Uncover the legendary civilizations and enduring cultures of Asia, Africa, and the Mediterranean, from remote Bhutan to the treasures of ancient Egypt, all from the comforts of our private jet.
Epic Kingdoms by Private Jet
An All-Inclusive Journey Across Europe, Africa And Asia
19 days from $114,950
Uncover the legendary civilizations and enduring cultures of Asia, Africa, and the Mediterranean, from remote Bhutan to the treasures of ancient Egypt, all from the comforts of our private jet.
- A Q&A with Expert Ross King
- A Q&A with Expert Cassandra Potts Hannahs
- A Q&A with Expert Grant Nel
- A Q&A with Expert Michelle Thaller
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* Click on hotel name to visit hotel web-site.
Built as a mansion for a wealthy businessman in 1874, the Hotel Grande Bretagne is a landmark property situated in the heart of Athens. Enjoy breathtaking views of the fabled Acropolis from the rooftop restaurant and pool, as well as easy access to this historic city’s best-known attractions.
Number of nights: 1
Built in 1835, Rambagh Palace was home to Jaipur’s royal family until 1957, when it was converted into a hotel. The property includes over 47 acres of expansive gardens. Relax and recharge at the holistic spa or indulge in a fine dinner at one of several unique bars and restaurants.
*October 2020 accommodations.
Number of nights: 3
Taking its inspiration from the Kathmandu Valley’s rich cultural heritage, this centrally located hotel is architecturally modeled after the palaces of the Newar Kings. Guest rooms have handwoven linens and handcrafted artisan furniture.
Number of nights: 1
Zhiwa Ling means "Place of Peace," and this hotel certainly lives up to its name. It has elaborate hand-carved wooden cornices and stunning stonework. There is also a traditional Bhutanese outdoor hot-stone bath, a Tea House, and a Meditation House. Honoring the spiritual heritage of this ancient Buddhist kingdom, a temple has been built into the second floor of the hotel, made with 450-year-old timbers from the famous Gangtey Monastery. There are two restaurants, one with international cuisine, and the other which focuses on classic Bhutanese dishes. Each of the rooms comes equipped with oak-wood floors, hand-knotted rugs, and furniture which reflect the heritage of the country, as well as the skill of the local craftsmen.
Number of nights: 2
Uma Paro, located on a 38-acre site atop a tree-clad hill, offers exceptional style in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. It is dedicated to the philosophy of quiet comfort in a unique, culture-rich location. The surrounding landscape at this inland retreat is dramatic, with pine-clad valleys and snow-tipped ranges. The overall concept within the hotel is a mix of clean-lined modernism and original detailing upon carved wooden windows and doors. The hotel also features the COMO Shambhala Retreat – the resort’s center of health and wellbeing – with separate male and female steam rooms, a hot stone bath house, and 500-square-foot indoor pool with outdoor sundeck. There is also a gym and a yoga studio overlooking the Paro Valley. The Bukhari restaurant is set among tall pine trees and the cuisine is delectable. The menus are Bhutanese and most of the food is local and organically grown. Guest rooms and suites offer views of forest, mountains, and the Paro Valley. The main building, formerly a Bhutanese nobleman’s home, forms the heart of the hotel. Amenities include high-speed Internet access, satellite television, a DVD player and hairdryer.
Number of nights: 2
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Number of nights: 3
Golden Triangle, Thailand
The Four Seasons Tented Camp is located among bamboo jungles and can be reached by river boat. There are 15 free-standing tents spaced appropriately apart in order to allow complete privacy. Each tent was designed as an open space with a large outdoor deck. All furnishings were handcrafted and the décor is reminiscent of 19th century style expeditions. Amenities inside the tents include wireless Internet access, mini bar, in-tent safe, hairdryer, and coffee/tea-making facilities. The camp also offers a pool and spa for the ultimate in relaxation.
Number of nights: 3
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
In the center of Addis Ababa, the Sheraton Addis features well-appointed rooms and personal service. Ethiopian art by local artisans is displayed throughout the hotel, and amenities include 11 restaurants and lounges, a heated outdoor pool, sauna and Jacuzzi.
Number of nights: 2
Located on the banks of the Nile River, this property offers uninterrupted views of the city and is the ideal base to explore the region's rich and ancient culture. Facilities include fine restaurants, two infinity pools, and spa. The spacious guest rooms offer the comforts of home, including high speed Internet access, LCD TV, DVD player, hair dryer, and city or garden views.
