RING OF FIRE EXPEDITION #49 TO INDIA TO SEE THE ANNULAR ECLIPSE OF THE SUN DECEMBER 26, 2019
The 49th solar eclipse expedition of RING OF FIRE EXPEDITIONS will take place over the Christmas holidays in India in conjunction with the annular eclipse of the Sun. Join Paul D. Maley of the NASA Johnson Space Center Astronomical Society and Phoenix Astronomical Society for this exclusive Ring of Fire Expedition. The tour starts in Chennai, and ends in Coimbatore, India and tour members are advised to arrive at least one day before in order to minimize the chance of misconnecting due to a weather or mechanical event. A separate one way flight will have to be added in 2018 from Coimbatore to Chennai but the schedule and cost will not be known until some time in late 2018.
A typical weather satellite image in late December based on our last astronomical adventure there in 2016. Skies tend to be clear that time of year.
ITINERARY DECEMBER 19-27, 2019
|December 19, 2019 (Thursday) Day 1||Chennai|
Arrival Transfer Airport / Hotel
After collecting your luggage, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Rooms will be available after 2pm local time.
Early check-in is subject to availability. Note, most flights arrive near or after midnight so dinner is dependent on when you arrive. On arrival at Chennai International Airport (airport code is MAA) you will be met by our local representative who will transfer you to the hotel ITC Grand Chola Chennai for two nights on a full board basis. Normal check in time is 2:00pm; but since most flights arrive just before or after midnight December 19/20, you can check in after arrival. December 19/20 is a free day to recover from jet lag.
Accommodation: ITC Grand Chola Chennai (2 Nights, Full Board & 1 Night on Breakfast basis)
|December 20, 2019 (Friday) Day 2||Chennai|
Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be included at the hotel.
This ornate, palatial tribute to Southern India’s greatest empires – the Imperial Cholas – overlooks verdant foliage in the heart of Chennai. It embodies the highest standards in Indian hospitality balanced with elegant restraint in a prime property with a distinct personality. It is also part of the Marriott hotel network. (B,L,D)
Grand Chola Chennai Hotel
Chennai hotel room
|December 21, 2019 (Saturday) Day 3||Chennai|
Morning Mahabalipur Excursion & Afternoon City Tour
After breakfast, drive to Mahabalipura and take a slight diversion to visit the Theosophical Society. The Theosophical Society, founded in 1875, is a worldwide body whose primary goal is Universal Brotherhood without distinction based on the realization that life, and all its diverse forms, human and non-human, is indivisibly One. What makes this place unusual is the fact that the grounds of the property are famous for ghost-sightings and eerie experiences. The big old banyan tree along with the numberless house in the woods as well as local claims of people altogether conveys the spooky nature of this place. There have been several mysterious disappearances and instances of screaming which local people have reported about this haunted place in Chennai. There are other haunted locations in the city such as Besant Avenue, Blue Cross Road (suicide hot spot) and Demonote colony (one of the most feared places).
The haunted woods at the Theosophical Society, Chennai
Continue on to the ancient port city of Mahabalipuram, also known as Mamallapuram. Stop en route for lunch
at a seaside resort. Upon arrival in Mahabalipuram, you will visit its famous carved rock monuments, temples
and caves. You will also see the Shore Temple, built to honor Lord Shiva. Unlike many of the other temples
which were carved out of a single granite boulder, the Shore Temple was built with separate granite blocks.
The design of the Shore Temple is significant because it is the earliest known example of a stone-built
temple in South India.
Enjoy a half day tour of the city of Chennai, including the Victoria Art Gallery, which houses a rare collection
of sculptures depicting the story of the life of Buddha. You will also visit the Bronze Gallery, which contains
an exceptional collection of Chola bronzes that range from two inches to two feet tall, all of which are
perfectly modeled, sophisticated and dramatic. Next is a visit to the Chennai Museum, which was established
in 1857. It boasts India’s best collection of South Indian bronzes, both ancient and modern. The museum
also has galleries dedicated to geology, zoology, anthropology and botany.
Next you will visit Fort St. George, a 350-year-old fort with wide battlements. The fort is considered a reminder of the
British Empire and now houses the Secretariat and the Legislative Assembly. You will also tour the Fort St. George
Museum, which contains some fascinating items belonging to the early days of the East India Company and the colonial
period. It has displays of portraits and paintings of former governors of Chennai as well as of English royalty. You will
visit San Thome Cathedral Church, which was named after St. Thomas by the Portuguese. It is believed by some that
the remains of St. Thomas are enshrined in the church.
Your last stop will be Kapaleeswarar Temple, the largest temple in Chennai, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The
temple is a masterpiece of Dravidian architecture. Its magnificent 121-foot-high gopuram boasts intricate carvings of
tales from Hindu mythology. As you tour the temple, you will have an opportunity to mingle with devotees and observe
the various Hindu rituals being performed. (B,L,D)
|December 22, 2019 (Sunday) Day 4||Bangluru|
Chennai to Bengaluru
You will be met at your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight to Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore). Arrival and transfer in Bengaluru Airport to the Vivanta by Taj Hotel. After passing through customs and collecting your luggage, you will be met and transferred to the Vivanta by Taj Hotel.
