Terms & conditions
Terms and Conditions of South America Tours Pty Ltd
IMPORTANT: Your South America Tours Booking is a legally binding contract and is subject to these booking conditions. You should read them carefully.
PLEASE NOTE: South America Tours is a travel agent and our primary obligation is to arrange your travel itinerary with travel operators and suppliers using reasonable care and skill. Subject to using reasonable care and skill in selecting your travel operators and suppliers we cannot control the financial stability of those suppliers and operators. You should take out comprehensive travel insurance including insolvency cover.
In this contract:
“the client” or “you/your” is referring to the lead-named person on the confirmation invoice (who must be at least 18 years old at the time of booking) and all persons on whose behalf a booking is made. “we/us/our” is referring to South America Tours Pty Ltd ACN 169 920 576. “Land Arrangements” refer to all accommodation, transfers, tours, included meals and any other arrangements made by us on the client’s behalf for their booking.
1.1 The booking contract between you and us comes into existence at such time as the final quoted itinerary and the confirmation invoice showing the “final quotation price”, is sent by us to you, you confirm your booking by paying the deposit stated in that invoice within the stated time, and we accept your booking in writing. You and us will have agreed on the final quotation price, checked your names are correct as per your passport on any flights booked and we will then have provided you with the final quoted itinerary as described in either our brochure/web site or your custom made itinerary.
1.2 If you make a booking on behalf of other people as well as yourself, you represent, and we accept that you have the authority of each of those other people to enter into this contract on their behalf and that you and they have agreed to be jointly and severally liable to us. In any event, you accept personal liability for the acceptance, and/or compliance, of each of those other people with this contract.
1.3 If we are unable to accept your booking, we will contact you to discuss alternative travel arrangements. If alternative travel arrangements cannot be agreed, then we will refund all amounts paid by you.
2.1 As stated in Cl1.1 above for you to make a booking, we require you to pay a deposit, accept the terms and conditions in this contract, and complete all passport and passenger details correctly. Standard Deposit amounts are 100% of the cost for any flights and 30% of the cost of all Land / Cruise Arrangements. If there is a specific amount required in addition to these standard deposit amounts, your South America Tours Pty Ltd sales contact will notify you at the time of booking.
2.2 Once your Deposit has been received, we will confirm all services in your itinerary. To be clear, we will not guarantee the availability of any services until all deposit amounts have been received. The acceptance by us of payment of a deposit does not represent an acceptance of booking. A booking will be deemed to have been accepted once we have confirmed acceptance in writing.
3.1 The Final Quotation Price is valid for 3 days and upon receipt by us of the required Deposit within that period are not subject to any currency surcharges.
3.2 Flight prices and currencies change regularly and the only way to guarantee the final quotation price is by full payment of any flights and deposit of your land / cruise arrangements as agreed by your consultant. If you have made a part deposit on a booking e.g. cruise then are deciding further arrangements at a later date, you will be re quoted on the unconfirmed services when you are ready to go ahead.
3.3 Prices on our website, quotations and brochures, are generally based on foreign currencies and exchange rates at on the day or the time of creation and printing and may not represent the final quotation price. Fuel surcharges are decided by tour, transport and cruise operators based on the price of oil and if any surcharge is applied, we will pass this cost onto you. Additionally, if there are unforeseen increases in airfares or other transportation costs, increases in local operator costs, taxes, or if government action should result in price increases, then these costs will be passed over to you. You agree to pay to us these additional surcharges and costs.
Payment due dates and failure to pay
4.1 The last date for payment by you to us of the balance of the cost of your booking (final quotation price) will be visible as the Balance Due date on your invoice usually 95 days prior to the start date of your itinerary. Depending on the operator of certain cruises then full payment is required 125 days prior. We will notify you in writing of the last date for payment after we have confirmed acceptance of your booking.
4.2 If your final payment is not received by the last date for payment, we reserve the right to treat your booking as cancelled. If your booking is cancelled in this manner, you agree that you will not be entitled to any refund whatsoever, including any deposit paid by you. That is, all payments made by you to us will be retained by us as payment for time, work and expense applied to your booking.