Number of nights: 3
The first hotel built in Taormina, the elegant Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo overlooks the rooftops of the medieval town, with views of the picturesque coastline and Mt. Etna. Guests can enjoy classic Sicilian cuisine at the hotel’s terrace restaurant, as well as a fitness center, heated pool and access to a private beach.
Number of nights: 2
Overlooking Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square occupies a landmark art deco building that was once home to the Port of London Authority. Enjoy city views from light-filled rooms and savor afternoon tea under the beautiful domed ceiling of the Rotunda.
Number of nights: 1
Activity Level 3 - Moderate / Active
Expectations: We are committed to maintaining the quality and safety of the expedition for all participants. Overall, our trips give you the freedom to set your own pace. Each destination on every itinerary offers a variety of options with different activity levels. In some, you may only be walking for short periods of time and have more downtime between excursions, while in others, you may spend the entire day touring or walking over uneven terrain. You may, of course, choose to have a day off and relax at any location. On all our expeditions, you can expect the following:
- Uneven ground/frequent walking up to one mile at any given time
- Walking up the steps to the jet, as many foreign airports do not have jetways
- Trip pace—only one to three nights in each stop with some late-night activities and early-morning departures. Downtime opportunities every three or four days, and/or shorter flight durations; crosses fewer time zones
- Time zone changes
- Changes to your ‘normal’ routine: unique cuisine, frequent packing/unpacking
- We will make reasonable efforts to accommodate participants with special needs; however, we cannot accommodate wheelchairs or walkers. If you require a slower pace, extra assistance, or the use of a cane or walking stick, arrangements can be made for private touring at each destination. Any extra cost for such arrangements will be the responsibility of the participant.
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.
Please visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1-800-208-6142 to learn about additional (optional) coverage.
Smithsonian Journeys are designed to engage travelers in the mission of the Smithsonian - “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Like the Institution, our tours enrich our guests’ lives and satisfy their curiosity about the world around them. Your participation benefits the work of Smithsonian's 19 museums, national zoo, and nine research centers, helping to preserve our national treasures and shape the future through science, research, and exhibitions.
Around the World Classic by Private Jet // Operator-Participant Contract and Terms & Conditions
Our Mission: Smithsonian Journeys engages travelers in the wide-ranging mission of the Smithsonian. Like the Institution, our tours enrich our guests’ lives and satisfy their curiosity about the world. Your participation benefits the work of Smithsonian’s 19 museums, the National Zoo, and nine research centers, helping to preserve our national treasures and shape the future through science, research and exhibitions. Please read the following information carefully. After reading the Operator-Participant Contract and Terms and Conditions herein (the “Agreement”), in order for your reservation to be completed, you must indicate your acceptance of the terms of the Agreement by signing and submitting the Reservation Form, along with the deposit to Operator.
OPERATOR-PARTICIPANT CONTRACT AND TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Please read the following information carefully. After reading the Operator-Participant Contract and Terms and Conditions herein (the “Agreement”), in order for your reservation to be completed, you must indicate your acceptance of the terms of the Agreement by signing and submitting the Reservation Form, along with the deposit to TCS.
TCS & Starquest Expeditions, Inc. (“TCS or Operator”), 3131 Elliott Avenue, Suite 300, Seattle, WA 98121, a qualified tour operator, is partnering with sponsoring organization, Smithsonian Institution (“the Sponsor”). TCS will organize and administer the Epic Kingdoms by Private Jet journey (the “Tour”). TCS, as the principal, is responsible to you for arranging and providing all of the services and accommodations offered in connection with the Tour, provided, however, that in the absence of gross negligence on TCS’ part, TCS is not responsible for personal injury or property damage caused by the air carrier, hotel, or other suppliers of any services being offered in connection with the Tour. The acceptance of your Reservation Form and deposit by TCS creates a contractual relationship between you, the passenger/participant (Participant), in the Tour provided by TCS.