Half-Day City Tour
Nehru Planetarium in Bangluru
Take a half day walking tour of the colourful city market including flower market, the ruins of Tipu sultan’s fort
(only walls are remaining), Bangalore Fort began in 1537 as a mud fort. The builder was Kempe Gowda I,
a vassal of the Vijaynagar Empire and the founder of Bangalore, now Bengaluru. Haider Ali in 1761 replaced
the mud fort with a stone fort. The army of the British East India Company, led by Lord Cornwallis on 21
March 1791 captured the fort in the siege of Bangalore during the Third Mysore War (1790–1792). At the
time the fort was a stronghold for Tipu Sultan. Today, the fort’s Delhi gate, on Krishnarajendra Road, and two
bastions are the primary remains of the fort. A marble plaque commemorates the spot where the British
breached the fort’s wall, leading to its capture. The old fort area also includes Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace, and
his armory. Time permitting we will also visit either the 16th century Venkataramana (Vishnu) temple, the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium and/or the Visvesvaraya Industrial & Technology Museum. The planetarium has an observatory featuring a Carl-Zeiss 6” refractor telescope on a Coude mount. The telescope is equipped with a tracking system that compensates for the rotation of the earth. CCD imaging and spectroscopy can also be carried out through this telescope. Students undergoing courses in Astronomy are introduced to observational astronomy and image analysis through this facility. The observatory is put to academic use during astronomical events such as eclipses and transits and also to study the rotation period of the sun using sunspots.
You will also visit the Mysore Arts and Crafts Center, colorful and bustling Bengaluru markets and the Bull Temple, which houses a fifteen-foot-high statue of Nandi, Lord Shiva’s bull, which was carved out of a single piece of granite. (B,L,D)
Accommodation: Vivanta by Taj (1 Night, Full Board basis)
Soak in the space of Vivanta by Taj MG Road in the center of Bengaluru’s entertainment areas. Each room features ergonomically designed mobile work desks with special task lighting and Aeron work chairs designed by Herman Miller. De-stress options such as surround sound home theater systems, a special Rest Easy menu and dual massage shower heads add luxury to your stay. Discover the most happening restaurants in M.G road,Bangalore which open to the lobby or the pool to create an enticing food zone offering the best in world cuisine. (B,L,D)
|December 23, 2019 (Monday) Day 5||Mysore|
Banglore To Mysore Drive
The famous 17 meter high statue in Sharavanabelagola.
Drive to Mysore via Belur and Halebid, take a diversion to see Gomateshwara statue located at
Sharavanabelagola. It is 57 foot monolith statue carved from a single piece of rock. It was built in around 981
AD and is one of the largest free standing statues of the world. One needs to climb almost 600 steps to get
on the top of the hill. Continue on to Mysore en route visiting Belur & Halebid. The Chennakesavara Temple
at Belur with its intricate sculptures is an outstanding example of medieval Indian art. Continue on to
Halebidu, to see the Hoysaleshwara Temple, covered with a succession of friezes, the tableaus of everyday
life in ancient times. After the sightseeing continue on to Mysore. On arrival in Mysore check-in at your hotel..
Fortune Park Hotel
Accommodation: Fortune Park Jaypee Palace (2 Nights, Full Board Basis)
Fortune JP Palace makes you feel the exuberance of this beautiful city with its palatial architecture, landscaped gardens, aesthetically done interiors and a magnificent view of the famous Chamundi Hills. (B,L,D)
|December 24, 2019 (Tuesday) Day 6||Mysore|
Mysore Sightseeing Tour
Morning visit to the famous Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary. It is the largest bird sanctuary in the Mandya state. Spread over 40 acres and comprises six islets on the banks of the cauvery river, it is
located 3 kms away from the historic town of Srirangapatnam. Roughly 170 birds have been recorded here. Of these the painted stork, Asian openbill stork, Common spoonbill, Wooly-necked stork, Black-headed ibis, Lesser whistling duck, Indian shag, Stork-billed kingfisher, Egret, Cormorant, Oriental darter and heron breed here regularly. During the months of January and February, more than 30 species of birds are found and the season of the sanctuary is from November to June. The islands are host to numerous small mammals including bonnet macaque, colonies of flying fox and common small mammals like common palm civet and Indian grey mongoose. The mugger crocodile is a common inhabitant of the riverine reed beds and it has the largest fresh water crocodile population in Karnataka. Boat tour of the Isles are available throughout the day and are the good way to watch birds, crocodiles, otters and bats.
Weird cattle egret at the Bird Sanctuary.
This afternoon you’ll tour Mysore, including a visit to City Palace, the former residence of the Wodeyar family. The palace’s architecture is a blend of Hindu and Muslim styles with elegant archways, colonnades, domes and turrets, which truly make it a sight worth seeing. You’ll also visit Chamundi Hill to view a statue of Nandi, Lord Shiva’s bull. The statue is a huge, monolithic image that is always garlanded with flowers. Later, stroll around the colorful and aromatic spice markets and take a trip to the beautiful and exquisitely illuminated Brindavan Gardens. The gardens cover a vast stretch of land and are filled with an intricately planned symphony of architecture, horticulture, engineering and aesthetics. The gardens are adorned with musical fountains that dance in gleeful rhythm to music.
