1. BOOKING CONDITIONS
The tour operator for your trip is Explore Europe Travel (EET), Storkower Str 139B, 10407, Berlin, Germany, organization number: DE-247 0000 13 877, VAT number DE291737476. The services provided are tax-exempt with credit in accordance with German Federal Law with regard to Value-Added Tax §§ 4-5, 25.
These Booking Conditions are subject to change at any time with or without notice. Your agreement to these Booking Conditions constitutes your agreement to any updates which can be found at www.explore-europe.de/terms
To reserve a place, a deposit of 50% of the trip cost is required upon enrollment. Full payment is required if travel is due to commence within 14 days. Late bookings are subject to standard cancellation fees (see “Refunds & Cancellations”) applicable at the time of booking. Due to security requirements you must, at the time of reservation, provide EET with your name and birthday exactly as it appears on the form of identification you plan to use.
3. TERMS OF RESERVATIONS
Reservations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. EET reserves the right to decline any booking at our discretion.
4. MAKING PAYMENTS
The final payment date for all trips is 14 days prior to departure. In the case of non-payment of the balance by the due date, EET will treat the booking as canceled by the client and retain the deposit. EET will e-mail final travel documents only after your account has been paid in full. All payments are due in EURO (€).
Prices are per person based on double occupancy. For the most up-to-date pricing, please see our website. EET cannot be held responsible for fluctuations in exchange rates when calculating refunds due to trip cancellations.
6. FAMILY TRIPS
For Family Trips, EET requires at least one member of the traveling party to be under the age of 11. Travelers younger than 11 years old (herein “child” / “children”, „infant“ / “infants”) on the departure date must be accompanied by an adult throughout the duration of the vacation. EET welcomes children all ages. However, we would not recommend Express Trips for children under 3 years old, as it is two nights on the bus in a row, with no hotel involved. Child/infant fare may be available and vary by trip. Some activities within a trip may have weight/height restrictions and/or different minimum ages than our overall minimum eligibility age or recommended minimum age. Based on availability, some quadruple rooms may be available on select itineraries. Age restrictions for quadruple rooms may apply. Please contact EET for details. EET makes every effort to accommodate children on trips; however EET cannot provide child-care items (such as, but not limited to, car seats, high chairs and strollers). If a child will be traveling with adults other than his/her parents or with only one parent, a notarized letter must be submitted by his/her parents or the non-traveling parent granting authorization to travel, including the dates of travel.
7. OUR HOTELS / ACCOMMODATION
On any of our 4-day trips, accommodation is provided in double room (2-person bed) or twin room (2 separate beds). Single travelers will be accommodated in same-gender twin rooms, unless single supplement fee is lodged with the booking application. If, however, we are unable to find a same gender room share, we will provide a single room. In this case, €40 per night must be paid directly to the trip leader during the trip. Two travelers (adults) booking together will be accommodated in a double or twin room. If one adult and one child are traveling together a single supplement rate of €40 per night must be paid at the time of booking. Triple and family rooms can be requested, in writing, but cannot be guaranteed in every location in which event the above situation applies.
Star Categories / Country Standards
We strive to provide affordable trips for our customers. With that in mind, most of the hotels on our trips are European standard 3-4 stars. Hotel rooms in Europe are typically smaller and less standardized than those in the United States. As compared to the United States, European provide comparable amenities beyond the basics. The cost of hotels directly in each city can be outrageous, so they are often accessible by public transportation, but not within walking distance. Typically, single rooms tend to be smaller than twin rooms, and may not have as desirable a location within the hotel.
8. BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE ON BUS TRIPS
Each adult is entitled to one luggage (maximum weight of 20kg) and one personal item (maximum weight of 10kg). Luggage should be able to be stored below the bus and the personal item should contain whatever you might need on the bus. Pillows and blankets do not count for the personal item. If you have additional items such as strollers, car seats, etc. please send us a message to make those arrangements.
