Astro Trails General Terms and Conditions
In compliance with Package Travel Regulations, all money received by Astro Trails is deposited in a Clients Trust (Escrow) Account and is retained by the Independent Trustees until it is paid to the service provider for your travel arrangements. You can find details of this facility on this link Protected Trust Services
We strongly advise arranging a travel insurance policy to cover medical and other risks including loss of non-refundable deposits. You will find many policies available on the internet.
This contract is for the provision of travel arrangements. Please read these booking conditions carefully together with the information sections of our projects as they form the basis of your contract with Astro Trails Ltd. a company registered in England & Wales, registered address Eagle House, 25 Severn Street, SY21 7AD United Kingdom, company number 10998628.
1. Booking Your Project and Payment
Once you have chosen the project you wish to join, you may make a provisional reservation. We will usually hold a provisional reservation for seven days. To make a confirmed booking, the first named (Lead) person (who must be at least 18 years of age) should complete our internet booking form on behalf of all party members. The booking form should be forwarded to us together with payment of the deposit shown. Bookings made by telephone or by e-mail shall have the same effect as if they had been made as above. Please do not include your credit or debit card details on an e-mail. We will confirm your chosen arrangements and acknowledge your payment by sending you a confirmation of your booking. Please check this confirmation together with all other documents sent to you carefully to ensure they fully accord with your instructions. If you have any queries whatsoever, you must advise us immediately.
Solar eclipse expeditions will usually be arranged several years in advance of the event. In order to secure the required accommodation and services in the necessary locations and as, at these times there is usually restricted supply and high demand, significant advance payments are normally required by the service suppliers. This is reflected in the deposit we require and the limited cancellation options we are able to offer in order to hold your reservation.
When we confirm your Booking we will request a deposit to secure your place. This payment and any subsequent payments will be held in a Trust account until it is paid to your service provider. Deposit payments can be made by bank transfer or by credit or debit card. There is no service fee for bank transfers or for payments on cards registered in the UK, however a 3% charge is levied on cards registered in other parts of the world.
2. Payment Schedule
In addition to a deposit, we require additional stage payments for some of the projects and details are given on the information page on the website. The stage payment dates, and final balance dates will be confirmed with your Booking Confirmation. We will send you an invoice when such payments are due and a further Final Invoice showing the outstanding balance when that is due. The payments must be received by us no later than the due date. If for any reason the payments are not received by us by the due date, we reserve the right to treat your booking as cancelled by you so that the fees set out clause 7 will be payable.
3. Your Contract
A binding contract between us will come into existence when we issue our confirmation of your booking. These booking conditions form the basis of that contract. They may only be varied by a Director of Astro Trails Ltd. in writing. Your contract is governed by English law and is subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of England and Wales.
We reserve the right to make changes to and correct errors to advertised prices at any time before your booking is confirmed. We will advise you of any error of which we are aware and of the then applicable price at the time of booking.
5. Price Guarantee
Advertised prices are based on fuel, currency rates and other costs at the date of costing, however these may change. You should check this information with us at the time you come to make a booking. The price of the project will be recalculated before your final invoice is issued and any increase in costs will be added to your invoice. In the event that this increase is more than 8% of the total cost, you will have the option to accept the increase or cancel your booking and receive a full refund.
The date of the tour price calculation is shown on the website pages for each tour and based on prices and currency exchange rates known on the calculation dates.
6. Amendment by You
Should you wish to make any changes to your booking after it has been confirmed, please advise us as soon as possible in writing. We will endeavour to assist in making changes, although we cannot guarantee that requests for amendment can always be met. Where an amendment can be made, a fee of £50 or $65 per booking per amendment will be charged together with any costs or charges incurred by us or incurred or levied by our suppliers. An amendment constitutes a change to the existing booking. A request to transfer to another programme or to other arrangements will be treated as a cancellation incurring the cancellation fees set out in clause 6. Where you or a member of your party is prevented from travelling (e.g. as a result of personal illness/injury, the serious illness or injury of a close family relative, jury service or unavoidable work commitments) the person concerned may transfer their booking to another qualified person, providing we are notified of the need to transfer not less than 28 days prior to departure. An amendment fee of £50 or $65 will be payable together with any costs or charges incurred by us or incurred or levied by our suppliers to effect the transfer.
7. Cancellation by You
You have an option to cancel your arrangements which must be exercised in writing.
