1. General

The following booking conditions form the basis of your contract with Eyewitness Journeys Ltd trading as “Political Tours”.

1.1 These booking conditions only apply to tour 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 “booking”, “contract”, “tour” or “arrangements” mean such tour arrangements unless otherwise stated.

1.2 In these booking conditions, “you” and “your” means all persons named on the booking form (including anyone who is added or substituted at a later date) or any of them as the context requires. “We”, “us” and “our” means Political Tours Limited.

2. Making your booking

All booking forms must be signed by the first named person on the booking (“party leader”).

2.1 The 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 signing the booking form, the party leader confirms that he/she is so authorised and has read and agreed to the booking conditions.

2.1.1 The party leader is responsible for making all payments due to us.

2.1.2 The party leader must be at least 18 when the booking is made.

2.2 The completed signed booking form must then be sent to us together with the payments referred to in clause 3 below.

2.3 Subject to the availability of your chosen arrangements, we will confirm your tour by issuing a booking confirmation which will be sent to the party leader.

2.3.1 We regret we cannot accept any liability if we are not notified of any inaccuracies.

3. Payment

In order to confirm your chosen tour, a deposit of £350.00 per person (or full payment if booking within 10 weeks of departure) must be paid at the time of booking.

3.1 On occasions, a higher deposit may be payable – we will advise you where this is the case.

3.1.1 Payment may be paid by cheque through the post, by transfer to our bank account.  3.1.2 We will be unable to confirm your booking until we receive this payment and your signed booking form. Once your booking is confirmed, deposits can only be refunded as set out in these booking conditions.

3.2 Approximately 11 weeks prior to departure, we will send you a balance-due invoice which will show any surcharge which may have become applicable (see clause 5).

3.2.1 The balance of the tour cost must be received by us at least 10 weeks prior to departure. 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 retain your deposit.

4. Your contract

A binding contract between us comes into existence when we despatch our confirmation to the party leader. We both agree that English law will apply to your contract and to any dispute, claim or other matter of any description which arises between us. We both also agree that any Court proceedings must be dealt with by the Courts of England and Wales only.

5. The cost of your tour

The price of your chosen tour will be confirmed at the time of booking including the exchange rate(s) which have been used to calculate the price.

5.1 Once the price of your chosen tour has been confirmed at the time of booking, we will only change it in the following circumstances:
a) in the event of an applicable surcharge;
b) in the event of any change in our transportation costs; and/or
c) for payable dues, taxes for services such as embarkation or disembarkation fees at port.

5.2 If the amount of any increase in our costs exceeds 2% of the total cost of your tour (excluding any amendment charges) will we levy a surcharge. Should the price of your holiday go down due to the changes mentioned above, by more than 2% of your holiday cost, then any refund due will be paid to you. However, please note that travel arrangements are not always purchased in local currency and some apparent changes have no impact on the price of your travel due to contractual and other protection in place.

5.2.1 If any surcharge is greater than 10% of the cost of your tour (excluding any amendment charges), you will be entitled to cancel your booking and receive a full refund of all monies you have paid to us (except for any amendment charges) or alternatively purchase another tour from us as referred to in clause 10 “Changes and Cancellations by us”.

5.3 In the event of an applicable surcharge we will advise you in advance of your travel and the options available to you.

6. Special requests and medical conditions / disabilities

If you have any special requests, you must advise us at the time of booking.

6.1 Although we will endeavour to pass any reasonable requests on to the relevant supplier, we regret we cannot guarantee any request will be met.

6.2 If you or any member of your party have any medical condition or disability which may affect your tour or have any special requirements as a result of any medical condition or disability (including any which affect the booking process), please tell us before you proceed with your booking so that we can assist you in considering the suitability of the arrangements and/or making the booking. You must also promptly advise us if any medical condition or disability which may affect your tour develops after your booking has been confirmed.

6.2.1 In any event, you must give us full details in writing of any medical conditions at the time of booking and if there is any change in the condition or disability occurs you must notify us immediately. Failure to do so may result in us having to cancel your tour, and we will be entitled to treat this as a cancellation by you which will be subject to the charges as set out in section 8.

7. Changes by you

Should you wish to make any changes to your confirmed tour, 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.

7.1 For all changes, an amendment fee of £50 per person will be payable together with any costs incurred by ourselves and any costs or charges incurred or imposed by any of our suppliers.

7.2 Transferring your booking to a different tour 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 tour price where, for example, the basis on which the price of the original tour was calculated has changed.

7.3 If you are prevented from travelling, you may transfer your individual booking to someone else (introduced by you) providing we are notified not less than 2 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 £50 must be paid before the transfer can be effected. Any overdue balance payment must also be received.