Dome of the Sri Ramakrishna Vidyashala observatory is seen on the far right.
We plan to view (not visit) the Sri Ramakrishna Vidyashala School observatory. The school is a residential school for boys run by the Ramakrishna Mission and entrance is restricted. The students live in dormitory-style facilities each supervised by a warden, often a resident monk. The students have access to a library with nearly 15000 volumes, a 400-seat auditorium with motion picture projectors, a separate digital audiovisual theater, a computer laboratory. Vidyashala’s astronomical observatory is accessible to students of other Mysore schools. The observatory houses two reflecting telescopes, including a 14-inch (360 mm) Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain. (B,L,D)
|December 25, 2019 (Wednesday) Day 7||Coimbatore|
Mysore to Coimbatore by road
After breakfast depart for Coimbatore. Coimbatore is known for its various industries, engineering goods, textile mills, educational institutions, health care facilities, pleasant weather, friendly culture and hospitality. There is a significant minority of people of North and West Indian origin in Coimbatore which gives it a cosmopolitan outlook. The Tamil language spoken here is called Kongu Tamil. There are very friendly & courteous people in South India. Except for early summer it otherwise has a very pleasant climate throughout the year, similar to a resort town. It’s one of the upcoming information technology hubs with new initiatives from the State Govt. Coimbatore has the pride of having the world’s second tastiest water known as “Siruvani Water”. Coimbatore is also considered an orthodox city.
Coimbatore will be the base of operations for our eclipse activities. The town has a small astronomy club that tends to be active in public outreach.
Public outreach by the Coimbatore Astronomy Club.
On arrival in Coimbatore check in to the Taj Suraya Hotel.
Taj Surya Hotel in Coimbatore
We will have a briefing on the annular solar eclipse scheduled for tomorrow. Use this time to prepare your plan and equipment.
It will only take a small telescope such as a 3 or 4 inch aperture Schmidt-Cassegrain to take good images of the eclipse.
Accommodation: Vivanta by Taj Surya (2 Nights, Full Board Basis)
This is the new center of stylish living in Coimbatore. Step into the orbit of the lobby leaving behind a waterfall wall. Feel the warm light that emanates from glowing onyx walls. See the shimmering chandelier above a wonderful water body. Follow the shards of stone that fan out to signify the rays of the sun. Soak in the pleasure of this arrival zone, which sets the tone for guestrooms and banquet facilities that deliver the ultimate in urban relaxation. Take a step forward towards unforgettable experiences. An eclectic mix of new and urban. Rooms here redefine luxury. (B,L,D)
Inside a room at the Taj Surya Hotel
|December 26, 2019 (Thursday) Day 8||Coimbatore|
Eclipse of the Sun
A rare opportunity to watch Baily’s Beads can generally be had from the edges of the path of the annular eclipse. Here light from the Sun pokes through lunar valleys for an extended period of time.
Our hotel is located inside the eclipse path. Approximately 93% of the sun will be obscured by the Moon at central eclipse. You can elect to remain at the hotel and watch it in its entirety or travel with us out to either the northern or southern edge of the path. I will be coordinating a joint effort with my Indian colleagues from Jyotirvidya Parisanstha (JVP) which is the oldest amateur astronomical society in the country. I have already participated in two prior very successful science expeditions with them to record eclipses of stars by asteroids in 2015 and 2016, respectively. We will attempt to record Baily’s Beads from both the north and south edges of the path of annularity.
Paul D. Maley working with JVP astronomy club members training for an occultation of a star by an asteroid December 2016 at the JVP Observatory in Pune, India. Lynn Palmer photo.
The eclipse begins at 8:06am local time when the Moon first appears to touch the edge of the solar disc. Actual annularity will occur at 9:29am. The partial eclipse ends at 11:11am. As seen from the center of the eclipse path in this region about 3 minutes 14 seconds of annularity will be seen; from the hotel, which is about 10km from the center line (and about 40km from the south edge), about 3 minutes 2 seconds may be seen. However, from near the southern limit annularity will be much reduced while the Baily’s Beads phenomenon will be extensively prolonged. This phenomenon is part of our long term goal of recording Baily’s Beads from both edges of the solar eclipse path with the aim of improving knowledge of the solar diameter. We will video tape Baily’s Beads from inside the so-called “graze zone” where true annularity does not occur. At maximum, the Sun will be located some 35 degrees above the southeast horizon.
The ring (annulus) created by the Moon when it is farther away from Earth and thus, not able to completely block all of the Sun’s light.
Those who want to observe the eclipse can do so from the hotel. The rest, after an early breakfast will proceed to one of the eclipse edges and conduct observation from there.
Remote site eclipse bus will return following the eclipse to the hotel for lunch and to discuss the results of the eclipse effort.
Accommodation: Vivanta by Taj Surya (B,L,D)
|December 27, 2019 (Friday) Day 9||End of Tour|
After breakfast we will transfer from the hotel to the airport where your tour ends. Some of you may be able to fly out of Coimbatore directly while others may need to connect through Chennai. If the latter, you will be able to obtain an OPTIONAL COST flight to Chennai. Note that depending on the time of the Coimbatore to Chennai flight which could be extremely late, it is possible to secure a hotel room at the airport if necessary at additional cost. In 2017 there were 14 flights per day at convenient times. The flight specifics will likely not be known until mid 2019. (B)
An OPTIONAL COST extension tour to the Andaman Islands begins today. DETAILS OF THIS TOUR WILL BE ANNOUNCED IN 2018.
