BOOKING PROCEDURE & IMPORTANT NOTES
Provisional bookings may be made by telephone but must be confirmed by a completed booking form and deposit within one week.
Upon receipt of your completed booking form and deposit we will, subject to availability, send you a confirmation/invoice with, in most cases, a reading list. An itinerary, practical information and travel documents (if applicable) will be sent to you three weeks before the commencement of the tour.
All tours and courses costing up to £200 per person must be paid in full at the time of booking. For all 2019 tours the following deposits are payable at the time of booking if you are booking 10 weeks or more before departure:
£200 per person for UK tours.
£300 per person for all European tours.
£450 per person for Worldwide tours.
If you are booking less than 10 weeks before departure full payment for all tours must be made at the time of booking.
For all tours in 2020 and onwards, deposits will be as follows:
£250 per person for UK tours.
£350 per person for all European tours.
£450 per person for Worldwide tours.
The balance of the tour cost must be received by us not less than 10 weeks prior to departure. This date will be shown on the confirmation invoice. Reminders are not sent. 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 deposits paid or due at that date. If we do not cancel straight away because you have promised to make payment, you must pay the cancellation charges shown in clause 6 depending on the date we reasonably treat your booking as cancelled.
All tours involve a significant amount of walking, often over uneven cobbled streets, hillsides or steps. You should be prepared to walk at a reasonable pace for at least 60 minutes and additionally stand for at least 30 minutes without requiring a rest.
MEDICAL CONDITIONS, DISABILITY and REDUCED MOBILITY
We aim to provide authentic cultural experiences and to maximise the time spent on tour. As a result, the majority of itineraries are quite intensive and can be tiring. They may involve a significant amount of walking, uneven surfaces at outdoor sites or in historic buildings, long journeys, and uncomfortable climatic conditions which might exacerbate existing medical or mobility issues. Destinations include many countries with lower standards of health and safety than the UK and limited adaptations for people with reduced mobility. Some destinations do not (and cannot reasonably be expected to) provide emergency and/or health care to the standard that travellers with mobility and/or health conditions may require in the event of any form of incident or emergency.
For the above reasons, our holidays may not be suitable for people with certain disabilities, medical conditions or significantly reduced mobility.
If you suffer from any medical condition, disability or reduced mobility (including any which affect the booking process) or have any special requirements as a result, please tell us before making your booking so that we can assist you in considering the suitability of the arrangements and in order that we can assess the potential risks to your welfare and health and safety.
If we feel that we cannot reasonably accommodate your needs, we reserve the right to decline your booking or, if full details are not given at the time of booking or the condition/disability develops after booking, cancel when we become aware of these details.
In any event, you must give us full details in writing at the time of booking and whenever any change in your condition, disability or mobility occurs.
You must also promptly advise us if any medical condition, disability or reduced mobility which may affect your holiday develops after your booking has been confirmed. When we refer to reduced mobility, this means any material reduction in mobility whether this is permanent or temporary and whether caused by age or by physical or mental disability or impairment or other cause of disability.
Accommodation in hotels is in twin/double bedded rooms, the majority of which have private bath/ shower and toilet. On cruise ships, accommodation is in cabins with shower and toilet only. Single rooms: despite the fact that single rooms carry a supplement, single accommodation is sometimes not of the same standard as twin/double accommodation. Single rooms may not always be in the same area of the hotel as a twin/double and the single supplement does not necessarily mean a twin/ double room will be provided for single occupancy. Please note that ACE Cultural Tours makes no profit from single room supplements (which result directly from hotel pricing policies). Porterage is included on overseas tours where available.
DIETARY AND SPECIAL REQUESTS
Failure to meet any dietary or special request will not be a breach of contract on our part. Inclusion of the dietary or special request on your booking confirmation or any other documentation is not a guarantee that the request will be met. Dietary and special requests must be advised at the time of booking and we will endeavour to pass on any reasonable requests to the relevant supplier.
We consider adequate travel insurance essential for all tours abroad (including Europe), covering comprehensive medical expenses, repatriation and personal liability, as well as cancelled, delayed and missed departure and loss or damage to personal possessions. You must give us details in writing of your insurance preferably on your booking form but in any case no later than before the departure date of your tour. If you fail to do so, we reserve the right to cancel your booking. Please note that insurance premiums must be paid as soon as possible as cover (including cancellation cover) will not be effective until you have done so. Please read your policy details carefully and take them with you on holiday. It is your responsibility to ensure that the insurance cover you purchase is suitable and adequate for your particular needs.
PASSPORTS and VISAS
Whilst general guidance is given below, your specific passport, visa and other immigration requirements are your responsibility and you should confirm these with the relevant embassies and/or consulates. In particular, if you are not a British Citizen or hold a non-British passport, you must check the requirements for all countries to or through which you are intending to travel. Requirements may change and you must check the up to date position in good time before departure.
