These terms and conditions apply to 2010 river cruises
PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
The purchase of any travel services offered by Avalon Waterways (“Avalon Waterways”) or Group Voyagers, Inc. (“the Company”) constitutes a contractual arrangement between you and Avalon Waterways, and represents your acceptance of Avalon Waterways Terms & Conditions set out herein. Please ensure that you read carefully and understand these Terms & Conditions prior to booking. These Terms & Conditions are subject to change after the publication of brochures. You are advised to check on the Web sites or to request the latest version of the Terms & Conditions from your Travel Agent or the Company prior to booking your vacation.
Standard Deposit & Final Payment:
We accept checks, money orders, Visa, MasterCard, Discover/Novus, and American Express. Your payment is not deemed made until it is received by Avalon Waterways. A non-refundable, non-transferable deposit of $250 per land vacation per person is required for us to reserve space for you, with some limited exceptions as noted below. Your booking is not confirmed until the deposit is received by Avalon Waterways and you receive a confirmation invoice. Your reservation will be automatically canceled if deposit is not received by Avalon Waterways within three (3) days of booking. On certain departures, deposits may be required at time of booking to hold or to confirm space for you. Please review and verify your booking invoice thoroughly and contact Avalon Waterways immediately if your invoice appears to be incorrect or incomplete, as it may not be possible to make changes later. Avalon Waterways cannot accept responsibility if we are not notified of inaccuracies within 10 days of sending out the invoice. In the case of billing errors, Avalon Waterways reserves the right to re-invoice you with correct pricing.
Final payment is due 90 days prior to commencement of services, with some limited exceptions as set forth below. If we do not receive final payment by the due date, we reserve the right to cancel the reservation and retain your full deposit and any Travel Protection premiums. We are not responsible for canceled land or air reservations in the event payment is not received by the final payment date. Payment in full is required at time of booking for reservations made within the final payment date of your vacation (in most cases within 90 days of departure). For group reservations, Travel Agents should refer to the Group Policy, which will be provided to you by Avalon Waterways upon request and is also located in the Travel Agent Portal.
Acceptance on the vacation is subject to presentation of the Avalon Waterways Traveler Certificate, which will be available in your final Travel Documents.
Exceptions Apply to These Vacations:
The following deposit and/or final payment dates apply to these vacations. Please see your invoice for more information on deposit and/or final payment dates.
* Additional $250 non-refundable deposit (total $500 non-refundable) is required for air booked in conjunction with any land vacation (i.e., an air-inclusive vacation). Air can only be booked by Avalon Waterways in conjunction with a land package.
* An additional $1,000 non-refundable deposit (total $1,250 non-refundable land deposit) is due 300 days to departure for vacations that include Oberammergau (vacation codes WI & WJ).
The following taxes and fees will be added to your trip price if you book an air-inclusive vacation with Avalon Waterways. These taxes and fees are dependent upon your itinerary. Please ask your Travel Agent or your Avalon Waterways representative at time of reservation for more information.
* September 11th Security Fee up to $10 per person
* Passenger facility charges up to $18 per person
* Federal domestic flight segment fees up to $3.50 per segment
* U.S. and International arrival and departure and other government-imposed fees up to $300 per person
Cancellations & Cancellation Fees:
If cancellation is received by Avalon Waterways before the final payment date of your vacation, your non-refundable deposit and Travel Protection payments will be retained in addition to any airline-imposed fees or penalties. For individual reservations, the following per person cancellation fees apply. Total price does not include discounts, promotions, or special incentives. (For group reservations, refer to the Group Policy.)