The program includes:
- Accommodation on twin sharing basis at the hotels mentioned above or similar with daily breakfast, lunch & dinner on fixed menu basis
- Christmas Eve dinner in Mysore
- All transfers and sightseeing by an Air-Conditioned Mini Coach including transfer of baggage by the same vehicle (1 piece per person)
- One time entrance fee to monuments
- Services of English speaking local guide during the sightseeing tours only
- Services of our representative at airport on arrival/departures
- All present applicable taxes
- Eclipse briefing
- Transport to/from eclipse site(s)
The program does not include:
- International airfare
- Internal airfare (supplement advised separately):there are 2 flights (Chennai to Bengaluru and possibly Coimbatore to Chennai depending on your outbound international flight) that will be quoted separately when that becomes available in 2018. It is estimated that this cost will be around $400. in economy class
- If your flight departs quite late on the last day from Chennai airport, cost of a day room if needed
- Meals other than mentioned in the itinerary.
- Any services during leisure time.
- Airport taxes
- Visa fees and processing (we recommend getting an online visa for single entry)
- Tipping/gratuities (range of tipping will be defined later)
- Necessary inoculations
- Items of personal nature such as visa fee, telephone, laundry, beverages. Any items not listed above.
$4125.*(cash discount price is $3929.) each with two persons sharing without internal air and international air
$5426.* (cash discount price is $5168.) for a single room without internal air and international air
These prices are based on a minimum of 10 persons traveling together.
*Based on paying by credit card
We highly recommend travel insurance for the following reasons. There have been unexpected health problems for either participants or family members of participants that has caused some to cancel just before departure. In addition work related problems, weather and airline mechanical issues that have caused unacceptable flight cancellations and missed days or connections.
DEPOSITS AND CANCELLATIONS
HOW TO PAY
All payments are in US Dollars and can be paid in the following ways:
The fastest and safest is by electronic check instead of using the mail to get a check to Future Travel. Go to https://houstonwebsolutions.formstack.com/forms/ach_authorization and it can be debited directly from your account IF YOU LIVE IN THE USA.
Alternately the price above is quoted as if you pay by credit card. Hence the cash discount is less as Future Travel is charged 5% more by the card companies. To pay by credit card go to https://houstonwebsolutions.formstack.com/forms/credit_card_authorization_form
The slowest method of payment is by US mail and by physical check. If you must go this route, send to Future Travel, 1085 Hercules, Houston TX 77058.
OUTSIDE THE USA you may pay by wire transfer which costs an additional $50 for the incoming wire fee. We can provide that information to you on request.
$1000 deposit due immediately with registration form
Balance due August 1, 2018
$750 penalty until August 1, 2018
100% penalty if canceled after August 1, 2018
Deposits and cancellation penalties are driven by the terms and conditions provided to us by our ground operator(s).
To sign up for this tour, first, click HERE to fill out the registration form. Send a form FOR EACH PERSON in your party.
Then send in payment by one of the methods outlined above under DEPOSITS AND CANCELLATIONS
If you need a roommate, we will endeavor to get one for you but it is in your best interest to find a companion or you may/may not have one. If this occurs you would have to pay the single supplement charges. Where we find a potential roommate it will be one of the same gender.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Your signature on our reservation form will signify your agreement with the following terms and conditions. These are the terms and conditions applicable to the Land Expeditions offered by Future Travel, Inc. a Texas corporation (“we”, “us” and “our”). The terms “client” “you” and “your” refer to each person who purchases and/or participates in the Cruise.
1. Solar eclipse tour 2019 ITINERARY: The itinerary on the Solar eclipse tour 2019 Website and any other materials is hereby included in this agreement. However, the Tour Operator, reserves the right to make changes to the itinerary as explained in this agreement. For more information: (281) 480-1988 or (800) 929-9004 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Solar eclipse tour 2019 PRICE: Prices are based on two persons sharing accommodations. There is additional cost for a single accommodation (single supplement) or an extra person in the room if either of these features is available. Prices may be subject to increase as described in this agreement.
3. DEPOSIT AND FINAL PAYMENT REQUIREMENTS: If you sign up before the dates posted on the Solar eclipse tour 2019 webpage, a deposit in the amount stated on the webpage is due along with your signed reservation form in order to secure your reservation, which is subject to availability at the time we receive the form and deposit. Dates and deposit amounts vary depending upon the trip. Failure to meet those deposit dates will result in cancellation of your reservation and loss of deposit as defined under the cancellation penalties portion of the webpage. If the Tour is sold out at the time we receive your reservation form and deposit, we will contact you and ask if you wish to be added to a waiting list. We reserve the right to accept or decline any prospective participant for any nondiscriminatory reason in our sole discretion. All reservations must be paid in full by the date specified. Spaces not paid in full by this date are subject to cancellation without refund and will be charged a $250 late-payment fee.
