Terms and Conditions – inclusive tour arrangements
1. Your Holiday Contract and Financial Protection
Your contract is with Ponders Travel Ltd (registered in England no 07296394), trading and referred to hereunder as Global Professionals and Ponders Travel, of 9 Cox’s End, Over, Cambridgeshire CB24 5TY. Global Professionals / Ponders Travel is a travel company dedicated to finding the right cruise holiday for you. Ponders Travel Ltd holds a Civil Aviation Authority ATOL (Air Travel Organisers Licence) No 0944. We are also a member of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) No Y2530 and L6987. This means your money will be refunded or you and your party repatriated if already overseas in the unlikely event of our insolvency. Our membership of ABTA is confirmation of our worthiness and successful experience as holiday operators. Our booking conditions have been approved by ABTA and they comply with ABTA’s current Code of Conduct. Bookings accepted by Global Professionals / Ponders Travel on the telephone, fax or through the web site located at www.cruisegp.com and www.ponderstravel.co.uk are governed by the Terms and Conditions of Global Professionals / Ponders Travel as set hereunder.
Please read these booking conditions carefully. On making a booking with us you are deemed to have read and accepted the Booking Conditions and that you have the authority to accept and are accepting the terms of these conditions on behalf of all persons in the party. A copy of our Booking Conditions is available at any time and is available on our website. The contract is made on the terms of these booking conditions, which are governed by English Law, and the jurisdiction of the English Courts. You may however, choose the law and jurisdiction of Scotland or Northern Ireland if you wish to do so.
Your contract with us shall come into existence when we issue our confirmation invoice for your booking. We require full payment unless we advise you that the offer you have booked permits us to take a minimum 25% non-refundable deposit, however on occasion we will incorporate special promotion airfares which must be paid for in full in addition to the above deposit at the time of booking. In this instance we will advise you of the deposit required, including any additional booking fees and payment surcharges mentioned below. The balance of the holiday cost shown on the
invoice must usually be paid 12 weeks before departure, as set out in your confirmation invoice however on occasion this will be extended due to the stringent terms of our suppliers. In this instance you will be advised of this at point of sale and in our confirmation invoice. No reminder will be sent. If the booking takes place less than 12 weeks before departure then the full balance is due immediately. If the balance is not received at least 10 weeks before departure, Global Professionals / Ponders Travel reserves the right to cancel the relevant booking and retain any deposit held in respect of the services booked.
Payment can be accepted by the following methods (Rates revised as of 06 Jan 2014):
Visa Debit and Switch Cards (this is our preferred method of payment)
Serviced Debit or Premium Credit cards. Please note that some serviced debit cards, sometimes called “Black” or “Gold” or credit cards with the suffix “Premium”, which provide additional services or insurance protection will incur a 2.25% surcharge. Our staff are happy to confirm if this charge applies in the case of your card.
Personal Visa and MasterCard (Payments subject to a 2% surcharge) Corporate Visa and MasterCard (Payments subject to a 2.25% surcharge).
Cheque – Please allow 7 days for clearance, making cheques payable to “Ponders Travel”
Bank transfer – Details available from your consultant.
We can only accept a credit card from one of the passengers stated on the booking. The ticket delivery address must match the credit card billing address.
Travel documents will be sent to you approximately 10 days or more prior to departure, unless you have made a late booking. At peak times however, this may not be the case and we will then use appropriate mail services to get tickets to you prior to departure. Late bookings made within 15 days of departure may require ticket pick-up at the airport or
dock. No tickets will be sent out unless final payment has been received and cleared. Travel documents, unless collected from our offices, will be sent by normal Royal Mail services. Should you require the added security and speed of Special Delivery or courier service, this can be arranged providing any costs are covered by you. You should be aware that travel documents entrusted to Royal Mail services are done so at your own risk. Global Professionals / Ponders Travel cannot accept responsibility for items lost or delayed in the post. Please contact us if you do not receive your documentation within two working days of your departure.