Reservations and Payments: To reserve your place on the Tour, complete and sign the Reservation Form and return it with your deposit of $18,000 per guest. The deposit can be made by check; wire transfer; or by a major credit card such as American Express, Visa and MasterCard. If you pay your initial deposit by credit card, it is fully refundable until you sign the Reservation Form. Please fax or mail the completed form to SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS, 3131 Elliott Avenue, Suite 300, Seattle, WA 98121; fax to 206-447-7717. Or call 866-903-7650 TOLL FREE or 206-753-0047 USA. The second payment of $42,000 per person is due November 29, 2019. The final payment is due March 30, 2020. Make checks payable to “TCSLK-20 Escrow”. The second and final payments are payable by American Express, check or wire transfer, made out to the secure escrow account as set forth below.
If the Tour is fully booked when your Reservation Form is received, your payment will be returned within 7 days, or with your authorization, TCS may retain the deposit and place your name on a waiting list in the event other Participants cancel their reservations. Even if you authorize TCS to put your name on a waiting list and retain your deposit, TCS will notify you within 7 days that the Tour is fully booked.
Security Agreement: Your payments are held in an escrow account at The Commerce Bank of Washington (“TCBW”), 601 Union Street, Suite 3600, Seattle, WA 98101-1342. Participants are protected by a Letter of Credit #592 issued by TCBW (the “Security Agreement”). Any claims against this Security Agreement must be filed with TCS or TCBW within 60 days of the termination of the Tour. After that time, TCS and TCBW will be released from liability under the Security Agreement.
Tour Price: $114,950 per person (double occupancy) with a $11,495 solo supplement. All prices are in U.S. dollars. Prices may vary and are subject to change without notice.
Included in the price: A privately chartered jet that departs from the departure city as listed in the itinerary, and returns to the final destination city as listed in the itinerary; Deluxe or best available accommodations and all applicable taxes in the destinations, and options as indicated in the itinerary, from arrival at the first hotel through departure from the last hotel. All meals beginning with dinner on the first night of the Tour and ending with breakfast on the last day of the Tour, as indicated in the itinerary are included. All taxes; group transportation; airport transfers at the beginning and the end of the itinerary; excursions; complete program of special events and activities, including options at most destinations; enrichment program including lectures by a team of experts; services of professional staff, including a journey physician, to assist you throughout the trip; cost of philanthropic efforts; 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, and non-alcoholic beverages at all scheduled meals on land; baggage handling during the Tour; internet access in hotels, where available; tips or gratuities to local guides, drivers, porters, and wait staff; amenities package; $100,000 medical evacuation insurance for covered reasons. The exact Tour itinerary, name and location of hotels, length of stay at each hotel, and other ground accommodations and services, are set forth in the itinerary, which is a part of this Agreement.
Not included in the price: Commercial airfare from your home city to the departure city, and return airfare from the final destination city to your home city; optional and additional accident/baggage/cancellation insurance; passport and visa fees; personal expenses such as laundry, telephone, and fax fees; all beverages not mentioned above as included; hotel minibar charges; meals not scheduled by TCS; and inoculation and medication costs of any kind. Any tips or gratuities not specifically mentioned as included in the total Tour price will be at your discretion. No refund will be made for any accommodations or services included in the price that you voluntarily do not use.
Insurance: TCS strongly recommends this important protection, which can save you money if you are forced to cancel or alter your trip. Insurance premium payments are nonrefundable.
Baggage: On the private jet, each Participant is limited to 100 pounds of checked baggage in 2 bags (one bag of your choice limited to 50 pounds and one wheeled bag that TCS will send ahead of time to you for use on the Tour limited to 50 pounds), plus a few smaller carry-on items such as a backpack, purse, camera, and/or laptop. In certain destinations you may fly on private light aircraft. Due to weight restrictions on these flights you will only be allowed one bag, provided to you by TCS, plus your hand-carry luggage (including camera equipment). 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 passenger, 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 TCS, and personal effects are at all times the sole responsibility of the Participant.
Aircraft: The private jet flights will be performed using a Boeing 757 jet with 52 VIP-style seats. The air carrier for the Tour is Titan Airways Limited, Enterprise House, Stansted Airport, Essex, CM24 1RN, England. TCS and air carrier reserve the right, without penalty or liability, to change the aircraft with a reasonable substitute of comparable capacity, in their sole discretion, including but not limited to if the aircraft is or becomes, unavailable or unserviceable for any reason. Your itinerary may include flights on smaller aircraft operated by local approved airline carriers. Seating on these aircraft will be economy or economy with limited business seats, based upon the configuration of the aircraft.
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 Tour, that flight leg will be canceled and alternative arrangements may be made, at the discretion of TCS.
