Terms and Conditions

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RESPONSIBILITY

National Geographic Society will provide educational enrichment for National Geographic Expeditions as outlined in its catalog and on its website (www.nationalgeographicexpeditions.com) as a sponsoring organization and has licensed qualified professional tour operators to organize and administer National Geographic Expeditions. The designated tour operator, in turn, acts only as an agent for any transportation carrier, hotel, ground operator, or other suppliers of services connected with specific National Geographic Expeditions (“other providers”), and the other providers are solely responsible and liable for providing their respective services. 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 participants are not aboard their conveyances.

National Geographic Society, its employees, subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors, successors, representatives, assigns (collectively “National Geographic”) and its designated tour operator shall not 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 National Geographic and/or its designated 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. National Geographic and its designated tour operator reserve the right in their sole discretion to accept, decline to accept, or remove any participant on a National Geographic Expedition. National Geographic and the tour operator reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in their judgment, conditions warrant or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of participants.

Neither National Geographic, nor its designated tour operator, 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 Expedition departure city. Baggage and personal effects are at all times the sole responsibility of the participant.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Basis of Rates: All prices are based on two persons sharing a room or cabin. All prices and fares are quoted in U.S. dollars. The rates 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 National Geographic will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, if it is necessary to levy a surcharge, National Geographic reserves the right to do so, and notification will be given at the time of final invoicing.

Eligibility: Participation in a National Geographic Expedition is a benefit of membership in the National Geographic Society. Membership dues for 2014 are $39. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for the entire journey.

Included in Expedition Cost: Accommodations and meals as indicated in the itinerary (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner); educational materials; pre-departure information; entrance fees, excursions, and sightseeing noted as included in the itinerary; all gratuities except those for train or ship's crew, unless otherwise noted on the itinerary page; ground transportation during the expedition; transfers to and from group flights where applicable; services of National Geographic experts and/or local guides, lecturers, expedition leaders, and any other staff; and taxes, port charges, baggage handling, and service charges. 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 expedition. Internal airfare is included on some international expeditions as indicated in the itinerary.

Not Included: Air transportation and related fees (except as indicated in the itinerary); activities noted as optional in the itinerary; gratuities for train or ship’s crew, unless otherwise noted on the itinerary page; 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.

Single/Shared Accommodations: : A limited number of single rooms/cabins are available at an extra cost on a first-come, first-served basis. We will assist persons requesting a roommate. Participants will be notified if a suitable roommate is not available, in which case the single rate will be charged.

Payments, Cancellations, and Refunds: To reserve space on a National Geographic Expedition, a $500 per-person deposit is required for expeditions that are nine days or less, and a $750 per-person deposit is required for expeditions that are ten days or more except if noted on the itinerary page. Final payment is due no later than 60 days prior to departure. Payments must be made by credit card. A participant’s reservation may be canceled if full payment has not been received by 60 days prior to departure. For reservations made within 60 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 75 days or more prior to departure, a refund less an administrative fee of 50% of the deposit will be made. Per-person charges for cancellations that occur less than 75 days prior to departure (“Cancellation Penalty Period”) are as follows: 61-74 days prior to departure: 100% of the deposit amount; 45-60 days prior to departure: 50% of the expedition cost; 44 or fewer days prior to departure: 100% of the expedition cost. This policy also applies to pre- and post-expedition extensions. Any revisions made within the Cancellation Penalty Period, such as a change in departure date or choice of expedition, are subject to this cancellation policy. Any airline tickets issued are subject to the carrier’s refund policy. Arriving late or 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. National Geographic reserves the right to cancel any expedition because of inadequate enrollment that makes the expedition economically infeasible to operate or because of good-faith concerns with respect to the safety, health, or welfare of the participants. If an expedition is canceled prior to departure, the tour operator will provide participants with a full refund of monies paid to the tour operator; except in the event that the cancellation is due to a significant event that makes it infeasible to operate the expedition as planned, in which case the tour operator will provide participants with a refund and/or credit toward a future National Geographic Expedition equivalent to monies paid to the tour operator. If National Geographic cancels the expedition in progress, participants will receive a prorated refund based on the number of days not completed on the expedition. Except as outlined above when National Geographic cancels an expedition, National Geographic and its designated tour operator has no responsibility for any expenses, including any non-refundable expenses, incurred by participants in preparing for a cancelled expedition or for any additional arrangements should participants embark prior to the scheduled group departure date.