9. FLIGHT ROUTINGS
In order to provide you with the lowest possible prices, EET negotiates special rates with major air carriers. It may be possible for EET to accommodate seating preferences on some flights. However, the airlines have ultimate control of seat assignments, and EET is not responsible for changes. Please reconfirm your seating requests directly with the airlines within 10 days of your departure. EET can neither arrange for the crediting of frequent flier miles nor guarantee that you will receive frequent flier mileage credit. Flights in upgradeable classes of service cannot be guaranteed. If you exceed baggage allowances, you are responsible for any additional fees. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies.
10. FLIGHT DELAYS & CANCELLATIONS
EET cannot be held responsible for any flight delays or cancellations caused by reasons including but not limited to weather, mechanical issues or personnel strike.
11. FINAL TRAVEL DOCUMENTS
Final travel documents, including travel itineraries, hotel accommodations and airline tickets, are e-mailed approximately 10 days prior to departure. If your e-mail address changes or if you want your final documents sent to a different e-mail address, you must notify EET prior to your final payment date.
12. REFUNDS & CANCELLATIONS
If you cancel your booking, the cancellation charges schedule below will apply. If you are booked in a double/twin room and your roommate cancels, you will be responsible for paying the single supplement fee before the final payment date. In the event that you have to cancel your trip on the day of departure, you must notify EET prior to the departure. If you choose not to travel, but fail to cancel your trip prior to the departure date or if you return home before the scheduled completion of your trip, you will not be eligible for any refund or reimbursement from EET for any unused portion of your trip or costs incurred by leaving your trip early.
All cancellations must be advised in writing (by mail, fax or e-mail) to EET prior to trip departure during normal business hours (Mon-Fri: 9am – 5pm). If you cancel your booking then the following charges will apply:
30 days prior to departure: Full refund
29 to 15 days days before departure: 35% of total trip cost is retained
14 to 8 days before departure: 50% of total trip cost is retained
7 to 4 days before departure: 75% of total trip cost is retained
3 days or less or no notification: 100% of total trip cost is retained
Last minute cancelations will be refunded only if a replacement can be found (usually from a waiting list) and are also subject to a 20% total trip cost fee per person.
13. SUBSTITUTION OF TRAVELERS
Substitution of travelers is permitted, however, substitution arrangements need to be made between the two parties. All replacements must be advised in writing (by mail, fax or e-mail) to EET up to 3 working days prior to departure. If you transfer your booking to someone else then the following charges will still apply:
· Day trips & Express trips: no name change fees will incur.
· Trips by bus on any 4-day weekend trip: no name change fees will incur.
· Trips by air: any changes to the traveler information will incur a minimum change fee of €100 per person (name change up to 21 days prior to departure is free of charge).
Change fees must be paid via PayPal or bank wire transfer. Change fees must be made immediately upon change request. Changes will not be reflected on the booking until payment has been received.
14. ITINERARY VARIATIONS & HOLIDAYS
While EET will use its best endeavours to operate all trips as advertised, by entering into this contract the client accepts that it may prove necessary or advisable to vary or modify a trip itinerary or its contents due to prevailing local conditions.
EET reserves the right at any time either before or during a trip to cancel or change any of the facilities, routes, services or prices described in the brochure (including transport, accommodation or other arrangements) and to substitute alternative arrangements of comparable monetary value without compensation and accepts no liability for loss of enjoyment as a result of these changes.
If a major change is known to us, the client will be told at the time of booking. If a major change becomes necessary, EET will inform the client as soon as reasonably possible if there is time before departure. The definition of a major change will depend on the individual’s trip and circumstances as is at the sole discretion of EET. When a major change is made the client will have the choice of accepting the change of arrangement, or within 7 days notification of the change, purchasing another available trip or canceling the trip and obtaining a full refund, provided that the major change is not because of force majeure.