For some tours and destinations we will require a copy of the picture page of your passport, please see below for more details.
Your specific passport, visa and other immigration requirements are your responsibility and you should confirm these with the relevant Embassies and/or Consulates. Requirements may change and you must check the up to date position in good time before departure. A British passport presently takes approximately 2 to 6 weeks to obtain. If you or any member of your party is 16 or over and haven’t yet got a passport, you should apply for one at least 6 weeks before your tour. The UK Passport Service has to confirm your identity before issuing your first passport and will ask you to attend an interview in order to do this. If you or any member of your party is not a British Citizen or holds a non-British passport, you must check passport and visa requirements with the embassy or consulate of the countries to or through which you are intending to travel.
We require a copy of the picture page of your passport for some further afield tours and destinations requiring a visa, please see the details speicifc to your intended destination below.
The information below should help when booking your tour.
British Citizen passport holders can enter and remain in Albania for a maximum of 90 days without a visa. Your passport should be valid for a minimum of 3 months from the date of your entry. We will require a copy of the personal details page of your passport 4 months prior to departure. If you hold any other passport please check with the relevant embassy.
A single entry tourist visa will be required. Visas to Algeria are handled for us by CIBT Visas, Skyline House, 200 Union Street, London, SE1 0LX, tel 0207 5936223. Please go to their website where the application form and full instructions may be obtained: www.cibtvisas.co.uk/aceculturaltours. We will provide the supporting documentation to be included with your application approximately 3 months prior to departure. Applications will take at least 20 working days to process. (via CIBT). Current charges are: Consular fee £85 (inc VAT) CIBT handling fee £60 (inc VAT). Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of your entry and contain 2 blank pages. If applying directly, you may take your documentation together with £85 in cash to the Algerian Embassy, Visa Section, at 5 Portal Way, London W3 6RT between 9.00 and 12.00 Tuesday to Saturday. You may either collect the passport on or after the date they tell you (generally a week later, between 3.00 and 4.00 p.m. on the same days), or if you supply them with a stamped addressed envelope for Special Delivery they will post it back to you without the necessity for a return visit. We will require a copy of the personal details page of your passport 4 months prior to departure. If you hold any other passport please check requirements with the relevant embassy.
ARMENIA & GEORGIA
No visa is required for Armenia & Georgia but your passport must have at least 6 months validity beyond your date of entry. We will require a copy of the personal details of your passport 4 months prior to departure. If you hold any other passport please check requirements with the relevant embassy.
An eVisitor visa is required for British Citizens and this can be obtained from the Department of Immigration & Border Protection www.homeaffairs.gov.au/trav/visa-1/651 There is no application charge or service fee for this. Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. We will require a copy of the personal details page of your passport 4 months prior to departure. If you hold any other passport please check requirements with the relevant embassy.
BALTIC STATES (LATVIA, ESTONIA, LITHUANIA)
Visas are not required for British Citizens for stays of up to 3 months. Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. We will require a copy of the personal details page of your passport 4 months prior to departure. If you hold any other passport please check requirements with the relevant embassy.
CAMBODIA & LAOS
Visas for both countries can be obtained on arrival. The Cambodian visa is currently USD $30 cash and 2 original passport-sized photographs will be needed. You can also arrange an e-Visa online before you travel – please go to www.evisa.gov.kh for details. The Laotian visa requires 1 original passport-sized photographs and currently costs USD $35. There is now a Lao Embassy in London. Your passport should have a minimum of 6 months validity. British Citizens arriving by air do not require a visa to enter Thailand for up to 30 days under the Tourist Visa Exemption. This means British Citizens should not need a transit visa for the flight connections at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi. We will require a copy of the personal details page of your passport 4 months prior to departure. If you hold any other passport please check requirements with the relevant embassy.
Visas to China are handled for us by CIBT Visas, Skyline House, 200 Union Street, London, SE1 0LX, tel 0207 5936223. Please go to their website where the application form and full instructions may be obtained:www.cibtvisas. co.uk/aceculturaltours. We will provide the supporting documentation to be included with your application approximately 3 months prior to departure. Please note this should be accompanied by the ACE Booking Confirmation document which was sent to you when you initially made your booking. Applications will take up to 10 working days to process (via CIBT). Visa application forms must be typed electronically by the applicant then printed on A4 paper and signed. Handwritten forms will not be accepted after April 2018. Direct applications may take longer. Current charges are: Consular fee - £151 (inc VAT) CIBT handling fee - £39.60 (inc VAT) Your passport should be the Full Validity type and be valid for a minimum period of 6 months beyond the entry date into China. It should contain at least 2 blank visa pages and should not be damaged in any way. We will require a copy of the personal details page of your passport 4 months prior to departure. If you hold any other passport please check requirements with the relevant embassy.