4. Solar eclipse tour 2019 CANCELLATION BY YOU: We are making arrangements with travel suppliers that require us to incur very substantial costs of operation. Therefore, if you cancel, we will retain all of your payments as liquidated damages. However, if you find a replacement for yourself or any other members of your traveling party, we will charge a change fee of $250 as specified on the Solar eclipse tour 2019 webpage. We must receive the written (email is sufficient) notice of the change and a signed/scanned reservation form from the new participant. If we receive notice of the change after specified date, we will not provide a refund. There is no refund for unused portions of Solar eclipse tour 2019 once it has commenced. You are solely responsible for costs incurred by you due to missed, canceled or delayed transportation. Your decision not to participate on Solar eclipse tour 2019 due to State Department/other US or foreign government warnings, fear of travel, illness, or any other reason will be deemed a cancellation. If a flight or other delay for any reason prevents you from joining Solar eclipse tour 2019 on the departure date and time, you will be considered a no-show, and we cannot provide a full or partial refund or credit toward a future Tour, but you may join Solar eclipse tour 2019 late at your expense. There are NO exceptions to our cancellation policies.
5. OTHER CHANGES: There will be a change fee of $75.00 per person charged for any change in travel arrangements made after ticketing and at least 30 days prior to departure in addition to charges incurred by our suppliers. No changes will be allowed within 30 days of the departure date.
6. INSURANCE: We strongly recommend that you purchase insurance in case of trip cancellation and medical problems, as well as medical evacuation insurance to cover the cost of a private jet to return home. We will send you insurance information if you request it from us. However, any questions about what travel insurance does or does not cover should be addressed directly to the travel insurance company. If you decline insurance coverage, you will personally assume full responsibility for any financial loss associated with your travel arrangements, and you could lose your travel investment and/or have to pay more money to correct the situation. For example, you will suffer a loss if: (i) your flight has been cancelled and your hotel and Tours are nonrefundable; (ii) you need to cancel your trip due to illness; (iii) a hurricane, volcano or earthquake occurs while traveling and you are stranded; (iv) your cruise line, airline, or Tour operator files for bankruptcy, unless you have paid by credit card; (v) a terrorist incident occurs at the destination you planned on visiting; (vi) you have a medical emergency in a foreign country and need medical attention or evacuation; (vii) your bags are lost and your medication is in them, and you need to have an emergency prescription filled; or (viii) your passport and wallet are stolen, and you need emergency cash and a replacement passport. We offer Travel Guard Travel Insurance to residents and will provide costs associated with insuring your trip, both at time of deposit and final payment. If you live in another country, you must buy such insurance there.
7. Solar eclipse tour 2019 PRICE INCREASES: In the event that the cost of any aspect of Solar eclipse tour 2019 should incur an unexpected cost increase, Future Travel is obliged to pass on these increases. While rare, they can occur and are beyond the control of Future Travel. When such increase is known, Future Travel will alert all participants and provide the amount and reason for the increase. It will be required that all Tour members provide payment by the date due per communication from Future Travel. Prices are also subject to increase for currency fluctuations and the cost of supplier services.
8. Solar eclipse tour 2019 AIRFARES: Airline arrangements are usually optional and not included in the tour price unless specifically stated. Airlines and airfares included in your trip are subject to change without notice. Please check with us for conditions applicable to your airline ticket. Airfares are subject to price increases until you have paid in full. Even after you have paid in full, airfares are subject to supplemental price increases imposed by governments, and you hereby consent to any such price increases. We will not change your requested seat assignments on commercial aircraft without permission. However, airlines often change seat assignments to satisfy their loyalty members or because of equipment changes (aircraft type). We are not notified of these changes in advance, and often clients are not made aware of these changes until they arrive at the airport. We are not responsible for seat assignment changes made by the airline. Frequent flyer programs are private agreements between airlines and passengers, and we cannot be held responsible for mileage discrepancies involving airline loyalty reward programs.
9. Solar eclipse tour 2019 ECLIPSE (or other astronomical event) VIEWING: We understand that you have decided to participate based on your ability to view the astronomical event advertised as the highlight of Solar eclipse tour 2019. While we will do our best to arrange for the viewing, we cannot guarantee that there will be no cloud cover, that the group will be in the planned position, or that there will not be another reason beyond our control that prevents viewing. Therefore, we will not be liable or responsible for any loss, damage, cost, or expense of any kind in the event that such viewing is not possible for any reason including but not limited to any act of God, war, fire, collision, directions of underwriters, arrest, order or restraint by any government agency or official acting under color of authority, acts of terrorism, labor disturbances or disputes, civil commotion, weather conditions and considerations of the safety of the ground transportation being used, (for which the Ground Operator shall be the sole judge), breakdowns of or damage to the transport vehicle, requisition of the vehicle by governmental authority, illness, death of a family member or other cause or circumstance beyond our control.