Force majeure is war, threat of war, riot, civil strife, industrial dispute, terrorist activity, natural or nuclear disaster, fire or adverse weather conditions, technical or maintenance problems with local transport or EET vehicles, changes imposed by cancellation or rescheduling of flights by an airline or aircraft type, or other similar events beyond the control of EET. EET is not liable for any penalty charges associated with suppliers, in the event of a change to a trip departure time, date or airport. All costs incurred due to force majeure, such as planning of trip, customer service, transport, communication, accommodation, food or other similar items will be passed to the client by way of local surcharges.
Due to local or national holidays, seasonal hours of operation or availability, special events and/or peak harvest seasons, access to certain facilities and attractions including but not limited to vineyards, museums, historical sites or stores may be limited. On such occasions, and whenever possible, itinerary adjustments will be made by EET to minimize traveler inconvenience. If, however, your enjoyment might be diminished by such limitations, please check with the respective national tourist office(s) before selecting a trip and travel date.
15. PASSPORTS & VISAS
EET enforce the requirement to possess a tourist passport for all trips. Should you come to the departure point and present the incorrect passport, you will be turned away with no refund, per our cancellation policy. Important passport rules are as follows:
– If you have a passport with a SOFA stamp on any page (a “No-Fee passport), you are provided permission to reside in Germany, NOT to travel outside of Germany. You have to have a tourist passport in addition to the SOFA/”No-Fee” passport to travel outside of Germany.
– You cannot travel with a RED Official passport as that is used only for the purpose of a mission or deployment. If you have a passport with a detachable SOFA card clipped inside, it is acceptable to travel with as that was issued originally as a tourist passport. If you are not sure: a tourist passport will be BLUE and will be valid for 10 years for adults. It cannot contain a SOFA stamp on any page or it is not acceptable. A child’s tourist passport (under 15 years of age) is valid for 5 years, but will not have a SOFA stamp in it anywhere. All of this information has been verified to be correct with the Grafenwoehr Passport Office. Should you have any questions, please contact them as we do not handle passport issues.
EET recommends that you apply for any necessary visas with a visa service. For more information on countries requiring visas for U.S. citizens, please refer to the U.S. Department of State website: travel.state.gov.
16. LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES
EET makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of its publications, but it cannot be held responsible for typographical or printing errors, including but not limited to prices. EET trips are not for resale, and travelers must enroll directly with EET.
17. FORCE MAJEURE
If a trip is considerably complicated, endangered or impaired as a result of force majeure not foreseeable at the time of conclusion of the contract, the tour operator can cancel the travel contract. The existence of extraordinary circumstances and the resulting aggravation, endangerment and impairment for the implementation must be confirmed in writing by an officially appointed authority (e.g. Foreign Office or Health Office). The tour operator will demand appropriate compensation for the travel services rendered or still to be rendered for the completion of the journey. If the termination takes place after the start of the journey, the tour operator is obliged to take the necessary measures, in particular to transport the traveler back, if this has been contractually agreed. The parties shall bear half of the additional costs for the return transport, the remaining additional costs shall be borne by the traveler.
18. RELEASE & AGREEMENT
1. The tour operator for your trip is Explore Europe Travel (EET), Storkower Str 139B, 10407, Berlin, Germany, organization number: DE-247 0000 13 877, VAT number DE291737476. The services provided are tax-exempt in accordance with German Federal Law with regard to Value-Added Tax §§ 4-5, 19.
2. I, on behalf of myself and/or my minor child (if applicable), understand that my trip begins with the leave from the departure point / departure airport and ends upon completion of the return bus ride / flight. I further understand that travel involves certain risks to personal health, safety and property. Many foreign countries do not have the safety and health standards that are present in Germany or in the United States. I am willing to accept the associated risks of travel and understand that EET cannot guarantee the health and safety of participants.