Cancellations and Refunds: If you cancel your reservation or change your plans, your right to receive a refund is limited, as set forth in the following schedule. All cancellations will become effective as of the date of the postmark or email receipt. All requests for refunds must be sent to TCS in writing via mail, fax or email.
If your notice is received... You will receive a refund of all deposits less a...
- 365 or more days prior to departure $5,000 per-person cancellation fee.
- 364 and 300 days prior to departure $10,000 per-person cancellation fee.
- 299 and 240 days prior to departure $15,000 per-person cancellation fee.
- 239 and 180 days prior to departure $25,000 per-person cancellation fee.
- 180 days or fewer prior to departure No refund.
Refunds will be made within 14 days of receipt of your notice of cancellation.
Leaving the Tour in progress, for any reason whatsoever, will not result in a refund, and no refunds will be made for any unused portions of the Tour. If you cancel and are able to provide a substitute Participant for the Tour, you will receive 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.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Itinerary Changes: The itinerary and staff are subject to modification and change by TCS. Every reasonable effort will be made to operate the Tour as planned; however, should unforeseen world events and conditions require our itinerary to be altered, TCS reserves the right to do so for the safety and best interest of the group.
Single/Shared Accommodations and Suite Upgrades: A limited number of single rooms are available at extra cost on a first-come, first-served basis. TCS will make reasonable efforts to assist persons requesting a roommate. If a roommate is not confirmed, the single rate will be charged. Suite rooms are available in some destinations; more information about them, including their additional costs, will be sent to you in the months before departure.
Airfare: We are happy to assist you in reserving commercial flights from your home city to the Tour departure city, and from the Tour final destination to your home city, in the class of service that you prefer.
Please ask for details.
Visa Documents/Entry Permits: To participate in the Tour, visas and/or entry permits may be required for some countries. Acquiring visas and/or entry permits is the responsibility of the Participant. Failure to obtain visas and/or entry permits does not negate the terms and conditions. Any extra costs for rerouting Participants without visas and/or entry permits will be the responsibility of the Participant. We will provide information on the necessary visas and/or entry permits in the Tour documents.
Health Requirements: This is an active Tour that requires you to make a realistic assessment of your health. All Participants are expected to be in active good health, to be comfortable 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 (8,000 feet above sea level and higher), you will need to obtain your physician’s approval. A form will be sent to you for your physician to sign. TCS is prepared to arrange for an alternative destination or activity if your physician recommends it. Malaria and other diseases may be present in some of the countries featured in this itinerary; proof of yellow fever inoculation may be required. For the latest recommendations on specific health precautions for the areas you will visit, consult your physician and the Centers for Disease Control. Any physical condition requiring special attention, diet, or treatment should be reported in writing when the reservation is made. TCS will make reasonable efforts to accommodate Participants with special needs; however, TCS 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 Tour staff. Any extra cost for such arrangements will be the responsibility of the Participant. If you would like to forego some of the scheduled sightseeing to rejuvenate and relax, please feel free to do so at any time.
Use of Likeness and Images: You hereby grant to TCS and Sponsor the irrevocable right and permission to capture and use your name/photograph/image/voice/audio recording/video recording/ and likeness (collectively, “Your Images”) while on the Tour for future publicity and promotional material in all forms or manner, without payment or other consideration. Participants who do not wish to be photographed during the Tour must inform TCS and Sponsor in writing prior to the Tour. In addition, you hereby grant TCS and Sponsor the irrevocable right and permission to reproduce or use any portion or all of any photograph/image/voice/audio recording/video recording/ that have been taken by you and submitted to TCS and/or Sponsor (collectively with Your Images, the “Images”) in any and all of its media, brochures, publications, including web-based publications, without payment or other consideration. You understand and agree that all Images will become the property of TCS and/or Sponsor and will not be returned. You hereby irrevocably authorize TCS and Sponsor to edit, alter, copy, exhibit, publish, or distribute these Images for any lawful purpose. In addition, you waive any right to inspect or approve the finished product any right to royalties or other compensation arising or related to the use of the Images.
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 TCS will make reasonable efforts to maintain the listed prices, if it is necessary to levy a surcharge, TCS reserves the right to do so and will notify you at the time of final invoicing. TCS reserves the right to cancel the Tour because of inadequate enrollment that makes the Tour economically infeasible to operate. In such a case, a full refund of the Tour cost will be made.
