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Booking Conditions

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Booking Conditions

Booking Terms & Conditions

The following booking conditions form the basis of your contract with Grand Cultural Tours Ltd, trading as Grand Cultural Tours & Events, of 20-22 Wenlock Road, London, N1 7GU, Company Number 09888506. Please read them carefully as they set out our respective rights and obligations. By asking us to confirm your booking, we are entitled to assume that you have had the opportunity to read and have read these booking conditions and agree to them.

These booking conditions only apply to holiday arrangements which you book with us in the UK and which we agree to make, provide or perform (as applicable) as part of our contract with you. All references in these booking conditions to "holiday", "booking", "contract", "package", "tour" or "arrangements" mean such holiday arrangements unless otherwise stated.

In these booking conditions, "you" and "your" means all persons named on the booking (including anyone who is added or substituted at a later date) or any of them as the context requires. "We", "us" and "our" means Grand Cultural Tours Ltd.

1. Making your booking

The first named person on the booking ("party leader") must be authorised to make the booking on the basis of these booking conditions by all persons named on the booking and by their parent or guardian for all party members who are under 18 when the booking is made. By making a booking the party leader confirms that he/she is so authorised. The party leader is responsible for making all payments due to us. The party leader must be at least 18 when the booking is made.

Subject to the availability of your chosen arrangements, we will confirm your holiday by issuing a confirmation invoice. This invoice will be sent to the party leader or your travel agent. Where you book through our website, any electronic acknowledgement of your booking is not a confirmation of it. Please check this invoice carefully as soon as you receive it. Contact us immediately if any information which appears on the confirmation or any other document appears to be incorrect or incomplete as it may not be possible to make changes later. We regret we cannot accept any liability if we are not notified of any inaccuracies (for which we are responsible) in any document within ten days of our sending it out (five days for tickets). We will do our best to rectify any mistake notified to us outside these time limits but you must meet any costs involved in doing so.

We will communicate with you by e-mail in relation to your booking. You must accordingly check your e-mails on a regular basis. We may also contact you by telephone and/or post if we cannot, for whatever reason, contact you by e-mail. Certain documents may need to be sent by post. References in these booking conditions to "send" and "in writing" include communication by e-mail.

If you wish to, you may contact us by e-mail for any of the reasons mentioned in these booking conditions (for example, to request an amendment) providing you do so to info@grandculturaltours.com.

2. Payment

In order to confirm your chosen holiday, a deposit of £250 per person or 10% of the total holiday cost, whichever is the greater, (or such other sum as notified to you prior to booking) must be paid at the time of booking. Full payment must be made at the time of booking if booking within eight weeks of departure. If you wish to purchase the insurance policy we offer, all applicable premiums must also be paid at the time of booking (please see clause 8 on the subject of insurance).

The balance of the holiday cost must be received by us not less than 8 weeks prior to departure. This date will be shown on the confirmation invoice. Reminders are not sent. If we do not receive all payments due (including any surcharge where applicable) in full and on time, we are entitled to assume that you wish to cancel your booking. In this case, we will be entitled to keep all deposits paid or due at that date. If we do not cancel straight away because you have promised to make payment, you must pay the cancellation charges shown in clause 7 depending on the date we reasonably treat your booking as cancelled.

All monies you pay to one of our authorised travel agents for your holiday with us will be held by the agent on your behalf until a contract between us comes into existence. After that point, your agent will hold the monies on our behalf until they are paid to us.

3. Your contract

A binding contract between us comes into existence when we despatch our confirmation invoice to the party leader or your travel agent. We both agree that English law (and no other) will apply to your contract and to any dispute, claim or other matter of any description which arises between us ("claim") except as set out below. We both also agree that any claim must be dealt with by the Courts of England and Wales only unless, in the case of Court proceedings, you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland. In this case, proceedings must either be brought in the Courts of your home country or those of England and Wales. If proceedings are brought in Scotland or Northern Ireland, you may choose to have your contract and any claim governed by the law of Scotland/Northern Ireland as applicable (but if you do not so choose, English law will apply).

