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Tailor-Made Journeys

Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Travel Guard provides an on-tour Insurance Plan. On-tour emergency evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only). It also includes up to $25,000 medical and up to $500 dental expense coverage, and 24-hour worldwide travel and medical assistance. Please click here to view complete coverage details.

Tour cancellation insurance is available at an additional cost and is strongly recommended. To learn more about tour cancellation insurance, visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys.

Release

All trips are sold by us subject to these conditions and the other general information in this booklet, brochures and custom itineraries. Audley Travel US Inc. (the headquarters of which are at 77 North Washington Street, 4th Floor, Boston, MA, 02114, United States), its subsidiaries, owners, directors, officers, employees, shareholders and affiliates, (collectively “Audley Travel”), does not own or operate any entity which is to or does provide goods or services for your trip including, for example, ownership or control over hotels or other lodging facilities, airlines, vessels, buses, vans or other transportation companies, local ground operators, providers or organizers of optional excursions or equipment used thereon, food service or entertainment providers, etc. even if some of those entities utilize the Audley Travel name on signs etc. All such persons and entities are independent contractors. As a result, Audley Travel is not liable for any negligent or willful act or failure to act of any such person or entity, or of any other third party. Without limitation, Audley Travel is not responsible for any injury, loss, or damage to person, property or luggage, 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, force majeure, acts of war or civil unrest, insurrection or revolt, strikes or other labor activities, financial or other defaults by suppliers, criminal or terrorist activities of any kind, or the threat thereof, 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, 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 a medical or other emergency, illness, epidemics / pandemics or the threat thereof or for any other cause beyond the direct control of Audley Travel. In addition, I release Audley Travel from its own negligence and assume all risk thereof.

Assumption of Risk

I am aware that adventure travel such as that I am undertaking involves hazardous activities, some in remote areas of the world, with a risk of inconvenience, illness, injury or death which may be caused by forces of nature, animals, insects or flora, the negligence of Audley Travel, or other persons and companies known or unknown, or of negligent, willful or criminal conduct of third parties. I am aware that weather conditions may be severe, adverse and/or unpleasant. I am also aware that medical services or facilities may not be readily available or accessible during some or all of the time during which I am participating on the trip. In order to partake of the enjoyment and excitement of this adventure travel trip I am willing to accept the risks and uncertainty involved as being an integral part of my adventure. I hereby accept and assume full responsibility for any and all risks of illness, injury or death and of the negligence of Audley Travel or of any third parties.

Infectious Disease Release

I am aware that while on or traveling to or from my trip, I might be exposed to various infectious diseases such as but not limited to COVID-19, SARS, bird flu, Ebola, MERS, hantavirus, Zika, plague, dengue fever, malaria, etc. from other people, animals or objects. I assume all risk of any such contacts, including sickness, incapacity or death and agree to hold harmless Audley from any such developments. In addition, I recognize that the United States Department of State may have in place a Level 3 or even Level 4 Advisory related to my destination, and that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may have warnings concerning same. See https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/ and https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list/ It is participant’s responsibility to review same.

I also accept the following risks of participating on this trip including, without limitation:

(i) All other risks associated with any infectious disease including preclusion from public or private buildings, land or areas, inconvenience, limitations etc.

(ii) Risk of my travel insurance not covering infectious disease related claims.

(iii) All risks regarding transportation problems and delays including, without limitation, entry into or exit from any country and/or entry into the United States and/or difficulties with or closure of transportation systems or the availability of other features or attractions within the country where my trip takes place.

(iv) The likelihood that at some or all destinations I may be required to undergo a temperature check, wear a mask while in public, adhere to local hygiene and sanitation protocols and observe social distancing requirements.

(v) The possibility that in order to gain entry into a country or facility, I may have to produce evidence of a vaccination against COVID-19.

