GENERAL CONDITIONS

GO  GALAPAGOS – ECUADOR Cia. Ltda 

The terms and conditions described herein apply to all services, cruises, and programs booked with GO Galapagos – Ecuador GGE Cia. Ltda. hereinafter referred to as “GO” and/or Kleinturs y Representaciones Cía. Ltda. and/or Galapagos Corporación Turística Galatours S.A. and/or Kleintours SL, we might also refer to these companies as “KT Group”. These terms and conditions shall also apply to any third-party program or services sold or arranged by GO. Any trip member, traveler, customer or any person or company that hires services shall be referred to as “user”. The user of GO services agrees to be bound by the present “Terms and Conditions” and any other change that might be updated in the future on the website at www.gogalapagos.com or www.kleintours.com, which are valid at the time the service is provided. Any deposit or payment for services to GO constitutes joint acceptance by the customer and the end user of terms and conditions described in the present document. All users of GO´s services are responsible for reading and understanding this section.

RATES & CONDITIONS

GO published rates are GROSS. Airfares, taxes, and extra charges are NET. Exceptions may apply. GO rates are guaranteed for the stated period, unless there are steep increases in prices for fuel and logistics, international or local policies and government regulations, exchange rate fluctuations or any other event affecting the operation beyond GO’s control. If there is any adjustment, it shall be reported when a firm booking with full payment is received. All items not specifically included in the itinerary must be paid directly by the passenger. GO accepts no responsibility for discrepancies between verbal quotes and written quotes. After full payment has been made, all information contained on GO’s voucher of services and/or invoice is considered correct.Sales performance is constantly monitored and, if goals are not reached, GO reserves the right to revise net rates for any new booking or space held without the required deposit.

1. BOOKING GUIDELINES

GO must be advised in writing about all reservation requests, changes in reservation, deposits and/or payment. Reservations shall be confirmed when total payment is credited to “KT Group” accounts. The client is also responsible for double-checking vouchers and pro forma invoices quoted by GO at www.gogalapagos.com, “Members´ Area”.

For groups and charters, monthly sales reports are mandatory: number of passengers, type of cabins/rooms, must be updated in writing. If a group size increase is requested, spaces will have priority for confirmation according to availability. If sales report is not received during the first 10 days of the month, GO reserves the right to reduce the spaces when occupation is high. No groups, charters or space allocations can be held during holidays such as Easter, Christmas and New Year periods due to limited availability; spaces will be granted for individual passengers with full payment.

  • Submit passengers’ information: Once a reservation is confirmed, rooming list and passengers’ information must be submitted exactly as shown in the passport. To issue final confirmation of services and to comply with the Galapagos National Park and Government Council requirements, final rooming list and passengers’ data must be submitted up to 61 days before the tour date.

Use the Excel format sent with each confirmation and fill it out with the passenger’s information data.  No other chart or format can be used for this purpose.

1.2 Waiver of Liability forms duly signed are required along with passport´s copy in the following cases:

  1. a) Children under 12 years old; along with a copy of legal representative´s passport.
  2. b) Passengers with special needs including physical disabilities or health problems: For passengers and suppliers´ safety, GO reserves the right to decline the provision of services in case physical condition information has been distorted, or omitted.
  3. c) Scuba diving and other sports or adventure tours: Trip members are responsible for selecting a trip that is within their abilities and to decide if their participation in the tour is safe as they will have to engage in activities that can often involve speed, height, a high level of physical effort, and sometimes specialized training. International Diving License is required in order to confirm scuba diving options. PADI Open Water Diver course and a minimum number of immersions might be required depending on depth and/or immersion time, intermediate or advanced level, on programmed dives.

1.3 Special requirements: Diet or allergy requests should be notified on the passengers’ information form to GO up to 61 days before tour departure date. GO shall do its very best to meet reasonable special dietary needs; some, however, cannot be guaranteed.  In certain cases, GO might need further information such as height, weight, physical condition, etc., to be able to provide the best accommodation and services for the user.