Certain bookings will be subject to a Booking Fee. We will advise you at the time of booking if this applies and it will be reflected in the price you pay for your travel arrangements. Late bookings made within 15 days prior to departure may require ticket pick-up at the airport. An administration charge of £15 per ticket will apply to such late bookings and additional charges from our suppliers may be incurred which will be advised prior to booking. At some airports, there may be local departure taxes payable. Such taxes are payable by you and are the sole responsibility of the passenger. Should you require any clarification of these Terms and Conditions, please ask a Global Professionals/ Ponders Travel consultant at the time of making your booking. These terms and conditions do not affect your statutory rights as a consumer. We automatically include a compulsory £2.50 per scheduled airline ticket to cover you against Scheduled Airline Failure. In the unlikely event of the financial failure of the airline we will fully refund all monies paid if the failure is prior to your departure. If you have already departed, we will offer alternative onward or return flights to the UK.
Whilst every effort is made to avoid surcharges, Global Professionals / Ponders Travel reserves the right to pass on any cost increase levied by the suppliers. No surcharge will ever be levied for air tickets after we have received full payment in cleared funds and tickets have been issued. Prices may only be changed to reflect government action, increase in transportation costs (e.g. airfares and cost of fuel), changes in dues and taxes (including VAT) or fees payable for services (e.g. landing taxes or embarkation/disembarkation fees at ports and airports) or to reflect fluctuations in exchange rates.
In the case of any small variation, an amount equivalent to 2% of the price of your travel arrangements, which excludes insurance premiums and any amendment charges, will be absorbed or retained. For larger variations this 2% will still be absorbed for increases but not retained from refunds. If this means that you have to pay an increase of more than 10% of the price of your travel arrangements, you may cancel your travel arrangements and receive a full refund of all monies paid, except for any amendment charges. We will consider an appropriate refund of insurance premiums paid if you can show that you are unable to transfer or reuse your policy. Should you decide to cancel for this reason, you must exercise your right to do so within 14 days from the issue date printed on your final invoice. Whether you cancel or not you will also be entitled, on the terms set out in respect of major changes in paragraph 8 below, to accept an offer of alternative travel arrangements from us if we are able to do so and compensation as set out below.
Please note that travel arrangements are not always purchased in local currency and some apparent changes have no impact on the price of your travel due to contractual issues and other protection in place on your behalf.
6. Your responsibilities
Correct Spelling of Names, Titles. All names, titles and initials of those traveling should be correctly given at the time of booking. All names given MUST be spelt exactly as they appear in the passport, and clients are advised to check that all names are not given or “nicknames”, as changes cannot be made at a later date without extra charges being incurred. We may book scheduled air services on your behalf and name changes may incur 100% cancellation charges, as the fares used to construct the package may involve restrictions forbidding any changes after reservation. We accept no liability in this instance, and you will be liable for any cancellation or amendment charges that may result.
Whilst we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of our work, please check all details immediately and advise us of any discrepancies. If you are getting married or are changing your name, the name(s) on your passport should reflect those on your travel documents. Failure to comply with this could result in amendment charges being levied or possible cancellation of your flights.
Passports, Health and Visas. We can provide only general information concerning passport, visa and health requirements applicable to UK Citizens. However, such requirements are subject to change and you must check current requirements before departure. If you are in any doubt you must check before booking. All clients must be in possession of a full 10- year passport with at least 180 days remaining after your intended return. You MUST inform Global Professionals/ Ponders Travel if you or anyone in your party is traveling on a British Subject’s Passport.
Please ensure that you ask your doctor for any medical advice applicable to the countries you will visit. It is your responsibility to check if you require any vaccinations at least six weeks before you travel. Make sure that any medication you need to take regularly is legal in the country you are traveling to and we advise you to pack any
prescription medication in your hand luggage taking the prescription with you. If you are traveling within the EU, you are also advised to obtain an EHIC card available from the Post Office or online at www.dh.gov.uk/travellers and follow the instructions contained therein as this card allows the holder to obtain reduced cost or free emergency care.
Many of our holidays involve travel to the USA. For information you do not generally require a visa to travel to the USA
1. You are staying in the country for less than 90 days.
2. You have a full 10-year British machine-readable Passport with at least 90 days remaining after your intended return. N.B The passport requirement now includes all children, who may no longer travel on their parent’s passport.
