The National Geographic Society will provide educational enrichment for National Geographic Expeditions as a sponsoring organization and has licensed TCS & Starquest Expeditions Inc. (henceforth referred to as "the Tour Operator"), 3131 Elliott Avenue, Suite 300, Seattle, WA 98121, a qualified professional expedition operator, to organize and administer the Celebrating 125 Years of Exploration with National Geographic expedition. The Tour Operator, as the principal, is responsible to you for arranging and providing all the services and accommodations offered in connection with the trip, provided, however, that in the absence of gross negligence on our part, we are not responsible for personal injury or property damage caused by the air carrier, hotel, or other suppliers of any of the services being offered in connection with this expedition. The passenger tickets in use by the carriers shall constitute the sole contract between the carriers and the passenger; the carriers are not responsible for any act, omission, or event during the time expedition participants are not aboard their conveyance. Neither the National Geographic Society nor the Tour Operator shall be held liable for (A) any damage to, or loss of, property or injury to, or death of, persons occasioned directly or indirectly by an act or omission of any other provider, including but not limited to any defect in any aircraft, watercraft, or vehicle operated or provided by such other provider, and (B) any loss or damage due to delay, cancellation, or disruption in any manner caused by the laws, regulations, acts or failures to act, demands, orders, or interpositions of any government or any subdivision or agent thereof, or by acts of God, strikes, fire, flood, war, rebellion, terrorism, insurrection, sickness, quarantine, epidemics, theft, or any other cause(s) beyond their control. The participant waives any claim against the National Geographic Society and/or the Tour Operator for any such loss, damage, injury, or death. By registering for a National Geographic Expedition, the participant certifies that he/she does not have any mental, physical, or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other participants. The National Geographic Society and the Tour Operator reserve the right at their sole discretion to accept, decline to accept, or remove any participant on this expedition and reserve the right, subject to the terms of this Contract, to withdraw any part or all of the trip and to make such changes as may be necessary. Neither the National Geographic Society nor the Tour Operator shall be liable for any air carrier's cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a nonrefundable ticket.
For the February 26, 2013 departure:
$72,950 (double occupancy) with a $8,650 single supplement.
For the October 23, 2013 departure:
$74,950 (double occupancy) with a $8,650 single supplement.
Please note: The expedition cost includes a $3,000 contribution to the Fund for Exploration, an endowed fund that supports the National Geographic Society's grant-making in research, conservation, and exploration. Gifts to the Society are tax-deductible in accordance with Internal Revenue Service regulations.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Reservations and Payments: To reserve your place on the Celebrating 125 Years of Exploration with National Geographic expedition, complete the Reservation Form and return it with your deposit of $2,500 per person. The deposit may be made by check; wire transfer; or by a major credit card, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover Card. If you pay your initial deposit by credit card, it is fully refundable until you sign the Reservation Form. The second payment of $15,000 per person and final payment are payable by check or wire transfer only, made out to a secure escrow account.
For the February 26, 2013 Departure:
The second payment is due July 26, 2012. Final payment is due November 26, 2012. Make checks payable to "EXP1-13 Escrow."
For the October 23, 2012 Departure:
The second payment is due February 25, 2013. Final payment is due June 24, 2013. Make checks payable to "EXP2-13 Escrow."
Mail to National Geographic Expeditions, 3131 Elliott Avenue, Suite 300, Seattle, WA 98121. Or call 800-224-1894 or fax to 206-447-7717. If the expedition is fully booked when your reservation is received, your payment will be returned within seven days, or with your authorization, the Tour Operator can retain the deposit and place your name on a waiting list in the event other passengers cancel their reservations. Even if you authorize the Tour Operator to put your name on a waiting list and retain your deposit, the Tour Operator will notify you within seven days if the expedition is still fully booked.
What Is Included in the Price: A privately chartered Boeing 757 that departs from London, England and returns to London, England as indicated in the itinerary. Deluxe or best available accommodations and all applicable taxes in the destinations and options as indicated in the brochure, from arrival at the first hotel through departure from the last hotel. All meals beginning with dinner on the first night of the expedition and ending with a snack aboard the jet on the last day of the expedition. All taxes; airport transfers in London at the beginning and end of the trip; group transportation; excursions; special events and activities; extensive program of customized options at most destinations; enrichment program, including lectures by a team of experts; services of professional staff, including an expedition physician; amenities package; $100,000 medical evacuation insurance for covered reasons; bottled water throughout the program (during sightseeing, at scheduled meals, and in your room); all beverages, including liquor, aboard the private jet; liquor during special events and cocktail parties on land; house wine and/or beer at lunch and dinner on land; non-alcoholic beverages at all scheduled meals on land; Internet service, where available; baggage handling during the expedition; and tips or gratuities to local guides, drivers, porters, and waitstaff are included. Any tips or gratuities not specifically mentioned as included in the total expedition price will be at your discretion. No refund will be made for any accommodations or services included in the expedition price that you voluntarily do not use.
