Terms & Conditions

Thank you for choosing to book your expedition cruise with Heritage Expeditions (2018) Ltd.  Please take the time to read and understand the conditions of booking set out below prior to booking an expedition with us.  We strongly recommend that you also read the Expedition Brochure relating to your trip prior to booking to ensure that you understand the itinerary, style and physical demands of the expedition you are undertaking.

1.             Travel Contract

1.1         These Terms and Conditions, together with our privacy policy (https://www.heritage-expeditions.com/privacy/), the Expedition Brochure [any special conditions that apply to your particular Expedition] and any other written information that we have brought to your attention before we confirmed your booking, form the basis of your contract with  us.  Any payment of the fare implies acceptance of all Terms and Conditions.

2.             Definitions

2.1         'Carrier' means and includes Heritage Expeditions, the Vessel, the Vessel owners, operators, managers, charterers agents, sub-contractors and employees.

2.2         'Departure Date' means the date on which the Guest is scheduled to join the Expedition and can include a hotel accommodation night prior to embarkation.

2.3         'Excursion' means any excursion, trip or activity ashore that is not included as part of the standard price of the Expedition and is offered for sale by Heritage Expeditions separately to the Expedition price.

2.4         'Expedition' means the passage agreed to be undertaken by the Carrier in the Contract and includes any other transport/accommodation arrangements made by Heritage Expeditions, as outlined in the expedition dossier, but does not include any excursions not provided by Heritage Expeditions.

2.5         'Third Party Supplier(s)' means any person (including employees, agents, contractors, sub-contractors and insurers) who provides a service which forms part of the Expedition.

2.6         'Travel Contract' means your contract with Heritage Expeditions by which we agree to provide the Expedition and includes these Terms and Conditions, our privacy policy, the Expedition Brochure and any special conditions that apply to your Expedition.

2.7         "Unexpected Event" means any act, circumstance or event beyond the control of the Carrier caused or arising from but not limited to acts of God, public enemies, government restraint, riots, strikes, lockouts, labour troubles, epidemic, pandemic or other health emergency, civil disturbances, perils of the sea, harbours, rivers or other navigable waters, fuel shortages or abrupt and unexpected increases in fuel costs, collisions, stranding, fire, lightning, storm, rough and adverse sea conditions, tidal waves, cyclones, theft, barratry or any other crime by any person, faults or errors of navigation or management of the Vessel or any other vessel, explosions, breakage of shafts or any defect or unseaworthiness in hull, machinery or appurtenances, equipment, furnishings or supplies of the Vessel or launches or vehicles or any defect of the carrier's premises, fault or neglect of pilots, tugs, crew, agents or independent contractors, port closures, delays in allocation and permits to berth the Vessel at ports on arrival and seizure of the Vessel under legal process.

2.8         'Vessel' means the ship used by Heritage Expeditions to conduct the Expedition and includes a substituted vessel, and all launches and watercraft belonging to the vessel or owner or operated in connection with the vessel.

2.9         'We' or 'Us' means Heritage Expeditions (2018) Limited ('Heritage Expeditions') or where appropriate its employees, agents, independent contractors and sub-contractors and all relevant insurers.

2.10    'You' or 'the Guest(s)' means any and all members of the travelling party, as indicated on the Booking Form and/or the confirmation invoice, as issued by Heritage Expeditions.

3.             Booking Form

3.1         All Guests must complete a Booking Form. It is the responsibility of the Guest to complete the Booking Form and confidential Medical Form accurately.

3.2         By completing the Booking Form, you accept, and agree to follow and be bound by these Terms and Conditions.

4.             Payment

4.1         You must pay to Heritage Expeditions a non-refundable deposit equal to 25% of the total Expedition price for your booking to be confirmed.  The balance (being 75% of the total Expedition price) is due 90 days* before the scheduled departure. (*with the exception of expeditions to the Antarctic, the Northern Sea Route and Wrangel Island where due date is 120 days before scheduled departure).

4.2         After the deposit has been received, confirmation of your booking will be sent.  Upon full payment of the Expedition price, the travel documents will be dispatched to you.