(vi) The potential for being quarantined, even if I am not symptomatic and/or do not have the infectious disease under consideration and/or the possible requirement that I have a negative COVID-19 test immediately before or on arrival at my destination or when I return home.

(vii) Any expenses incurred, including but not limited to medical expenses, testing fees, quarantine, and evacuation expenses, as a result, are to be borne by the participant.

Voluntary Participation

I acknowledge that I have voluntarily applied to participate on the trip designated on this application (or a trip which I may change to) and that I have read the description of the trip as it appears in the current Audley Travel brochure or other literature, any supplements and itineraries relating to the trip, together with all information contained in this application. I am voluntarily participating in this trip with knowledge of the hazards involved. I am also aware that additional waivers may be required by local tour providers in order to participate in certain activities during my trip.

Binding Arbitration

I agree that any dispute concerning, relating or referring to this Agreement, the brochure or any other literature concerning my trip, or the trip itself, shall be resolved exclusively by binding arbitration pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. §§1-16, either according to the then existing Commercial Rules of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) or pursuant to the Comprehensive Arbitration Rules & Procedures of the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, Inc. (JAMS). Such proceedings will be governed by substantive (but not procedural) Massachusetts law and will take place in Boston, MA. 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. Please understand that by agreeing to these terms and conditions, you (and we) are waiving our right to a trial by jury.

Any arbitration commenced against Audley must be on behalf of only the signatory to this Agreement and his or her immediate family members who traveled with signatory, such as a spouse or child. Under no circumstances can participant be part of a class or other joint action.

Importance of each participant signing the Release, Assumption of Risk, Binding Arbitration Agreement and Other Important Legal Considerations

Each person in a party must sign the Release, Assumption of Risk, Binding Arbitration Agreement and Other Important Considerations concerning your Audley Travel trip. If any participant at the time of signing is under 18 years of age, a parent or legal guardian must sign on the minor’s behalf. In the event any one or more person(s) does not sign, that person(s) cannot go on the trip and the cost to the remaining participants will be increased to reflect the added costs to Audley Travel of running the trip with fewer participants. You accept responsibility for the increased costs and understand that all incremental costs must be paid prior to departure.

Paying for your trip

(i) The procedure for making a booking is shown in your custom itinerary on the quote page and on our website. All bookings are subject to the Release, Assumption of Risk and Binding Arbitration Agreement. You must return the Audley Travel booking form and the Statement of Agreement (completed by all travelers) no later than 7 days after paying your deposit.

When we have received these documents and any applicable payment(s) due at the time of booking (see ii below), we will confirm your arrangements with our suppliers and subject to availability of the requested arrangements send you a confirmation invoice. If a delay in receiving your Statement of Agreement prevents us from booking elements of your trip, such as the flights, we may have to requote these elements and pass any associated costs on to you. You accept responsibility for the increased costs and understand that all incremental costs must be paid prior to departure.

Please check your confirmation invoice and all future travel documents carefully as soon as you receive them and contact us immediately if you think any details are incorrect. We cannot accept any liability if we are not notified of any inaccuracies (for which we are responsible) in any document within 10 days of our sending it out. We will do our best to rectify any mistake notified to us outside these time limits but you must meet any costs involved in doing so.

If you do not submit the required documents back to us before you travel you are subject to cancellation with no re-imbursement.

(ii) The deposit is part payment for your trip. The deposit required will be shown on the quote page of your custom itinerary. In addition to the deposit, full or part payment of certain elements of your trip such as flights may be required at the time of booking or at some point between booking and balance due date. Also see clause (iv). The deposit and all such additional payments are non-refundable unless we cancel your trip and the Force Majeure clause in this document is inapplicable. The balance must be paid not later than the date specified on your confirmation invoice. This is normally no less than 90 days before the departure date. However, there are a few destinations or trip components that require advance payment, as further noted in (iv) below. Please note 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 amounts paid or due at that date. If we do not cancel immediately because you still have promised to make payment, you still must pay the cancellation charges shown below based on the date we treat your booking as cancelled.