Standard Cancellation Fees:
* 90-60 days prior to commencement of services: 35% of total price plus Travel Protection payments
* 59-30 days prior to commencement of services: 50% of total price plus Travel Protection payments
* 29-1 days prior to commencement of services: 80% of total price plus Travel Protection payments
* On departure day and later: 100% of total price plus Travel Protection payments
Exceptions apply to below vacations:
NEW: Vacations that include Oberammergau (vacation codes WI & WJ):
* 300 days prior to commencement of services: full land deposit ($250pp) plus any air deposits plus Travel Protection premiums
* 300-90 days prior to commencement of services: full land ($1250pp) and air deposits plus Travel Protection premiums
* 89-0 days prior to commencement of services: 100% of total price plus Travel Protection premiums
Cancellation fees may also apply to any additional services, including accommodations, independently supplied services, and optional excursions reserved prior to, during, and after the tour.
If flight changes—including flight cancellations or name changes—are requested after full land and air deposit is received, revision fees, change fees, or airline cancellation fees will apply (see “Revision Fees” below). If an air-inclusive vacation is canceled after air tickets have been issued, refunds will be processed after air tickets are returned to Avalon Waterways. In many instances, airline revision or change fees can be up to $250 but in some instances may be up to 100% of the ticket price. Cancellation penalties will be quoted at time of cancellation.
Avalon Waterways reserves the right to cancel or reschedule any vacation departure for any reason. If a vacation is canceled prior to departure, Avalon Waterways’ only responsibility will be to refund to the passenger the amount we have received for the reservation. We will try to rebook the same vacation with a different departure date or a similar vacation. Where Avalon Waterways has confirmed flights, we will try to confirm air schedules for the selected new dates, subject to availability. Avalon Waterways cannot assume responsibility for any additional costs or any fees relating to the issuance and/or cancellation of air tickets or other travel arrangements not made through Avalon Waterways.
A fee of $30 per transaction will be charged for any alteration or revision made to a reservation. Airline penalties may also apply and may be up to 100% of the full ticketed price. Any revisions to a booking may result in the loss of a confirmed airline reservation or increased airfare, which will be payable by the passenger. A change of traveler name, vacation date, or itinerary within final payment will be treated as a full cancellation and new reservation; vacation cancellation fees (as above) apply.
Avalon Waterways is not responsible if an airline cancels, reschedules, or delays a flight for any reason. If you miss your departure flight, it is your responsibility to work with the airline on which you are ticketed to reach your destination. Avalon Waterways is not responsible for any additional expenses you may incur prior to joining your trip. Avalon Waterways is not responsible for and will not provide any refund for portions of trips missed due to canceled, rescheduled, or delayed flights.
For air purchased through Avalon Waterways, if any air schedule requires an overnight stay in a gateway city, Avalon Waterways can assist you with hotel reservations; however, the cost of the overnight stay (including hotel and meals) are at your expense. Air routings are subject to availability. Routings are not guaranteed and are subject to change at any time.
If you make your own flight arrangements, Avalon Waterways will not be responsible for any loss resulting from cancellation or changes in international gateways or travel dates. We recommend that you do not purchase airline tickets with high penalty charges for changes.
Under the new Secure Flight Program enacted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires airlines to collect information from you for the purposes of watch list matching. Providing this information to Avalon Waterways is voluntary; however, if it is not provided, you may be subject to additional screening or denied transport or authorization to enter a sterile area. TSA may share information you provide with law enforcement or intelligence agencies or others under its published system of records notice. At time of booking air, Avalon Waterways will inquire if you would like to provide the required information to your air booking to pass to the airline(s) for the Secure Flight Program. The information includes full name, date of birth, gender and redress number (if available).
For the benefit of everyone on your vacation, Avalon Waterways reserves the right to accept or reject any vacation participant and to remove any participant whose conduct is deemed incompatible with the interests of the other participants. We will not refund nor cover any cost or expenses you incur if we have to terminate your vacation arrangements due to your unacceptable behavior.