3. You are a British Citizen.
4. You have not been refused a visa before, or admission to the USA, been deported or overstayed on a previous visit.
5. You are traveling on a major airline.
6. You are not planning to work in the USA.
7. You are traveling on a return air ticket.
8. You have no criminal record.
9. You have no communicable disease such as AIDS, HIV or tuberculosis, drug or alcohol addiction, or a mental illness that may render you a danger to others.
Remember this is given for guidance only and it is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct documents in place. Please do not hesitate to contact us for advice.
All passengers travelling to or via the US are required to obtain an electronic travel authority IN ADVANCE OF TRAVEL. This can be obtained online by visiting https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov. The current charge for an ESTA is $14 per person. For In all matters relating to overseas travel we recommend that you contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 020
7008 1500 or consult the website www.fco.gov.uk
Documentation: It is your responsibility to obtain all documents required for your holiday, to ensure that these are in proper order and to take them with you. Global Professionals/ Ponders Travel will not be liable if you fail to do so and you will be responsible for meeting any costs incurred by reason of such failure.
Late Arrival: You are responsible for checking-in for flights at the correct time and for presenting yourself to take up all pre-booked components of your holiday. Global Professionals/Ponders Travel cannot accept responsibility for clients missing flights as a result of late check-ins and no credit or refunds will be given if you fail to take up any component of your holiday. No creditor refunds will be given for lost, mislaid or destroyed travel documents.
Insurance: It is a condition of booking that you have adequate insurance cover in place. Such insurance will ensure that you are properly covered against unexpected cancellation charges, medical costs that might be incurred while you are away, loss of money, or belongings, or personal liability claims. Please note that the cover offered by most credit card companies is rarely adequate for package holiday or holiday flight bookings. Should you book our insurance, correct ages are required for insurance cover as incorrect ages provided may impair cover. Clients are covered from the date that the insurance premium is fully paid (normally at time of booking).
Insurance Warranty: At the time of effecting insurance purchased through Global Professionals/Ponders Travel you must confirm:
(a) That you are not aware of any reason why the holiday should be cancelled or curtailed;
(b) That no person to be covered by the insurance policy is receiving or awaiting treatment as a hospital in- patient;
(c) That no person is traveling against the advice of their doctor or for the purpose of obtaining medical treatment or where a terminal prognosis has been given;
(d) That if you or any other member of your party has received treatment as a hospital in-patient during the six months prior to booking you/they have obtained medical opinion as to the advisability of taking the holiday;
(e) That you will advise the company if any of the above arise after taking this insurance.
You are not bound to accept our own insurance cover, however you must satisfy yourself that your cover at least matches that provided by ourselves. We would be pleased to arrange cover at the time of booking, though you are free to make your own arrangements. In this instance we will send you an insurance indemnity form to sign on behalf of your party in this regard.
7. Cancellations and amendments
You, or any of your party, may cancel your travel arrangements at any time. You will be required to pay the applicable cancellation charges up to the maximum shown below plus any cost for flights or extra services, which required full payment at point of sale. Please note that insurance premiums are non-refundable. No refunds are due at any time in
the case of cancellation of car hire or hotel bookings. In the case of certain special tours, where suppliers’ more stringent terms apply, involving, but not limited to, earlier balance due dates, we will advise the specific impact before actioning
Days Prior to Departure – Cancellation charge
85 plus Days or balance due date – whichever is earlier – Deposit
Between 84 and 57 Days – 65%
Between 56 and 42 Days – 75%
Between 41 and 30 Days – 85%
Within 29 Days – 100%
Cancellations must be made in writing by the lead passenger and sent to Ponders Travel by recorded delivery to 9 Cox’s End, Over, Cambridgeshire CB24 5TY. Cancellation can only take effect upon receipt in writing. Email notification is also acceptable provided that this is accompanied by a phone call and the email comes from the registered email address associated with the client.