4.3 If you have made a booking within the Balance Due period, then full payment of the final quotation price by you to us is required at the time of booking.
5.1 We are not responsible for incorrect passenger details for flights and other services, including the Land / Cruise Arrangements, which can be costly to change. You must check all of your documents thoroughly and advise us as soon as possible if there is any discrepancy. We will try our best to correct any details without cost to you however airlines and other operators used may have change / cancellation fees that we will have to pass on.
5.2 If you have booked any part of your itinerary with a company other than us, any changes to your overall services must be advised to your South America Tours Pty Ltd sales contact immediately. We are not responsible for any issues that may arise when you have booked other services with a company other than us.
6.1 Once your entire travel services, including all Land/Flights/Cruise Arrangements, are confirmed, your finalised itinerary and any necessary and available vouchers will be sent to you by email and/or post.
Refunds of Deposits
7.1 Deposits are non-refundable once your booking is accepted by us, but in some cases, at our discretion, deposits may be transferable to another South America Tours Pty Ltd booking.
Cancellations by You
8.1 If you cancel your booking (includes any person named in the booking) for any reason, we may charge a cancellation fee to you, and you will pay the cancellation fee to us to be calculated as follows:
(a) If cancelled before final payment date: loss of deposit
(b) If cancelled after final payment date: 100% of the total booking cost
8.2 If you cancel prior to departure, we will consider, at our complete and unfettered discretion, allowing you to transfer any available funds paid by you, to another South America Tours Pty Ltd itinerary that you choose. Name changes are not permitted unless we have given consent for you to do so and any name change must be requested in writing prior to the last date for payment (see Clause 4). We strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance from the date your deposit has been paid to us in order to cover any potential losses or cancellation fees. See Clause 18 below about your travel insurance responsabilities when booking with us.
Changes by You
9.1 Any changes requested by you after booking acceptance by us for air-tickets, cruise or land arrangements will incur of an administration fee of AUD $110 per traveler and may change the final quotation price, including fees and/or fare increases and any such changes are at our discretion and subject to availability and payment by you of any increased costs. All client names and passport details must be provided to us at the time of the booking, and if the details provided to us are incorrect, you will be liable for any cost resulting from changing your details, including any fees associated with re- booking.
Cancellation by South America Tours Pty Ltd or Suppliers
10.1 On rare occasions, and due to reasons beyond our control, our operators may decide to cancel a service that you have purchased as part of your travel arrangements. In this circumstance we will do our best to find you a suitable replacement tour or service. If you accept the replacement service, then your booking cost will be adjusted, and payment made by you or a credit provided by us – subject to Clause 10.5. Note that with some land arrangements, flights and cruises, refunds depend on the particular rules of the airfare purchased or operator terms and conditions, and in the event of cancellation these costs may be charged in addition to the above terms.
10.2 We reserve the right to change or cancel your booking because of operating requirements or circumstances beyond our control. Should we need to do this we will give you as much notice as we can and where available offer you comparable alternative arrangements.
10.3 In our complete discretion, we may cancel any tour or service, for which there are not enough reservations/bookings (in particular for cruises/treks).
10.4 If we cancel due to a force majeure such as natural disasters; civil strife, war, adverse weather conditions, Acts of God, terrorist activity, closure of ports or airports, riots or similar then those monies paid by you can be transferred to an alternative booking made for you by us. Please ensure you have adequate insurance to cover this should it occur. Please also refer to clause 15.
10.5 We do not accept any responsibility for any loss suffered by you, either directly or indirectly, as a result of an insolvency event by any travel supplier. You will be responsible for all rebooking costs associated with such an event. If such an event occurs and you cancel your booking, then Clause 8 applies. We strongly recommend that your travel insurance cover supplier/operator insolvency.
10.6 We do not accept any responsibility for any costs to travel arrangements you have made outside your final quoted itinerary with us should we change or cancel your booking as above. We strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance from the date your deposit has been paid to us in order to cover any potential losses or cancellation fees. Also See Clause 18.
