National Geographic Society, its owners, officers, directors, employees and affiliates (“NGS”) will provide educational enrichment for National Geographic Adventures (“Trips”) as outlined in this catalog as a sponsoring organization and has licensed Mountain Travel, its owners, directors, officers, and employees (“MT”) to organize and administer National Geographic Adventures. With the exception of certain equipment and transportation in Alaska and Idaho owned and operated by MT, all suppliers of services connected with these Trips (“other providers”), are third-party contractors and are solely responsible and liable for providing their respective services. The passenger tickets in use by the carriers and/or other suppliers shall constitute the sole contract between them and the passenger.
NGS and MT (collectively “we”, "us", or “our”) are not liable for any negligent or willful act or failure to act of any third party, such as hotels or other lodging facilities, airline, vessel, bus, van or other transportation companies, local ground operators, providers or organizers of optional excursions, food service or entertainment providers, etc. Without limitation, we are not responsible for any injury, loss, or damage to personal property, death, delay or inconvenience in connection with the provision of any goods or services occasioned by or resulting from, but not limited to, acts of God, acts of government, weather, force majeure, acts of war or civil unrest, insurrection or revolt, strikes or other labor activities, criminal or terrorist activities or the threat thereof, of any kind, epidemics or the threat thereof, illness, overbooking or downgrading of accommodations, structural or other defective conditions in hotels or other lodging facilities, mechanical or other failure of airplanes or other means of transportation or for any failure of any transportation mechanism to arrive or depart timely, dangers associated with or bites from animals, pests or insects, marine life, or vegetation of any sort, dangers incident to recreational activities such as scuba diving, zip lining, snorkeling, paddle boarding, surfing, swimming, kayaking, sailing, canoeing, rafting, hiking, bicycling, rock climbing, etc., sanitation problems, food poisoning, lack of, access to or quality of medical care, difficulty in evacuation in case of medical or other emergency, negligence of shipboard or other physicians or medical personnel of for any cause beyond our direct control. In addition, the participant releases NGS and MT from their own negligence and assumes all risk thereof. Neither NGS nor MT shall be liable for any air carrier’s cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a nonrefundable ticket to or from the participant’s National Geographic Adventure departure city. Baggage and personal effects are at all times the sole responsibility of the participant.
Participation in a National Geographic Adventure is a benefit of membership in the National Geographic Society. Membership dues for 2014 and 2015 are $39. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for the entire journey.
ASSUMPTION OF RISK
By registering for a National Geographic Adventure, the participant acknowledges that he/she is aware that adventure travel such as the Trip he/she is undertaking involves potentially dangerous activities, some in remote areas of the world, with a risk of illness, injury, or death which may be caused by forces of nature, illness, or by willful or criminal conduct of third parties or by terrorism. The participant further acknowledges that weather conditions may be severe, adverse and/or unpleasant and that medical services or facilities may not be readily available or accessible during some or all of the time during which he/she is participating on the Trip.
By registering for a National Geographic Adventure, the participant acknowledges that he/she has voluntarily applied to participate on this Trip and that he/she has read the description of the Trip as it appears in the current National Geographic Adventure catalog or website.
I agree that any dispute concerning, relating, or referring to this contract, the brochure, or any other literature concerning my Trip, or the Trip itself shall be resolved exclusively by binding arbitration in San Francisco, California, according to the then existing commercial rules of the American Arbitration Association. Such proceeding will be governed by substantive California law without regard to the California Arbitration Act. The arbitrator(s) and not any federal, state, or local court or agency shall have exclusive authority to resolve any dispute relating to the interpretation, applicability, enforceability, conscionability, or formation of this contract, including but not limited to any claim that all or any part of this contract is void or voidable.
PAYMENTS, CANCELLATIONS AND REFUNDS
To reserve space on a National Geographic Adventure, a $400 per-person deposit is required. A second deposit of $800 is due 120 days prior to departure. Final payment of the balance is due no later than 90 days prior to departure. The deposit and all remaining payments must be made by major credit card (Visa, MasterCard, or American Express). A $100 deposit is required for any extension. Prices are in U.S. dollars and all payments are to be made in U.S. dollars.