Disclaimer of Liability: The Tour is organized and administered by TCS as an independent contractor of the Smithsonian Institution. TCS and Sponsor are not liable for injury, illness or death of any Participant unless directly caused by the negligence of willful misconduct of TCS or Sponsor. TCS purchases transportation, hotel accommodations, and other services from various independent suppliers that are not subject to its control. These suppliers are independent contractors and acts of independent contractors are not acts of TCS or Sponsor. Neither TCS, its, owners, officers, agents, employees, contractors, nor any associate organization, nor the Smithsonian Institution, its Regents, officers, employees, representatives or agents, or the United States (collectively the “Released Parties”) shall be held liable for any act, default, injury (including emotional injury, injury to person or property, or death), loss, expense, damage, deviation, delay, curtailment or inconvenience caused to or suffered by any person or their property, howsoever arising, which may occur or be incurred by any organization or person, even though such act, default, injury, loss, expense, damage, deviation, delay, curtailment or inconvenience may have been caused or contributed to defects or failures of any aircraft, vessel, automotive vehicle or other equipment or instrumentality under the control of independent suppliers. In issuing tickets for transportation of the travel by any means and making arrangements for travel, hotel or other accommodation, TCS is not acting as principal but only as agent for the companies, corporations, owner, public carriers or persons providing or offering the means of transportation and accommodation. You further understand that TCS neither owns nor operates such third-party suppliers and accordingly, agree to seek remedies directly and only against those suppliers and not hold the Released Parties responsible for their acts or omissions.
Force Majeure: Without limitation, TCS and Sponsor are not responsible for any acts which are beyond their control, including but not limited to acts of God, weather emergencies, breakdown, or failure of diving or mechanical equipment, government actions, inclement weather, sickness, attacks by animals, availability of emergency evacuation or medical care or the adequacy of the same, criminal activity of any kind, terrorism, war, civil disturbance, sanitary conditions, quality or sanitation of food, quarantine, customs, regulations, epidemics, strikes, hotel overbooking, safety and/or security standards at hotels, accommodations or otherwise, or for any other reason beyond the control of TCS and Sponsor (each, herein referred to as an event or act of force majeure). TCS and Sponsor shall not be responsible for any injury to person, (including emotional injury or physical injury and whether or not resulting in death) or damage to property arising out of any act of war, insurrection, revolt or other civil uprising or military action occurring in the countries of origin, destination or passage.
Acknowledgment of Risk: You understand and acknowledge that your travel in connection with and participation in the Tour may involve risk and potential exposure to injury, including emotional injury, injury to person or property and death. You also realize and acknowledge that risk and dangers may be caused by the negligence, fault or wrongdoing of the Released Parties or of other participants, contractors and/or subcontractors to TCS and Sponsor. You also recognize and acknowledge that risk and dangers may arise from foreseeable and unforeseeable causes. You fully understand and acknowledge that the aforementioned risks, dangers and hazards are a potential in connection with your travel and recreational activities which may take place during the Tour, may involve travel to a country where a U.S. Department of State travel advisory or alert is in place and may involve risk and potential exposure to injury or fatal injury and that risk and dangers may arise or be caused by the negligence or participation of other Participants, contractors, and/or subcontractors for the Tour or from other foreseeable and unforeseeable causes including weather and other acts of nature.
Express Assumption of Risk and Responsibility/Participation: In recognition of the inherent risk of the travels and related activities in which you are intending to engage, you confirm that you are physically and mentally capable of participating in the Tour, that you are willingly and knowingly electing to participate in this Tour in spite of the potential risk of danger, and you willingly and voluntarily assume full responsibility for any injury, loss or damage suffered by you or caused by you, including emotional injury or injury to person or property. You understand and acknowledge that TCS and Sponsor reserve the right to accept or reject any Participant for any reason, and TCS and Sponsor have the right to disqualify you from any Tour activity, if in TCS’s and Sponsor’s judgment, you are incapable of that activity and/or your continued participation in the tour will endanger yourself or the safety of the group. It is your responsibility and obligation to inform TCS, at the time your reservation is made, of any medical or physical disability or limitation that might disable you or render you unable to perform or safely complete the tour or any activity on the tour. You further acknowledge that you are the best judge of your own conditions and limitations and that it is incumbent upon you to fully disclose the full extent of any such conditions or limitations to TCS.