4.3         If you fail to fulfil your payment obligations, Heritage Expeditions will send you a written reminder and you will have the opportunity to make immediate payment.  If payment is still not made, you are liable to pay interest on the amount due of 1% for each month or part of a month that this remains unpaid.  Furthermore, you will be liable to pay compensation for legal collection costs equal to an additional 15% of the sum claimed, with a minimum amount of USD$50.00.  If you fail to comply with your payment obligations, Heritage Expeditions reserves the right to cancel the Travel Contract on the day of default.  Heritage Expeditions is entitled to charge the cancellation costs incurred (in line with clause 8 or as agreed otherwise in the travel confirmation).

4.4         If due to the delay in making payment, Heritage Expeditions cannot send the travel documents to you before the start of the Expedition, any additional dispatch costs will be charged to you.  Heritage Expeditions will not be held responsible for any travel documents not arriving on time.

5.            Changes to Components of Travel/Price Changes

5.1         Changes to components of the Expedition, which occur before the commencement of the Expedition and are agreed in the travel confirmation, are permitted only if they do not substantially alter the nature of the Expedition.  This includes, but is not limited to, changes made by the airline, changes in flight departure times, changes referring to hotel overnight stays before or after the main Expedition, and changes in the travel programme or excursion offer.  Heritage Expeditions is obliged to inform you in writing of such changes.  You may not use changes of this nature as grounds for cancellation of the Travel Contract.

5.2         The agreed fare is based on the prices, exchange rates, duties and taxes as known to Heritage Expeditions at the time the publication went to press and at the time of the travel confirmation.  Heritage Expeditions reserves the right to increase the agreed fare on the grounds of unforeseeable increases in the cost of the Expedition (e.g. increases in exchange rates, accommodation, airfares, duties, taxes, harbour dues and fuel prices).  If Heritage Expeditions considers a fare increase is necessary, Heritage Expeditions will inform you, in writing, at least 20 days before the Departure Date.  Price increases are not permitted within 20 days the Departure Date.  If the fare increase totals more than 10% of the initial agreed fare, you may cancel your booking and we will refund any payments you have made to us.

6.             Timings and Delays and Unexpected Events

6.1         You acknowledge that timings are estimates only and cannot be guaranteed, even if shown on tickets.  They may be changed due to regulatory authority requirements, weather conditions, maintenance or technical reasons and the ability of passengers to check in and board on time.

6.2         Heritage Expeditions will not be responsible for the performance of the Travel Contract if prevented or delayed by an Unexpected Event.  In circumstances of an Unexpected Event, Heritage Expeditions may, in its absolute discretion:

(a)         Cancel the whole or part of the Expedition;

(b)         Vary the itinerary;

(c)          Take any other action that Heritage Expeditions may deem reasonably necessary.

7.             Cancellation of the Expedition by Heritage Expeditions

7.1         If the minimum number of participants required for an Expedition has not been reached, Heritage Expeditions is entitled to cancel the Expedition up to 30 days before the Departure Date.  Heritage Expeditions will transfer your booking and payment to an alternative expedition.  If you do not wish to transfer your booking, then you will need to notify us in writing in which case any monies received by Heritage Expeditions, minus unrecoverable costs, will be refunded.

7.2         Heritage Expeditions has the right to cancel the Expedition in the case of Unexpected Events.

(a)         If an Unexpected Event occurs before the Departure Date, Heritage Expeditions will transfer amounts paid to an alternative Departure Date or Heritage Expeditions will issue a travel credit to be used within 12 months of the original Departure Date.

(b)         If an Unexpected Event occurs during the Expedition, Heritage Expeditions will use its best endeavours to offer an alternative programme.  If an alternative programme cannot be offered then we may offer you a choice of either (a) credit for the days that remain on your Expedition; or (b) a refund for the days that remain on the Expedition minus unrecoverable costs.

7.3         If your Expedition is transferred to an alternative Departure Date pursuant to clause 6.2(a), the Guest Cancellation provisions in clause 8.1 do not apply to that transferred Expedition.