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 www.nationalgeographicexpeditions.com.

Itinerary Changes: The itineraries and staff presented in the catalog or on the website are subject to modification and change by National Geographic or its designated tour operator. Every reasonable effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but alterations may still occur after final itineraries are sent.

Documentation: Participants are responsible for obtaining any documents required for their participation in the expedition such as a valid passport, all visas, vaccination certificates, and any other documents. Failure to obtain documents does not negate the terms and conditions, and any extra costs incurred for rerouting due to travel without the necessary documents will be the participant’s responsibility.

Health Requirements: Participants must be in good physical and mental health. Any physical condition, diet, or treatment requiring special attention must be reported in writing when the reservation is made. National Geographic encourages participants to consult a doctor for specific medical advice about any activities or destinations. Certain expeditions may require that the participant obtain medical consent prior to departure as a condition of participation.

Medical Authorization and Coverage: In the event participant becomes sufficiently incapacitated as to be unable to direct his or her own care, there is no one on the expedition who can direct participant’s care, and National Geographic is unable or does not have time to contact participant’s emergency contact, the participant, by registering and paying a deposit for a National Geographic expedition, authorizes any medical treatment deemed necessary in the event of any injury or illness while participating in the activity including, but not limited to, X-ray, examination, anesthetic, medical or surgical diagnosis, or treatment and hospital care which is deemed advisable by, and is to be rendered under the general or specific supervision of, any physician and/or surgeon licensed in the United States, or, if in a foreign country and no physician licensed to practice in the United States is reasonably available, by a duly licensed physician deemed competent to render the necessary care. In addition, the participant certifies that they have 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.

Photography: National Geographic and its designated tour operator and expedition leader 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 National Geographic Expedition, the participant agrees to allow his/her likeness to be used by National Geographic, National Geographic-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 expedition.

Copyright in all photographs, video, and related materials created by the participant (“Expedition Materials”) shall belong to the participant upon creation. The participant grants to National Geographic a non-exclusive, worldwide, irrevocable license to use any Expedition Materials provided to National Geographic and/or the tour operator in any media 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 National Geographic.

Dispute Resolution: If the participant has a complaint, he/she should first inform the tour operator or expedition leader while on the expedition so that the tour operator or expedition leader can attempt to rectify the matter. If the participant is still dissatisfied, he/she should submit the complaint in writing to National Geographic Expeditions within 30 days of the completion of the expedition.

Any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to this Agreement, brochures, or any other literature concerning this expedition, or the breach thereof, including without limitation any claim related to illness, injury, or death, shall be subject to the following conditions: 1) the dispute will be governed by Washington D.C. law; 2) the parties agree that they will attempt in good faith to settle any and all disputes arising out of, under or in connection with this Agreement, including without limitation the validity, interpretation, performance and breach hereof, through a process of mediation in Washington, D.C. under the supervision of a mutually agreed upon mediator; 3) in the event that mediation fails to settle such a dispute, the parties agree that they will proceed to arbitration in Washington, D.C. using one arbitrator pursuant to the then existing rules of the American Arbitration Association; 4) the maximum amount of recovery to which a participant will be entitled under any and all circumstances will be the published cost of the participant’s expedition with National Geographic. This agreement to arbitrate does not waive or modify any liability release agreed by the participant.

Other: Additional Terms and Conditions may apply to some expeditions and will be provided with pre-expedition mailings. By registering for a National Geographic Expedition, the participant agrees to the Responsibility statement and the Terms and Conditions published in the catalog and on the website.

Mailing List: If you are receiving duplicate catalogs, have address updates, or would like to be removed from future National Geographic Expeditions mailings, please call toll-free 1-888-966-8687.

See more at: http://www.nationalgeographicexpeditions.com/information/terms