4. The cost of your holiday

Please note, changes and errors occasionally occur. You must check the price of your chosen holiday at the time of booking.

We reserve the right to make changes to and correct errors in advertised prices at any time before your holiday 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.

Once the price of your chosen holiday has been confirmed at the time of booking, then subject to the correction of errors, we guarantee the cost of your holiday will not be increased in any circumstances.

5. Special requests and medical conditions / disabilities

If you have any special request, you must advise us at the time of booking. Although we will endeavour to pass any reasonable requests on to the relevant supplier, we regret we cannot guarantee any request will be met. Failure to meet any special request 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. Unless and until specifically confirmed, all special requests are subject to availability. For your own protection, you should obtain confirmation in writing that a special request will be complied (where it is possible to give this) where it is important to you.

We regret we cannot accept any conditional bookings, i.e. any booking which is specified to be conditional on the fulfilment of a particular request. All such bookings will be treated as "standard" bookings subject to the above provisions on special requests.

If you or any member of your party has any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday or has any special requirements as a result of any medical condition or disability (including any which affect the booking process), please tell us before you confirm your booking so that we can assist you in considering the suitability of the arrangements and/or making the booking. In any event, you must give us full details in writing at the time of booking and whenever any change in the condition or disability occurs. You must also promptly advise us if any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday develops after your booking has been confirmed. If we reasonably feel unable to properly accommodate the particular needs of the person concerned, we must reserve the right to decline their reservation or, if full details are not given at the time of booking or the condition / disability develops after booking, cancel when we become aware of these details.

6. Changes by you

Should you wish to make any changes to your confirmed holiday, you must notify us in writing as soon as possible. Whilst we will endeavour to assist, we cannot guarantee we will be able to meet any such requests. Where we can, an amendment fee of £45.00 per booking will be payable together with any costs incurred by ourselves and any costs or charges incurred or imposed by any of our suppliers. A change of holiday dates will normally be treated as a cancellation of the original booking and rebooking in which case cancellation charges will apply. Changes may result in the recalculation of the holiday price where, for example, the basis on which the price of the original holiday was calculated has changed.

If any member of your party is prevented from travelling, the person(s) concerned may transfer their place to someone else (introduced by you) providing we are notified not less than two weeks before departure. Where a transfer to a person of your choice can be made, all costs and charges incurred by us and/or incurred or imposed by any of our suppliers as a result together with an amendment fee of £45.00 must be paid before the transfer can be effected. Any overdue balance payment must also be received.

7. Cancellation by you

Should you or any member of your party need to cancel your holiday once it has been confirmed, the party leader must immediately advise us in writing. Your notice of cancellation will only be effective when it is received in writing by us at our offices. As we incur costs from the time we confirm your booking, the following cancellation charges will be payable. Where the cancellation charge is shown as a percentage, this is calculated on the basis of the total cost payable by the person(s) cancelling excluding insurance premiums and amendment charges. Insurance premiums and amendment charges are not refundable in the event of cancellation.

Period before departure within which written notification of cancellation is received by us    Cancellation charge per person cancelling
57 days or more    Deposit
29 to 56 days    40%
15 to 28 days    60%
7 to 14 days    80%
Less than 7 days    100%

Depending on the reason for cancellation, you may be able to reclaim these cancellation charges (less any applicable excess) under the terms of your insurance policy. Claims must be made directly to the insurance company concerned.

Where any cancellation reduces the number of full paying party members below the number on which the price, number of free places and/ or any concessions agreed for your booking were based, we will recalculate these items and re-invoice you accordingly.

See clause 6 "Changes by you" if any member(s) of your party are prevented from travelling.

