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PLEASE NOTE THAT THE “ARBITRATION AGREEMENT” SECTION BELOW CONTAINS PROVISIONS THAT REQUIRE (i) WITH LIMITED EXCEPTIONS, ALL DISPUTES ARISING BETWEEN YOU AND NG AND/OR MT (“NG” AND “MT” DEFINED BELOW) UNDER THIS AGREEMENT TO BE RESOLVED IN BINDING ARBITRATION, AND NOT IN COURT, AND (ii) YOU AND NG AND MT WAIVE THE RIGHT TO BRING OR PARTICIPATE IN A CLASS ACTION IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH DISPUTES. PLEASE BE SURE TO READ AND REVIEW CAREFULLY THE ENTIRE SECTION LABELED “ARBITRATION AGREEMENT” BELOW. BY ACCEPTING THIS AGREEMENT, YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE ARBITRATION AGREEMENT.
National Geographic Adventures (as defined herein) will provide educational enrichment as outlined in its catalog or website (natgeoadventures.com) and has licensed Mountain Travel, its owners, directors, officers, employees, parents, subsidiaries and affiliates (collectively, “MT”) to organize and administer National Geographic Adventures programs (“Trips”). With the exception of certain transportation and other equipment in Alaska and Idaho owned and operated by MT, as well as certain personnel employed by MT on trips operated in the United States, 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 tickets in use by the carriers and/or other suppliers shall constitute the sole contract between them and participants; the carriers are not responsible for any act, omission, or event during the time participants are not aboard their conveyances.
National Geographic Partners, LLC, d/b/a National Geographic Adventures, its parents, subsidiaries and their respective employees, affiliates, officers, directors, successors, representatives, assigns (collectively “NG”) and the designated tour operator, MT (for purposes of this Responsibility Statement, Binding Arbitration, Assumption of Risk, and the Terms and Conditions NG and MT may be collectively be referred to as “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 or safely, 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 NG and MT from their own negligence and assumes all risk thereof. Neither NG nor MT shall be liable for any air carrier’s cancellation penalty or change fee incurred by the purchase of a nonrefundable ticket to or from the participant’s departure city. Baggage and personal effects are at all times the sole responsibility of the participant.
NG, MT (collectively “Tour Provider”), and you agree that any and all disputes and claims that each of you and Tour Provider may have against the other that arise out of or relate to this contract or to the Trip, including the breach, termination, enforcement, interpretation or validity of this Agreement, including the agreement to arbitrate (the “Arbitration Agreement”) and the scope or applicability of this Arbitration Agreement (collectively, “Disputes”), including but not limited to the arbitrability of any and all Disputes, and even if the events giving rise to Disputes occurred before this Arbitration Agreement became effective, will be resolved in a binding, confidential arbitration process, and not in court. Each of you and Tour Provider agrees to give up the right to sue in court. Each of you and Tour Provider also agrees to give up the right to have Disputes heard by a jury and the ability to seek to represent, in a class action or otherwise, anyone but each of you and Tour Provider. The only exception to this Arbitration Agreement is that each of you and Tour Provider retains the right to sue in small claims court.
This Agreement evidences a transaction in interstate commerce, and thus the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. §§ 1-16, governs the interpretation and enforcement of this Arbitration Agreement. This Arbitration Agreement shall survive termination of this Agreement.
Any arbitration between you and Tour Provider will be conducted by the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, Inc. (“JAMS”) pursuant to the applicable JAMS rules. The JAMS Rules are available on its website at https://www.jamsadr.com/
The arbitrator is bound by the terms of this Agreement. Regardless of how the arbitration proceeds, the arbitrator shall issue a reasoned written decision sufficient to explain his or her findings and conclusions. Any arbitration (court proceeding pursuant to the last paragraph of this Arbitration Agreement) will be governed by substantive (but not procedural) California law and without regard to the California Arbitration Act. The arbitrator 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, and the arbitrator’s determination not to enforce any severable provision of this contract, other than the class action waiver, shall not affect enforceability of the remainder.
JAMS charges fees to conduct arbitrations. Ordinarily, the claimant has to pay that fee to start a case, but if you wish to commence an arbitration against Tour Provider, and you are seeking to recover less than $10,000 (inclusive of attorneys’ fees), you will not have to pay this filing fee; Tour Provider will pay it on your behalf. If you are seeking to recover $10,000 or more, you will have to pay the filing fee charged by JAMS, but Tour Provider will reimburse that fee if you win the arbitration.