No visa is required in advance for North Cyprus for British or EU Citizens. Your passport must be valid for 6 months. If you prefer not to have your passport stamped, you may request a stamped visa form which is loosely inserted into your passport and removed on departure. There is no charge. If you hold any other passport please check with the relevant embassy.
A visa is required to enter Ethiopia. Visas for Nationals from the United Kingdom can obtain a single entry eVisa from www.evisa.gov.et at the cost of US$50. Visas for UK tourists are also available on arrival at Addis Ababa International Airport at the cost of $US50, cash only. A recent passport sized photo will also be required. Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry and have at least 2 blank pages. We will require a copy of the personal details page of your passport 4 months prior to departure. If you hold any other passport please check requirements with the relevant embassy.
A tourist visa is required and can be obtained via the internet at http://in.vfsglobal.co.uk, currently £119.44 including service charge. Your passport must have at least 180 days validity beyond the exit date and at least 2 blank pages. We will require a copy of the personal details page of your passport 4 months prior to departure. If you hold any other passport please check requirements with the relevant embassy.
You do not need a visa to enter Israel as a tourist. On entry, visitors are granted leave to enter for a period of up to 3 months. Since January 2013 a pilot scheme has been introduced whereby visitors are given an entry card instead of an entry stamp on arrival. You should keep this card with your passport until you leave. Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry. We will require a copy of the personal details page of your passport 4 months prior to departure. If you hold any other passport please check requirements with the relevant embassy.
British Citizen passport holders can enter Japan as a tourist for up to 90 days without a visa. Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. We will require a copy of the personal details page of your passport 4 months prior to departure. If you hold any other passport please check requirements with the relevant embassy.
A visa is not required for UK nationals provided your stay does not exceed 30 days. Your passport must have 6 months validity from the date of your entry into Kazakhstan. We will require a copy of the personal details page of your passport 4 months prior to departure. If you hold any other passport please check requirements with the relevant embassy.
A visa is not required for UK nationals. Your passport must have 6 months validity from the date of your departure and contain adequate blank pages. We will require a copy of the personal details page of your passport 4 months prior to departure. If you hold any other passport please check requirements with the relevant embassy.
You can enter New Zealand as a visitor for up to 6 months on arrival without a visa. Visitors must have an onward ticket. Your passport must be valid for a minimum period of 1 month from the date of exit from New Zealand. We will require a copy of the personal details page of your passport 4 months prior to departure. If you hold any other passport please check requirements with the relevant embassy.
Visas to Russia are handled for us by CIBT Visas, Skyline House, 200 Union Street, London, SE1 0LX, tel 0207 5936223. Please go to their website where the application form and full instructions may be obtained: ww.cibtvisas.co.uk/aceculturaltours. We will provide the supporting documentation to be included with your application approximately 3 months prior to departure. Applications will take up to 20 working days to process (via CIBT). Direct applications may take a lot longer. Current charges are: Consular fee £108.40 (inc VAT), CIBT handling fee £72 (inc VAT). All individuals applying for a Russian visa in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland will be required to appear in person at the London of ce of CIBT Visas or at the VFS processing centres in Edinburgh or Manchester in order to provide biometric information. (Each of these options obviates the need to attend in person the Russian Embassy in London.) Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months after the expiry date of your visa and have at least 2 blank visa pages. We will require a copy of the personal details page of your passport 4 months prior to departure. If you hold any other passport please check requirements with the relevant embassy.
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 30 days from the date of exit from South Africa and have at least 2 blank pages when you present it at immigration to enter or leave South Africa. If you’re visiting South Africa for tourism or business purposes for a period of up to 90 days, you don not need a visa. The South African government does not accept British passports that have been extended by 12 months by British Embassies and Consulates under exceptional measures put in place in mid-2014. You will not be able to enter or exit South Africa on an expired British passport with an extension stamp. We will require a copy of the personal details page of your passport 4 months prior to departure. If you hold any other passport please check requirements with the relevant embassy.
British Citizen passport holders can enter South Korea as a tourist for up to 90 days without a visa. Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 3 months from the date of entry into South Korea. We will require a copy of the personal details page of your passport 4 months prior to departure. If you hold any other passport please check requirements with the relevant embassy.
British Citizen passport holders require a visa to enter Turkey. An e-Visa can be obtained online before you travel at https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/ at a cost of $20. You can apply up to 3 months in advance of your travel date. Passports should be valid for at least 6 months from the date you enter Turkey and have a blank page for the visa stamp. We will require a copy of the personal details page of your passport 4 months prior to departure. If you hold any other passport please check with the relevant embassy.
An Electronic System Travel Authorisation (ESTA) is required for British Citizen Passport holders. Internet registration must be made via london.usembassy.gov and then use the link to ESTA. The current cost is USD $14. We will require a copy of the personal details page of your passport 4 months prior to departure. If you hold any other passport please check requirements with the relevant embassy.