Travelers Who Need Special Assistance on Tours and/or Cruises:
You must report any disability requiring special attention while on tour or on cruise to Avalon Waterways at the time the reservation is made. Avalon Waterways will make reasonable attempts to accommodate the special needs of disabled travelers, but is not responsible in the event it is unable to do so nor is it responsible for any denial of services by air carriers, hotels, restaurants, or other independent suppliers. The Americans with Disabilities Act is only applicable within the United States and facilities for disabled individuals are limited outside its borders. Most transportation services, including the touring motorcoach, are not equipped with wheelchair ramps. We regret that we cannot provide individual assistance to a vacation participant for walking, dining, getting on and off motorcoaches and other vehicles, or other personal needs. A qualified and physically able companion must accompany travelers who need such assistance and must assume full responsibility for their well being. The passenger assumes the full risk of use and of any prohibitions imposed by vendors. Motorized scooters are not typically suitable on international tours.
Although some of our ships have elevators, many of our small ships (e.g., river cruise vessels) do not. Passengers requiring ship elevators should inquire before making reservations. Additionally, most stateroom doors and restrooms are not wide enough to allow access by standard wheelchairs, and bathrooms and other doorways may be fitted with coamings. For safety reasons, passengers in wheelchairs cannot be carried on ramps in ports where the ship is at anchor.
Travelers who are less than 18 years old on the departure date must be accompanied by an adult throughout the duration of the vacation. We do not accept children less than 8 years old on any Avalon Waterways vacations. For any special requirements regarding airline tickets for children, contact your airline directly.
Due to heightened security, many countries have adopted practices to prevent international abductions of children. If a child will be traveling with adults other than the parents or with only one parent, it is recommended that a notarized letter be written by the parents or non-traveling parent granting authorization to travel, including the dates of travel. We suggest that you also contact the appropriate consulate and airlines because they may have additional requirements or recommendations.
Smoking is not allowed on transportation that is exclusively provided by Avalon Waterways. On European river cruise ships, smoking is allowed only on the vessels’ Sky Deck. On other cruise ships, smoking is restricted to certain areas of the vessel.
All vacation prices are based on rates (reflecting foreign exchange rates) known at the time of publication and expected to be in effect at the time of departure, and do not include airfare except where noted. Vacation prices are per person, based on double occupancy. Single room supplements and triple reductions are listed where applicable. Not all accommodation types are available on all vacations. Prices are subject to increase without notice, subject to the guarantees set forth below.
Once Avalon Waterways has received your full deposit for any land-only vacation departing Jan. 1, 2010-Dec. 31, 2010, that base land vacation price is guaranteed and you are protected against any base land price increase due to currency surcharge. Any subsequent cost increases are at our expense, not including energy cost increases and/or any government tax increases.
Air-inclusive vacations, and/or land-only vacations that include air between cities (internal air), departing Jan. 1, 2010-Dec. 31, 2010 are guaranteed when Avalon Waterways has received your full land and air deposit. Departure is based on the land start date as listed in the vacation itinerary. Avalon Waterways reserves the right to ticket passengers upon receipt of full land and air deposit and, thus, any subsequent changes made at your request are subject to airline-imposed change fees and/or changes in airfare price, which are the responsibility of the passenger to pay. Air is only available to passengers traveling from the United States and is only available when booked in conjunction with a land vacation.
Vacation departures in 2011 are subject to price and itinerary modifications. Full details will be available in March 2010. Passengers have the right to cancel their reservation without penalty within 14 days of notification in the event of price increases for departures in 2011.
Visas & Passports:
You are responsible for obtaining and paying for all visas and entry documents, for meeting all health and other requirements, and for any documents required by the laws, regulations, orders, and/or requirements of the countries you will visit. Non-U.S. citizens must consult with appropriate consulates to determine if any visas are needed and are responsible for obtaining all visas and entry documents independently. Avalon Waterways is not responsible for providing you with specific visa and passport information or documentation, and Avalon Waterways cannot accept liability for any passenger refused entry onto any transport or into any country due to failure of the passenger to carry correct documentation. All passengers traveling internationally are required to have a passport. Most countries require that the passport be valid for at least six (6) months beyond the conclusion of your trip. It is recommended you have a minimum of three blank pages in your passport when traveling, as many countries require blank pages. Multiple-entry visas are required for some vacations. It is your responsibility to verify all visa and passport requirements.