8. Insurance

We consider adequate travel insurance to be essential. Details of the policy we offer are shown else whereon our website. If you decide not to purchase this insurance, you must give details in writing of your alternative policy (insurer and policy number). If you fail to do so, we will add the appropriate premiums for the personal travel insurance we offer to your confirmation invoice. These premiums must be paid as soon as possible as cover will not be effective until we receive all applicable premiums in full.

Please read your policy details carefully and take them with you on holiday. It is your responsibility to ensure that the insurance cover you purchase is suitable and adequate for your particular needs. We do not check alternative insurance policies.

9. Changes and cancellation by us

We start planning the holidays we offer many months in advance. Occasionally, we have to make changes to and correct errors in brochure and other details both before and after bookings have been confirmed and cancel confirmed bookings. Whilst we always endeavour to avoid changes and cancellations, we must reserve the right to do so. Please note, our holidays require a minimum number of participants to enable us to operate them. If the minimum number of bookings required for a particular holiday have not been received, we are entitled to cancel it. We will notify you or your travel agent of cancellation for this reason no later than 3 months prior to the holiday departure date.

Most changes are minor. Occasionally, we have to make a "significant change". A significant change is a change made before departure which, taking account of the information you give us at the time of booking and which we can reasonably be expected to know as a tour operator, we can reasonably expect to have a major effect on your holiday. Significant changes are likely to include the following changes when made before departure; a change of accommodation to that of a lower official classification or standard for the whole or a major part of the time you are away, a change of accommodation area for the whole or a major part of the time you are away, or a significant change of itinerary missing out one or more major destination substantially or altogether.

If we have to make a significant change or cancel, we will tell you as soon as possible. If there is time to do so before departure, we will offer you the choice of the following options:-

(a) (for significant changes) accepting the changed arrangements or

(b) purchasing an alternative holiday from us, of a similar standard to that originally booked if available. We will offer you at least one alternative holiday of equivalent or higher standard for which you will not be asked to pay any more than the price of the original holiday. If this holiday is in fact cheaper than the original one, we will refund the price difference. If you do not wish to accept the holiday we specifically offer you, you may choose any of our other then available holidays. You must pay the applicable price of any such holiday. This will mean your paying more if it is more expensive or receiving a refund if it is cheaper or

(c) cancelling or accepting the cancellation in which case you will receive a full and quick refund of all monies you have paid to us.

Please note, the above options are not available where any change made is a minor one.

If we have to make a significant change or cancel we will as a minimum, where compensation is appropriate, pay you the compensation payments set out in the table below depending on the circumstances and when the significant change or cancellation is notified to you subject to the following exceptions. Compensation will not be payable and no liability beyond offering the above mentioned choices can be accepted where (1) we are forced to make a change or cancel as a result of unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, the consequences of which we could not have avoided even with all due care or (2) we have to cancel because the minimum number of bookings necessary for us to operate your holiday has not been reached (see above). No compensation will be payable and the above options will not be available if we cancel as a result of your failure to comply with any requirement of these booking conditions entitling us to cancel (such as paying on time) or where a change is a minor one.

Period before departure a significant change or cancellation is notified to you or your travel agent Compensation per person
57 days or more £10
29 to 56 days £20
15 to 28 days £25
7 to 14 days £35
Less than 7 days £50

Very rarely, we may be forced by "force majeure" (see clause 10) to change or terminate your holiday after departure but before the scheduled end of your time away. This is extremely unlikely but if this situation does occur, we regret we will be unable to make any refunds (unless we obtain any refunds from our suppliers), pay you any compensation or meet any costs or expenses you incur as a result.

10. 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 obligations under our contract with you is prevented or affected by or you otherwise suffer any damage, loss or expense of any nature as a result of "force majeure". In these booking conditions, "force majeure" means any event which we or the supplier of the service(s) in question could not, even with all due care, foresee or avoid. Such events may include, whether actual or threatened, war, riot, civil strife, terrorist activity, industrial dispute, natural or nuclear disaster, adverse weather conditions, fire and all similar events outside our control.