2. DEPOSIT, PAYMENT AND CANCELLATION POLICIES

GO shall proceed to book space when deposit/payment conditions are fulfilled. All payments must be made to “KT Group” accounts within the time-limits indicated, otherwise the space that has been booked could automatically be released, deposits forfeited, or might be listed on first pay/first served basis. A yearly floating deposit might replace individual ones. Ask for particular conditions.

When a Galapagos cruise departure or third-party service reaches “High Occupancy Departures” (HOD) status, GO reserves the right to ask for an extra non-refundable deposit or full payment. If the “HOD” notification is not accepted by the customer, the requested space will be listed only.  Space will be confirmed if available when full payment is credited.  During a HOD, cabin category for double share, single and triple accommodation cannot be guaranteed.  GO will do its outmost to provide the requested cabin, however, if it is not possible, assignment will be round of the boat based. GO will refund the proportional amount due to price difference in alternative category and accommodation given, if any.

In case of groups and charters, deposits and monthly sales reports are mandatory.

All changes and cancellations must be notified in writing to be considered and accepted by GO; the user must request a written confirmation from GO’s side informing that the cancellation notice was received and that spaces have been released accordingly. Penalties might apply.  The cancellation fees shall be debited automatically from the deposits or payments. If a booking agent guarantees a reservation without payment, the invoice must be honored in case services are cancelled. Remaining balances shall be credited to future bookings with a credit note, or will be used as a part-payment for the spaces that remain held if any.

Last minute requests: Priority is given after full payment is credited on a first paid/first served basis.

2.1 Galapagos Cruises

 

  1. a) Individual Passengers & Groups

 

Deposits and Payments:

– To confirm a booking, a deposit of USD $500 net per person per short cruise is required.  If the deposit is not credited, the reservation shall be given a “priority two” status.   During Peak Seasons (Easter, Christmas, and New Year) deposit is non-refundable.

– Total balance must be fully credited into “KT Group” accounts up to 61 days prior to departure.

–  Conditions for High Occupancy Dates (HOD) apply.

Cancellations and penalties:

–  121 days prior to departure, spaces can be released without penalty.

–  120 – 61 days prior to departure, USD $500 per person per short cruise shall be charged for any space released.

–  60 days prior to departure, reservations shall automatically be considered as firm; therefore, 100% of the total negotiated rate of the cruise will be charged and withheld if the booking is cancelled.

Changes: Rather than cancelling services, we suggest rescheduling the cruise date, or changing the name in the same held departure, under the following conditions:  Between 120 and 61 days prior to departure, a USD $150 penalty per person per short cruise shall be charged. Between 60 and 31 days prior to departure, a 20% discount will apply for new reservations involving date change with the same names.  Balance will be forfeited. Price adjustments apply depending on available date, ship, and cabin(s).  Above conditions do not apply on HOD departures.

 

  1. b) Charters or Half Charters

Deposits and Payments:

– 20% deposit of the total charter rate is required to confirm reservation.   If the deposit is not credited, space will be placed as requested only.

–  30% deposit of the total charter rate is required 181 days before the date of departure.

–  Remaining 50% balance must be paid 91 days before departure date.

Cancellations and penalties:

–  301 days prior to departure a charter can be released without penalty.

–  300 – 181 days before departure date, a full charter can be changed without penalty to a half charter rate for the m/v “Galapagos Legend” (50 passengers); applying group rate for m/y “Coral I” (18 passengers) and m/y “Coral II” (10 passengers). If the cancellation is in full, 20% deposit is forfeited.

–  180 – 91 days prior to departure, 50% deposit is forfeited.

– 90 – 0 days prior to the departure, full cancellation fees apply.

