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Terms and Conditions - Customer Agreement
The acceptance of your reservation form and deposit by Zegrahm Expeditions, Inc, d/b/a Zegrahm Expeditions (hereinafter with its affiliates, owners, officers, agents, and employees collectively referred to as "ZE" or "Company") creates a contractual relationship between ZE and you, the customer/participant in the travel package by ZE. Please read the following information carefully. After reading the terms and conditions of this entire customer agreement (the “Agreement”), in order for your expedition reservation to be completed, you must indicate your acceptance of the terms and conditions found in this Agreement by signing your Reservation Form or acknowledging them online and returning it to the Company.
1. Reservations: 25% of the expedition fare, along with a completed and signed Reservation Form, will reserve a place for you on this ZE program. The balance of the expedition fare is due 120 days prior to departure. Air fare is due at time of issuance. All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars and must be paid in U.S. dollars.
2. Cancellation and Refund Policy: Notification of cancellation must be received in writing by ZE. At the time we receive your written cancellation, the following penalties will apply:
- 120 days or more prior to departure: $750 per person
- 60 through 119 days prior to departure: 50% of expedition fare
- 1 through 59 days prior to departure: 100% of expedition fare
Some air fare may be nonrefundable. Once an expedition has departed, there will be no refunds from ZE for any unused portions of the trip. The above policy also applies to all extensions and independent travel arrangements made in conjunction with this program.
3. Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance: We strongly advise that all travelers purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance as coverage against a covered unforeseen emergency that may force you to cancel or leave an expedition while it is in progress. Information describing coverage will be sent to you upon receipt of your reservation.
4. Share Policy: Accommodations on all ZE programs are based on double occupancy. If you are traveling alone and wish to share accommodations, a roommate will be assigned to you whenever possible. When pairing roommates, we will always pair participants of the same sex. All shared accommodations are nonsmoking. If it is not possible to pair you with a roommate, you may be asked to pay a single supplement for the land portion of the program. For land tours only: upon booking you will be required to pay a Single Supplement, if we are able to pair you with a roommate the supplement will be refunded. Please note that single accommodations are limited and cannot be guaranteed throughout.
5. Medical Information: Participation in a ZE program requires that you be in generally good health. It is essential that persons with any medical problems and related dietary restrictions make them known to us well before departure. We can counsel you on whether the expedition you have selected is appropriate for you.
The tour leader has the right to disqualify any participant at any time during the tour if he or she feels the participant is physically incapable and/or if a participant’s continued participation will jeopardize either the individual involved or the group. There will be no refund given under these circumstances.
6. Scuba Diving: Limited to the first 16 Advanced Open Water certified scuba divers who complete provided forms; due dates strictly enforced. Scuba diving is offered on select voyages. Scuba divers must have completed two open water dives within the 12 months prior to trip departure. In the event you are permitted to participate in scuba diving activities on your trip: (i) you specifically acknowledge and recognize the potential for injury and death which can result from swimming or scuba diving, including the malfunction of dive equipment, the natural environment, animal or sea life, currents and other changing conditions, decompression sickness, embolism or other hyperbaric injuries; (ii) you realize and acknowledge that diving with compressed air, nitrox, tri-mix, or other gases involves certain risks and requires specific training; and (iii) you certify that you have been properly trained for the breathing mixture(s) you will use and understand the risks involved. Not all voyages offer scuba diving as an activity.
7. Luggage Restrictions: Luggage size and weight limitations for both checked and carry-on luggage, imposed by the airlines or as an operational requirement due to type of aircraft, will apply for flights to/from/within this program. Specifications will be provided with pre-departure materials.
8. Fuel Cost Increases and Currency Fluctuation: In order to keep rates as low as possible, we do not build into the trip fare an allowance to cover possible increases from fuel costs or currency fluctuations. Therefore, as fuel-cost increases may occur and currencies do fluctuate around the world, it may be necessary for us to initiate a rate surcharge at any time before departure if there are exceptional cost increases beyond our control.