British Citizen passport holders can enter Uzbekistan as a visitor for stays of up to 30 days without a visa. Your passport should be valid for a minimum of 3 months from the date of your entry. We will require a copy of the personal details page of your passport 4 months prior to departure. If you hold any other passport please check with the relevant embassy.
All British passport holders travelling for tourism or business can enter Vietnam for a maximum of 15 days without a visa. Passports must be valid for a minimum of 6 months for this exemption. We will require a copy of the personal details page of your passport 4 months prior to departure. If you hold any other passport please check requirements with the relevant embassy.
Guidance regarding compulsory health requirements applicable to your tour are shown in your tour details. However, it is your responsibility to ensure you are aware of all recommended vaccinations and health precautions in good time before departure. Details are available from your GP surgery and from the National Travel Health Network and Centre http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/. Information on health abroad is also available on www.nhs.uk/Live-well/ healthy-body/before-you-travel.
For tours in the EU/EEA you should obtain an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) prior to departure from www.ehic.org.uk. An EHIC is not a substitute for travel insurance. Vaccination and other health requirements/recommendations are subject to change at any time for any destination. Please check with a doctor or clinic not less than twelve weeks prior to departure to ensure that you have met the necessary requirements and have the applicable information.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of all necessary travel and health documents before departure. All costs incurred in obtaining such documentation must be paid by you. We regret we cannot accept any liability if you incur any expenses or are refused entry onto any transport or into any country due to failure on your part to carry all required documentation.
DAMAGE & BEHAVIOUR
You accept responsibility for any damage or loss you cause. Full payment for any such damage or loss must be made direct to the accommodation owner or manager or other supplier or to us as soon as possible. You will also be responsible for meeting any claims subsequently made against us and all costs (including legal costs) incurred by us as a result of your actions. You should ensure you have appropriate travel insurance to protect you if this situation arises. We expect all clients to have consideration for other people. If you behave in such a way as to cause or be likely to cause danger, upset or distress we are entitled, without prior notice, to terminate the tour of the person(s) concerned. We will have no further responsibility toward such person(s) and we will not pay any expenses or costs incurred as a result of the termination.
Please note, it is the requirements and standards of the country in which any services which make up your tour are provided which apply to those services and not those of the UK. As a general rule, these requirements and standards will not be the same as the UK and may sometimes be lower.
The following Booking Conditions together with the Booking Procedure, Important Notes and our promotional information setting out the details of your tour form the basis of your contract with ACE Cultural Tours Limited of Stapleford Granary Bury Road, Stapleford, Cambridge, England, CB22 5BP registered in England and Wales number 07058084. Please read the conditions carefully as they set out our respective rights and obligations. By asking us to confirm your booking, we are entitled to assume that you have read and agreed to these booking conditions. In these booking conditions, “tour”, “booking”, “contract”, “package” and “arrangements” refer to the tour arrangements we have agreed to make, perform or provide, as applicable, as part of our contract with you unless otherwise stated. “You” and “your” means all persons named on your booking (including anyone who is added or substituted at a later date) or any of them as the context requires. “We” and “us” means ACE Cultural Tours Ltd.
- Your contract
A binding contract between us comes into existence when we dispatch our confirmation invoice. We both agree that English law (and no other) will apply to your contract and to any dispute, claim or other matter of any description which arises between us (“claim”) except as set out below. We both also agree that any claim (and whether or not involving any personal injury) which arises between us must be dealt with under the AITO arbitration scheme (if the scheme is available for the claim in question – see clause 9) or by the Courts of England and Wales only unless, in the case of Court proceedings, you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland. In this case, proceedings must either be brought in the Courts of your home country or those of England and Wales. If proceedings are brought in Scotland or Northern Ireland, you may choose to have your contract and any claim governed by the law of Scotland/Northern Ireland as applicable (but if you do not so choose, English law will apply).
- Price information
Subject to the correction of errors, the price of our tours is valid when quoted to you. The prices were calculated using exchange rates as quoted in the Financial Times on 25 January 2019: £1 = 1.32 USA Dollars £1 = 1.15 Euros.
Once confirmed at the time of booking, we would only consider a surcharge as a result of significant changes to: (i) the price of the carriage of passengers resulting from the cost of fuel or other power sources or (ii) the level of taxes or fees on the travel services included in the contract imposed by third parties not directly involved in the performance of the tour including tourist taxes, landing taxes or embarkation or disembarkation fees at ports and airports or (iii) the exchange rates relevant to the tour.
If any surcharge is greater than 8% of the total tour cost, clause 5 will apply on the basis the surcharge is a significant change. You will be notified of any price increase or reduction applied in accordance with this clause together with the justification for and calculation of this not less than 20 days before departure. Where a reduction is applicable, we are entitled to deduct our administrative expenses from the refund. Any surcharge must be paid with the balance of the tour cost or within 14 days of the issue date printed on the invoice, whichever is the later.