Each of you and Tour Provider may incur attorneys’ fees during the arbitration. In addition to whatever rights you may have to recover your attorneys’ fees under applicable law, if you prevail in the arbitration, winning $10,000 or less, and if Tour Provider failed to make a settlement offer to you before the arbitration or the amount you win is at least 25% greater than Tour Provider’s highest settlement offer to resolve the Dispute, then Tour Provider will pay your reasonable attorneys’ fees in addition to the amount the arbitrator awarded. If you prevail in the arbitration, winning more than $10,000, or if Tour Provider wins the arbitration, you will be responsible for your own attorneys’ fees.
The arbitrator may award relief only in favor of the individual party seeking relief and only to the extent necessary to provide relief warranted by that party's individual claim. The arbitrator may not order Tour Provider to pay any monies to or take any actions with respect to persons other than you, unless Tour Provider explicitly consents in advance, after an arbitrator is selected, to permit the arbitrator to enter such an order. YOU AND TOUR PROVIDER AGREE THAT EACH MAY BRING CLAIMS AGAINST THE OTHER ONLY IN YOUR OR ITS INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY AND NOT AS A PLAINTIFF OR CLASS MEMBER IN ANY PURPORTED CLASS, REPRESENTATIVE OR MULTI-CLAIMANT PROCEEDING, except that members of a family may bring a single arbitration. Unless Tour Provider agrees, the arbitrator may not consolidate other persons’ claims with yours, and may not otherwise preside over any form of a representative, multi-claimant or class proceeding.
You and Tour Provider agree to maintain the confidential nature of the arbitration proceeding and shall not disclose the fact of the arbitration, any documents exchanged as part of it proceedings of the arbitration, the arbitrator’s decision and the existence or amount of any award, except as may be necessary to prepare for or conduct the arbitration (in which case anyone becoming privy to confidential information must undertake to preserve its confidentiality), or except as may be necessary in connection with attorneys, accountants or in connection with a court application for a provisional remedy, a judicial challenge to an award or its enforcement, or unless otherwise required by law or court order.
To the extent this Arbitration Agreement is found to be unenforceable, or a court or the arbitrator permits any claim to proceed in a court of law (other than a small claims court), you and we agree that all such disputes, claims or litigation arising from or in any way related to this agreement, the Trip, or our relationship with you, will be litigated only in a court of competent jurisdiction located in the City and County of San Francisco, California. You agree to be subject to personal jurisdiction and venue in that location.
ASSUMPTION OF RISK
By registering for a Trip, 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 or consistent with standards in the United States during some or all of the time during which he/she is participating on the Trip and that when available may not be of the quality which exists in the United States.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Anyone under 18 years of age at the time of the Trip departure must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for the entire journey.
By registering for a Trip, 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.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF PARTICIPANTS
The 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. In addition, the participant should prepare for the Trip by reading the Trip Itinerary and supplemental Trip information in the pre-Trip materials and for bringing the appropriate clothing and equipment as advised in those materials. The participant should also consult his or her physician to determine his or her suitability for the Trip and to discuss any over the counter or prescription medicines he/she should consider taking relative to the demands of the Trip (e.g. in the case of trips which travel to higher altitudes). Screening for fitness (for Trips rated “Strenuous” or “Ultimate Challenge”) is made by MT during the confirmation of booking. 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.
PAYMENTS, CANCELLATIONS AND REFUNDS
To reserve space on a Trip, a $750 per-person deposit is required. Final payment of the balance is due 95 days prior to departure. Private Departures and Custom Trips require a nonrefundable per-person deposit of $1,000 or 20% of the Trip cost, whichever is greater. A $100 deposit is required for any extension. Deposits and all remaining payments must be made by major credit card (Visa, MasterCard, or American Express). 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 at least 90 days prior to departure. For reservations made within 90 days of the departure date, full payment is required when the reservation is accepted.
All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective as of the date of the postmark. If a participant cancels 120 days or more prior to departure, a refund less an administrative fee of 50% of the deposit will be made. Private Departures and Custom Trips carry a nonrefundable deposit. Per-person charges for cancellations that occur less than 120 days prior to departure (“Cancellation Penalty Period”) are as follows: 91-119 days prior to departure: 100% of the deposit amount; 45-90 days prior to departure: 50% of the Trip cost; 44 or fewer days prior to departure: 100% of the Trip cost. This policy also applies to pre- and post- Trip extensions. Any revisions requested by the participant within the Cancellation Penalty Period, are subject to this cancellation policy. Any airline tickets issued are subject to the carrier’s refund policy. Arriving late or 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. Any airline tickets issued are subject to the carrier’s refund policy. No refunds will be made for any unused portions of a Trip.