9. Itinerary Changes & Trip Delay: Itineraries are based on information available at the time of printing and are subject to change. ZE reserves the right to change a program’s dates, staff, itineraries, or accommodations as conditions warrant. If a trip must be delayed or the itinerary changed due to bad weather, road conditions, transportation delays, government intervention, airline schedules, sickness, or other contingency for which ZE or its agents cannot make provision, the cost of delays or changes is not included.
10. Itinerary Cancellation: ZE reserves the right to cancel an itinerary before departure for any reason whatsoever, including too few participants or logistical problems such as strikes, wars, acts of God, or any other circumstances that may make operation of the trip inadvisable. All trip payments received will be promptly refunded, and this refund will be the limit of ZE’s liability. ZE is not responsible for any expenses incurred by trip members in preparing for the trip, including nonrefundable or penalty-carrying airline tickets, special clothing, visa or passport fees, or other trip-related expenses.
11. Participation: ZE reserves the right to decline to accept any individual as a trip member for any reason whatsoever.
12. Limitation of Liability: ZEpurchases transportation, hotel accommodations, restaurant services and other services from various independent suppliers that are not subject to its control. Neither ZE, its affiliates, owners, officers, agents, employees and contractors, nor any associate organization shall be held liable for any act, default, injury (including death), loss, expense, damage, deviation, delay, curtailment or inconvenience caused to or suffered by any person or their property, howsoever arising, which may occur or be incurred by any organization or person, even though such act, default, injury, loss, expense, damage, deviation, delay, curtailment or inconvenience may have been caused or contributed to: (a) by the act, neglect or default of ZE, or of any persons for whose acts it would otherwise be responsible, or (b) defects or failures of any aircraft, vessel, automotive vehicle or other equipment or instrumentality under the control of independent suppliers. In addition, ZE cannot be liable for delays in departure or interruption of your vacation arrangements caused by weather conditions, technical problems of any aircraft, vessel, automotive vehicle or other equipment or instrumentality, strikes, war, terrorist activity, civil commotion or any causes beyond the control of ZE. In no event will ZE be responsible for incidental, consequential or special damage or loss suffered by any person. ZE’s maximum liability, for any reason whatsoever, will be limited to the amount paid to ZE for its services. In issuing tickets and coupons for transportation of the purchaser by any means and making arrangements for hotel or other accommodation, ZE is not acting as principal but only as agent for the companies, corporations or persons providing or offering the means of transportation and accommodation. To the extent ZE shall not be acting as an agent, as stated above, it shall be deemed to be acting as an agent of the purchasers in arranging or booking transportation and accommodation. You further understand that ZE neither owns nor operates such third party suppliers and accordingly, agree to seek remedies directly and only against those suppliers and not hold ZE responsible for their acts or omissions. Without limitation, ZE is not responsible for any negligent or willful acts of God or force majeure, weather emergencies, breakdown, or failure of diving or mechanical equipment, government actions, inclement weather, sickness, attacks by animals, availability of medical care or the adequacy of the same, criminal activity of any kind, terrorism, war, civil disturbance, sanitary conditions, quality or sanitation of food, quarantine, customs, regulations, epidemics, strikes, hotel overbooking, safety and/or security standards at hotels or other accommodations., any problems or injuries whatsoever arising from swimming or scuba diving or for any other reason beyond the control of ZE. You understand, agree with, and agree to be legally bound by the terms of the release and waiver of liability set forth herein.