- Changes by you
Should you wish to make any changes to your confirmed booking, you must notify us in writing as soon as possible. Whilst we will endeavour to assist, we cannot guarantee we will be able to meet any such requests. Where we can, an amendment fee will be payable together with any costs incurred by ourselves and any costs or charges incurred or imposed by any of our suppliers.
You may transfer your booking or your place on the booking to someone else (introduced by you) providing we are notified not less than 7 days before departure and the person to whom you are making the transfer satisfies all conditions which form part of your contract with us. Requests for transfer must be accompanied by the name and other applicable details of the replacement person. Where a transfer to a person of your choice can be made, all costs and charges incurred by us and/or incurred or imposed by any of our suppliers, together with an amendment fee of £50, must be paid before the transfer can be effected. As certain arrangements (e.g. flight tickets) cannot be changed after a reservation has been made, name changes, other alterations and cancellation affecting these services is likely to incur a 100% cancellation charge and the applicable cost of rebooking the service.
- Cancellation by you
You may cancel your confirmed booking at any time before departure. You may also transfer your booking as referred to above. Should you need to cancel your booking, you must immediately advise us in writing. Notice of cancellation will only be effective when it is received in writing by us at our office. As we incur costs from the time we confirm your booking, the following cancellation charges will be payable. Where the cancellation charge is shown as a percentage, this is calculated on the basis of the total cost payable by the person(s) cancelling excluding amendment charges. Amendment charges are not refundable in the event of cancellation. In calculating these cancellation charges, we have taken account of possible cost savings and the generation of income from other bookings which may be able to utilise cancelled services to the extent this is likely to be achievable.
Period before departure within which written notification of cancellation is received by us.
70 days or more
Cancellation charge per person cancelling
(40% for tours/courses costing less than £150)
69 - 29 days * 60%
28 - 15 days * 90%
14 days or less * 100%
*For arrangements which include a cruise a 100% cancellation
charge applies from 69 days before departure.
Should you book any additional services, separate cancellation conditions may apply.
Depending on the reason for cancellation, you may be able to reclaim these cancellation charges (less any applicable excess) under the terms of your insurance policy. Claims must be made directly to the insurance company concerned.
- Changes and cancellation by us.
(1) Changes to confirmed bookings sometimes have to be made and we reserve the right to do so in accordance with this clause 5. Most changes will be insignificant and we have the right to make these. Where an insignificant change is made before departure, we will notify you in writing. No compensation is payable for insignificant changes. Occasionally, before departure, we may be constrained by circumstances beyond our control to make a significant alteration to any of the main characteristics of the travel services which form part of your confirmed booking or to any special requirements which we have accepted as referred to in the section headed Medical Conditions, Disability and Reduced Mobility in the Booking Procedure and Important Notes. Where we have to do so, clauses 5(4) and 5(5) will apply.
(2) All alterations which are not significant in accordance with clause 5(1) will be treated as insignificant changes. Carriers such as airlines may be subject to change. Any such change will not be significant. A change of flight time of less than 12 hours, airline, departure airport between London airports (Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton, Stanstead or London City), type of aircraft (if advised), destination airport or accommodation to another of a similar standard and with similar facilities will also all be treated as insignificant changes.
(3) Our tours require a minimum number of bookings to enable us to operate them and we reserve the right to cancel any tour where this minimum number is not achieved. Failure to achieve this minimum number does not, however, oblige us to cancel. We will notify you of cancellation for this reason not later than 70 days before departure.
(4) In the event we have to significantly alter any of the main characteristics of your confirmed arrangements or accepted special requirements, we will provide you with the following information in writing as soon as possible: (i) the proposed alteration and any impact this has on the price; (ii) in the event that you do not wish to accept the alteration, details of any alternative tour we are able to offer (including the applicable price); (iii) your entitlement to cancel your booking and receive a full refund if you do not want to accept the alteration or any alternative tour offered; and (iv) the period within which you must inform us of your decision and what will happen if you don’t do so.
(5) If you choose to cancel your booking in accordance with clause 5(4), we will refund all payments you have made to us within 14 days of the date we receive your written cancellation. If we don’t hear from you with your decision within the specified period (having provided you with the above mentioned information for a second time), we will cancel your booking and refund all payments made to us within 14 days of our doing so. No compensation will be payable or other liability accepted where a change results from unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances (see clause 6).
(6) Occasionally, it may be necessary to cancel a confirmed booking. We have the right to terminate your contract in the event (i) we are prevented from performing your contracted tour arrangements as a result of unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances (see clause 6) and we notify you of this as soon as reasonably possible or (ii) we have to cancel because the minimum number of bookings necessary for us to operate your tour has not been achieved and we notify you of cancellation for this reason as referred to in clause 5(3). Where we have to cancel your booking in these circumstances, we will refund all monies you have paid to us within 14 days of the date we inform you of the cancellation but will have no further or other liability to you including in respect of compensation or any costs or expenses you incur or have incurred. We will of course endeavour to offer you an alternative tour where possible which you may choose to book in place of that cancelled. We also have the right to cancel if you fail to make payment in accordance with the terms of your contract in which case clause 4 will apply.