10. Solar eclipse tour 2019 CHANGES OR CANCELLATION BY GROUND OPERATOR OR US: The Ground Operator in its sole discretion may cancel, advance, or postpone any part of the tour, change the itinerary, and may (but is not obligated to) substitute another transport vehicle, and we will not be liable for any loss whatsoever to passengers by reason of such cancellation, advancement, postponement, or substitution. If the Solar eclipse tour 2019 is completely canceled by our Ground Operator, we will provide a full refund, or, if the Solar eclipse tour 2019 is partially canceled, we will provide a partial refund depending on any refund provided to us by the Ground Operator. Under such circumstances, Future Travel shall have no further liability for damages or compensation of any kind. We reserve the right to cancel the Tour for inadequate participation, in which case we will provide a full refund of the Solar eclipse tour 2019 price and shall have no further liability for damages or compensation of any kind. Please note that the availability of any refund for travel insurance and/or other travel products (airfare and hotel), even if purchased in conjunction with Solar eclipse tour 2019, will be determined in accordance with the applicable cancellation policies for such other products or services. Sightseeing is subject to change due to weather conditions, accessibility, border crossing limitations, and hours of operation. Sightseeing will be by motor coach or other transportation as stated in the itinerary.
11. OTHER RIGHTS OF Ground Operators: You may request a copy of the Ground Operator’s Passage Contract, which constitutes your agreement with the Ground Operator. The contract provides that the Ground Operator may exercise its rights in a variety of matters. We have no liability for a full or partial refund of the tour fare, or for any lodging or transportation expenses, as a result of the Ground Operator’s exercise of its contractual rights.
12. SAFETY WHILE ON Solar eclipse tour 2019: You assume sole responsibility for your own safety during Solar eclipse tour 2019. We do not guarantee your safety at any time. You acknowledge that all Excursions /Tours, however conducted, airline flights and ground transportation, are operated by independent contractors. Future Travel neither supervises nor controls their actions, nor makes any representation, either express or implied, as to their suitability. These services are provided only as a convenience for you, and you are free to use or not use them. You agree that Future Travel assumes no responsibility, does not guarantee performance and in no event shall be liable for any negligent or intentional acts or omissions, loss, damage, injury or delay to you and/or your property in connection with these services.
13. PASSPORTS AND VISAS: International travel requires a passport valid 6 months beyond your intended return travel date. In many cases, you will also need to have multiple consecutive blank visa pages within your passport (the number varies depending on the destination(s)). Many destinations also require that visas be obtained prior to travel. Please speak with us if you are unsure about the visa requirements for your travel destination, but you are solely responsible for complying with passport and visa requirements. Your name, as listed on your travel documents, must exactly match your name as listed on tour or airline documents. Citizens of other countries must make their nationalities known to Future Travel at registration and are responsible for obtaining proper documentation to enter the U.S. and any other countries involved.
14. MEDICAL CERTIFICATION AND PASSENGERS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS: By booking the Solar eclipse tour 2019, you certify that: (a) you are in good general health and capable of performing normal activities on the Solar eclipse tour 2019; (b) you are capable of caring for yourself during any expedition and will not impede the progress of the trip or enjoyment of other Solar eclipse tour 2019 participants; (c) you understand that any expedition may take you far from the nearest viable medical facility; and (d) all expedition members must be self-sufficient; and (e) you have not been recently treated for, nor are aware of, any physical, mental or other condition or disability that would create a hazard to yourself or other Solar eclipse tour 2019 participants. Any condition that may require attention or treatment must be reported in writing at the time your reservation is made. Transport may be refused to any person whose state of health or physical conditions render them, in the opinion of the Ground Operator, unfit. Participation in this or any other Solar eclipse tour 2019 will be denied to any person who will enter her third trimester (twenty-seventh week) of pregnancy by the time of the Solar eclipse tour 2019 or during the Solar eclipse tour 2019 and to children under the age specified on the Solar eclipse tour 2019 Webpage—usually 16. You must notify Future Travel at the time of booking of any disability or other medical or physical condition that may require special assistance during the Solar eclipse tour 2019. Your failure to do so will release Future Travel from any liability for loss, damages or other compensation arising from or related in any way to such disability or condition. Future Travel and our Ground Operator(s) reserve the right to require that any passenger who is not self-sufficient must travel with a companion who takes responsibility for any assistance needed during the Solar eclipse tour 2019 and in case of emergency. You understand that if you fraudulently represent yourself as fit for this tour, you may be removed prior to or during the Tour at your own expense.
15. CONDITION OR BEHAVIOR: We may exclude you from participating in all or any part of the trip if, in our sole discretion, your condition or behavior renders you unfit for the trip or unfit for continuation once the trip has begun. Unfitness may include, without limitation, any behavior that, regardless of its cause, is inappropriate or offensive or interferes with the delivery of our services, or may constitute a hazard or embarrassment. In such case, our liability shall be strictly limited to a refund of the recoverable cost of any unused portion of the trip.
16. CHILDREN: We normally accept children if they are the age of 16 and older (thought the minimum age may vary by Tour), although some Tours are for adults only and are specified as such. Children must be accompanied and supervised by parents or guardians, who will bear ultimate responsibility for their actions, and are expected to display proper decorum while the group is together, especially at the observation site and on all transport vehicles.