11.1 We will arrange a type of accommodation (Land arrangements or Cruise Arrangements) as close as reasonably possible to the quoted accommodation on your itinerary, subject to the following:
• We reserve the right to change your quoted accommodation to accommodation stated in our itineraries on our website if required (see below “changes of itinerary”).
• Single rooms are normally available at an extra cost. However, if you so wish on certain parts of your itinerary, it may be possible for you to share a room (in particular for cruises/treks).
• Accommodation in some countries will be of a lower standard than that of comparable accommodation found in your country of residence.
Changes of Itinerary
12.1 While we will endeavour to operate all itineraries as advertised or quoted, however, reasonable changes in your itinerary may be made by us or any tour operator where it is deemed necessary or advisable by us. If a major change in your itinerary is due to a force majeure, or unforeseen circumstances, no compensation is payable by us to you. Some changes to your itinerary may occur when you are on your tour as a result of unforeseen circumstances or local situations and you accept that any direct or indirect cost incurred by you as a result will be your responsibility. We will endeavour to ensure that any changes made to alter your itinerary will be made with your best interests in mind.
All payments from you to us may be made by the following methods:
13.1 Direct Deposit methods If you choose this preferred method of payment we require from you a confirmation by email of your deposit paid to us. We require this confirmation in order to allow us to issue any urgent services, such as flights, on your booking. Direct Deposit Details will be on your invoice
13.2 Credit card We operate a Secure Payment gateway that will accept Credit Card payment for payment of the final quotation price by you to us. We work with a third party PCI DSS compliant payment solution which is certified with all major credit cards
14.1 We are part of Australia Federation of Travel Agents (Accreditation Number 12675) and proud members of ATAS (Accreditation Number 12406), which is indicative of our strong financial position. ATAS participants are vetted annually against 8 selection criteria including business compliance, commercial safeguards, workforce development, dispute resolution and complaints handling processes and more information can be found on the ATAS website.
Acceptance of risk
15.1 You accept that all travel has risks involved and that you travel to a destination at your own risk. You must perform your own due diligence in respect to making your own choices regarding destinations, including reviewing all travel advisories.
15.2 You acknowledge that the nature of some of our itineraries, bookings and tours can be adventurous and may involve a significant amount of personal risk. You hereby assume all such risk for all itineraries, bookings and tours, and release us from all losses, costs, damages, expenses, payments, claims or actions arising from illness, injury, disease, loss or damage to property, discomfort and inconvenience or death resulting from these inherent risks. To be clear, you agree that we will not be liable to you for any losses, costs, damages, expenses, payments, claims or actions suffered or incurred by you in relation to all itineraries, bookings and tours that you take. It is a condition of our bookings as in point 18.1 below that you must have adequate travel insurance to cover you should you have any problems while away.
16.1 There will be no discounts or monies refunded to you by us for missed or unused services, bookings or tours, including your voluntary or involuntary termination/departure from a tour including as a result of any sickness, death of a family member of yours etc, late arrival on the tour, or premature departure either voluntarily or involuntarily, force majeure such as natural disasters; civil strife, war, adverse weather conditions, Acts of God, terrorist activity, closure of ports or airports, riots or similar.
17.1 You understand and acknowledge that the nature of this type of travel and tours requires considerable flexibility, and therefore you should allow for reasonable changes to be made by us to the tour. It is understood that the route, schedules, itineraries, amenities and mode of transport in the tour may be subject to alteration without prior notice to you as a result of local circumstances or events, which may include sickness or mechanical breakdown, flight cancellations, strikes, events emanating from political disputes, entry or border difficulties, extreme weather and other unpredictable or unforeseeable circumstances or any other reason whatsoever.
18.1 We strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance from the date your deposit has been paid to us in order to cover any potential losses or cancellation fees. Note that we do not accept any responsibility for the cover provided by your travel insurance.