11. Our Liability to you

1) We promise to make sure that the holiday arrangements we have agreed to make, perform or provide as applicable as part of our contract with you are made, performed or provided with reasonable skill and care. This means that, subject to these booking conditions, we will accept responsibility if, for example, you suffer death or personal injury or your contracted holiday arrangements are not provided as promised or prove deficient as a result of the failure of ourselves, our employees, agents or suppliers to use reasonable skill and care in making, performing or providing, as applicable, your contracted holiday arrangements. Please note, it is your responsibility to show that reasonable skill and care has not been used if you wish to make a claim against us. In addition, we will only be responsible for what our employees, agents and suppliers do or do not do if they were at the time acting within the course of their employment (for employees) or carrying out work we had asked them to do (for agents and suppliers).

(2) We will not be responsible for any injury, illness, death, loss (including loss of enjoyment or possessions), damage, expense, cost or other sum or claim of any description whatsoever which results from any of the following: -

- the act(s) and/or omission(s) of the person(s) affected or any member(s) of their party or

- the act(s) and/or omission(s) of a third party not connected with the provision of your holiday and which were unforeseeable or unavoidable or

- 'force majeure' as defined in clause 10 above

(3) 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 where the services or facilities are not advertised by us and we have not agreed to arrange them as part of our contract and any excursion you purchase in resort. Please also see clause 15 "Excursions, activities and general area information". In addition, regardless of any wording used by us on our website, in any advertising material or elsewhere, we only promise to use reasonable skill and care as set out above and we do not have any greater or different liability to you.

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 applicable standards 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 were provided in compliance with the applicable local laws and standards, 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 standards of the UK which would have applied had those services been 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 holidaymaker to refuse to take the holiday in question. Please note, however, our obligation is to exercise reasonable skill and care as referred to in clause 11(1). We do not make any representation or commitment that all services will comply with applicable local laws and standards and failure to comply does not automatically mean we have not exercised reasonable skill and care.

(5) As set out in these booking conditions, we limit the maximum amount we may have to pay you for any claims you may make against us.

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 £500.00 per person affected unless a lower limitation applies to your claim under this clause or clause 11(6) below. You must ensure you have appropriate travel insurance to protect your personal belongings. Any payment is subject to your producing appropriate proof of the contents and value of the luggage or personal possessions concerned and demonstrating that you have taken proper care of your property.

For all other claims which do not involve death or personal injury, if we are found liable to you on any basis the maximum amount we will have to pay you is twice the price (excluding insurance premiums and amendment charges) paid by or on behalf of the person(s) affected in total unless a lower limitation applies to your claim under clause 11 (6) below. This maximum amount will only be payable where everything has gone wrong and you have not received any benefit at all from your holiday

(6) Where any claim or part of a claim (including those involving death or personal injury) 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 or rail carrier to which any international convention or EU regulation applies, our liability (including the maximum amount of compensation we will have to pay you, the types of claim and the circumstances in which compensation will be payable) will be limited as if we were the carrier in question as referred to below. 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 concerned would have to pay under the international convention or regulation which applies to the travel arrangements in question (for example, the Athens Convention for international travel by sea (as amended by the 2002 Protocol where applicable) and COTIF, the Convention on International Travel by Rail). Where a carrier would not be obliged to make any payment to you under the applicable international convention or regulation in respect of a claim or part of a claim, we similarly are not obliged to make a payment to you for that claim or part of the claim. When making any payment, we are entitled to deduct any money which you have received or are entitled to receive from the carrier for the complaint or claim in question. Copies of the applicable international conventions and regulations are available from us on request.

(7) Please note, we cannot accept any liability for any damage, loss, expense or other sum(s) of any description (1) which on the basis of the information given to us by you concerning your booking prior to our accepting it, we could not have foreseen you would suffer or incur if we breached our contract with you or (2) which did not result from any breach of contract or other fault by ourselves or our employees or, where we are responsible for them, our suppliers. Additionally we cannot accept liability for any business losses (including without limitation, self employed loss of earnings).