Your notice of cancellation will be acknowledged by email and you should ensure you retain that acknowledgement. No refunds can be made for any part or parts of any service, tour, excursions or other arrangements cancelled on or after your scheduled departure date or not utilised by you.
The following fees apply if you wish to exercise your option to cancel. The fee is based on the period before departure within which written notification of cancellation is received by us.
More than four months: the total value of all advance payments made.
(i.e., your advance payments are non-refundable.)
Less than four months: 100% of the total cost.
Total cost means the total cost of the cancelled arrangements and any amendment charges.
Depending on the reason for your cancellation, you may be able to claim a refund of the above fees from your insurance company if you have taken out an appropriate travel insurance policy.
8. Changes by Us
We reserve the right to make changes to your booked arrangements at any time both before and after bookings have been confirmed. Most changes will be minor ones. Occasionally, it is necessary to make a significant change. In the case of tours a significant change is the deletion of a major part of the itinerary.
Where we have arranged your project for a specific purpose e.g., observation of a solar eclipse or similar reason, changes may be made to facilitate this objective resulting in consequential changes or deletion of other parts of the itinerary. These changes and all other changes are treated as minor changes. Where known, minor changes will be shown on your final itinerary which will be sent to you with your travel documents approximately two weeks before departure.
In the event of a significant change, we will advise you as soon as possible and give you the choice of :- (a) accepting the changed arrangements as notified to you; or (b) cancelling your arrangements and receiving a full refund of all monies paid to us.
9. Changes after Departure
After departure, our Tour Director or local ground agent has the right to make any changes to arrangements which they/we consider to be necessary or appropriate in the interests of the safety of any of our clients, employees or suppliers or to be beneficial to the operation of the arrangements or desirable to overcome weather, transportation or other problems beyond our immediate control or that of our suppliers, or if changes are required at any time by government agencies or organisations or other official bodies. We do not control the day to day management of your accommodation. Particular hotels may only be used infrequently. It is possible that we may be advised that your reserved accommodation is not available after you have departed on the project. If this occurs, we will endeavour to provide accommodation of at least the same standard in the same area.
10. Cancellation by Us
Occasionally, it may be necessary to cancel previously confirmed arrangements which we reserve the right to do. Where your arrangements are cancelled other than due to your default in payment, we will offer you the choice of either purchasing alternative arrangements from us, of at least the same standard if available (with you paying or receiving a refund in respect of any price difference) or receiving a full and immediate refund of all monies paid to us. Some programmes require a minimum number of participants and in the unlikely event that this number is not reached, that departure may be cancelled and you will be offered an alternative departure or refund as above. Except where you fail to make payment in full and on time, we will not cancel less than twenty days before departure unless we are forced to do so as a result of “force majeure” as defined in clause 11 below. We regret no compensation will be payable if we cancel twenty days or more before departure for any reason or less than twenty days before departure as a result of unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, the consequences of which could not have been avoided even with all due care. Very rarely, we may be forced to curtail your arrangements after the date of departure where circumstances amounting to “force majeure” as defined in clause 11 below occur. In this very unusual situation, we regret we cannot make any refunds (except where these are obtained from the relevant supplier(s)), pay any compensation or be responsible for any costs or expenses you may incur as a result.
11. Force Majeure
Except where otherwise expressly stated in these booking conditions, we regret we cannot accept liability or pay any compensation where the performance or prompt performance of our contractual obligations is prevented or affected by or you otherwise suffer any damage or loss (as more fully described in clause 12 (1) below) as a result of “force majeure” Force majeure includes any event which we or the supplier of the service(s) in question could not, even with all due care, foresee or avoid such as war or threat of war, civil strife, industrial dispute, natural or nuclear disaster, earthquake or volcanic activity, adverse weather conditions, fire, terrorist activity, pandemic, governmental action and all similar circumstances beyond our control.
