Earthbound Terms and Conditions
Health Matters: It is the responsibility of each guest to be aware of their physical abilities or limitations, and to be in sufficient good health to undertake the trip. To make the most of your journey and participate in the various planned group activities, you should be able to be on your feet and walk unassisted for three plus hours (often over uneven cobblestones or pathways) at a reasonably pace with frequent standing. If you have questions about the physical requirements for your journey, please email or call our travel office. If you find upon arriving on a trip that you have misjudged your fitness level you may find that you’ll need to sit out some activities. Your guide we will assist you in making alternative plans when appropriate. Where your comfort or mobility concerns necessitate individual arrangements, you may incur small extra expenses (example: taxi fares).
Any preexisting physical, mental, or emotional disability that may require attention must be reported in writing prior to beginning the journey. Although it is not mandatory to participate in every planned and included group activity, not doing so isn’t cause for a refund. For those desiring additional exercise, our trips allow free time to explore at your own pace. On boats, planes, ships and ferries, guests will need to be able to maneuver unassisted up and down gangways, stairs and in between decks. Smokers may smoke outside and downwind of the group.
Group Size: We pride ourselves on providing a small, shared group experience, and Earthbound Expeditions will make every effort to limit the group to 16-29 people. However, to ensure the departure of an expedition at the lowest price, Earthbound Expeditions has at times found it necessary to overbook a trip in order to anticipate the possibility of numerous, last minute individual cancellations and/or a declining US dollar. Private and hosted journeys may be larger than other trips.
Traveling with Children: With the exception of our adventures to Costa Rica, Earthbound Expedition journeys have been designed for the active, mature adult. Most of our journeys include cooking classes, wine tastings, concerts and late evenings out which are not suited for children under twelve. If you have questions about a specific journey please telephone our travel office.
Tipping: Savvy travelers know that tipping is expected in most parts of the world, though never knowing when and how much can become a source of stress. To spare our guests hassle and anxiety, Earthbound Expeditions has included all gratuities for guides, drivers, dining room servers and local specialists on nearly all of our journeys. Some travelers like to reward outstanding service with an additional tip, gift or card. Gratuities for hotel staff, boat crew and those serving you while not with the group are not included. Note: Gratuities may not be included on private or hosted trips. Please refer to your specific itinerary for details.
Travel Insurance: Earthbound Expeditions strongly encourages the purchase of Travel Insurance Coverage. We include information on trip insurance in your deposit information. It is important to check with your medical insurance provider to understand your medical benefits and coverage while traveling abroad. Please read our cancellation policy carefully in order to avoid incurring a costly penalty.
How We Display Fares at Earthbound Expeditions
The Department of Transportation has mandated that effective January 26, 2012, government taxes and all fees be included in advertised prices and initial fare displays.
What That Means For You
While it may appear that fares have increased significantly, in reality we are now just including government taxes, fuel and fees – including the September 11th Security Fee, in our advertising and initial fare displays.
By signing up for the group air option you are reserving, not purchasing your space. Please note that airlines reserve the right to change the fuel surcharge at time of ticketing. Since fuel surcharges have already been calculated into the price of your ticket we expect that any additional fuel surcharge increases will be minor.
Air: What’s Not Included
Fees for optional or additional services, such as checking bags or meals for purchase are not included in the new pricing, and will be charged at the airport ticket counter or online check-in. Country departure/entry taxes may also not be included in some cases.
Please note that Earthbound Expeditions acts only as an agent for airlines and is restricted by their respective policies. A minimum of ten passengers must travel together on group flights. The industry standard deadline for securing group space is 90 days prior to departure. In some cases, when the bare minimum of ten passengers does not materialize by this deadline, Earthbound will offer a competitive alternative and will assist passengers in booking their flights. A deviation fee may apply if you have booked the group flight, but are returning on a different date. Earthbound Expeditions is not responsible for route changes and flight delays. Airline group contract rates may require payment by check and/or an additional deposit. Please read the airline deposit schedule carefully, as in most cases they are not refundable. NOTE: Earthbound Expeditions does not accept liability incurred by the purchase of individual non-refundable airline tickets. It is for this reason we strongly recommend purchasing refundable airline tickets or including the cost of the ticket in your travel insurance coverage. Earthbound staff is unable to assist travelers with mileage award tickets.
Booking Your Air: Reserving and booking your airline ticket (if not traveling with the group) is a synch and may be done in a matter of minutes online. To find the best price and arrange air travel we suggest you go to www.kayak.com. If you prefer, the staff at Earthbound Expeditions can do this for you for a $50 service fee. This policy also extends to the booking of any extra hotel space if you decide to arrive early or stay on after the tour.
Post Tour Extensions: Unless stated otherwise, a minimum of 8 guests is required in order to operate the post-tour extension and airline deviation fees may apply.
Solo Travelers and Single Accommodations: Single accommodations may be requested by paying a single supplement comfort fee; these are limited and based on availability. For those willing to share, Earthbound Expeditions will assist in finding a same-gender roommate, and if one is found, the Single Supplement is waived. If a roommate cannot be found, guests will be asked to pay the Single Supplement comfort fee.
Discounts: All alumni of Earthbound Expeditions will receive $100 off the published journey price (private trips may be excluded). If Earthbound Expeditions has other discounts available, participants may choose the greatest available discount unless stated otherwise in your itinerary.
Pay Your Final Balance by Check: Save $50 to $150 when you pay by check. Please see your itinerary for details.
Refer a friend and Save! Refer a friend and save an additional $75 for each person new to Earthbound who travels with you on an Earthbound Expedition. “Refer a Friend” discounts may be combined with alumni discounts.