17. LUGGAGE ON BOARD: Each guest may bring on board a reasonable amount of baggage. It is recommended that participants do not bring expensive jewelry or like possessions with them. Telescopes and observation equipment should be securely packed; insurance on expensive items is highly recommended. All luggage must be stored in the passenger’s accommodations. Pets, dangerous or illegal items such as weapons, explosives, combustible substances, non-prescription controlled substances, or illegal drugs may not be brought on Solar eclipse tour 2019. Any such items shall be surrendered to security at embarkation and may be disposed of at the sole discretion of the cruise line. All luggage hand-carried or checked, and your person are subject to security inspections that may involve physical search. Curbside porters are available at the pier during embarkation to take luggage to the vessel. Please be sure each piece of luggage is locked and has a tag listing your name, and contact information. We assume no responsibility for checked or carry-on luggage. Any luggage left anywhere on Tour will be forwarded at the guest’s expense if discovered. IF YOU ARE BRINGING A TELESCOPE OR ANY UNUSUAL EQUIPMENT, YOU MUST PROVIDE A LIST OF SUCH ITEMS TO FUTURE TRAVEL SO THAT WE CAN DETERMINE THEY ARE ALLOWABLE. WE WILL PROVIDE INSTRUCTIONS RELATED TO CUSTOMS FORMALITIES.
18. TRANSFERS: When transfers between hotels and airports and the pier are included on the Solar eclipse tour 2019 price, transportation of participants and their baggage is provided only when participants travel with the rest of the group. If your schedule is different from this, private transfers are available at extra cost and must be requested in writing. Carry-on bags must be carried by Solar eclipse tour 2019 participants. Porterage may be included AFTER passing through the customs area upon arrival if so indicated in the inclusions. Porterage is generally not included unless otherwise stated in the individual itinerary inclusions. In some situations, porterage may not be possible. Be sure to consult the cruise information to be sure.
19. TAXES AND TIPS: If a land package is involved, tips are not included (unless stated), but taxes for hotel accommodations and airfare are generally included. Departure taxes within foreign countries are NOT included since they vary widely. Each airport departure may require a separate departure tax which will have to be collected from each participant prior to boarding an airline or ship. Tips are NOT included for guides, or drivers. Future Travel will provide guidance on tips, when they should be given and how collected. Although the amounts and timing may differ, this is left to each person’s discretion. There will be times when the Tour escort or guide will alert participants as to whom and how much to tip. These actions are necessary in order to maintain good service and assure that all promised services will occur as scheduled.
20. WHAT ELSE IS NOT INCLUDED ON OUR TOUR: Cost of passports or visas, excess baggage, meals and beverages not specified in the itinerary, phone calls, voluntary changes in flights or other methods of transport, laundry, insurance costs, and items or services of a personal nature not specified in the cruise itinerary.
21. MEDICAL CARE: You assume all risks associated with travel and transportation on the Tour. While on the Solar eclipse tour 2019 or along the way to/from the Solar eclipse tour 2019, the availability of medical care may be limited and/or delayed. You acknowledge that all or part of the Solar eclipse tour 2019 may be in areas where medical care and/or evacuation may not be available. You agree to indemnify and reimburse Future Travel and its ground operators in the event that these entities by their sole discretion, advance to you the cost of emergency medical care, including medical evacuation and/or medical care provided ashore, as well as transportation and/or lodging in connection therewith. Future Travel shall have no responsibility to advance any such costs.
22. ROOMMATES:If you are traveling by yourself but wish to share a room with someone else, we will attempt to match men with male roommates and women with female roommates, along with smoking/non-smoking preferences. However, the ground operator prohibits all smoking on tour. If we cannot find a roommate for whatever reason we will advise you and have to charge you the single supplement fee. You may wish to look for a roommate from your local astronomical society, family or friends. Your decision to accept a roommate for the tour is at your own risk. Future Travel is not responsible or liable for any and all claims or cause of action arising out of or in connection with your acceptance or selection of a roommate for the tour, including, without limitation, any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from such request or selection.
23. SMOKING: Smoking is prohibited on our Solar eclipse tour 2019 buses, the astronomical event observation site, and in briefing and lecture rooms as well as in hotel rooms and any other places where the group is congregating.
24. INFORMATION: Information that we publish in our Solar eclipse tour 2019 brochures, collateral material and the Solar eclipse tour 2019 Website is believed to be accurate and reliable. We make no representations or warranties regarding such information or any information provided by a third party. Unless expressly stated in writing, we do not endorse the products or services offered by any company or person identified in our brochures, collateral material or Website, nor are we responsible for any content published by a third party.
25. RESPONSIBILITY: We act only in the capacity of agent for the suppliers of the travel services named in your itinerary or otherwise providing services or goods in connection with the tour (the “suppliers”), such as airlines, hotels and other lodging providers, local hosts, sightseeing tour operators, bus lines, car rental companies, driving services, restaurants, and providers of entertainment. We assume no responsibility for any personal injury, property damage, or other loss, accident, delay, inconvenience, or irregularity which may be occasioned by reason of any act or omission of any of the Suppliers.
26. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY: In no event will we be liable for any injury, loss, claim, damage, or any special, punitive, exemplary, direct, indirect, incidental, or consequential damages of any kind, whether based in contract, tort, strict liability, or otherwise, that arise out of or are in any way connected with the tour even if advised of the possibility of such damages. In no event will our aggregate liability exceed the total tour price set forth in the itinerary for any occurrence including, but not limited to: (1) injury, death or delay of passengers, or loss, damage or delay of or to passengers’ baggage or other property, which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from participation in the Solar eclipse tour 2016 including, without limitation, passenger’s use of or participation in any excursion, on concession or athletic or recreational activity; (2) your request for or selection of a roommate for the tour; (3) emotional distress, mental suffering or anguish or psychological injury of any kind under any circumstances (except when such damages were caused by Future Travel’s negligence and resulted from the same passenger’s sustaining actual physical injury, or having been at risk of actual physical injury, or when such damages are held to have been intentionally inflicted by Future Travel); (4) any change in scheduled Solar eclipse tour 2016 events and/or celebrity appearances; (5) the Tour Operators’ exercise of its contractual rights; or (6) or (if you are entering into this agreement on behalf of yourself and your, group, party, or traveling companions) any claim arising out of their assertion that you were not authorized to agree on their behalf. You further agree that Future Travel shall not be held vicariously liable for the intentional or negligent acts of any persons not employed by Future Travel, nor for any intentional or negligent acts of Future Travel’s employees committed while off duty or outside the course and scope of their employment. In the event that a court of competent jurisdiction holds any of the foregoing to be unenforceable, then Future Travel’s liability shall be limited to the maximum extent permitted by law. In addition to the restrictions and exemptions from liability provided in these Terms and Conditions, Future Travel shall have the full benefit of any applicable laws providing for limitation and exoneration from liability, and nothing in contained herein is intended to operate to limit or deprive Future Travel of any such statutory limitation of or exoneration from liability.
27. FORCE MAJEURE: We assume no responsibility for any personal injury, property damage, or other loss, accident, delay, inconvenience, or irregularity which may be occasioned by reason of any matter beyond our exclusive control including but not limited to a delay or cancellation that causes you to miss all or any portion of the Solar eclipse tour 2019, acts of God, acts of government, war, terrorist acts, riots, disaster, weather extremes, or strikes. We have no special knowledge regarding the financial condition of the suppliers, unsafe conditions, health hazards, weather hazards, or climate extremes at locations to which you may travel. You understand that health care standards, facilities, and services abroad may be different or even inadequate for treating health conditions. It is the responsibility of each Tour participant to obtain health and medical certificates, inoculations and vaccinations. For information concerning possible dangers at foreign destinations, we recommend contacting the Travel Warnings Section of the U.S. State Department at (202) 647-5225 or www.travel.state.gov, and click on “Travel Warnings.” For medical information, we recommend contacting the Centers for Disease Control at (877) FYI-TRIP or www.cdc.gov/travel.
28. DISPUTES: Except where prohibited by law, you (the Lead Passenger and all members of your party) expressly agree that: (1) any and all disputes, claims and causes of action against Future Travel arising out of or connected with the Tour shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the appropriate court located in Houston, Texas, U.S.A. to the exclusion of the courts of any other state, territory or country; (2) you waive any venue or other objection that you may have to any such action or proceeding being brought in any court located in Houston, Texas; (3) any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with the Solar eclipse tour 2019, but in no event attorneys’ fees; and (4) you waive the right to claim any other damages whatsoever, including, but not limited to, punitive, consequential, direct or indirect damages. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Terms and Conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Texas, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of Texas. You agree to present any claims against us within 30 days after the Solar eclipse tour 2016 ends and to file within one year of the incident, and you acknowledge that this expressly limits the applicable statute of limitations to one year. NEITHER PARTY MAY INITIATE OR BE PART OF A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT OR LEGAL PROCEEDING AGAINST THE OTHER.
29. INDEMNIFICATION: You shall indemnify, defend and hold harmless us and our officers, employees, directors, suppliers and agents, in their individual capacities or otherwise, from and against any losses arising out of: (i) your negligence; (ii) your failure to comply with applicable law; or (iii) your failure to comply with these terms conditions.
30. ASSUMPTION OF RISK:You acknowledge that you have voluntarily applied for the Solar eclipse tour 2019. You understand that you may travel to countries and areas that are inherently risky. You are prepared to assume risks associated with Solar eclipse tour 2019 including forces of nature, terrorism, civil unrest, war, accidents, and transportation including land vehicles, boats, and aircraft that are not operated and maintained to the standards found in North America, and you hereby assume such risks. You also assume risks associated with altitude, illness, disease, physical exertion, and alcohol consumption, knowing that access to evacuation and/or suitable medical supplies and support may not be available. You agree to take full responsibility for your own actions, safety and welfare. You also understand that you will be a member of a group and will conduct myself in a way that will not endanger the group or yourself.
31. MISCELLANEOUS: We may assign our rights and/or delegate all or a portion of its duties under these Terms and Conditions to any third party at any time without the consent or permission of any parties to these Terms and Conditions. If there is a conflict between these Terms and Conditions and one or more terms contained in another agreement between you and us, these Terms and Conditions will control. No alteration, cancellation, variation of, or addition to these terms and conditions shall be of any force or effect unless reduced to writing and signed by us. If there is a conflict between any part of these terms and conditions and any present or future law, the part that is affected shall be curtailed only to the extent necessary to bring it within the requirements of that law.You hereby consent to our use of pictures or video of you in our marketing materials without compensation.Facsimile or scanned transmission of any signed document shall be deemed delivery of an original.