8. Cancellation by you

Should you need to cancel your tour once it has been confirmed, the party leader must immediately notify us in writing.

Notice of your cancellation will only be effective when it is received in writing by us at our offices.

8.1 In the event of cancellation, the following cancellation charges will be payable:

Period before departure within which written notification of cancellation is received by usCancellation charge per person cancelling
Up to 75 days
74 to 56 days
55 to 32 days
31 days or less

Where the cancellation charge is shown as a percentage, this is calculated on the basis of the total cost payable per person cancelling excluding amendment charges. Any insurance premiums paid by you and amendment charges are not refundable in the event of cancellation

9. Insurance

Appropriate and adequate travel insurance is essential and is a condition of your contract with us. Your policy must include comprehensive medical cover i.e. the costs of evacuation and repatriation from the remote destinations included in your tour in the event of illness or accident in addition to other medical requirements. We cannot allow you to travel without this. You must therefore provide us with confirmation of the name of your insurance company, the policy number and the insurers’ emergency contact telephone number for use in a medical emergency no later than 8 weeks prior to the tour departure. If you fail to do so, we are entitled to cancel your booking and apply the cancellation charges shown in clause 8.

9.1 It is your responsibility to ensure that the insurance cover you purchase is suitable and adequate for your particular needs, as we will not check policies for suitability.

9.2 You must also ensure that the policy will protect you in the event that you travel to a country against the advice of the Foreign Office (see clause 12).

10. Changes and cancellation by us

Occasionally, we have to make changes to tour details both before and after bookings have been confirmed and may have to cancel confirmed bookings. Whilst we always endeavour to avoid changes and cancellations, we reserve the right to do so. Our tours usually require a minimum number of participants to enable us to operate them. If the minimum number of bookings required for a particular tour has not been received, we are entitled to cancel it. We will notify you of cancellation for this reason at least 8 weeks prior to departure.

10.1 Cancellation for lack of numbers is at our discretion and occasionally we may decide to operate a tour even though the minimum number has not been reached.

10.1.1 We will not be responsible for any such costs in the event that we cancel for lack of numbers. You are therefore recommended to book your flights less than 8 weeks prior to departure or to book flights which can be cancelled or changed on payment of a fee which is acceptable to you.

10.2 Occasionally, we have to make a “significant change”. A significant change is a change made before departure which we can reasonably expect to have a major adverse effect on your tour after taking account of the nature of the itineraries we offer. Please bear in mind that our tours are non-conventional and our programme will inevitably be subject to change depending on conditions on the ground at the time of your visit, the availability of the officials, analysts, speakers and other persons to whom we cannot guarantee access and other factors outside our control.

10.3 If we have to make a significant change or cancellation, we will endeavour to tell you as soon as possible. Subject to availability and the necessary time allowance, we will endeavour to offer you the choice of the following options:-

(a) In the case of a significant change, acceptance of the changed arrangements; or
(b) The purchase of an alternative tour from us, of a similar standard to that originally booked. If the alternative tour is less expensive, we will refund the difference but if it is more expensive, we will ask you to pay the extra cost.
(c) Where an insufficient number of participants have booked your tour, it may be possible for us to rearrange this at a higher cost rather than cancelling. We will advise you if this is an option at the time we notify you of the lack of minimum numbers. All participants will need to agree to pay the higher price in this situation; or
(d) Cancellation or acceptance of the cancellation in which case you will receive a full and quick refund of all monies you have paid to us.

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

11. Force Majeure

Except where otherwise expressly stated in these booking conditions, we regret we cannot accept liability where our obligations under our contract with you are 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 our suppliers could not, even with all due care, foresee or avoid. Events include but are not limited to, whether actual or threatened, acts of God, illness, disease, food poisoning, war, riot, civil strife, insurrection or revolt criminal or terrorist activity, industrial dispute, strikes, natural or nuclear disaster, failure of aircraft or other transportation, adverse weather conditions, fire and all similar events outside our control.

12. Foreign Office advice and hazards inherent in our tours

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office publishes regularly updated travel information on its website www.fco.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo which you are recommended to consult before booking and in good time before departure. Where it considers it appropriate to do so, the FCO may advise against all travel or all but essential travel to particular countries or parts of particular countries. Similarly, the FCO may withdraw any such previously given advice. Where the FCO issues such advice, we may as a result cancel your tour or make changes so as to avoid the area concerned (see clause 10). Alternatively, we may ask you to sign a form confirming you wish to proceed with the tour notwithstanding the FCO advice. It is in the nature of the itineraries we offer that the FCO may have issued such advice in relation to the country or parts of the country we are intending to visit prior to confirmation of your booking. In this case, you will be asked to sign the above form before we confirm your booking.