12. Complaints and problems

In the unlikely event that you have any reason to complain or experience any problems with your holiday whilst away, you must immediately inform our local representative or agent (if we have one) and the supplier of the service(s) in question. Any verbal notification must be put in writing and given to our representative / agent and the supplier as soon as possible. If we do not have or you cannot contact our local representative or agent and any complaint or problem is not resolved to your satisfaction by the supplier, you must contact us in the UK using the contact details we have provided you with during your holiday, giving us full details and a contact number. Until we know about a complaint or problem, we cannot begin to resolve it. Most problems can be dealt with quickly. If you remain dissatisfied, however, you must write to us within 28 days of your return to the UK giving your booking reference and full details of your complaint. Only the party leader should write to us. For all complaints and claims which do not involve death, personal injury or illness, we regret we cannot accept liability if you fail to notify the complaint or claim entirely in accordance with this clause.

13. Behaviour and damage

When you book with us, you accept responsibility for any damage or loss caused by you or any member of your party. Full payment for any such damage or loss (reasonably estimated if not precisely known) must be made direct to the accommodation owner or manager or other supplier or to us as soon as possible. If the actual cost of the loss or damage exceeds the amount paid where estimated, you must pay the difference once known. If the actual cost is less than the amount paid, the difference will be refunded. You will also be responsible for meeting any claims subsequently made against us and all costs incurred by us (including our own and the other party’s full legal costs) as a result of your actions. You should ensure you have appropriate travel insurance to protect you if this situation arises.

We expect all clients to have consideration for other people. If in our reasonable opinion or in the reasonable opinion of any other person in authority, you or any member of your party behaves in such a way as to cause or be likely to cause danger, upset or distress to any third party or damage to property, we are entitled, without prior notice, to terminate the holiday of the person(s) concerned. In this situation, the person(s) concerned will be required to leave the accommodation or other service. We will have no further responsibility toward such person(s) including any return travel arrangements. No refunds will be made and we will not pay any expenses or costs incurred as a result of the termination.

14. Conditions of suppliers

Many of the services which make up your holiday are provided by independent suppliers. Those suppliers provide these services in accordance with their own terms and conditions. Some of these terms and conditions may limit or exclude the supplier's liability to you, usually in accordance with applicable international conventions (see clause 11(6)). Copies of the relevant parts of these terms and conditions and of the international conventions are available on request from ourselves or the supplier concerned.

15. Excursions, activities and general area information

We may provide you with information (before departure and/or when you are on holiday) about activities and excursions which are available in the area you are visiting. We have no involvement in any such activities or excursions which are neither run, supervised, controlled nor endorsed in any way by us. They are provided by local operators or other third parties who are entirely independent of us. They do not form any part of your contract with us even where we suggest particular operators/other third parties and/or assist you in booking such activities or excursions in any way. We cannot accept any liability on any basis in relation to such activities or excursions and the acceptance of liability contained in clause 11(1) of our booking conditions will not apply to them. We do not however exclude liability for the negligence of ourselves or our employees resulting in your death or personal injury.

We cannot guarantee accuracy at all times of information given in relation to such activities or excursions or about the area you are visiting generally or that any particular excursion or activity which does not form part of our contract will take place as these services are not under our control. If you feel that any of the activities or excursions referred to in our brochure, on our website and in our other advertising material which are not part of our contract are vital to the enjoyment of your holiday, write to us immediately and we will tell you the latest known situation. If we become aware of any material alterations to area information and/or such outside activities or excursions which can reasonably be expected to affect your decision to book a holiday with us, we will pass on this information at the time of booking.

16. Passports, visas and health requirements

The passport and visa requirements applicable at the time of printing to British citizens for the holidays we offer are shown on our website. Requirements may change and you must check the up to date position in good time before departure. A British passport presently takes approximately 2 to 6 weeks to obtain. If you or any member of your party is 16 or over and haven't yet got a passport, you should apply for one at least 6 weeks before your holiday. The UK Passport Service has to confirm your identity before issuing your first passport and will ask you to attend an interview in order to do this. If you or any member of your party is not a British citizen or holds a non British passport, you must check passport and visa requirements with the embassy or consulate of the country(ies) to or through which you are intending to travel.