(7) In the event that unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances (see clause 6) occur in the place of destination of your tour or its immediate vicinity and significantly affect the performance of the contracted arrangements or the carriage of passengers to that destination, you will be entitled to cancel prior to departure without payment of cancellation charges. We will notify you as soon as practicable in the event of this situation occurring.
- Unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances
Except where otherwise expressly stated in these booking conditions, we regret we cannot accept liability where the performance or prompt performance of our obligations under our contract with you is prevented or affected or you otherwise suffer any damage, loss or expense of any nature as a result of unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances . In these booking conditions, unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances means a situation which is beyond our control, the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken. Such situations may include actual or threatened war, riot, civil strife, terrorist activity, industrial dispute, natural or nuclear disaster, adverse weather conditions, fire, closure, restriction or congestion of airspace, airports and ports and all other events outside our control. Unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances also include the UK Foreign Office advising against all travel or all but essential travel to any country, region or destination.
- Our liability to you
(1) We promise to make sure that the tour arrangements we have agreed to make, perform or provide as part of our contract with you are made, performed or provided with reasonable skill and care. This means that, subject to these booking conditions, we will accept responsibility if, for example, your contracted tour arrangements are not provided as promised or prove deficient as a result of the failure of ourselves, our employees, agents or suppliers to use reasonable skill and care in making, performing or providing your contracted tour arrangements. Please note, it is your responsibility to show that reasonable skill and care has not been used if you wish to make a claim against us. In addition, we will only be responsible for what our employees, agents and suppliers do or do not do if they were at the time acting within the course of their employment (for employees) or carrying out work we had asked them to do (for agents and suppliers).
(2) We will not be responsible for any injury, illness, death, loss (for example loss of enjoyment or loss of possessions), damage, expense, cost or other sum or claim of any description whatsoever which results from any of the following:
- the act(s) and/or omission(s) of the person(s) affected; or
- the act(s) and/or omission(s) of a third party not connected with the provision of your tour and which were unforeseeable or unavoidable or
- unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances as defined in clause 6 above
(3) Please note, we cannot accept responsibility for any services which do not form part of our contract. This includes, for example, any additional services or facilities which a hotel or any other supplier agrees to provide for you where the services or facilities are not advertised by us and we have not agreed to arrange them as part of our contract and any excursion you purchase locally. In addition, regardless of any wording used by us on our website, in any advertising material or elsewhere, we only promise to use reasonable skill and care as set out above and we do not have any greater or different liability to you.
(4) The promises we make to you about the services we have agreed to provide or arrange as part of our contract and the laws and applicable standards of the country in which your claim or complaint occurred, will be used as the basis for deciding whether the services in question had been properly provided.
If the particular services which gave rise to the claim or complaint complied with the applicable local laws and standards, the services will be treated as having been properly provided. This will be the case even if the services did not comply with the laws and standards of the UK which would have applied had those services been provided in the UK. The exception to this is where the claim or complaint concerns the absence of a safety feature which might lead a reasonable tour participant to refuse to take the tour in question. Please note, however, our obligation is to exercise reasonable skill and care as referred to in clause 7(1). We do not make any representation or commitment that all services will comply with applicable local laws and standards and failure to comply does not automatically mean we have not exercised reasonable skill and care.
(5) Except as set out in clause 7(6) or as otherwise permitted by English law, we do not limit the amount of damages you are entitled to claim in respect of personal injury or death which we or our employees have caused intentionally or negligently.For all other claims, if we are found liable to you on any basis, the maximum amount we will have to pay you is three times the total tour cost (excluding amendment charges) paid by or on behalf of the person(s) affected in total unless a lower limitation applies to your claim under clause 7(6) below. This maximum amount will only be payable where everything has gone wrong and you have not received any benefit at all from your tour.
(6) Where any claim or part of a claim (including those involving death or personal injury) concerns or is based on any travel arrangements (including without limitation, the process of getting on and/or off the transport concerned) provided by any air, sea/cruise or rail carrier to which any international convention or EU regulation applies where we have arranged that travel as part of our contract, our liability (including the maximum amount of compensation we will have to pay you, the types of claim and the circumstances in which damages / compensation will be payable) will be limited as if we were the carrier in question as referred to in this clause 7(6). Where a carrier would not be obliged to make any payment to you under the applicable international convention or EU regulation (including where any claim is not notified and issued in accordance with the time limits stipulated in the applicable convention or EU regulation), we, similarly, are not obliged to make a payment to you for that claim or part of the claim. When making any payment, we will deduct any money which you have received or are entitled to receive from the carrier for the claim in question. Copies of the applicable international conventions and EU regulations are available from us on request. Please note that strict time limits apply for notifying loss, damage or delay of luggage to the airline or cruise operator. Any proceedings in respect of any claim (including one for personal injury or death) must be brought within 2 years of the date stipulated in the applicable convention or EU regulation.