7.4         If Heritage Expeditions cancels the Expedition pursuant to the provisions of clause 7.1 and 7.2, Heritage Expeditions will not be liable for losses or damages suffered by you due to the cancellation, nor for costs incurred in preparation for the Expedition nor for reservations of travel components (such as, but not limited to: flights, hotels, connecting programmes, travel insurances) which, in combination with the Expedition booked with Heritage Expeditions, may have been booked elsewhere.

8.             Guest Cancellation

8.1         You may cancel the Travel Contract at any time before the Departure Date by notifying us in writing.  Cancellation takes effect the day we receive your letter or email. Since we incur costs in relation to your arrangements from the time we confirm your booking, the following will apply:

(a)         Cancellation notices received more than 180 days prior to the Departure Date will be entitled to a full refund less a USD$750 per person administration fee.

(b)         If the cancellation notice is received within 179 and 91 days* of the Departure Date, the full deposit will be forfeited.

(c)          If the cancellation notice is received within 90 days prior to the Departure Date, the total fare is forfeited.

(d)         If cancellation occurs within 90 days* and full payment has not yet been received, the total fare will still apply, and any unpaid monies are due immediately.

(*with the exception of voyages to the Antarctic, the Northern Sea Route and Wrangel Island where loss of deposit is within 179 and 121 days and full loss within 120 days).

8.2         If, after booking, you wish to make changes to your Expedition (e.g. the departure  date, destination or type of accommodation), this is considered a cancellation and the cancellation costs stated in clause 8.1 apply.

8.3         It is recommended that you check your insurance policy for cancellation terms.

9.             Travel Documents and Insurance

9.1         Due to the adventurous style of travel offered by Heritage Expeditions and the remoteness of some of the areas in which we travel, it is a condition of travel with Heritage Expeditions that all guests are covered by comprehensive travel insurance prior to departure, and that they maintain such insurance for the duration of the Expedition.

9.2         Guests travelling with Heritage Expeditions are required to be covered by a reputable travel insurance policy that includes baggage loss, cancellation and curtailment of holiday, medical, accident and repatriation/emergency evacuation coverage worth at least USD$150,000 on all Arctic and Subantarctic Expeditions and USD$250,000 on all Antarctic Expeditions and otherwise on terms that is sufficient to indemnify you.  We travel to remote regions of the world, and we recommend that the insurance policy's repatriation/emergency evacuation benefit be higher than minimum and cover you for remote or Polar Evacuation should it be required.  In the case of a medical issue arising during the Expedition, either on board or on shore, which results in costs for medical treatment, repatriation, evacuation, use of aircraft, etc, the responsibility for payment of these costs and expenses belongs solely to the Guest.  Please ensure that such eventualities are covered by your travel insurance policy.  In any case, if you are not covered by a travel insurance policy, the responsibility remains with the Guest and Heritage Expeditions specifically declines any responsibility whatsoever, including in circumstances where Heritage Expeditions or a related body corporate of Heritage Expeditions arranges a travel insurance policy on your behalf.

9.3         Your insurance details must be supplied to us prior to final payment and if you fail to provide the requested insurance information at the time requested, we reserve the right to cancel your booking.

9.4         In that event that you do not produce confirmation of travel insurance to Heritage Expeditions pursuant to clause 9.3 and your booking is subsequently cancelled, you will not be entitled to any refund and you will remain liable to pay any amounts that are due and payable in accordance with these Terms and Conditions.

9.5         Guests must have a valid passport and appropriate visa/travel permits for the countries to be visited on the Expedition.  The passport must be valid for at least six months after the conclusion of the Expedition.  Heritage Expeditions is not responsible for any travel restrictions and is not liable for any costs arising from the lack of relevant travel documents.

9.6         Heritage Expeditions requires all Guests to produce valid evidence that they have been fully vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus with a WHO approved vaccine, and that their vaccination status is current as at the time of the Expedition.  Heritage Expeditions reserves the right to refuse to embark a Guest who does not produce such evidence.

10.         Travel Agent Bookings

10.1    Heritage Expeditions acknowledges that you may use a travel agent to book your arrangements with Heritage Expeditions and we shall not be liable for any representations made by the travel agent.  