(1) We promise to make sure that all parts of the project we have agreed to arrange, perform, or provide as part of our contract with you are arranged, performed or provided with reasonable skill and care. We will accept responsibility if any death, personal injury, failure, or deficiency of your project arrangements is caused by any failure by ourselves or our employees (providing they were at the time acting within the course of their employment) or our agents or suppliers (as applicable) to use reasonable skill and care in performing or providing the service in question. Please note it is your responsibility to show that reasonable skill and care has not been used if you wish to make a claim. We will not be responsible for any injury, illness, death, loss (for example loss of enjoyment), damage, expense, cost or other sum or claim of any description whatsoever which results from any of the following: – (a) the fault of the person(s) affected or any member(s) of their party or (b) the fault of a third party not connected with the provision of the project which we could not have predicted or avoided or (c) an event or circumstance which we or the supplier of the service(s) in question could not have predicted or avoided even after taking all reasonable care (see clause 9) (d) the fault of anyone who is not carrying out work for us (generally or in particular) at the time. In addition, we will not be responsible where you do not enjoy the project or suffer any problems because of a reason you did not tell us about when you booked the project or where any problems you suffer did not result from any breach of our contract or other fault of ourselves or, where we were responsible for them, our suppliers or agents or where any losses, expenses, costs or other sum you have suffered relate to any business. 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 your hotel or any other supplier agrees to provide for you or services or facilities we have not agreed to arrange or any excursions you purchase in resort.
(2) 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 regulations 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 local laws and regulations applicable to those services at the time, 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 regulations of the UK which would have applied had those services seen 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 person to refuse to take or join the project in question.
(3) We limit the maximum amount we may have to pay you for any and all claims or parts of claims which do not involve personal injury, illness or death. Except where loss of and/or damage to luggage or personal possessions is concerned or a lower limitation of liability applies to your claim, the maximum amount we will have to pay you for such non personal injury claims if we are found liable to you on any basis is twice the price (excluding insurance premiums and amendment charges) paid by or on behalf of the person(s) affected in total. This maximum amount will only be payable where everything has gone wrong and you have not received any benefit at all from the arrangements. Where we are found liable for loss of and/or damage to any luggage or personal possessions (including money), the maximum amount we will have to pay you is £50 per person affected as you are assumed to have taken out adequate insurance at the time of booking. Please also see clause 11(4) below.
(4) Where any claim or part of a claim concerns or is based on any travel arrangements (including the process of getting on and/or off the transport concerned) provided by any air, sea, rail or road carrier or any stay in a hotel, the maximum amount of compensation we will have to pay you will be limited. The most we will have to pay you for that claim or that part of a claim if we are found liable to you on any basis is the most the carrier or hotel keeper concerned would have to pay under the international convention or regulation which applies to the travel arrangements or hotel stay in question (for example, the Warsaw Convention as amended for international travel by air and/or for airlines with an operating licence granted by an EU country, the EU Regulation on Air Carrier Liability for national and international travel by air, the Athens convention for international travel by sea). When making any payment, we are entitled to deduct any money which you have received or are entitled to receive from the transport provider or hotelier for the complaint or claim in question.
(5) This clause 12 is intended to set out our obligations to you as a tour operator/organiser in the light of the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 2018. Please note, we regret we cannot make any payment to you or any member of your party if the person concerned is not entitled to one from us under these Regulations. You must provide ourselves and our insurers with all assistance we may reasonably require. If asked to do so, you must transfer to us or our insurers any rights you have against the supplier or whoever else is responsible for your claim or complaint (if the person concerned is under 18, their parent or guardian must do so). You must also agree to cooperate fully with us and our insurers if we or our insurers want to enforce any rights which are transferred. It is a condition of our acceptance of liability as set out in this clause that you fully comply with our complaints procedure, as set out in clause 12 below.
(6) If you or any member of your party suffers illness, injury or death, through misadventure, as a result of an activity which does not form part of your contracted arrangements, we will provide you with all reasonable assistance. All assistance (financial or otherwise) is subject to our reasonable discretion and a maximum total cost to ourselves of £5,000 per booking form. If you are entitled to have any costs and expenses arising from such an incident met by or from any insurance policy or if you obtain a costs order against anyone in relation to the incident, you must repay to us the costs and expenses we spend in assisting you.
(7) Certain activities (e.g. trekking, diving, rafting etc) are of their very nature dangerous and carry a greater risk of personal injury and death. Such risks are compounded by the fact you may be participating in these activities in remote areas where even limited medical assistance may be some considerable distance and time away. It is your responsibility to ensure you and all members of your party are medically fit to engage in any particular activity. Certain activities (e.g. diving) have particular medical, training or other requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure you are familiar and comply with those requirements. In joining a project, you acknowledge and accept the risks inevitably associated, both directly and indirectly, with higher risk activities and that we cannot accept responsibility if any such risks materialise and you suffer death, personal injury, loss or damage as a result. If you are in any doubt as to possible risks, you should consult our staff before booking. You must ensure that any insurance policy you take out covers you in relation to higher risk activities.