(7) Please note, we cannot accept any liability for any damage, loss, expense or other sum(s) of any description which (a) on the basis of the information given to us by you concerning your booking prior to our accepting it, we could not have foreseen you would suffer or incur if we breached our contract with you or (b) did not result from any breach of contract or other fault by ourselves or our employees or, where we are responsible for them, our suppliers or (c) relate to any business (including without limitation, loss of self employed earnings.
(8) Many of the services which make up your tour are provided by independent suppliers. Those suppliers provide these services in accordance with their own terms and conditions. Some of these terms and conditions may limit or exclude the supplier’s liability to you, usually in accordance with applicable international conventions or regulations.
(9) We may provide you with information (before departure and/or during your tour) about additional activities and excursions which are available in the area you are visiting but which do not form part of your tour itinerary. We cannot guarantee accuracy at all times of information given in relation to such activities or excursions or about the area you are visiting generally or that any particular excursion or activity which does not form part of our contract will take place as these services are not under our control. They do not form any part of your contract with us even where we suggest particular operators/other third parties and/or assist you in booking such activities or excursions in any way. We cannot accept any liability on any basis in relation to such activities or excursions and the acceptance of liability contained in clause 7(1) above will not apply to them. We do not however exclude liability for the negligence of ourselves or our employees resulting in your death or personal injury.
- Complaints and problems
In the unlikely event that you have any reason to complain or experience any problems with your tour whilst away, you must immediately inform our local representative or agent (if we have one) and the supplier of the service(s) in question. Any verbal notification must be put in writing and given to our representative / agent and the supplier as soon as possible. If we do not have or you cannot contact our local representative or agent and any complaint or problem is not resolved to your satisfaction by the supplier, you must contact us in the UK giving us full details and a contact number. Until we know about a complaint or problem, we cannot begin to resolve it. Most problems can be dealt with quickly. If you remain dissatisfied, however, you must write to us within 28 days of your return to the UK giving your booking reference and full details of your complaint. If you fail to follow this complaints procedure, your right to claim any compensation you may otherwise have been entitled to may be affected or even lost as a result.
Disputes arising out of, or in connection with this contract which cannot be amicably settled may be referred to arbitration if you so wish. We are a member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO), and AITO’s Independent Dispute Settlement Service may be called upon by either side to bring the matter to a speedy and amicable solution. Details available on request.
- Financial security
We hold an Air Travel Organiser’s License issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (ATOL number 10204). All flight-inclusive tours we offer are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you buy an ATOL protected flight inclusive package from us, you will receive an ATOL Certificate. This lists what is financially protected, where you can get information on what this means for you and who to contact if things go wrong.
The price of our ATOL-protected flight inclusive Packages includes the amount of £2.50 per person as part of the ATOL Protection Contribution (APC) we pay to the CAA. This charge is included in our advertised prices.
We, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL Certificate, will provide you with the services listed on the ATOL Certificate (or a suitable alternative). In some cases, where neither we nor the supplier are able to do so for reasons of insolvency, an alternative ATOL holder or supplier may provide you with the services you have bought or a suitable alternative (at no extra cost to you). You agree to accept that in those circumstances the alternative ATOL holder or supplier will perform those obligations and you agree to pay any money outstanding to be paid by you under your contract to that alternative ATOL holder. However, you also agree that in some cases it will not be possible to appoint an alternative ATOL holder, in which case you will be entitled to make a claim under the ABTOT Combined scheme (or your credit card issuer where applicable).
If we, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL certificate, are unable to provide the services listed (or a suitable alternative, through an alternative ATOL holder or otherwise) for reasons of insolvency, ABTOT Limited may make a payment to (or confer a benefit on) you under the ABTOT Combined scheme. You agree that in return for such a payment or benefit you assign absolutely to ABTOT Limited any claims which you have or may have arising out of or relating to the non-provision of the services, including any claim against us, the travel agent (or your credit card issuer where applicable). You also agree that any such claims may be re-assigned to another body, if that other body has paid sums you have claimed under the ABTOT Combined scheme. For further information visit the ATOL website at www.atol.org.uk or the ABTOT website at www.ABTOT.com
The Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT) provides financial protection under ABTOT Combined and The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 for ACE Cultural Tours Limited , ATOL number 10204, and in the event of their insolvency, protection is provided for the following: 1. non-flight packages; 2. flight inclusive packages that commence outside of the EU, which are sold to customers outside of the EU; and 3. flight inclusive packages, flight only and linked travel arrangements (LTAs) sold as a principal under ABTOT Combined. ABTOT Combined cover provides for a refund in the event you have not yet travelled or repatriation if you are abroad. Please note that bookings made by customers outside the EU are only protected by ABTOT when purchased directly with ACE Cultural Tours Limited.