A reservation may be cancelled if full payment has not been received by 90 days prior to departure. For reservations made within 90 days of the departure date, full payment is required when the reservation is accepted.
After making a reservation, the participant will receive detailed pre-Trip information with a clothing and equipment list, visa kit (if required), invoice, insurance information, medical certificate, Traveler Information Form (including a Release From Liability Agreement that you must sign and return to us), and other information needed to prepare for the Trip. Final Trip details will be sent three weeks prior to departure.
All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective as of the date of the postmark. Subject to exceptions noted below, if a participant cancels 90 days or more prior to departure, a refund less an administrative fee of $150 per person will be made. Per-person charges for cancellations that occur less than 90 days prior to departure are as follows: 89 to 60 days prior to departure: 100% of the first deposit amount; 59 to 30 days prior to departure: 50% of the Trip cost; 29 or fewer days prior to departure: 100% of the Trip cost. This policy also applies to pre- and post-Trip extensions. Any airline tickets issued are subject to the carrier’s refund policy. Leaving a Trip in progress, for any reason whatsoever, will not result in a refund, and no refunds will be made for any unused portions of a Trip. No refunds will be given for unused hotel rooms, meals, sightseeing trips, or trek arrangements.
Namibia Culture and Wildlife Adventure cancellation policy: Due to the high demand for the safari camps, for cancellations made 90 days or more prior to departure a refund less an administrative fee of $150 per person will be made. Per-person charges for cancellations that occur less than 90 days prior to departure are as follows: 89 to 60 days prior to departure: 100% of the first deposit amount; 59 or fewer days prior to departure: 100% of the Trip cost.
Peru Machu Picchu Inn to Inn cancellation policy: Due to the high demand for the lodges, for cancellations made 90 days or more prior to departure a refund less an administrative fee of $150 will be made. Per-person charges for cancellations that occur fewer than 90 days prior to departure will be 100% of the Trip cost.
Belize: Reefs, Rain Forests, and Ruins cancellation policy: Due to the high demand for the lodges, for cancellations made 90 days or more prior to departure, a refund less an administrative fee of $150 per person will be made. Per-person charges for cancellations that occur less than 90 days prior to departure are as follows: 89 to 60 days prior to departure: 100% of the first deposit amount; 59 to 45 days prior to departure: 50% of the Trip cost; 44 or fewer days prior to departure: 100% of the Trip cost.
Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia Adventure cancellation policy: Due to internal air cancellation penalties, cancellations made 90 days or more prior to departure will incur a cancellation penalty of $200 per person. Per-person charges for cancellations that occur less than 90 days prior to departure are as follows: 89 to 60 days prior to departure: 100% of the first deposit amount; 59 to 30 days prior to departure: 50% of the Trip cost; 29 or fewer days prior to departure: 100% of the Trip cost.
We reserve the right to cancel any Trip because of inadequate enrollment that makes the Trip economically infeasible to operate or because of our concerns with respect to the safety, health, or welfare of the participants. If a Trip is canceled by us prior to departure, MT will provide the participant with a full refund of monies paid to them; except in the event cancellation is due to a significant event that makes it infeasible to operate the expedition as planned, in which case MT will provide the participant with a refund and/or credit toward a future National Geographic Adventure Trip equivalent to monies paid to them. If we cancel the Trip in progress, the participant will receive a prorated refund and/or a credit based on the number of days not completed on the Trip. We will not be responsible for any additional expenses incurred by participant in his/her preparation for the Trip (e.g. nonrefundable airline tickets, visa fees, if applicable, clothing, equipment, and medical expenses, etc.).
The itineraries and staff presented in this catalog are subject to modification and change by NGS or MT. We reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in our judgment, conditions warrant, or if we deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of participants.