The accommodations listed in brochures or on the Web site are intended to be used on all departures; however, if a change becomes necessary for any reason, including additional departures on the same date and/or location changes, the accommodations substituted will be equivalent to those shown. Every effort is made to reserve only twin-bedded rooms. Occasionally, some hotels will only provide double-bedded rooms. These rooms will be allocated to couples. Please note that accommodation check-in times vary worldwide.
Private Bath & Single Rooms:
In exceptional cases where private baths or single rooms reserved by us are not available, refunds will be made by the Tour Director, Cruise Director, or Local Host. Claims made in this respect cannot be accepted after the vacation is completed.
Porterage for one suitcase is included in the vacation price. Airport/train station porterage is not included unless otherwise specified in your travel documents. Due to limited motorcoach capacity, your single bag should have dimensions not exceeding 30"x21"x11" and weight not exceeding 50lbs (22kg). Some vacations have more restrictive regulations than these listed above. Please refer to your Travel Documents for more information.
Your air carrier may have stricter weight/dimension limitations than those listed above. Size and weight limitations for carry-on and checked baggage vary from airline to airline and even according to destination, and are becoming more restrictive. Some airlines are also charging fees for checked baggage, including the first checked bag, and these fees are not included in the vacation package. Please check with your airline(s) directly for baggage information and regulations. Avalon Waterways is not responsible for additional fees imposed by air carriers regarding baggage. Regulations within most airports require that travelers handle their own luggage through customs.
No responsibility is accepted for loss of or damage to baggage or any of the traveler’s belongings throughout the duration of the vacation. Baggage insurance is recommended. See our Web site for an all-inclusive Travel Protection Plan.
Carry-on bags should not exceed the dimensions of 12"x11"x6". For safety reasons, wheeled carry-on bags are not suitable as hand luggage on motorcoaches and mini-buses. Carry-on bags must be small enough to store in overhead bins or under the seat in front of you on motorcoaches and other transportation.
Passenger Travel Documents, including any paper airline tickets or e-ticket itineraries, are sent by regular ground delivery approximately 2-3 weeks prior to departure, provided full invoice payment has been received. If available, a service charge per reservation is added for documents requested in advance and/or for 2-day delivery. Please indicate at the time of reservation whether you prefer regular ground delivery or 2-day delivery (2-day delivery with related charges is required for reservations made within 45 days of commencement of services and for delivery outside the continental United States; charges will be quoted at time of reservation).
Not Included in the Vacation Price:
Federal inspection fees for the Federal U.S. Customs and Immigrations; International Air Transportation tax; agricultural tax; other per person taxes imposed by government entities; airport taxes and fees, including the September 11th Security fee up to $10 per person, passenger facility charges up to $18 per person, Federal domestic flight segment fees up to $3.50 per segment, and U.S. and International arrival and departure and other government-imposed fees up to $300 per person; port taxes; passports; visas and vaccinations; tips to your Tour or Cruise Director, Local Host, driver, Local Guides, and/or ship’s crew; gratuities on ferries, trains, and cruise ships; laundry; telephone; minibar; alcohol, beverages, and food outside of the contracted Avalon Waterways menu, as presented at a hotel or restaurant (these extra items will be billed to you before leaving the hotel, ship, or restaurant); optional excursions; airport transfers on non-qualifying flights; porterage at airports and train stations; Travel Protection premiums; excess baggage fees; and all other items of a personal nature.
Please note that any request for refunds is subject to these Terms & Conditions; no refund can be made for unused services of less than 48 consecutive hours, for unused transportation where group activity tickets are involved, or for voluntary modifications made by the traveler. Airport transfers are complimentary with air booked through Avalon Waterways on qualifying flights and dates. Not all flights qualify. Customers not using the included transfer will not be given a cash equivalent or vacation price reduction. There are no refunds on river cruises.
Service Inquiries after the Vacation:
After returning from your vacation, if you wish to inquire about any services provided, please ensure that all correspondence relating to those services is received by Avalon Waterways, Traveler Services, Group Voyagers Inc. (see address under “Responsibility”).