(8) All special events, visits, exhibitions, excursions, observation sessions and facilities referred to in our literature are shown in good faith and will, to the best of our belief be available. However, we do not control or arrange such matters. Where any special event, visit, exhibition, observation session or facility which forms a significant part of your confirmed arrangements become unavailable, cannot be provided or is not to take place for any reason, we will advise you before departure if possible. The provisions of clause 6 will then apply. Unfortunately, we may be unaware of such non availability prior to departure or may be unable to inform you of this prior to departure. In this event, the rest of the holiday arrangements will be provided as booked and we will refund the direct cost of the event etc in question (together with the cost of any local transportation where applicable). This clause includes any disruption or failure to perform resulting from weather or other cause beyond our control. Our liability in this situation will be limited to such refunds.
If you are unhappy about any aspect of your arrangements, you must inform our tour escort or ground agents together with the supplier of the service concerned immediately. You must make every effort to bring problems to the attention of
Astro Trails Ltd and the supplier so that they can be resolved during the project and to mitigate any losses, expenses or costs you incur. Once we and the supplier concerned are aware of the problem, everything reasonably possible will be done to quickly resolve it. If you remain dissatisfied, you must write to us giving full details of your complaint within 29 days of your return to the UK. We regret we cannot accept liability in relation to any complaint which is not notified entirely in accordance with this clause.
14. Air Travel
We do not arrange international flights as part of the projects, but we can provide advice and assistance in booking flights if you require, however the flights do not form part of our contract with you.
Unfortunately, delays in transportation (e.g., flights) can sometimes occur. We regret we cannot accept any liability in relation to any delays which are beyond our control or any expenses or losses you incur as a result. Depending upon terms of any insurance policy you have taken out, you may be able to seek reimbursement of any such expenses or losses together with compensation for the delay from the insurance company. We do not accept liability for loss of earnings or consequential business losses resulting from any delay and you should take out an appropriate insurance policy to cover such losses. In the event of your outward or return international flight being delayed, we will endeavour to arrange for the airline to provide appropriate refreshments if possible. In some instances airlines may make appropriate arrangements or pay compensation in the event of delay or cancellation.
16. Conditions of Suppliers
In respect of all services, the conditions of the supplier concerned (e.g. airline, coach operator, hotelier or other provider) will apply. Such conditions will often limit the supplier’s liability to you usually in accordance with applicable international conventions. Copies of these conditions are available from the suppliers concerned direct.
17. Pre-Departure Contact
It is essential to ensure you provide us with a telephone number or address where you can be reached up to 24 hours prior to your departure in the event of late changes or other problems.
18. Special Requests
If you have any special requests, please ensure you notify us in writing at the time of booking. We will endeavour to pass such requests on to the supplier(s) concerned. We regret however that we cannot guarantee special requests will be met and failure to do so will not be a breach of contract on our part. Confirmation that a special request has been noted or passed on to the supplier or the inclusion of the special request on your confirmation invoice or any other documentation is not confirmation that the request will be met.
It is a condition of our accepting your booking that you take out adequate travel insurance for the whole period of the project. We do not accept liability for any losses suffered by yourself or your party as a result of your being uninsured or under-insured.
20. Passport, Visa and Health Requirements
It is the party leader’s responsibility to ensure that all members of your party have all necessary passports, visas and health/vaccination certificates for the project prior to departure. Requirements may change and you must check the up to date position in good time before departure. We cannot accept any responsibility if you are denied entry into any country or on to any flight due to inadequate travel documentation. Any costs or expenses incurred as a result will be your responsibility.
Such requirements do change from time to time and you should accordingly check the up to date position in good time before departure. You must check passport and visa requirements with the Embassy or Consulate of the countries to or through which you are intending to travel. If failure to have the necessary travel or other documents results in fines or other financial penalty being imposed on us, you will be responsible for reimbursing us accordingly.
We, the Tour Director, and any other person in authority (e.g., airline pilot or accommodation manager) has the right to terminate the project arrangements of any person whose behaviour, in our opinion or that of the person in authority, does or is likely to cause danger, distress or annoyance to themselves or any of our other clients, employees or any third party or to cause damage to property. In this event, our responsibility for the person concerned (including any continuing/return travel arrangements) will immediately cease and we will not be liable to meet any expenses or costs incurred as a result, make any refund or pay any compensation.