met. Failure to meet any special request will not be a breach of contract on our part. Confirmation that a special request has been noted or passed on to the supplier or the inclusion of the special request on your confirmation invoice or any other documentation is not confirmation that the request will be met. Unless and until specifically confirmed, all special requests are subject to availability. For your own protection, you should obtain confirmation in writing that a special request will be complied (where it is possible to give this) where it is important to you.
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.
By booking you acknowledge that you understand the potential risks and hazards that can be involved in tours of this kind to often remote and inhospitable locations. Such risks may increase the risk of injury or illness, loss or damage to property, discomfort and inconvenience.
13. OUR RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR TOUR
Bookings are accepted on the understanding that clients appreciate and accept the possible risks inherent in adventure travel and that they undertake the tours, treks or expeditions featured in our programme at their own volition.
13.1 We promise to make sure that the tour arrangements we have agreed to make, perform or provide, as applicable, as part of our contract with you are made, performed or provided with reasonable skill and care. This means that, subject to these conditions and the other information which forms part of your contract with us, we will accept responsibility if, for example, you suffer death or personal injury or your contracted tour arrangements are not provided as promised or prove deficient as a result of the failure of ourselves, our employees, agents or suppliers to use reasonable skill and care in making, performing or providing, as applicable, your contracted tour arrangements. Please note, it is your responsibility to show that reasonable skill and care has not been used if you wish to make a claim against us. In addition, we will only be responsible for what our employees, agents and suppliers do or do not do if they were at the time acting within the course of their employment (for employees) or carrying out work we had asked them to do (for agents and suppliers).
13.2 We will not be responsible for any injury, illness, death, loss (including loss possessions and 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 tour and which were unforeseeable or unavoidable or ‘force majeure’ as defined in clause 10 above
13.3 Please note, we cannot accept responsibility for any services which do not form part of our contract. This includes, for example, any additional services or facilities which any supplier agrees to provide for you where the services or facilities are not advertised by us and we have not agreed to arrange them as part of our contract. Any optional excursions or activities booked during your holiday do not form part of our contract as these are all arranged for you directly by the suppliers concerned – please see clause 14 Optional excursions and activities below. In addition, regardless of any wording used by us on our website, in any advertising material or elsewhere, we only promise to use reasonable skill and care as set out above and we do not have any greater or different liability to you.
13.4 The promises we make to you about the services we have agreed to provide or arrange as part of our contract – and the laws and regulations of the country in which your claim or complaint occurred – will be used as the basis for deciding whether the services in question had been properly provided. Please bear in mind that standards of, for example, safety, hygiene, and quality may vary throughout the destinations, services and transport your tour involves and may be lower than or different to those applicable in the Netherlands. 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. This will be the case even if the services did not comply with the laws and regulations of the Netherlands which would have applied had those services been provided in the Netherlands. The exception to this is where the claim or complaint concerns the absence of a safety feature which might lead a reasonable holiday maker to refuse to take the tour in question.
13.5 As set out in these conditions, we limit the maximum amount we may have to pay you for any claims you may make against us. We do not, however, limit or exclude our liability for death or personal injury caused by the negligence of ourselves or our employees (providing they were at the time acting within the course of their employment).
Where we are found liable for loss of and/or damage to any luggage or personal possessions (including money), the maximum amount we will have to pay you is EUR300 per person affected unless a different limitation applies to your claim under clause 13.6 below. You must ensure you have appropriate travel insurance to protect your personal belongings.
For all other claims which do not involve death or personal injury, if we are found liable to you on any basis, the maximum amount we will have to pay you is the price (excluding insurance premiums and amendment charges) paid by or on behalf of the person(s) affected in total unless a lower limitation applies to your claim under clause 13(6) below. This maximum amount will only be payable where everything has gone wrong and you have not received any benefit at all from your tour.
13.6 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, the maximum amount of compensation we will have to pay you 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 concerned would have to pay under the international convention or regulation which applies to the travel arrangements 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 with an operating licence granted by an EU country, the EC Regulation on Air Carrier Liability No 889/2002 for national and international travel by air, the Athens Convention 1974 for international travel by sea and COTIF, the Convention on International Travel by Rail. Please note: where a carrier 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.
13.7 Please note, we cannot accept any liability for any damage, loss, expense or other sum(s) of any description (1) 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 or (2) which did not result from any breach of contract or other fault by ourselves or our employees or, where we are responsible for them, our suppliers. Additionally we cannot accept liability for any expenses or losses incurred by or relating to any business including self-employed loss of earnings.
13.8 You must provide ourselves and our insurers with all assistance we may reasonably require. You must also tell us and the supplier concerned about your claim or complaint as set out in clause 6. If You have a Complaint. If asked to do so, you must transfer to us or our insurers any rights you have against the supplier or whoever else is responsible for your claim or complaint (if the person concerned is under 18, their parent or guardian must do so). You must also agree to cooperate fully with us and our insurers if we or our insurers want to enforce any rights which are transferred.
14. OPTIONAL EXCURSIONS AND ACTIVITIES
We 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. They 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 a tour leader collects payment for or otherwise assists in booking any such activity or excursion for you, we and the tour 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 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 8 “If we Change your Tour”, we cannot accept any liability for any change, cancellation or delay in your transportation from or to The Netherlands or during your tour 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 tour 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 the airline’s companies travel insurance policy offers some monetary compensation for flight delays over 12 hours to cover lost tour time or delayed return (not applicable to flights within a tour 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, the Company will not accept responsibility for payment unless we have given our prior consent. Any delays suffered by a client’s resulting in missed services or accommodation provided on the tour will not receive a refund from Nature Connects.
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 Building Regulations 2004 where applicable you must pursue the airline 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.
Should you have a complaint about any of the tour arrangements, you must tell both the relevant supplier and the Company’s representative at the time. It is only if the Company and the relevant supplier know about problems that there will be the opportunity to put things right. Most problems can be dealt with quickly. Failure to complain on the spot may result in your ability to claim compensation, if applicable, from the Company being extinguished or at least reduced. If your complaint cannot be resolved on tour you should notify the Company in writing within 7 days of your return from the tour, giving your booking reference and full details of your complaint. For all complaints and claims which do not involve death, personal injury or illness, we regret we cannot accept liability if you fail to notify the complaint or claim entirely in accordance with this clause.
17. BROCHURE/ WEBSITE/ ADVERTISING MATERIAL
The information contained 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, especially with regards to exchange rates and information may subsequently change. You must therefore ensure you check all details of your chosen tour (including the price) with us at the time of booking.
Nature Connects January 2018