10.2    You understand and acknowledge that it is your responsibility to read, understand, and accept our Terms and Conditions at the time of providing your Booking Form and deposit.  Any reservation made with Heritage Expeditions either directly, or through a travel agent, constitutes a binding agreement signifying your acceptance of, and your agreement to, follow and be bound by these Terms and Conditions.  It is the responsibility of the Guest to complete the Booking Form and confidential Medical Form accurately.  

10.3    Any flights or pre/post land arrangements not booked through Heritage Expeditions, or any of its authorised agents, do not form a part of this agreement and are subject to their own terms and conditions to which Heritage Expeditions is not party.  Your travel agent will have their own booking conditions (in addition to ours) which do not form a part of your Travel Contract with Heritage Expeditions.

11.         Acceptance of Risk

11.1    You acknowledge that the nature of the Expedition may be adventurous and participation involves a degree of personal risk.  You may be visiting places where the political, cultural and geographical attributes present dangers and physical challenges.

11.2    You acknowledge that you are choosing to travel at a time where you may be exposed to the COVID-19 virus.  We will take all reasonable steps to ensure your safety and may require you to follow additional safety protocols on your Expedition.

11.3    We use information from government foreign departments and reports from our own contacts in assessing whether the itinerary should operate.  However, it is also your own responsibility to acquaint yourself with all relevant travel information, including applicable health risks and the nature of your itinerary.  You acknowledge that your decision to travel is made in light of consideration of this information and you accept that you are aware of the personal risks attendant upon such travel.  To the fullest extent permitted by law, we accept no liability in relation to these additional risks.

11.4    At any port or place we may refuse to embark or may disembark any guests who, in the opinion of the Vessel's authorised personnel, might be excluded from landing at further destinations by local authorities or who may be suffering from any contagious or infectious disease, or whose presence may be detrimental to the  wellbeing of other guests or crew.

11.5    In cases of quarantine of the Vessel, or individual guests (guests may be required to remain in their cabin or as instructed by authorised personnel on board if they or any other occupant of the accommodation presents any symptoms or may be considered to put other guests at risk) we will not be liable for expenses thus caused and in such cases as above there will be no entitlement to any refund or compensation and we will have no liability for costs incurred as a result.

12.         Fitness to Travel

12.1    In order to ensure that the Carrier is able to carry guests safely and in accordance with applicable safety requirements established by international, or national law or in order to meet safety requirements established by competent authorities including the Vessel's flag state, you warrant that you are fit to travel by sea and that your conduct or condition will not impair the safety of the Vessel or inconvenience the other guests.

12.2    We reserve the right to require any guest to produce medical evidence of fitness to travel in order to assess whether that guest can be carried safely in accordance with applicable international or national law. If we consider it necessary, we are entitled to administer a health questionnaire prior to boarding.

13.         Luggage

13.1    The Athens Convention limits the Carriers' liability for death or personal injury or loss or damage to luggage and makes special provision for valuables.  It is presumed that luggage has been delivered to you undamaged unless written notice is given by us and/or the performing Carrier.

(a)         in the case of apparent damage, before or at the time of disembarkation or redelivery; or

(b)         in the case of damage which is not apparent or of loss, within 15 days from the date of disembarkation or redelivery or from the time when such redelivery should have taken place.

13.2    Damages for cabin luggage payable by the Carrier are limited up to the Athens Convention limit.  Limits shall be reduced in proportion to any contributory negligence by the  Guest and by the maximum deductible specified in Article 8(4) of the Athens Convention.

13.3    In so far as we may be liable to a Guest in respect of claims arising out of carriage by sea, we shall be entitled to all the rights, defences, immunities and limitations available, respectively, to the actual carrier and under the relevant Conventions and nothing in these Terms and Conditions shall be deemed as a surrender thereof.  To the extent that any provision in these Terms and Conditions is made null and void by the Athens Convention or any legislation compulsorily applicable or is otherwise unenforceable, it shall be void to that extent but not further.