What Is Not Included in the Price: Commercial airfare from your home city to London and from London to your home city; optional and additional accident/baggage/cancellation insurance; passport and visa fees; personal expenses such as laundry, telephone, and fax charges; all beverages not mentioned above as included; hotel minibar charges; meals not scheduled by the Tour Operator; and inoculation and medication costs of any kind.
Single/Shared Accommodations and Suite Upgrades: A limited number of single rooms are available at extra cost on a first-come, first-served basis. We will do everything possible to assist persons requesting a roommate. Participants will be notified if a suitable roommate is not available. In this case, the single rate will be charged. Suite rooms are available in some destinations; more information about them, including their extra costs, will be sent to you in the months before departure.
Eligibility: Participation in a National Geographic Expedition is a benefit of membership in the National Geographic Society. Membership dues for 2012 are $34. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for the expedition.
Security Agreement: Your payments are held in an escrow account at The Commerce Bank of Washington, 601 Union Street, Suite 3600, Seattle, WA 98101-1342. Participants are protected by a Letter of Credit #592 issued by The Commerce Bank of Washington. Any claims against this letter of credit must be filed with the Tour Operator or The Commerce Bank of Washington within 60 days of the termination of the expedition. After that time, the Tour Operator and The Commerce Bank of Washington will be released from liability under the security agreement.
Insurance: Trip-cancellation, health, and accident insurance are available for purchase; we will send you more information upon registration. National Geographic Society and the Tour Operator strongly recommend these important protections, which can save you money if you are forced to cancel or alter your trip. Insurance premium payments are subject to the policies of the insurance carrier.
Baggage: On the private jet, each passenger is limited to 90 pounds of checked baggage in 2 bags (one bag of your choice limited to 50 pounds, and one wheeled bag that the Tour Operator will send ahead of time to you specifically for use on Expedition, limited to 40 pounds); plus a few smaller carry-on items such as a backpack, purse, camera, and/or laptop. In certain countries you will fly on private light aircraft. Due to weight restrictions on these flights you will be given a special soft-sided duffel bag, which is the one piece of luggage you will be allowed. For these short flights, your soft sided bag plus your handcarry luggage (including camera equipment) may not exceed 22 pounds. For international flights, the air carrier's liability is limited to the actual value of the baggage but not more than 1,000 Special Drawing Rights, approximately $1,250 per person, unless a higher value is declared at the time of check-in and an appropriate excess valuation charge is paid. Baggage, when not handled by the Tour Operator, and personal effects are at all times the sole responsibility of the participant.
Foreign Visa Documents: To participate in the Expedition, entry visas will be required for some countries. A visa kit will be sent with your pre departure documents. Acquiring necessary visas is the responsibility of the participant. Failure to receive visas does not negate the terms and conditions. Any extra costs for rerouting participants without visas will be the responsibility of the participant.
Aircraft: The private jet flights will be performed using a Boeing 757 jet with 80 VIP-class seats operated by Thomson Airways, Wigmore House/Wigmore Place, Wigmore Lane, Bedfordshire, Luton LU2 9TN England. The operator and air carrier reserve the right to substitute equivalent aircraft if necessary.
Airfare: We are happy to assist you in reserving commercial round-trip flights from your home city to London, in the class of service that you prefer. Please ask for details.
Cancellations and Refunds: If you cancel your reservation, your right to receive a refund is limited, as described in the following schedule. All requests for refunds must be sent to us in writing via mail, fax, or email.