  1. c) Promotional deals (non-refundable)

Immediate non-refundable full payment is mandatory. Special deals apply to new bookings only. Spaces are limited.  Promo deals might be modified or withdrawn without previous notice. Different offers cannot be combined.

2.2 Third party services

– Land services:  Individual operation, payment and cancellation conditions apply for each supplier.

– Air tickets:  shall be processed only when the requests are in firm and tickets will be issued only with full payment. Galapagos air tickets are issued 30 days prior to departure and are not refundable.

– If the booking is cancelled within 30 days prior to the beginning of the tour, 20% of the total negotiated rate will be charged.

– Taxes and entrance fees are refundable up to 10 days prior to travel date.

2.3 Payment Process

Payments can be made only to the account specified by “KT Group” in U.S. Dollars.

Major credit cards and PayPal payments are accepted, request for conditions. Any extra expense for transferring funds must be covered by the user and included in the payment. GO must receive notice of payment to be able to check when money was credited. Booking shall be confirmed once the money has been completely deposited into “KT Group” accounts. Otherwise, GO reserves the right to render the requested services, place said booking under request, refuse services, or request payment directly from the passenger, who is held jointly liable for all terms and conditions stated in these policies and in our agreements or quotations. Priority shall be given to bookings that have been paid in full. Services shall be confirmed on a first paid/first served basis.

2.4 Refunds and compensation

As a basic principle, no refund will be made for any unused service such as hotel or cruise accommodation, service or transportation. If a refund is obtained, however, there may be a fee withheld for administrative charges.

GO’s responsibility will not extend beyond this refund, and no payments will be made, or compensation given, in respect to claims for contingent liability or inconvenience experienced by users. No refund can be made for lost, mislaid, or destroyed tickets or vouchers, or for lost property.

Any complaint the user might have while on holiday, must be expressed in writing by the passenger and addressed to GO’s main office within 30 days of the termination of the tour, in order to duly process it. The complaint must also be expressed on the comment cards provided by GO for mainland services or cruises, and include supporting documentation. GO shall not accept responsibility for claims received after this period.

No claim or refund will be granted for any extra or optional service that for any reason could not be provided.

No refunds shall be made for any missed service or extra expenses except for those where it is possible to substantiate that they were the operator’s responsibility. Any adjustment shall be considered only on the basis of the current prices directly involved.

GO will not be held liable for any consequences or expenses incurred for any changes, cancellations, accidents, injury, death, etc., caused by any disability, whether it has been reported to GO or not. No refund will be forthcoming for missed sightseeing or meals, early/late departures or visits that were not enjoyed by the user.

All refunds shall be endorsed by a credit note to future bookings that must include a Galapagos Cruise.

GO is not liable for complaints or refunds for services not provided when the information detailed as “special requirements” on 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 is not sent, or does not arrive on time, or due to limitations of the properties involved such as during high occupancy departures, when a cabin/room category for double share, single, and triple accommodation, cannot be guaranteed. Should a passenger’s accommodation be changed, the customer will be contacted prior to the scheduled departure date and GO will refund the proportional amount due to price difference, if any, for alternative service, category, or accommodation given.

3. GUIDES AND GROUP LEADERS

GO complies with all national tourism regulations. All guides are highly knowledgeable of all areas that the passengers will be visiting as part of the programmed itineraries.  GO provides tourists with experienced guides who are fluent in English and Spanish.  German, Italian and French guides are provided only if available, when groups exceed 6 passengers on board GO fleet, conditioned to a non-refundable deposit.  The guide may provide assistance, information and interpretation in two or more languages at the same time.  No refund nor compensation will be made if at the time of tour the guide in that language was not provided.

Tourists must facilitate the work of guides and drivers by complying with the following: handing over vouchers when requested, respecting pickup times when transfers are required, and complying with local rules and regulations and all instructions that are given.

The customer recognizes that any local or foreign group leader being provided by the customer is not allowed to operate and act as a guide on Ecuadorian territory and/or the Galapagos Islands. The group leader must comply with all requests put forth by the local guide authorized by GO, and will otherwise be able to coordinate all steps in accordance with contract terms.