You may make changes to your booking at any time. Whilst we will do our utmost to accommodate such changes, this may not always be possible. Any request for changes to be made must come from the person who made the booking. Changes will incur a charge of £50 per person. Any additional charges passed on to us by airlines or suppliers will also be added to this. These charges will be added to your invoice and will be non-refundable. You will be advised of any such additional charges before making the change. You should contact us as soon as possible should you wish to make any amendments as costs are likely to increase the closer you get to departure date. Should you wish to change the departure date to a later date within 12 weeks of departure, the cancellation charges specified will apply. Insurance premiums are not refundable or transferable and in the case of a substitution, an additional premium would therefore be payable in respect of each new person included in that booking. No refund will be made for unused accommodation or services during an independent variation of a holiday.
Please bear in mind that certain travel arrangements (in particular scheduled flights) cannot be changed at all after a reservation has been made and any alteration request will incur a 100% cancellation charge for that element. Some airlines even treat name changes as cancellations and charge accordingly. If airline tickets have been issued, cancellation charges of 100% of the flight cost will be levied if you have to cancel or make any changes after tickets have been issued (in the case of changes, the full price of the flight will have to be paid again, even if the same flight is used). This also applies to discounted business class fares.
Please note also that if some, but not all party members cancel, additional charges may be payable by the remaining members (as a result of, but not limited to, under occupancy charges, for instance).
8. Cancellations and changes by us
Before you enter into a contract with us, we reserve the right to change any of the facilities, services or prices described in our advertising. If a change is made, you will be told at the time of booking. It is unlikely we will have to make any changes to your holiday, but as we can plan the arrangements many months in advance, they can occur. Most of these changes are minor, and we will advise you at the earliest possible date.
If a major change becomes necessary, we will inform you as soon as reasonably possible if there is time before your departure. A major change is defined as an alteration of your flight departure time by more than 12 hours, a change of cruise (excluding however changes to ports of call within the body of the cruise), a change to a lower standard of accommodation or a change of your departing airport (excluding a change between Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted and any airport which is more convenient for you). When a major change occurs you will have the choice of either, a)
accepting the change of arrangements, b) purchasing another available holiday from us, or c) canceling your holiday with
a full refund. In addition, if the major change occurs within 12 weeks of departure we will pay you compensation as set our below. Should the cancellation be as a result of Force Majeure no compensation is payable.
In the unlikely event that we are forced to cancel your holiday, and this will not happen within twelve weeks of departure except for reasons of non-payment or Force Majeure, we will offer you a comparable alternative or a full refund. In addition we will pay compensation as set out below. Once again should the cancellation be as a result of Force Majeure no compensation is payable.
Period before departure – Compensation
Before balance due date – NIL
14 days or more prior to travel – £20
13 days or less prior to travel – £30
9. Force Majeure
Means any circumstances which are unusual and/or unforeseeable which are beyond the control of Global Professionals
/ Ponders Travel, the consequence of which could not have been avoided, even if all due care had been exercised, including (but not limited to) war or threat of war; riot; civil strife; hostilities; political unrest; government action; industrial dispute; natural or other disaster; nuclear incident; terrorist activity; weather conditions; closure of airports; fire; flood; drought; re-scheduling or cancellation of flights or alteration of the airline or aircraft type by an airline and technical problems with transportation that are outside our control.
10. Our liability to you
(a) Subject to item (b) and the limits expressed through the relevant international conventions below, we accept responsibility for ensuring that your travel arrangements, which you book with us, are supplied as described by us. If any part of your travel arrangements are not provided as promised, due to the fault of our employees, agents or suppliers
we will pay you appropriate compensation if this has affected the enjoyment of your travel arrangements. Subject to item (b) below, our liability in all cases shall be limited to a maximum of three times the cost of your travel arrangements.
(b) Subject to the limits on liability as set out below, we accept responsibility for death, injury or illness caused by the negligent acts and/or omissions of our employees or agents, our suppliers and sub-contracts, whilst acting within the scope of, or in the course of, their employment in the provision of your travel arrangements. We will accordingly pay to you such damages as might have been awarded in such circumstances under English Law.