Fine Print: Earthbound Expeditions Inc. acts only as an agent for the supplier with respect to transportation and hotels, and exercises every care possible. However, we can assume no liability for injury, damage, delay, loss, accident or irregularity in connection with the services of any airplane, ship, motor-coach, train or other conveyance used in carrying out the arrangements of the journey. We cannot accept responsibility for losses or additional expenses due to delay or changes in air or other services, sickness, weather, strike, war, quarantine, acts of God or other causes beyond our control. All such losses and expenses will have to be borne by the passenger, as journey rates provide for arrangements only for the time stated. All published itineraries are subject to change, which would not be cause for a refund. We also reserve the right to amend typos and misprints in pricing and other trip information. The right is reserved to cancel the journey prior to departure, in which case the entire payment will be refunded without further obligation on our part. We also reserve the right to decline to accept or to retain any person as a member of the journey, or to require a participant to withdraw from the journey at their own expense when such an action is determined by journey staff to be in the best interest of the participant’s health and safety, and that of the group in general. No refund will be made for the unused portion of any journey. Earthbound Expeditions does not accept liability incurred by the purchase of a non-refundable airline ticket.
Pricing: In the event that there are fewer than the minimum participants listed in your itinerary, you will be offered a small group comfort charge to ensure that the journey departs as scheduled. Former guests have greatly appreciated the benefits of traveling with a smaller group. Earthbound staff or hosts are not included in the number of tour participants. Please refer to your detailed itinerary for pricing information specific to your journey.
Although no changes in the price of your trip are expected, Earthbound reserves the right to add a supplement or to lower the trip price due to unexpected currency fluctuations of plus or minus 5% and/or spikes in fuel prices. See your itinerary for the exchange rate on which trip price was based.
Photos and comments: Please note that Earthbound Expeditions may use any film likenesses taken of a guest and any of their written comments made while on an EB tour for future marketing.
Reservations and Deposits: Early reservations are essential to guarantee space on the date you wish to travel. A per person deposit of $500 is needed to confirm your space on most journeys (please see section entitled RESERVATIONS on your Earthbound itinerary for specifics). We prefer payment to be made by check, but we also accept Visa, MasterCard or American Express. You can make your secure credit card deposit online, by phone or by mail. Deposits are refundable for 60 days from the date received or 90 days prior to departure, whichever comes first. A $75 dollar per person processing fee will be applied to all cancellations, regardless of when they are made. Once the deposit is processed, a deposit packet is sent with pertinent journey details. Trips which include barges, boats and/or flights may require an additional deposit.
Final Payment: You will be sent an invoice approximately 75 days prior to departure, which will include any currency price reductions or additions. A non-refundable final payment, payable by money order, check or credit card, is due 60 days before departure. It is the responsibility of each passenger to make a timely payment. A final packet of information will be sent approximately one month before departure. Pay online or Mail checks to: Earthbound Expeditions PO Box 11305, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, USA.
Cancellations: All cancellations must be made in writing and are effective upon receipt in our office. Deposits are fully refundable for 60 days from the processing date or 90 days prior to departure, whichever comes first. Deposits made 90 days prior to a trip departing are not refundable. A $75 per person processing fee applies to all cancellations.
No refunds are made for cancellations after the non-refundable deposit date. It is for this reason we strongly encourage the purchase of Travel Insurance at the same time you reserve your journey with us. Please refer to your specific journey details, especially private and hosted journeys, as policies may differ.
Luggage: You should be able to comfortably manage your luggage over short distances. Porters are generally available to assist you. Some of the castles, hotels and country inns we utilize do not have porters, but most of our lodgings are equipped with elevators. The key is not to over-pack.
Consumer Disclosure Notice: Read the tour information and conditions carefully, as your deposit and any payments for a trip constitutes consent to all conditions and general information contained on your brochure and in this packet. This trip is operated by Earthbound Expeditions (EBE). It has made the travel arrangements as agent for the transportation carriers and other suppliers (SUPS) of services connected with the tour, all of which are independent contractors. EBE in no way owns or operates the vehicles or facilities to be used during the trip, and does not guarantee or assume responsibility for the acts and/or omissions of SUPS, their employees, agents, etc. All bookings are accepted subject to the conditions imposed by SUPS and EBE, including airline, cruise line, rail, coach, hotel, restaurants, insurance, and other companies, firms or persons concerned with the trip, and EBE will make no refund in the event of their delay, cancellations, overbooking, strike, force majeure or for elements of the package not used by customer. If there is a difference between EBE Conditions and those published by a SUP, the conditions of SUP shall apply. EBE reserves the right to cancel a trip, change the itinerary, airline and hotel or adjust rates whenever in its sole judgment conditions warrant, or if EBE deems it necessary for your comfort, convenience or safety. Currency, taxes, fees and fuel surcharges are subject to change. Trips outside the USA require a valid U.S. passport. You are responsible for, and release EBE from passport, visa, vaccination requirements, and safety conditions in travel destinations. EBE strongly recommends you purchase appropriate cancellation/medical/baggage insurance for the trip. EBE will provide options and information related to travel insurance products in your deposit letter. For medical information, call the U.S. Public Health Service at 301-443-2403, and for U.S. State Department travel advisories, 202-647-5225. EBE reserves the right to decline to accept any person as a member of the tour, and require any participant to withdraw from the trip at any time who presents a significant risk to the health and safety of themselves or others which can not be eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level by EBE’s reasonable accommodation. EBE reserves the right to correct an error in advertised price prior to your departure. A contract is made when your reservation and payment are accepted by EBE at its offices, and any dispute shall be governed by Washington law and subject to the jurisdiction of Kitsap County, WA. In calculating the cost of your trip, EBE has relied on your consent to these terms, and in the absence of this release, the trip cost would have been higher. EBE also reserves the right to cancel a tour prior to departure, and in such cases all payments made to date will be refunded and shall constitute full settlement.