(iii) Full payment is required at the time of booking for all bookings made after balance due date as above.

(iv) On occasions, we may be asked by suppliers to make payment to them earlier than normal. Such requests may, for example, be made in order to secure accommodation and other services during periods of peak demand. Failure to comply with these requests may result in the loss of confirmed arrangements. Where this situation arises, we reserve the right to ask you to make payment of the requested sum within a certain period and prior to balance due date (“Advance Payment”). We will of course endeavor to avoid doing so if we can. Any such early payment will be nonrefundable.

If you change your trip

If, after the contract between us has come into existence, you want to change your itinerary we will pass your request on to the relevant supplier. However we cannot guarantee that such changes can be made. Where a change can be made, we will charge for any additional costs incurred including any costs imposed or incurred by any of our suppliers and including for example cancellation charges that may be incurred for sectors cancelled. Note that a change of name on or other alteration to an airline ticket will usually incur a 100% cancellation charge and full rebooking fee.

If you cancel your trip

If you have to cancel part of the booking or cancel the entire booking once it has been confirmed by us, written notification must be sent to us by certified mail or by email. As proof of receipt by email of your notification to cancel you must receive and retain written acknowledgement from Audley Travel. Charges will be applied from the date your letter or email is received, according to the scale below. The charges are applied as a percentage of the total trip cost excluding any amendment charges and any amounts paid in addition to the deposit at the time of booking or before balance due date.

Cancellation charges

The following cancellation charges apply if your final balance due date is 90 days prior to departure. Please note, different cancellation charges apply in relation to certain products – please see your confirmation invoice for details.

Period before departure date within which
written notification is received at our offices
Compensation per person
91+ days before departure 25% plus any Advance Payments
61-90 days before departure 50% plus any Advance Payments
31-60 days before departure 75% plus any Advance Payments
0-30 days before departure 100%

Alterations or cancellations by you after commencement of travel and unused services

We will do our best to implement any changes to your arrangements you request once they have commenced, but we cannot guarantee this will be possible. In the event of such amendments being made you will be liable for any cancellation charges that may be levied for the services originally booked, and for the cost of booking the revised arrangements and the arrangements themselves. As a basic principle, no refunds will be paid to clients who do not complete a trip. If you have taken out travel insurance you may, depending on the details of your policy, be able to recover the cancellation charges.

If we change your trip

We start planning the trips we offer many months in advance. Occasionally, we have to make changes to itineraries, hotels and other details both before and after bookings have been confirmed. While we always endeavor to avoid changes and cancellations, we must reserve the right to do so. However, we will only cancel your confirmed booking after balance due date where you have failed to comply with any requirement of these booking conditions entitling us to cancel (such as paying on time) or where we are forced to do so as a result of “force majeure” as defined herein. We will not cancel after this date for any other reason. However, in the event of a change or cancellation precipitated by a force majeure event, we will not offer you a cash refund but instead may offer you the opportunity to take a trip credit or postpone your trip to a future date.

Force majeure

We cannot accept liability, make refunds or pay any compensation where the performance or prompt performance of our contractual obligations is prevented or affected, or you otherwise suffer any loss, injury, death, inconvenience or damage as a result of circumstances amounting to “force majeure”. “Force majeure” means any event or circumstances which we or the supplier of the services in question could not avoid. Such events and circumstances may include, but are not limited to, acts of God, actual or threatened, war, insurrection, riots, strikes, civil action, acts by governments or governing authority, technical or maintenance problems with transport, changes of schedules or operational decisions of air carriers, terrorist activity or the threat thereof, industrial action, natural or nuclear activity, epidemics / pandemics or the threat thereof, adverse weather conditions, fire and all similar events outside our control. This force majeure clause is applicable to every provision in this document, as well as to all other information provided with regard to your trip.