18.2 Travel insurance cover should be taken out not only against normal travel risks (including supplier insolvency risks) , but also against additional risks appropriate to the destination country/ies in your tour. Local road transport insurance may be inadequate, so you should check that your travel insurance cover includes accidents happening whilst you are a passenger in a vehicle. In regard to expedition cruising, travel insurance must also cover ‘evacuation’ and ‘repatriation’.
18.3 We advise that you also check that any valuable optical equipment that you may take with you on your tour is covered either in your travel insurance policy or your home contents insurance policy.
18.4 You acknowledge that your travel insurance provider may include policy or general exclusions, which means your policy may not provide cover for particular events (please read your PDS). Such events excluded from a general policy are also outside the scope of our terms and conditions and you agree that we will not be liable to you for losses arising from any such events. To be clear, we cannot approve the travel insurance cover you have bought, and we are not responsible if your travel insurance cover is inadequate to meet your requirements.
18.5 South America Tours Pty Ltd will assist with documentation required for any insurance claim however if the insurance has not been taken out with South America Tours Pty Ltd we will charge a Australian Dollars $250 admin fee. This fee will be added to your insurance claim.
Passport, Visa and Health Requirements
19.1 You must carry a valid passport and have obtained all the appropriate visas, permits, vaccinations and certificates for the country/ies in which you will visit during your tour. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of the correct visas, permits, vaccinations and certificates for your tour. We are not responsible if you are refused entry to a country because you lack the correct passport, visa or other travel documentation. Your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond the duration of the tour (i.e. the day you return to your home destination). Please visit http://smarttraveller.gov.au/ or your similar local country information site for more information
Limitations on our liability
20.1 We want you to enjoy a perfect tour with us. We shall do our best to make your tour special for you. Nonetheless, we must make clear the limitations in law. We are not liable to you for:
• any event which happens before you board your transport to begin your tour’s itinerary organised by us;
• any problem arising from your failure to reach the tour’s Meeting Point on time, for whatever reason (though we would do our best to help you in any way we reasonably could);
• the numbers or quality of wildlife or weather you experience while on our tour;
• any aspect of goods or services you buy or accept other than those arranged by us;
• medical problems or physical difficulties, even if you have told us about them in advance;
• medical emergencies;
• your own carelessness or negligence in any aspect of your behaviour whilst with us;
• laws, culture and standards of service and behaviour in any country/ies you may visit;
• changes we reasonably make to an itinerary or to accommodation or any other aspect of the management of your tour;
• Problems or issues which we could have resolved whilst you were on a tour, but which you only raised after your return from the tour.
• Insolvency events of travel suppliers and operators used for your itinerary, furthermore:
• We, our travel suppliers and you are subject to international conventions, when they apply. This may limit the amount of a claim you may be make, against us or anyone else.
• The services and features included in your tour are those specified in our website, brochures and itinerary. If you choose to buy other goods or services during your tour, those are not part of the package we provide. Accordingly, we are not liable to you for any happening in connection with those goods or services.
21.1 We shall try our utmost to provide you with a happy and fulfilling tour, but if we fail in any way, do please raise any issue with us immediately. If your complaint is not dealt with by us to your satisfaction at the time of reporting it to the tour leader(s), then you should give us full details in writing, immediately on your return. We cannot respond to verbal complaints.
22.1 This contract shall be interpreted in accordance with the laws of Australia and the state of NSW. Any dispute arising in connection with this contract shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the NSW courts.
Assignment and subcontracting
23.1 You must not assign, subcontract or otherwise transfer any right or liability under this contract without our prior written consent.
24.1 If any provision of this contract is held to be invalid or unenforceable in any way the remaining provisions will not be affected, and this contract will be construed so as to most nearly give effect to the intentions of the parties at the time it was executed.
25.1 This contract can only be varied or amended in writing.
Third parties 26.1 This contract confers rights only upon a person expressed to be a party.
27.1 On completion of your booking South America Tours Pty Ltd will maintain your details on its newsletter and survey mailing lists. Your subscription can be cancelled at any stage at your request.