For the February 26, 2013 departure:
|If your notice is received...||You will receive a refund of all deposits less a...|
|On or before July 26, 2012||$1,000 per-person cancellation fee.|
|From July 27 to September 26, 2012||$5,000 per-person cancellation fee.|
|From September 27 to November 26, 2012||$15,000 per-person cancellation fee.|
|After November 26, 2012||No refund.|
For the October 23, 2013 departure:
|If your notice is received...||You will receive a refund of all deposits less a...|
|On or before February 25, 2013||$1,000 per-person cancellation fee.|
|From February 26 to April 24, 2013||$5,000 per-person cancellation fee.|
|From April 25 to June 24, 2013||$15,000 per-person cancellation fee.|
|After June 24, 2013||No refund.|
Refunds will be made within 14 days of receipt of your notice of cancellation.
Leaving an expedition in progress, for any reason whatsoever, will not result in a refund, and no refunds will be made for any unused portions of an expedition. If you cancel and provide a substitute participant for the trip, you will receive from the Tour Operator a full refund of money paid toward the price less an administrative charge of $25 for effecting the substitution once the substitute participant has paid in full. Please note that the costs for visas, commercial air tickets, insurance, suite upgrades, and pre- or post-expedition independent arrangements may not be refundable.
Itinerary Changes: The itineraries and staff are subject to modification and change by the National Geographic Society or the Tour Operator. Every reasonable effort will be made to operate the program as planned; however, should unforeseen world events and conditions require our itinerary to be altered, we reserve the right to do so for the safety and best interest of the group. National Geographic Expeditions and the Tour Operator reserve the right to cancel any trip in the event inadequate enrollment makes the trip economically infeasible to operate. In such a case, the Tour Operator will provide you with a full refund of the monies paid to the Tour Operator for the expedition.
International Flights: The operation of these flights is subject to the foreign governments involved granting landing rights for the flight. If the air carrier cannot obtain these rights for any particular flight leg of the expedition, that flight leg will be canceled and alternative arrangements may be made at the discretion of National Geographic Expeditions or the Tour Operator.
Health Requirements: This is an active program, which requires you to make a realistic assessment of your health. Prior to traveling, we recommend that you visit your personal physician for a checkup so that you may discuss your ability to participate in this type of journey. All participants are expected to be in active good health, to enjoy traveling as part of a group, and to be ready to experience cultural differences with grace. Walking and climbing stairs are required in many hotels and airports, and to board the aircraft, and are part of many excursions. Please note: To go to certain destinations or participate in certain activities, such as visiting a high-altitude area (7,500 feet above sea level and higher) including the Tiger's Nest Monastery in Bhutan and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, you will need to obtain your physician's approval. A form will be sent to you for your physician to sign. An alternate destination or activity can be arranged if your physician recommends it. Any physical condition requiring special attention, diet, or treatment should be reported in writing when the reservation is made. We will make reasonable efforts to accommodate travelers with special needs; however, we regret that we cannot accommodate wheelchairs. If you require a slower pace, extra assistance, or the use of a cane or walking stick, arrangements will be made for private touring at each destination, if necessary, at the discretion of our expedition staff. Any extra cost for such arrangements will be the responsibility of the traveler. If you would like to forgo some of the scheduled sightseeing to rejuvenate and relax, please feel free to do so at any time. Malaria and other diseases are present in some of the countries featured in this itinerary; proof of yellow fever inoculation is required. For the latest recommendations on specific health precautions for the areas you will visit, consult your physician and the Centers for Disease Control.
Photography: We reserve the right to take photographs or videos during the operation of any expedition or part thereof and to use the resulting photography, videos, or recordings for promotional or commercial use. By making a reservation on the Celebrating 125 Years of Exploration with National Geographic expedition, the participant agrees to allow his/her likeness to be used by the National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society authorized third parties, and the Tour Operator without compensation to the participant. If the participant prefers that his/her likeness not be used, he/she must notify us in writing prior to departure of the trip. Copyright for all photographs, video, and related materials created by the participant ("Expedition Materials") shall belong to the participant upon creation. The participant grants to the National Geographic Society a non-exclusive, worldwide, irrevocable license to use any Expedition Materials provided to the National Geographic Society and/ or the Tour Operator in any media now existing or subsequently developed for the following limited purposes: editorial use, promotion of this editorial use, promotion of National Geographic's travel programs, or promotion of the mission of the National Geographic Society.
Basis of Rates: All prices are based on two persons sharing a room. All prices and fares are quoted in U.S. dollars. The rates are based on current tariffs and are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, if it is necessary to levy a surcharge, we reserve the right to do so and will notify you at the time of final invoicing.
By registering for a National Geographic Expedition, the participant agrees to the Operator-Participant Contract, Responsibility Statement, and Terms and Conditions herein.