Surcharges

Significant increases in aviation fuel and other energy prices as well as fluctuations in exchange rates and other factors may necessitate an increase in trip prices before or after you book. If you purchase interstate or international air through Audley Travel as part of the trip, no surcharges will be imposed (except in the unlikely event of an increase in governmental taxes) after final payment. Surcharges, however, may be imposed at any time up to final payment. If, however, you purchase a land-only package (no interstate or international air), Audley Travel reserves the right to surcharge for these increased costs even after final payment. We reserve the right to make changes to and correct errors in quoted prices at any time before your trip is confirmed. We will advise you of any error of which we are aware and of the then applicable price at the time of booking.

Flights and your responsibility

The flight details shown in your custom itinerary are for guidance only and are subject to change. Final details will be confirmed on the documentation within your Travel Organizer, sent approximately 14 days prior to departure. The times shown on all tickets are local times and check in for both outward and return flights is at least 3 hours prior to the departure times on the travel documents. It is possible that flight times may be changed even after tickets have been issued. We will contact you as soon as possible if this occurs.

We can accept no responsibility if you arrive late for the check in and miss your flight as a result nor can we accept responsibility for any loss by you of your trip/flight travel tickets, vouchers or coupons.

The name on your airline tickets must be identical to the name on your passport.

Air travel is subject to weather conditions and operational decisions of carriers and airports which may result in delays and diversions. Please note that carriers sometimes change the departure time of flights at short notice, and in some instances, schedules shown in the computers of intercontinental carriers differ from those actually flown by smaller local carriers. It is your responsibility to be meticulous in locally reconfirming directly with the carrier operating the flight. We accept no liability for the consequences of flights missed owing to the passenger’s failure to reconfirm.

We and our local ground-handlers reserve the right to remove you from any trip if you endanger yourself or others or disrupt the general well-being of the trip itself. In any such case, there will be no refund.

When you book with us, you accept responsibility for any damage or loss caused by you. Full payment for any such damage or loss (reasonably estimated if not precisely known) must be paid direct at the time to the accommodation owner or manager or other supplier. Baggage and personal effects are at all times the sole responsibility of the participant.

Disinsection of aircraft is permitted under international law in order to protect public health, agriculture and the environment. A number of countries that we organize trips to choose to do this by spraying the aircraft cabin with an aerosolized insecticide while passengers are on board. Our clients have rarely had any issues with this process but we note that while the Report of the Informal Consultation on Aircraft Disinsection sponsored by the World Health Organization (November 6-10, 1995) concluded that aircraft disinsection, if performed appropriately, would not present a risk to human health, the report also noted that some individuals may experience transient discomfort following aircraft disinsection by aerosol application. If you have concerns about this process or wish to know more please ask your country specialist.

Travel Advisories/Warnings and your responsibility

It is the responsibility of the traveler to become informed about the most current travel information, advisories and warnings by referring both to the U. S. State Department's travel website atwww.travel.state.gov/or by phone at 1-888-407-4747 and by accessing the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices. In the event of an active State Department Travel Advisory Level 3 or 4 against travel to a specific location on your itinerary, Audley will attempt to make changes to or reroute your trip to avoid that specific locale. In all cases, regardless of a US State Department advisory or a CDC warning, the traveler assumes all risk of personal injury, death, loss, inconvenience or delay, quarantine costs, hospital or medical costs, or other expenses that may arise from the trip.

Excursions

We do not provide or arrange excursions other than those you have arranged with us and which are listed in your custom itinerary. Our local representatives or guides may put you in touch with local organizers of excursions if you request them to but we have no liability for such excursions, as your contract for such excursions will be with a local company providing the services and not with us.

Villas and private stay accommodation

Where you book a villa or other private stay accommodation with us (“villa”), additional terms may apply to your booking which do not generally apply to other types of accommodation. You will have a contract with us for the arrangements booked through us (including your villa) but you may also be required to enter into a contract directly with the villa owner which will include terms specifically relating to that villa/owner. To enable us to deal quickly with any issues which may arise during your holiday, you authorize us to communicate with the villa owner.