Any complaint or claim involving the vacation services offered in brochures or on the Web sites must be notified to the Company within 30 days of the tour completion, except where such time limitations are prohibited by law.
As it is difficult and sometimes impossible to properly investigate a complaint if we are not advised of such complaint quickly, any compensation you may have been able to claim could be reduced or even forfeited if you do not follow the complaints procedure set out in this clause.
In the event of a problem or complaint involving the negligence of any of our suppliers, sub-contractors, or agents in relation to any service provided to the vacation participant, we must receive the complaint while on the tour or cruise or within 30 days of tour completion.
During local or national holidays or special events, on Sundays, and religious occasions, certain facilities such as museums, churches, restaurants, sightseeing tours, and shopping may be limited or not available. Alternatives will be offered whenever possible. Avalon Waterways cannot be held responsible for any closures or curtails for any reason.
Christmas Market Tours:
Please note that markets generally close prior to Christmas Eve.
Please be aware that during your participation in vacations operated by Avalon Waterways, certain risks and dangers may arise beyond our control, including but not limited to: the hazards of traveling in undeveloped areas; travel by boat, train, automobile, aircraft, or other means of transportation; the forces of nature; political unrest; acts of lawlessness or terrorism; and accident or illness in remote regions without means of rapid evacuation or medical facilities. Avalon Waterways will not have liability regarding provision of medical care or the adequacy of any care that may be rendered. While Avalon will use its best efforts to ensure the adequate measures are taken, by agreeing to participate in a tour and/or optional excursions you agree that you will hold Avalon harmless regarding any provision of medical care or the adequacy of any care rendered
In the event of water level problems on stretches of any river, it may be necessary to operate part of the itinerary by motorcoach. Avalon Waterways reserves the right to change the itinerary whenever conditions, in the opinion of the Master of the Ship or local waterways regulations, render it advisable or necessary. In addition, river and other local authorities often need to carry out repair or maintenance work on the river or canal banks, stretches of river or canal, bridges, locks or docks or other areas which may impede river cruise travel. This is frequently undertaken with little or no advance notice to river cruise operators, and can cause Avalon Waterways to have to make changes to the published itinerary or to operate part of the itinerary by motorcoach with little to no notice. These events are beyond our control and Avalon Waterways will not be responsible for any loss or expense or inconvenience caused by reasons of such changes.
Avalon Waterways reserves the right to cancel, advance, or postpone any scheduled tour and/or sailing date and may, but is not obligated to, substitute another vessel, and shall not be liable for any loss whatsoever to tour/cruise participants by reason of any such cancellation, advancement, or postponement. In the event of cancellation by Avalon Waterways only, tour/cruise participants’ only right of recourse shall be to a refund of monies paid to Avalon Waterways in connection with such tour/cruise. In the event of charters of the vessels, strikes, lockouts, riots, or stoppage of labor for whatever cause or for any other reason whatsoever, Avalon Waterways may at any time cancel, advance, or postpone any scheduled sailing and may, but is not obliged to, substitute another vessel and shall not be liable for any loss whatsoever to tour/cruise participants by reason of any such cancellation, advancement, or postponement.
Photographs or Pictures:
Photographs or pictures appearing on this website should be used solely as an indication of facilities and attractions. Actual facilities and attractions may vary according to itinerary. Maps shown on the vacation pages are current at the time of printing and may not reflect the actual tour routing should the itinerary change.
Optional Excursions & Activities:
The air carriers, accommodations, and other suppliers (referred to as “the Suppliers”) (including but not limited to trains, cruises, ferries, motorcoaches, hotels, and restaurants) providing optional activities and excursions (“the Services”) in the area of the vacation itinerary that are available for booking are not run, supervised, or controlled in any way by the Company. These services are provided by local operators or other third parties that are entirely independent of the Company, which has no control and has no right of control over the operations of these independent contractors.