3. I agree to release and hold harmless EET from, and agree not to sue EET for any and all claims, of any nature related in any manner to my participation in a EET-sponsored tour, including but not limited to, claims for negligence, breach of contract, breach of express or implied warranties, or wrongful death. I hereby unconditionally and unequivocally waive any and all claims and demands for all damages, losses, costs and expenses of any nature whatsoever (including attorneys’ fees) on account of or arising out of any and all personal injury, death, bodily injury, mental anguish, emotional distress, property or other damage that I may suffer from any cause whatsoever related in any way to my participation in any EET- sponsored tour. I further agree to release and hold harmless EET from any and all decisions to cancel, modify or delay the tour as a result of acts of God, war (whether declared or undeclared), terrorist activities or threats of terrorists activities, instability in a destination country, incidents of violence, public health issues or quarantine or threats of public health issues, substantial currency fluctuations, strikes, government restrictions, fire or severe weather conditions that make it impossible or commercially unreasonable in the sole opinion of EET to conduct the tour. I further agree to hold EET harmless for the acts or omissions of any other individuals or entities over which EET have no direct or indirect control, including, without limitation, airlines, railways, bus companies, hotels, shipping companies, tour guides and subcontracted agents or tour operators.
4. I understand that the air carrier’s liability for loss of or damage to baggage or property, or for death or injury to person, is limited by their tariffs or the Warsaw Convention or both.
5. I understand and agree that EET shall have no liability or responsibility for me when I am absent from EET-supervised activities or for non-EET supervised activities, such as visits to friends or relatives or during pre-/post-stay periods if the pre-/post-stay period does not include the services of EET.
6. I understand and agree that EET reserves the right to refuse or cancel my reservation at their sole discretion.
7. I agree to abide by EET’s regulations and the directions of my Tour Leader and EET’s personnel during my trip. Failure to do so may result in EET terminating me from the trip immediately. I understand that to disobey such rules or directions is to waive the right to a refund of any part of the fee, and that EET may then send me home at my own expense.
8. I agree to abide by all local laws when abroad. I also understand that, should local authorities be involved, I will be subject to the laws of the country I am visiting.
9. I understand and agree that if I become ill or incapacitated, EET and its employees may take any action they deem necessary for my safety and well-being, including securing medical treatment (at my own expense) and transporting me home. EET retains the right and has my authorization, in its sole discretion, to contact my emergency contact(s) with regard to health issues or any matter whatsoever that relates to my tour. In the event of a medical emergency, EET will attempt to cause appropriate treatment to be administered, and I authorize EET to do so. EET, however, makes no warranty that it will be able to cause effective (or any) emergency treatment to be administered.
10. I understand and agree that EET has the right to make changes in tour itineraries and departure dates, and to modify transportation arrangements, including the use of substitute airlines. In the event of such changes, refunds will be given only in accordance with the provisions of the Booking Conditions supplied herewith.
11. I understand that prices are subject to unforeseen surcharges or price increases which, if imposed by airlines or other suppliers, will be separately billed prior to final payment date.
12. I understand that it is my responsibility to secure the necessary travel documents (passport and/or visa[s]). Failure to do so does not constitute grounds for a refund except according to the refund and cancellation guidelines as outlined in the Booking Conditions.
13. I understand that I will be required to pay for any phone calls or incidental personal expenses that I incur at hotels, as well as for any damage I cause to hotel rooms, buses or other property.
14. I understand and agree that this agreement and EET’s Booking Conditions constitute the entire agreement between EET and me with reference to the subject matter herein, and I do not rely upon any promises, inducements or agreements not herein, including but not limited to any oral statements made to me by any agents or employees of EET.
15. I understand and agree that this agreement shall be governed in all respects, and performance hereunder shall be judged, by the laws of county courthouse of Berlin. In the event of any claim, dispute or proceeding arising out of my relationship with EET, or any claim which in contract, tort, or otherwise at law or in equity arises between me and EET, whether or not related to this agreement, all parties submit and consent to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the county courthouse of Berlin.
16. I understand and consent that EET may use any film likenesses taken of me and any of my comments while on an EET tour for future publicity and also use my contact information for future EET promotions.