13. Our Liability to you

We promise to ensure that the tour 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.

However; we will not be liable where any failure in the performance of the contract is due to: you; or a third party unconnected with the provision of the travel arrangements and where the failure is unforeseeable or unavoidable; or unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all due care had been exercised; or an event which we or our suppliers, even with all due care, could not foresee or forestall.

13.1 Our liability, except in cases involving death, injury or illness, shall be limited to a maximum of £1000 per person affected. Our liability will also be limited in accordance with and/or in an identical manner to:

(a) The contractual terms of the companies that provides the transportation for your travel arrangements. These terms are incorporated into this contract; and
(b) Any relevant international convention, for example the Montreal Convention in respect of travel by air, the Athens Convention in respect of travel by sea, the Berne Convention in respect of travel by rail and the Paris Convention in respect of the provision of accommodation, which limit the amount of compensation that you can claim for death, injury, delay to passengers and loss, damage and delay to luggage. We are to be regarded as having all benefit of any limitation of compensation contained in these or any conventions.

13.2 You can ask for copies of the transport companies’ contractual terms, or the international conventions, from our offices (Address & Telephone).

13.3 The promises we give to you regarding the services we have agreed to provide or arrange as part of the contract, and the laws and regulations of the country in which your claim or complaint occurred, shall be used as the basis for ascertaining whether or not the services in question have been properly provided. If the services in question which caused the claim or complaint complied with the local laws and regulations applicable to those services at that time, the services shall be treated as having been properly provided.

14. Complaints and problems

In the unlikely event that you have any reason to complain or experience any problems with your tour whilst away, you must immediately inform our tour manager and the supplier of the service(s) in question. Any verbal notification must be put in writing and given to our tour manager and the supplier as soon as possible. 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 14 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.

15. Behaviour and damage

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 behave 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 tour 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.

16. Passports, visas and health requirements

The passport and visa requirements applicable to British citizens holding a British passport will be provided at the time of booking. Requirements may change and you must check the up to date position in good time before departure. If you are not a British citizen or hold a non-British passport, you must check passport and visa requirements with the embassy or consulate of the country to or through which you are intending to travel.

Details of any compulsory health requirements applicable to British citizens for your tour will also be provided at the time of booking. 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.nathnac.org Information on health is contained in the Department of Health leaflet T7 (Health Advice for Travellers) available from the Department of Health by telephone on 0870 1555455 or via its website www.dh.gov.uk and from most Post Offices. For tours in the EU / EEA you should obtain an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) prior to departure from the Department of Health (see leaflet T7 and the website www.dh.gov.uk). An EHIC is not, however, an alternative to travel insurance. Health requirements and recommendations may change and you must check the up to date position in good time before departure.

You must ensure you 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 being imposed on us or costs being incurred, you will be responsible for reimbursing us accordingly.

Any changes to passport / visa or health requirements will be advised at balance of payment / invoice stage (i.e. eight weeks prior to departure) and again when we send your final travel documents. All information provided by us is by way of guidance. Please note that it is ultimately your responsibility to ensure that you have complied with all relevant passport, visa and health requirements.

17. Financial security

All payments made to us in connection with your tour will be protected by a scheme of insurance called the IPP London Passenger Protection Insurance. This arrangement means your money will be refunded to you in the unlikely event of our being unable to provide your tour due to our insolvency. As our tours consist of land arrangements only, you are responsible for making your own travel arrangements to or from the country we are visiting. Your travel arrangements do not form part of the Package tour that we are selling.

18. Delay

The arrangements we offer do not include flights or other forms of transport to and from the country we are visiting for your tour. 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. Depending on the circumstances, the airline, ferry, tunnel or rail operator concerned may be required to pay you compensation and/or refund the cost of your flight and/or provide you with accommodation and/or refreshments. We have no liability to make any such payments to you and you must pursue the transport provider concerned for any payment which may be due. You must ensure that your arrangements allow you plenty of time to join the start of the tour, as your transport does not form part of your Package tour with us, and we cannot accept liability in the event that you are unable to join the tour due to delay. Your contract for your transport arrangements with be directly with your chosen suppliers.

19. Brochure / website / advertising material accuracy

The information contained in our brochure, 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, information may subsequently change. You must therefore ensure you check all details of your chosen tour (including the price) with us at the time of booking.

20. Safety standards

Please note, it is the requirements and standards of the country in which the services which make up your tour are provided which apply to those services and not those of the UK. For the countries to which we travel, these requirements and standards may be likely to be lower than those applicable in the UK. In particular, standards of health and safety and hygiene are likely to be significantly below those which can be expected in the UK.