WHAT YOUR TRIP INCLUDES
Accommodations and meals as indicated in the itinerary (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner); pre-departure information; entrance fees, excursions, and sightseeing noted as included in the itinerary; ground transportation during the expedition; transfers to and from group flights where applicable; services of an adventure consultant, guides and any other staff, and on designated “Photography” departures, a National Geographic Photographer; and taxes, port charges, baggage handling, and service charges. For itineraries that include camping, camp and cook staffs, tents, kitchen and dining tents and necessary Trip equipment (e.g., sea kayaks, rafts, personal floatation devices, etc.) are provided. Please note: The “B, L, D” notations apply to the period during the expedition only and do not include any meals on flights to/from the Trip. Internal airfare is included on some international expeditions as indicated in the itinerary. International airfare, optional gratuities, and personal items are not included.
Accommodations (hotels, tents, and cruise cabins) are based on double occupancy. If the participant prefers single accommodations, he/she must pay a single supplement fee, which is listed in the Trip Itinerary. If the participant is traveling alone and wishes to share accommodations, we will assign him/her a roommate of the same gender. If there is no one with whom the participant can share, he/she is required to pay the single supplement fee.
Trip cancellation insurance is available at an additional cost and is strongly recommended. For more information about and to enroll in an option available through Travel Insurance Services, visit the “Travel Insurance” section of our website at nationalgeographicadventures.com.
The participant may transfer to another National Geographic Adventure Trip without a fee up to 90 days before departure. If the participant transfers from one National Geographic Adventure Trip to another within 89 days of departure, however, he/she is subject to the usual Cancellation Fees outlined above (appropriate to the date the participant notifies us in writing of his/her wish to transfer).
We assume no liability for loss or damage to baggage in transit to and from a Trip or while on a Trip. We recommend purchasing the supplemental travel insurance package.
DELAYS & COST INCREASES
We will not be responsible for providing any reimbursement for delays in the Trip due to bad weather, trail conditions, river levels, road conditions, transportation delays, or government intervention. 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 notification will be given at the time of final invoicing.
MEDICAL & HEALTH
The participant certifies that he/she is physically fit and does not have a condition that would limit mobility. Participant further 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. For Trips that take place at higher elevations (above 5,000 feet), participant certifies that he/she does not suffer from a respiratory, cardiac or circulatory disorder. Participant must notify us of any medical issues well before departure. We reserve the right in our sole discretion to accept, decline to accept, or remove any participant on a Trip at any time during the Trip. In the event of removal from a Trip, refunds are not given. Hospital facilities or appropriate medical facilities or doctors are often unavailable and evacuation can be prolonged, difficult, and expensive. We assume no liability regarding provision of medical care. Participants will receive appropriate health information and a Medical Certificate to be filled out and returned to us. On certain designated Trips, the Medical Certificate must be signed by the participant’s physician and returned to us within 30 days after the participant receives it.
Group: Parties of eight people or more traveling together will each receive 5% off the advertised land price of scheduled departures. Other Terms and Conditions may apply. Please ask upon making the reservation.
Lifelong Explorers: If you are a Lifelong Explorer member, you will receive a discount off the cost of any Trip (excluding extensions, single supplements, and Trips to which the group discount has been applied).
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 a Trip, participant agrees to allow his/her likeness to be used by NGS, NGS-authorized third parties, and MT without compensation to participant. If participant prefers that his/her likeness not be used, he/she must notify us in writing prior to departure of the Trip.
Copyright in all photographs, video, and related materials created by participant (“Adventure Materials”) shall belong to the participant upon creation. Participant grants to NGS, NGS-authorized third parties, and MT a non-exclusive, worldwide, irrevocable license to use any Adventure Materials provided to NGS and/or MT or taken on NGS and/or MT supplied equipment, in any media now existing or subsequently developed for the following limited purposes: editorial use, promotion of the editorial use, promotion of National Geographic’s travel programs or promotion of the mission of NGS.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF PARTICIPANTS
Participant is responsible for understanding the conditions as described in the Trip Itinerary and selecting a Trip in consultation with us that is appropriate to his/her interests and abilities, and for preparing for the Trip by reading the Trip Itinerary and supplemental Trip information in the preTrip materials and for bringing the appropriate clothing and equipment as advised in those materials. Screening for fitness (for Trips rated “Strenuous” or “Ultimate Challenge”) is made by our Adventure consultants during the confirmation of booking.