Release: In consideration of the services and arrangements provided by TCS and Sponsor, you, for yourself and for your heirs, personal representatives or assigns, do hereby release, waive, discharge, hold harmless and agree to indemnify the Released Parties from any and all claims, actions, or losses for emotional injury, bodily injury, property damage, wrongful death, loss of services, lost profits, consequential, exemplary, indirect or punitive damages or otherwise which may arise out of or occur during your travel in connection with the Tour and any activities conducted in conjunction therewith and shall include, without limitation, any loss caused by any act, omission, fault or negligence of the Participant or fellow travelers.
Express Waiver of Consequential, Punitive or Exemplary Damages: Regardless of the situation or circumstances giving rise to a claim, you waive any right to seek consequential, punitive or exemplary damages against the Released Parties for any reason whatsoever.
Medical Care: In the event medical care becomes necessary on your Tour, you may be hours or days travel by water, porter, animal, or other non-vehicular transportation from any medical facility. The medical facility you may be treated in may not have the same standards as hospitals or doctor’s offices in your home country. The medical personnel you will be treated by may not speak fluent English and have the same training as medical personnel in your home country. You further acknowledge that an emergency evacuation may be unavailable, expensive and delayed at your location, and that the medical facilities and attention available abroad may be limited. Decisions are made by TCS staff based on a variety of perceptions and evaluations of the situation at hand. Participant understands and agrees to abide by these decisions.
Safety Conditions: Although most travel, including travel to international destinations, is completed without incident, travel to certain destinations such as to the countries to which Participant will be traveling on the Tour may involve greater risk than others. TCS urges each Participant review travel prohibitions, warnings, announcements and advisories issued by the United States Government prior to participating in the Tour. Information on conditions in the to the countries to which Participant will be traveling on the Tour and the level of risk associated with travel to those countries can be found at the “County Specific Information,” “Travel Warnings,” “Travel Alerts,” and “Background Note” pages on the United States Department of State’s website. TCS AND SPONSOR DO NOT REPRESENT OR WARRANT THAT TRAVEL TO ANY COUNTRY IS ADVISABLE OR WITHOUT RISK AND ARE NOT LIABLE FOR DAMAGES OR LOSSES THAT MAY RESULT FROM TRAVEL TO THE COUNTRIES WHICH ARE PART OF THE TOUR.
For claims against Smithsonian: Any action or legal proceeding against the Smithsonian Institution in connection with the Tour shall be brought only in a United States federal court of competent jurisdiction.
For claims against TCS (excluding the Smithsonian):
Mediation/Arbitration: (A) The Participant and TCS agree that any and all disputes and claims that the each may have against the other (excluding the Smithsonian) that arise out of or relate to the Tour including the breach, termination, enforcement, interpretation or validity of these Terms and Conditions, 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, which are over US$15,000, will be resolved in a binding, confidential, individual and fair arbitration process as set forth herein, and not in court. The only exceptions to this Arbitration Agreement are that (i) Disputes of up to and including US$15,000 shall be pursued in Washington small claims court, and (ii) each party may bring suit in court against the other to enjoin infringement or other misuse of intellectual property rights.(B) 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 will survive termination of this Agreement.(C) If either the Participant or TCS wants to arbitrate a Dispute, the Participant or TCS must first send by mail to the other a written Notice of Dispute (“Notice”) that sets forth the name, address, and contact information of the party giving notice, the specific facts giving rise to the Dispute, the journey to which the Notice relates, and the relief requested. The Participant’s Notice to TCS must be sent by mail to TCS World Travel, 3131 Elliott Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121; Attn: Legal Department. TCS will send any Notice to the Participant at the contact information TCS has for the Participant or that the Participant provides. It is the sender’s responsibility to ensure that the recipient receives the Notice. During the first 45 days after the Participant or TCS sends a Notice to the other, the Participant and TCS may try to reach a settlement of the Dispute. If the Participant and TCS do not resolve the Dispute within those first 45 days, either the Participant or TCS may initiate arbitration as set forth herein. (D) Any arbitration between the Participant and TCS will be conducted by the American Arbitration Association (the “AAA”) and will be governed by the AAA’s Commercial Arbitration Rules and the Supplementary Procedures for Consumer Related Disputes (collectively, the “AAA Rules”), as modified by this Arbitration Agreement. The AAA Rules are available online at www.adr.org, or by calling the AAA at 1-800-778-7879. The arbitration