We reserve the right to cancel any Trip because of inadequate enrollment 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 Trip as planned, in which case MT will provide the participant with a refund or credit toward a future 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. If we cancel a Trip, we will not be responsible for any additional expenses incurred by the 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 detailed in this catalog are subject to modification and change by NG 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. Every reasonable effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but alterations may still occur after final itineraries are sent.
WHAT YOUR TRIP INCLUDES
Your Trip includes accommodations and meals as indicated in the itinerary; pre-departure information; entrance fees, excursions, and sightseeing noted as included in the itinerary; ground transportation during the Trip; transfers to and from group flights where applicable; services of a Trip leader and support staff, taxes, port charges, baggage handling, and service charges. Trips designated as “Photography” departures will, in addition to the above, include a National Geographic Photographer. For itineraries that include camping, camp and cook staff tents, and dining tents and necessary Trip equipment (e.g. sea kayaks, rafts, personal floatation devices, etc.) are provided. Please note: The meal notations apply to the period during the Trip only and do not include any meals on flights to/from the Trip. Internal airfare is included on some international Trips as indicated in the itinerary.
WHAT YOUR TRIP DOES NOT INCLUDE
Air transportation and related fees (except as indicated in the itinerary); activities noted as optional in the itinerary; optional gratuities for the Trip leader(s); passport, visa, and permit expenses; medical expenses and immunizations; baggage/accident/cancellation insurance; personal expenses, such as laundry, telephone calls, and alcoholic beverages; and any other items not specifically noted as included.
Accommodations (hotels, tents, and cruise cabins) are based on double occupancy. If the participant prefers single accommodations, and if such are available, 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.
Basic medical and evacuation travel protection is purchased on your behalf (Trip-cancellation is not included in this plan). To view the plan details, please visit: www.tripmate.com/wpF485m
Optional Trip-cancellation protection 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 www.travelinsure.com/natgeo.
After making a reservation, the participant will receive detailed pre-Trip information with a clothing and equipment list, visa information (if required), a statement reflecting Trip costs, insurance information, physicians certificate (if required), Traveler Information Form which includes a Responsibility Statement, Binding Arbitration, Assumption of Risk and Terms and Conditions document each participant is required to 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.
Transfers for Private Departures and Custom Trips are subject to the Cancellation policies described above. For all other Trips, the participant may transfer to another Trip without a fee up to 90 days before departure. If the participant transfers from one 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).
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. The prices are based on tariffs, currency values, airfares and third-party charges as of catalog publication date 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, as permitted by law, we reserve the right to do so, and notification will be given at the time of final invoicing.
MEDICAL & HEALTH
By registering for a Trip, the participant certifies that he/she is physically fit and does not have a condition that would limit mobility. The 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. The 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 provide us with his/her medical history and any dietary restrictions as requested on the Traveler Information Form. On certain designated Trips, a Physician Certificate must be signed by the participant’s physician and returned to us within 30 days after the participant receives it. The State Department (www.travel.state.gov) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov) periodically issue statements, advisories and warnings about risks to travelers. These statements are country specific and contain important information. We urge all participants to review these sites.
MEDICAL AUTHORIZATION & COVERAGE
In the event the participant becomes sufficiently incapacitated as to be unable to direct his or her own care, the participant authorizes any medical treatment deemed necessary in the event of any injury or illness while participating on the Trip whether or not administered by medical or non-medical personnel. In addition, the participant certifies that he/she has medical insurance which will cover personal accidents, medical expenses, medical evacuation, air ambulance, loss of effects, repatriation costs and all other expenses which might arise as a result of loss, damage, injury, delay or inconvenience occurring to the participant, or that in the absence of this medical insurance coverage, the participant agrees to pay all costs of rescue and/or medical services as may be incurred on the participant’s behalf.
We reserve the right to take photographs or videos during the operation of any Trip or part thereof and to use the resulting photography, videos, or recordings for promotional or commercial use. By making a reservation on a Trip, the participant agrees to allow his/her likeness to be used by NG, NG-authorized third parties, and MT 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 in all photographs, video, and related materials created by the participant (“Adventure Materials”) shall belong to the participant upon creation. The participant grants to NG, NG-authorized third parties, and MT a non-exclusive, worldwide, irrevocable license to use any Adventure Materials provided to NG and/or MT or taken on NG 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 the National Geographic Society.
If you are receiving duplicate catalogs, have address updates, or would like to be removed from future National Geographic Adventures mailings, please call toll-free 1-888-689-2557.
Additional Terms and Conditions may apply to some Trips and will be provided with pre-Trip mailings. By registering for a Trip, the participant agrees to the Responsibility Statement, Binding Arbitration, Assumption of Risk, and the Terms and Conditions published in the catalog and on the website.