Group leaders shall not be able to change the itineraries presented by GO, or other itineraries operated by GO, without the prior written authorization of GO. Group leaders are forbidden to offer alcoholic beverages or any other substances to guides, drivers, crew members, or any other staff member of the tour.

GENERAL RESPONSABILITIES

4. INSURANCE

It is obligatory for all passengers using any GO services or third-party services arranged by GO to obtain necessary insurance before arriving in Ecuador. Insurance is not included on GO cruises and tours. We highly recommend coverage for travelers and property, as well as for trip delays, trip cancellations, interruptions, lost baggage, life insurance, medical, accident, sickness, etc.. GO equipment meets local insurance law requirements for their operation only.

5. OPERATION SAFETY

GO has certified ships and yachts that comply with international standards and regulations. GO ships, yachts, and buses meet all national safety regulations and legal requirements.

If a passenger is believed to be a hazard for himself/herself or others, or causes disturbance to other passengers, the GO representative, the ship’s captain, or the tour guide, may refuse the passenger or terminate any cruise or mainland program for that passenger at any time, at the complete risk and expense of the passenger.

For safety reasons, GO will not admit on cruises or mainland tours any passenger carrying firearms or sharp weapons that could cause any injury to himself/herself, or other passengers, crew, flora, or fauna. Forbidden articles include guns, knives, compressed gas, corrosive substances, poison, explosives, firearms, ammunition, fireworks and flares, inflammable liquids and solids, radioactive materials, and oxidizing materials.

–  GO reserves the right to refuse, revoke, accept or prevent the further participation of any person whose actions impede trip operations, or jeopardize the rights, or welfare, of other groups members or interfere with their enjoyment of the trip, who might be a hazard to himself/herself and others, harm nature, or violate regulations. GO also reserves the right to refuse, revoke, accept or prevent the further participation of any person it deems incapable of withstanding the hardships or meeting the requirements of participating in the activities that have been planned or contracted.

–  GO shall not be required to refund any portion of the rate paid by any passenger who must leave the cruise, or mainland service prematurely, for any of the reasons specified above. Therefore, GO will not be responsible for accommodations, meals, return transportation or other expenses incurred by the passenger for these reasons.

–  GO shall not be held liable for the actions or activities of any passenger who consumes, purchases, or obtains, by any means, alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs. Illegal drugs are strictly forbidden on board or during GO’s mainland excursions. Illegal drug possession shall be reported immediately. If detected, the cruise or tour will be terminated immediately for that person and all money paid forfeited.

Any physical disability or health problem that might require special attention or treatment, should be reported in writing to GO. In these cases, GO reserves the right to decline the provision of services.

–  GO will not be held liable for any consequences, or expenses, incurred for any changes, cancellations, accidents, injury, death, etc., caused by any disability, whether it has been reported to GO, or not.

No refund is applicable for missed sightseeing, meals, early/late departures and visits that were not enjoyed by the user. GO shall not be held liable for the provision of medical care during the trip.

6. THIRD-PARTY SERVICES

GO acts only as the agent for the owners, contractors and suppliers, providing means of transportation and/or related travel services including adventure sports and scuba diving activities, and therefore it cannot be held liable for injury, loss, or damage to person or property in connection with any service resulting directly or indirectly from, but not confined to, detention, annoyance, delays and expenses arising from quarantine, strikes, pilferage, theft, force majeure, failure of any means of transportation, or conveyance to arrive and depart as scheduled; civil disturbances, terrorism, government restrictions or regulations, and in-transit discrepancies or changes on aircrafts, cruises, hotels and any other services or location, for incidents such as airline cancellations, re-routing, delay, or any disruptions of schedule, service or accommodation, for baggage lost by airlines or the independent tour operators who handle overland transfers or arrangements.