14.         Liability

14.1    To the maximum extent permitted by law we exclude all liability whatsoever to you or any other person (whether in contract, tort or otherwise) for any loss (whether direct, indirect, consequential) including death or personal injury or damage of any kind that may be suffered as a result of any act or omission whether negligent or otherwise by or on behalf of us in connection with the Expedition or any other matter or thing relating to these Terms and Conditions except to the extent that such loss or damage is incurred as a direct result of our fraud or wilful misconduct.

14.2    No undertaking, guarantee or warranty is given or shall be implied as to the seaworthiness, fitness or condition of the Vessel.

14.3    Limitation of Liability: Where the law implies a warranty into these Terms and Conditions which may not lawfully be excluded, our liability for breach of such a warranty will be limited to either supplying the services again or payment of the cost of having the services supplied again.

14.4    Indemnity: You indemnify the Carrier (and all of our subsidiaries, officers, employees, contractors and agents) against all losses, claims actions, proceedings, damages, costs and expenses (including legal fees) arising from any claim by a third party arising directly or indirectly out of or in connection with:

(a)         your participation in any Expedition organised with or in connection with Heritage Expeditions; and

(b)         any breach by you of:

(i)           these Terms and Conditions; or

(ii)         any additional terms applicable to providing any services that are part of the Expedition, except to the extent that such loss or damage is incurred as a direct result of our fraud or wilful misconduct.

15.         Substitute Vessel

15.1    We reserve the right to substitute another vessel for the scheduled Vessel whether owned or operated by Heritage Expeditions or not.  Any part of the travel arrangements and the Expedition is subject to cancellation, delay, modification, or island/mainland visit cancellation for any reason, including medical disembarkation of crew or guests or any other circumstances beyond our or our suppliers' control.  You therefore acknowledge and agree that the scheduled itinerary for the voyage and the announced departure and arrival times are not guaranteed and we shall not be liable to guests for any damages or other claims in the event of any delay, changes in itinerary or inability to perform services by reason of any event or events beyond our or our suppliers' control.

16.         Third Party Suppliers

16.1    Although we take all reasonable steps to select reputable Third Party Suppliers, we cannot be responsible for their acts or omissions.  Any services provided by Third Party Suppliers may be subject to the terms and conditions imposed by these Third Party Suppliers and you may be required to sign additional terms and conditions with them.  These may limit or exclude the liability of the Third Party Supplier.  You acknowledge that Third Party Suppliers operate in compliance with the applicable laws of the countries in which they operate and we do not warrant that any Third Party Supplier is in compliance with the laws of your country of residence or any other jurisdiction.

16.2         We are not responsible for the acts and omissions, whether negligent or otherwise, of these Third Party Suppliers.  Any disputes between you and any third party, are to be resolved solely between you and that party.

17.         Complaints

17.1    If there is a problem during your Expedition, you must report it on board immediately or to the relevant airline, ground handler, hotelier or other supplier, so that prompt efforts can be made to resolve the problem.  In the unlikely event that a problem cannot be resolved at the time and you wish to complain, you must send us full written details within 28 days of your return.

17.2    Failure to take either or both of these steps may prejudice our ability to resolve your problem and/or investigate it fully and this may affect your rights under this Travel Contract.

18.         General

18.1    No Variation: No variation of the terms of these Terms and Conditions shall be effective unless it is confirmed in writing by Heritage Expeditions.

18.2    No Waiver: The grant of any indulgence, extension of time or relaxation of any provision by Heritage Expeditions under this Agreement shall not constitute a waiver of any right by us or prevent or adversely affect the exercise by us of any existing or future right.

18.3    Brochure: where a brochure contains particulars of our Terms and Conditions or policies about reservations, bookings, cancellations, refunds of fares and itineraries for the voyage, then it forms part of these Terms and Conditions and if there is any inconsistency, these Terms and Conditions shall prevail.

18.4    Law and Jurisdiction: These Terms and Conditions are governed by New Zealand law and the Guest agrees that any claims or disputes between the Guest and Heritage Expeditions in connection with these Terms and Conditions shall be commenced, filed and litigated before a court of proper jurisdiction in New Zealand.

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