Details of any compulsory health requirements applicable to British citizens for your holiday are shown on our website. It is your responsibility to ensure you are aware of all recommended vaccinations and health precautions in good time before departure. Details are available from your GP surgery and from the National Travel Health Network and Centre www.travelhealthpro.org.uk. Information on health abroad is also available on www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Travelhealth. At the time of publication of this brochure, we are not aware of any compulsory health requirements applicable to British citizens taking any of the holidays featured in this brochure. For holidays in the EU/EEA you should obtain an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) prior to departure from www.ehic.org.uk. An EHIC is not a substitute for travel insurance. Vaccination and other health requirements/recommendations are subject to change at any time for any destination. Please therefore check with a doctor or clinic not less than six weeks prior to departure to ensure that you have met the necessary requirements and have the applicable information.

It is the party leaders responsibility to ensure that all members of the party are in possession of all necessary travel and health documents before departure. All costs incurred in obtaining such documentation must be paid by you. We regret we cannot accept any liability if you are refused entry onto any transport or into any country due to failure on your part to carry all required documentation. If failure to have any necessary travel or other documents results in fines, surcharges or other financial penalty, costs or expenses being imposed on or incurred by us, you will be responsible for reimbursing us accordingly.

17. Foreign Office Advice

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office publishes regularly updated travel information on its website www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice which you are recommended to consult before booking and in good time before departure.

18. Financial security

Grand Cultural Tours Limited is a company committed to customer satisfaction and consumer financial protection. We are therefore pleased to announce that, at no extra cost to you, and in accordance with ''The Package Travel, Package Tours Regulations 1992'' all passengers booking with Grand Cultural Tours Limited is fully insured for the initial deposit, and subsequently the balance of monies paid as detailed in your booking confirmation form. The policy will also include repatriation if required, arising from the cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Grand Cultural Tours Limited. This insurance has been arranged with Affirma a trading brand of MGA Cover Services Limited (registered address Farren House The Street, Farren Court Cowfold West Sussex RH 13 8BP, company registration: 08444204 authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority registration number 678541) under a binding authority with the insurer CBL Insurance Europe Limited (registered address 2nd Floor 13-17 Dawson Street Dublin 2 Ireland, who are authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority registration number 203120).

In the unlikely event of Insolvency you must Inform Affirma (MGA Cover Services Limited) immediately on +44 (0) 20 3540 4422. Please ensure you retain this booking confirmation form as evidence of cover and value.

Policy exclusions: This policy will not cover any monies paid back to you by your Travel Insurance or any losses which are recoverable under another insurance or bond. This policy will also not cover any loss sustained by Passenger(s) booked on a flight-inclusive package sold and commencing within the United Kingdom.

These arrangements mean your money will be refunded or you will be brought back to the UK (where your contracted holiday arrangements include return travel to the UK) if already abroad in the unlikely event of our being unable to provide your holiday due to our insolvency.

19. Delay

We regret we are not in a position to offer you any assistance in the event of delay at your outward or homeward point of departure. We cannot accept liability for any delay which is due to any of the reasons set out in clause 11(2) of these Booking Conditions. In addition, we will not be liable for any delay unless it has a significant effect on your holiday arrangements.

20. Website / advertising material accuracy

The information contained on our website and in our other advertising material is believed correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of printing or publication. However, errors may occasionally occur and information may subsequently change. You must therefore ensure you check all details of your chosen holiday (including the price) with us or your travel agent at the time of booking.

21. Safety standards

Please note, it is the requirements and standards of the country in which any services which make up your holiday are provided which apply to those services and not those of the UK. As a general rule, these requirements and standards will not be the same as the UK and may often be lower.