–  GO is not responsible if a transfer, hotel accommodation, flight connection, or any other service is missed due to delayed or cancelled flights. Alternative transportation, hotel accommodation, additional services or flight reschedule shall be arranged and paid directly by the passenger, or through the issuing Travel Agent.

–  GO is not responsible for the acts and/or omissions of providers (third-parties) or for any loss, damage, or expense the user may incur as a result of the acts and/or omissions of service by the third-party.

–  GO and its associates act only as agents for passengers in matters pertaining to transportation, accommodation, or other services. As agents, tickets, exchange orders, or vouchers, if issued by GO, are subject to each and every term and condition under which such means of transportation, accommodation or other services are offered or provided.

–  GO will not be held liable for, and travelers will release GO from, any injury, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity which may be caused by any such third party, person, firm or corporation in carrying out, or failing to carry out, arrangements previously agreed upon, or for the misconduct, whether willful, criminal or otherwise, of any such third party, person, firm or corporation in providing or failing to provide services.

–  GO might book hotels on the Galapagos Islands (check section 2.2 for details); however, land-based tours are not sold or provided by GO due to quality control and restricted regulations. GO might refer providers only.

7. RESPONSIBILITIES AND LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY

These General Conditions also apply to third parties buying services from agencies, wholesalers, and operators acting as intermediaries, via internet, or any other instrument approved by GO. The customer accepts the general “Terms and Conditions” published and updated by GO at: www.gogalapagos.com and declares that he/she has read, understood, and accepted them in their entirety without entitlement to claims and that he/she is fully responsible for transmitting them to end users so that they will be appraised by them.

– GO refuses any and every liability from any and all claims that might be filed for loss or damage to baggage or property of the passenger; personal injuries, death, or delay as a result of the acts, omissions or negligence of any independent contractor or supplier, such as, but not confined to: airlines, cruise ships, hotels, restaurants, transportation providers, and other services or facilities.

–  GO refuses any and every liability for any accident stemming from the practice of scuba diving, water sports, hikes on the islands or the mainland, or other activities outside our facilities. GO shall not be held liable for any loss, injury, death or harm unless it was caused by GO’s negligence when using GO’s own facilities in which case liability shall be subject to local laws and regulations.

–  GO may accept children as passengers for its Galapagos trips or on mainland Ecuador, but shall not be held liable for any accident that might occur to minors. Children are the sole responsibility of their parents and/or legal guardians.

–  The passenger is responsible, and pledges to compensate GO, for all penalties, fines, losses of money and/or expenses incurred or imposed by virtue of any act, omission, or violation of law by the passenger and for any damage to the ship caused by any willful or negligent act or omission on the part of the passenger.

–  GO reserves the right to take photographs, shoot films and publish comment cards of any trip and its participants, and may use any such material for promotional and/or commercial purposes. The videos or photos that might be used by the passenger for commercial purposes require prior specific authorization from National Park authorities.

–  Passengers must be in sound health and physical condition. Trip members are responsible for selecting a trip that is within their abilities and interests, and to decide if their participation on the tour is safe as they will have to get on and off the yacht or ship from a small dinghy, swim among wildlife, rocks and in open sea, dive in the ocean, climb up and down during hikes, walk over uneven terrain, travel by maritime transportation, car and bus, and engage in adventure activities. Nevertheless, IN NO CASE SHALL GO BE HELD LIABLE FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES. GO reserves the right to restrict the participation of passengers on hikes if they entail any kind of imminent hazard for the passenger or other group members, and the passenger who is disembarked is fully liable for all related risks and costs.

No employee, attendant, agent or associate of GO may change any of the previously listed booking conditions without the prior written consent of the Board of Directors.

 

Operation Guarantee

GO will endeavor to guarantee tours as far in advance as possible. Some tours, however, cannot be guaranteed until 15 days prior to departure.