LIMITATION OF LIABILITY FOR NON-US CRUISE PORTION OF THE TOUR: The international carriage of passengers is subject to international conventions and treaties, where applicable. Your “Contract of Carriage” /cruise ticket contains important limitations on the rights of passengers and it is important that you carefully read all terms of your “Contract of Carriage” /cruise ticket. On cruises that neither embark, disembark nor call at any U.S. port, ZE shall be entitled to any and all limitations and immunities provided under the Athens Convention Relating to the Carriage of Passengers and Their Luggage by Sea of 1974, as amended by the Protocol to the Convention Relating to the Carriage of Passengers and Their Luggage by Sea of 1976, which limits ZE’s liability for death or personal injury of a customer to no more than 46,666 Special Drawing Rights as defined therein (approximately U.S. $70,000 which fluctuates depending on the daily exchange rate printed in the Wall Street Journal). In addition, and on all other cruises, ZE shall have the benefit of any statutory limitation of liability or exoneration of liability available in the applicable forum, or under any applicable national or international law, including, but not limited to, 46 U.S.C. §§ 30501 through 30509 and 30511. Under the Athens Convention any action for damages arising out of personal injury, death, or lost or damaged luggage must be brought within a period two years from the date of disembarkation and/or as set out in Article 16 of the Athens Conventions as follows: (i) in the case of personal injury, from the date of disembarkation of the passenger; (ii) in the case of death, from the date when the guest should have disembarked or the date of death, whichever is later; and (iii) in the case of lost or damaged luggage, from the date of disembarkation or from the date when disembarkation should have taken place, whichever is later.
13. Arbitration: Any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to this Agreement or the performance there under, including without limitation any claim related to bodily injury, property damage or death, shall be settled by binding arbitration in Seattle, Washington, USA in accordance with the rules of the American Arbitration Association then existing, and judgment on the arbitration award may be entered in any court having jurisdiction over the subject matter of the controversy. This agreement to arbitrate does not waive or modify the liability release contained in this document. Such proceedings will be governed by substantive Delaware law. The dispute will be resolved by a single arbitrator who must be a lawyer admitted to practice in the courts of at least one state in the United States and have a minimum of fifteen years of experience in civil litigation. The arbitrator so described will be selected by the American Arbitration Association. Each party to the dispute shall have the right on a single occasion to veto the designation of an arbitrator so selected. There will be judicial review of the arbitrator’s decision if either side can show plain error in the application of law or be able to show an abuse of discretion with respect to factual findings. The parties waive the right to rely on any state law or statute which creates an exception to enforcement of the requirement that disputes be resolved pursuant to arbitration in the manner set forth herein.
14. Exclusive Governing Law and Jurisdiction: This Agreement and any actions and proceeding brought hereunder shall be governed by the laws of the State of Delaware without regard to conflict of laws principles. If the right to seek arbitration is for any reason waived by both parties, or if judicial review of any arbitration decision is sought, any action or legal proceeding to enforce any provision hereof, or based on any right arising out of, this Agreement shall be exclusively in the courts of the State of Delaware, or if it has or can acquire jurisdiction, in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, and all of the parties hereto hereby consent to the exclusive jurisdiction of such courts and of the appropriate appellate courts in any such action or legal proceeding and waive any objection to venue or jurisdiction in connection therewith.
15. Waiver of Jury Trial: In connection with any action or legal proceeding arising out of this agreement, the parties hereby specifically and knowingly waive any rights that either party might have to demand a jury trial.
16. Severability: The invalidity or unenforceability of any part of this Agreement, or the invalidity of its application to a specific situation or circumstance, shall not affect the validity of the remainder of this Agreement, or its application to other situations or circumstances. Any provision of this Agreement held invalid or unenforceable only in part or degree will remain in full force and effect to the extent not held invalid or unenforceable.
17. Waiver: Any failure by either party at any time, or from time to time, to enforce or to require the strict keeping and performance of any of the terms or conditions of this Agreement shall not constitute a waiver of any such terms or conditions and shall not affect or impair such terms and conditions in any way or the right of such party at any time to avail itself of such remedies as it has for the breach or breaches of such terms and conditions.
18. Exclusivity: Except as otherwise expressly provided to the contrary, the rights herein granted and this Agreement are for the benefit of the parties hereto. The terms and conditions of this Agreement shall be exclusive of any advertising, marketing or other sales literature or activities of ZE and nothing contained in any of such materials shall be construed to create any rights as a result of or in connection with this Agreement.