In the unlikely event that you require assistance whilst abroad due to our financial failure, please call ABTOT’s 24/7 helpline on 01702 811397 and advise you are a customer of an ABTOT protected travel company. ABTOT’s address is 117 Houndsditch, London EC3A 7BT.
The Civil Aviation Authority is the regulator of ABTOT Combined. The CAA can be contacted at Gatwick Airport South, West Sussex, RH6 0YR, UK tel +44 (0)333 103 6350, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org www.caa.co.uk
You can access the The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 athttps://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2018/9780111168479/contents
- Delay and Denied Boarding Regulations
We regret we are not in a position to offer you any assistance in the event of delay at your outward or homeward point of departure. Any airline concerned may however provide refreshments etc. We cannot accept liability for any delay which is due to any of the reasons set out in clause 7(2) of these Booking Conditions (which includes the behaviour of any passenger(s) on the flight who, for example, fails to check in or board on time).
If your flight is cancelled or delayed, your flight ticket is downgraded or boarding is denied by your airline in circumstances which would entitle you to claim compensation or any other payment from the airline under EC Regulation No 261/2004 - the Denied Boarding Regulations 2004, you must pursue the airline for the compensation or other payment due to you. All sums you receive or are entitled to receive from the airline concerned by virtue of these Regulations represent the full amount of your entitlement to compensation or any other payment arising from such cancellation, delay, downgrading or denied boarding. This includes any disappointment, distress, inconvenience or effect on any other arrangements. The fact a delay may entitle you to cancel your flight does not automatically entitle you to cancel any other arrangements even where those arrangements have been made in conjunction with your flight. We have no liability to make any payment to you in relation to the Denied Boarding Regulations or in respect of any flight cancellation or delay, downgrading of any flight ticket or denial of any boarding as the full amount of your entitlement to any compensation or other payment (as dealt with above) is covered by the airline’s obligations under the Denied Boarding Regulations. If, for any reason, we make any payment to you or a third party which the airline is responsible for in accordance with the Denied Boarding Regulations, you must, when requested, assign to us the rights you have or had to claim the payment in question from the airline. If your airline does not comply with these rules you may use the CAA Passenger Advice and Complaints Service. See www.caa.co.uk/passengers/resolving-travel-problems , for further details.
- Promotional material accuracy
The information contained in our promotional material is believed correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of printing or publication. However, errors may occasionally occur and information may subsequently change. You must therefore ensure you check all details of your chosen tour (including the price) with us at the time of booking.
- Foreign Office Advice
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office publishes regularly updated travel information on its website www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice and https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk which you are recommended to consult before booking and in good time before departure.
In accordance with EU Regulation No 2111/2005, we are required to bring to your attention the existence of a “Community list” which contains details of air carriers who are subject to an operating ban within the EU. The Community list is available for inspection at http://ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/air/safety/air-ban_en
We are also required to advise you of the actual carrier(s) (or, if the actual carrier(s) is not known, the likely carrier(s)) that will operate your flight(s) at the time of booking. Where we are only able to inform you of the likely carrier(s) at the time of booking, we will inform you of the identity of the actual carrier(s) as soon as we become aware of this. Any change to the operating carrier(s) after your booking has been confirmed will be notified to you as soon as possible.
If the carrier with whom you have a confirmed reservation becomes subject to an operating ban as above as a result of which we/ the carrier are unable to offer you a suitable alternative the provisions of clause 5 “Changes and cancellation by us” will apply. We are not always in a position at the time of booking to confirm the flight timings which will be used in connection with your flight. The flight timings shown in our brochure, on our website and/or detailed on your confirmation invoice are for guidance only and are subject to alteration and confirmation. Flight timings are outside our control. They are set by airlines and are subject to various factors including air traffic control restrictions, weather conditions, potential technical problems and the ability of passengers to check in on time.
Specific instructions relating to departure and travel arrangements will be sent with your air or other travel tickets approximately 2 weeks before departure. You must accordingly check your tickets very carefully immediately on receipt to ensure you have the correct flight times. It is possible that flight times may be changed even after tickets have been despatched - we will contact you as soon as possible if this occurs. Any change in the identity of the carrier, flight timings, and/or aircraft type (if advised) will not entitle you to cancel or change to other arrangements without paying our normal charges except where specified in these conditions.
- Assistance whilst on tour
In the event you end up in difficulty (of any sort) during your tour, we will provide you with appropriate assistance as soon as reasonably possible including by the provision of appropriate information on health services, local authorities and consular assistance and by assisting you to make distance communications and to find alternative travel arrangements as may be applicable. Where you are in difficulty as a result of your negligence, we may charge you a reasonable fee for this assistance which will not exceed the costs we actually incur.