Should a passenger’s program or service be cancelled due to lack of enrollment, for commercial reasons, the customer will be contacted prior to the scheduled departure date. The program or service may be re-booked, or GO may refund the total payment made for the service not provided.

Changes to the itinerary may be made when deemed necessary or advisable by GO, including substitutions for comparable hotels, yachts or vessels, attractions, sightseeing or transportation units. Extra costs due to unexpected changes to the itinerary for reasons beyond our control are not included. (If an upgrade is required, higher rates may apply.)

Any major changes will be advertised as soon as possible before departure. The user may choose between: a) accepting the change, b) accepting any alternative tour offered, or c) a refund for the service not given. Refunds will be made as a credit note directly to the tour operator involved, or the paying party (check section 2.4 for details). If the customer decides to take the alternative offered, no further refunds or credit will be allowed unless so specified in writing. GO will not be held liable for any further claims. To uphold the safety and security standards that are required and to improve services, maintenance of units and dry dock might be effected without prior notice.

If it is not possible for GO to operate the contracted cruise or tour for causes beyond its control, within 24 hours after the departure date, the cruise/tour may be cancelled and the money paid will be refunded. In case of damage to the ship, which cannot be repaired within 24 consecutive hours, GO will refund the proportional amount paid from the time the ship was disabled or the tour operation cancelled. In cases of force majeure or for commercial reasons, GO is entitled to provide a similar ship/yacht, price, or tour arrangement, if available, and reserves the right to substitute it for a similar one, with or without prior notice.

In force majeure situations, GO reserves the right to withdraw a tour either completely or any part of it, to make alterations as deemed necessary, and to pass on to tour members any outlays caused by delays or events beyond its control.

All airfares, taxes, schedules, ports of departure, time of arrival/departure and special programs are subject to change without prior notice. Local flights allow one piece of checked soft luggage weighing 20 kilograms.

The Galapagos cruise itineraries are subject to change without prior notice or can be operated in a different sequence. All Galapagos itineraries are under the direction of the Galapagos Park Administration, or can be changed at the captain’s discretion.

Mainland tour itineraries are also subject to change when there are bad weather conditions, strikes, natural events, or force majeure events beyond GO’s control, or if a minimum number of participants is not secured. GO reserves the right to change the itineraries and offer the best available alternative for passengers. On dates including, but not limited to, religious holidays and national celebrations, some churches, museums, monuments and sites may be closed.

There is no guarantee that specific wildlife shall be observed during a particular mainland tour or cruise. All sightings and optional activities are subject to environmental, and operational conditions and passengers’ physical conditions.

Any independent arrangements that the passenger may partake locally, that are not included in the program contracted with GO, but are rather provided by an independent airline, operator, or local supplier, shall be the passenger’s sole responsibility, who is fully liable for all related risks and costs that must be paid directly to the organizer. GO does not supervise or control this portion of the program and cannot be held liable for delays and expenses arising from any act or omission of the organizer, or any other party connected with it. Therefore, GO reserves the right to decline the provision of services in connection with passenger’s independent arrangements.

GO reserves the right to change transportation and guides during the operation of the tour in case of force majeure situations, guaranteeing GO´s quality standards.

8. JURISDICTION

This present agreement shall be governed by Ecuadorian Law and therefore interpreted within the framework of this law. In the event of a dispute between the parties as a result of the present agreement, if it has not been resolved amicably between the two parties, both GO and the customer shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Arbitration Court of the Chamber of Commerce of Quito (CCQ), pursuant to the regulations of the Ecuadorian Arbitration Law. The rules for the arbitration process shall be as follows: the parties waive ordinary administration of justice and are bound to accept the rulings issued by the Arbitration Court. The Arbitration Court shall be comprised of three (3) members. The arbitration process shall be in Spanish and shall be conducted in the Arbitration Center of the CCQ and shall be confidential. All parties must cover corresponding fees and charges.

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