A security deposit may be required to cover the cost of any damage, breakage or loss occurring during your stay and the cost of any other services for which an additional charge applies. If a security deposit is payable, you will be advised at the time of booking and the details will, if taken by us, be shown on your booking confirmation / invoice. Any security deposit taken by us is usually payable with the balance of your holiday cost and will be held by us on behalf of the villa owner. Alternatively, if there is a requirement for the security deposit to be paid directly to the villa owner or an associated supplier, we will provide you with the relevant details for payment. It will be returned to you after the end of your stay, less any deductions which may be required to cover the cost of any damage, breakage or loss which has occurred during your stay. If no security deposit is payable, you will be directly responsible to the villa owner for the cost of any damage, breakage, loss and services (for which an additional charge applies).

Unless detailed as payable locally or as otherwise confirmed to you in writing, the cost of your villa includes gas, electricity, water, weekly linen change plus any maid service as specified and any other extra included services specified at the time of booking. There may be an additional charge in the event of excessive usage of any included service. Tourist and other taxes may be payable locally in addition to the cost of your booking.

Villas are let for vacation purposes only and may not be used for any other purpose without the written consent of the villa owner. The number of persons staying at the villa (including children and infants) must not exceed the published capacity of the villa as stated in our documentation or advised at the time of booking. The decoration, furnishings and items provided at the villa may differ from those advertised as changes may be made by the villa owner at any time. Photographs are intended to be representative of the standard, general look and usual contents of the villa.

Prices and brochure accuracy

The information and prices shown in our brochures and/or custom itineraries may have changed by the time you come to book your trip. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the brochures, custom itineraries and prices at the time of printing or when they are given to you, regrettably errors and/or changes do occasionally occur. You must therefore ensure you check all details of your chosen trip (including the price) with us at the time of booking.

Photographs of participants

Audley Travel may take photographs or video of its trips and trip participants. I grant Audley Travel permission to do so and for it to use same for promotional or commercial use without payment of any compensation to participant.

Visa and Passport Information

Participants are solely responsible for ensuring their passports are up to date, do not expire for at least 6 months after the trip return date (a requirement to enter many countries), have two completely blank pages (for some countries) and have all necessary visas. Any failure of a participant to have proper visas and/ or passport will likely result in the participant not being able to leave the country or enter a destination and no refund will be available in any such case.

For up to date visa requirements US citizens should visit www.travel.state.gov. Canadian citizens should visit https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories. Citizens of other countries should check with the relevant embassy in their own country.

United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA)

Audley Travel US Inc., as an Active Member of USTOA, is required to post $1 Million with USTOA to be used to reimburse, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the USTOA $1 Million Travelers Assistance Program, the advance payments of Audley Travel US Inc. customers in the unlikely event of Audley Travel US Inc. bankruptcy, insolvency or cessation of business. Further, you should understand that the $1 Million posted by Audley Travel US Inc. may be sufficient to provide only a partial recovery of the advance payments received by Audley Travel US Inc. More details of the USTOA Travelers Assistance Program may be obtained by writing to USTOA at 345 Seventh Avenue, Suite 1801, New York, New York 10001, or by email to information@ustoa.com or by visiting their website at www.USTOA.com

Honeymoon gift service

All honeymoon bookings and use of the Audley Travel Honeymoon Gift Service are subject to our Release, Assumption of Risk, Binding Arbitration Agreement and Other Important Legal Considerations. It is important to note that in the event of a cancellation of your booking you will be responsible for all cancellation charges as detailed in the Release, Assumption of Risk, Binding Arbitration Agreement and Other Important Legal Considerations. Audley Travel also reserves the right to charge a $225 administration fee to cover refunding all monies to your guests. These refunds will only be made once all cancellation charges have been paid.

Release US v4 May 2021