19. Acknowledgment of Risk: You understand and acknowledge that your travel in connection with and participation in the expedition arranged at your request by ZE may involve risk and potential exposure to injury and possibly death. You also realize and acknowledge that risk and dangers may be caused by the negligence of the owners, directors, employees, contractors, subcontractors, officers or agents of ZE or the negligence or participation of other participants, contractors and/or subcontractors to ZE. You also recognize and acknowledge that risk and dangers may arise from foreseeable and unforeseeable causes, including weather and other acts of nature. You fully understand and acknowledge that the aforementioned risks, dangers and hazards are a potential in connection with recreational activities which may take place during your journey.
20. Express Assumption of Risk and Responsibility: In recognition of the inherent risk of the travels and related activities in which you are intending to engage, you confirm that you are physically and mentally capable of participating in the activity, that you are willingly and knowingly electing to participate in this vacation package in spite of the potential risk of danger, and you willingly and voluntarily assume full responsibility for any injury, loss or damage suffered by you or caused by you, whether caused in whole or in part by the negligence of the owners, directors, agents, officers, employees, or contractors of ZE.
21. Release of Liability: In consideration of the services and arrangements provided by ZE, you, for yourself and for your heirs, personal representatives or assigns, do hereby release, waive, discharge, hold harmless and agree to indemnify ZE, and its owners, officers, directors, agents, employees and contractors from any and all claims, actions, or losses for bodily injury, property damage, wrongful death, loss of services, lost profits, consequential, exemplary, indirect or punitive damages or otherwise which may arise out of or occur during your travel in connection with the scheduled travel package and any activities conducted in conjunction therewith. YOU SPECIFICALLY UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT YOU ARE RELEASING, DISCHARGING AND WAIVING ANY CLAIMS OR ACTIONS THAT YOU MAY HAVE PRESENTLY OR IN THE FUTURE FOR THE NEGLIGENT ACTS OR CONDUCT OF THE OWNERS, DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS OR CONTRACTORS OF ZEGRAHM.
22. Express Waiver of Right To Seek Consequential, Punitive or Exemplary Damages: Regardless of the situation or circumstances giving rise to a claim, you waive any right to seek consequential, punitive or exemplary damages against ZE its owners, officers, directors, agents, contractors and employees, for any reason whatsoever.
23. Consumer Protection/Seller of Travel: The Company is a member of the United States Tour Operators Association and is fully covered by its Consumer Protection Plan. As an active member of the USTOA, the Company is required to post $1 Million with the USTOA. This amount is to be used to reimburse, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the USTOA Travelers Assistance Program, the advance payments of the Company’s customers in the unlikely event of the Company’s bankruptcy, insolvency or cessation of business. Complete details of the USTOA Travelers Assistance Program and a list of affiliates may be obtained by writing to USTOA at 275 Madison Avenue, Suite 2014, New York, New York 10016, or by e-mail to email@example.com or by visiting its Web site at www.USTOA.com.
The Company is a Registered Seller of Travel in Washington State, #601281961; California Seller of Travel # 2031043-40. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California. The Company is not a participant in the California Travel Consumer Restitution Fund.
24. Authorization to Use Photographs and/or Audio-Visual: The Company may use, reproduce, and/or publish photographs and/or video that may pertain to me—including my image, likeness, and/or voice without compensation. I understand that this material may be used in brochures, e-mails, and online to promote ZE and its product offerings.
25. Miscellaneous: As described in Paragraph 8 above, all prices are subject to change.
As described in Paragraph 10 above, in the event that an expedition must be cancelled, ZE is not responsible for any personal expenses incurred by trip members in preparing for the program.
Certain ship owners require use of preprinted ticket forms that limit the ship owner’s and operator’s liability. When such tickets are used, you are generally bound by the terms of these tickets with respect to your legal relationship to the owner and operators of the ship, their agent, and the ship’s crew.