11. Limits to our liability
In respect of international travel by air, sea and rail, and the provision of accommodation, our liability will be limited in the manner provided by the relevant international conventions. This means that our liability to you shall be limited to the actual engaged liability (if any) of the operating carrier or transport company which undertakes the relevant travel services by air, sea or rail.
12. Conditions of carriage
Global Professionals / Ponders Travel accept responsibility for the proper provision of elements of your holiday. However, we are recognised as an organiser for travel and holidays only and, as such, do not control or operate any airline, shipping company or rail company. When you travel by air, sea or rail, your journey may be subject to certain international Conventions such as the Warsaw Convention and Montreal Convention (in respect of International Carriage by Air), the Athens Convention (in respect of International Carriage by Sea) or COTIF (The Convention
Concerning International Carriage by Rail), as such conventions are amended or re-enacted from time to time. You agree that the operating carrier or transport company’s own ‘Conditions of Carriage’ will apply to you on that journey. When arranging this transportation for you, we rely on the terms and conditions contained within these international conventions and those ‘Conditions of Carriage’. You acknowledge that all of the terms and conditions contained in those
‘Conditions of Carriage’ form part of your contract with us as well as the transport company and that those ‘Conditions
of Carriage’ shall be deemed to be included by reference into this contract. You can ask for copies of these international conventions from our address, 9 Cox’s End, Over, Cambridgeshire, CB24 5TY.
13. Changes to cruise itineraries
We regret we cannot guarantee that ships will call at every advertised port or follow every part of the advertised itinerary. Global Professionals’/ Ponders Travel suppliers and the ship’s Captain have the ultimate right to omit any port(s), call at any additional port(s), deviate from the advertised itinerary in any way or substitute another ship or port. In addition Global Professionals/ Ponders Travel will not be responsible for any failure of a supplier to meet the arrival or departure times advertised.
14. Brochure information
As Global Professionals / Ponders Travel is a tour operator in its own right, your cruise holiday may be re-packaged, and such packages offered by us could well contain components, which are available within another supplier’s own brochure. This does not however mean that all features available within that supplier’s own brochure apply to your arrangements; there may be differences therefore between that which is offered by that supplier and Global Professionals / Ponders Travel. We will confirm in writing those services offered by them, which will apply to you.
15. If you have a complaint
If you have a problem during your Holiday, you must inform the relevant supplier (e.g. your hotelier or ship’s purser) or our local representative immediately who will endeavour to put things right. We would also request that contact is made with ourselves directly if your complaint is not resolved locally. If things are still not satisfactorily resolved, please follow this up within a reasonable period of time of your return home. Your complaint should be in writing to Clare Dudley, Managing Director, Ponders Travel Ltd at the above address, giving your booking reference and all other
relevant information. Please keep your letter concise and to the point. This will assist us to quickly identify your concerns and speed up our response to you. It is strongly suggested that you communicate any complaint to the supplier of the services in question as well as to our representative without delay and complete a report whilst away. If you fail to
follow this simple procedure we will have been deprived of the opportunity to investigate and rectify your complaint whilst you were on holiday and this may affect your rights under this contract.
It is unlikely that you will have a complaint that cannot be settled amicably between us. However, disputes arising out of, or in connection with, this contract which cannot be amicably settled may be referred to arbitration, if the customer so wishes, under a special Scheme arranged by the Association of British Travel Agents, and administered independently by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
The scheme provides for a simple and inexpensive method of arbitration on documents alone with restricted liability on the customer in respect of costs. Full details will be provided on request or can be obtained from the ABTA website
The Scheme does not apply to claims for an amount greater than £5,000 per person. There is also a limit of £25,000 per booking form. Neither does it apply to claims which are solely in respect of physical injury or illness or their consequences. The Scheme can however deal with compensation claims which include an element of minor injury or illness subject to a limit of £1,500 on the amount the arbitrator can award per person in respect of this element.
The application for arbitration and Statement of Claim must be received by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators within
18 months of the date of return from the holiday. Outside this time limit arbitration under the Scheme may still be available if the company agrees, but the ABTA Code does not require such agreement.