Such activities and excursions do not form any part of the productor services sold to you by the Company or of these Terms & Conditions, even where the Company suggests particular operators/other third parties and/or assists you in booking such activities or excursions. Your contract for such activity or excursion will be with the organizer or operator of that activity or excursion and will be subject to its Terms & Conditions, which may contain exclusions or limitations of liability. The Company has no liability for any such activity or excursion or for any act(s) or omission(s) of the organizer or operator or for any of its employees or agents or any other person(s) connected with the activity or excursion.
Any advice or assistance on or with any activity or excursion provided by any local representative does not mean or imply that the activity or excursion is sold, supervised, or controlled by the Company or that any such advice or assistance is given on behalf of the Company. Vacation participants are asked to check with the operator of any activity or excursion and the applicable Terms & Conditions before booking.
Group Voyagers, Inc., located at 5301 South Federal Circle, Littleton, Colorado 80123, is an independent company (“the Company”) licensed to market and distribute travel products under the Avalon Waterways brand name, and arrange for the vacation services offered in its brochures or on its Web site, including transportation, sightseeing, and accommodations through independent contracts.
The air carriers, accommodations, and other suppliers (including but not limited to trains, cruises, ferries, motorcoaches, hotels, and restaurants) providing services are independent contractors and are not agents, employees, servants, or joint venturers of the Company or its affiliates. All certificates and other travel documents for services issued by the Company are subject to the Terms & Conditions specified by the supplier, which are available upon request, and to the laws of the countries in which the services are supplied.
The international carriage of passengers is subject to international conventions and treaties, where applicable. These international agreements limit and, in some events, exclude the carrier’s liability to passengers (vacation participants). Where any claim or part of a claim (including those involving death or personal injury) concerns or involves any travel arrangements (including the process of getting on or off the transport
concerned) provided by any air, sea, inland waterways, rail, or road carrier or any stay in a hotel, the Company’s maximum liability is the maximum which would be payable by the carrier or the hotel keeper concerned under the applicable international convention, treaty, or regulation applicable to the travel arrangements or hotel stay (e.g., the Warsaw Convention, the Montréal Convention for international travel by air, the EU Regulation on Air Carrier Liability for air carriers with an operating license granted by an EU country, the Athens Convention for international travel by sea) in that situation.
After departure, if the services included in the vacation cannot be supplied or there are changes in an itinerary for reasons beyond the control of the Company, the Company will arrange for the provision of comparable services. Any resulting additional expense will be the responsibility of vacation participants, and any resulting savings will be refunded by the Company to vacation participants.
The Company reserves the right to accept or reject any person as a vacation participant; to expel any participant from the vacation; to make changes in the itinerary whenever the Company deems it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of the participants; and to cancel a vacation at any time.
The vacation participant agrees that neither the Company nor its affiliates shall be liable for any damage, loss (including personal injury, death, and property loss), or expense occasioned by any act or omission of any supplier providing services, any insurer or insurance administrator under the Travel Protection Plan, or any other person.
Any dispute between the vacation participant and the Company directly or indirectly relating to the Terms & Conditions shall be first submitted to mediation at Denver, Colorado, before a mediator mutually agreed to by the parties. If mediation is not successful, the dispute must be resolved by binding arbitration under Colorado law before the Judicial Arbiter Group or its successor located at 1601 Blake Street, Denver, Colorado 80202. The prevailing party shall be entitled to an award of costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees. Any action to enforce the arbitrator’s decision shall be brought in the state or federal courts in the State of Colorado.
Arbitration against the Company must be commenced within one year following the date of tour completion. Neither the Company nor any affiliate shall in any case be liable for other than compensatory damages, and you hereby waive any right to punitive damages.
No person, other than an authorized representative of the Company by a document in writing, is authorized to vary, add, or waive any term or condition in its brochures or on its Web site, including any term or condition set forth in the preceding provisions.
Carrier Terms and Conditions:
As a passenger onboard an Avalon Waterways River Cruise, you are also subject to the Terms and Conditions of the Carrier. Carrier Terms and Conditions are available for each Avalon Waterways ship.