will be conducted by a single arbitrator. If the Participant and TCS cannot agree on who that single arbitrator should be, then the AAA shall appoint an arbitrator with significant experience resolving the type of Dispute at issue. The arbitrator is bound by the terms of this Agreement. A form for initiating formal arbitration may be found on the AAA’s website at www.adr.org (“Arbitration Form”). In addition to filing this Arbitration Form with AAA in accordance with its rules and procedures, the Participant must send a copy of this completed Arbitration Form to TCS. (E) If the Participant is seeking to recover $100,000 or less (exclusive of interest on the sum claimed, cost of arbitration and legal expenses), AAA rules provide that the Dispute should be resolved without a hearing, by submission of documents only. Either the Participant or TCS may request a hearing, however, and be responsible for the fees associated with it. If the arbitrator recommends a hearing even if neither the Participant nor TCS request one, TCS will pay the arbitrator’s fees associated with the hearing. If the claim is for more than $100,000 (exclusive of interest on the sum claimed, cost of arbitration and legal expenses), the manner and place of the hearing will be in Seattle Washington, USA or as otherwise agreed by the parties or determined in accordance with the AAA Rules, Principles, and Guidelines. (F) The Participant and TCS agree to maintain the confidential nature of any mediation and arbitration proceeding and shall not disclose the fact of the proceeding, any documents exchanged as part of the proceeding, , the agreement, the arbitrator’s decision and the existence or amount of any agreement or 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 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.
Exclusive Governing Law and Jurisdiction: With respect to TCS and the Participant, these Terms and Conditions and any Disputes, actions and legal proceedings whatsoever by the Participant against TCS shall be governed exclusively, in all respects, and without regard to conflict of law principles, by applicable federal laws and the laws of the State of Washington, USA. With respect to the Sponsor and the Participant, these Terms and Conditions and any Disputes, actions and legal proceedings whatsoever by the Participant against the Sponsor shall be governed exclusively, in all respects, and without regard to conflict of law principles, by applicable federal laws and the laws of Washington, DC. Except as otherwise expressly specified in these Terms and Conditions, Participant agrees this choice of law supersedes and pre-empts any provision of law of any other state or nation.
Waiver of Jury Trial: In connection with any action or legal proceeding arising out of these Terms and Conditions between TCS and the Participant (excluding the Smithsonian), the Participant and TCS hereby specifically and knowingly waive any rights that either party might have to demand a jury trial.
Class Action Waiver: These Terms and Conditions provide for the exclusive resolution of disputes through individual legal action on the Participant’s own behalf instead of through any class action. Even if the applicable law provides otherwise, the Participant agrees that any legal action against TCS whatsoever shall be litigated by the Participant individually and not as a member of any class or as part of a class action, and the Participant expressly agrees to waive any law entitling the Participant to participate in a class action.
Time Limit for Claims Against TCS: TCS shall not be liable for claims, actions, or losses for bodily injury, emotional injury or distress, property damage, wrongful death, loss of services, lost profits, consequential, exemplary, indirect or punitive damages or otherwise which may arise out of or occur during the Tour and any activities conducted in conjunction therewith, unless full details in writing are given to TCS, within 185 days after the date of the event giving rise to such claim. Suit to recover on any such claim shall not be maintainable unless filed within one (1) year after the date of the event giving rise to such claim and unless served on TCS within 120 days after filing. You expressly waive all other potentially applicable state or federal limitation periods. If a written claim is not made and suit is not filed within the time frame set forth above, then the Participant waives and releases any right he or she may have to make any claim against TCS arising under, in connection with, or incident to the Tour
Severability: If any provision of this Agreement shall be held to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable, the validity, legality and enforceability of the remaining provisions shall not in any way be affected or impaired thereby.
By registering for the Tour, the Participant agrees to the Operator-Participant Contract and Terms and Conditions set forth in this Agreement.
TCS & Starquest Expeditions, Inc., is a Registered Seller of Travel in Washington (#602-692-199), a California Seller of Travel (#2071584-20), an Iowa Seller of Travel (#1381), a Florida Seller of Travel (#ST41130), an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau, and is endorsed by IATAN, the International Airlines Travel Agent Network (#50-755585). TCS & Starquest Expeditions’ Dunn & Bradstreet D-U-N-S number is 07-963-4152.
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