GREAT AMERICAN ECLIPSE TOUR 2017.

GREAT AMERICAN ECLIPSE TOUR 2017

AUGUST 19-22 Grand Island, Nebraska

Tour#1 is described in detail on this web page and includes all features. No more than 2 people in a room; no children under 12. 

Tour#2 is the backup tour and does NOT include lunch/dinner, tours, or the eclipse transport since those are completely booked.  No more than 2 people in a room; no children under 12. 

AVAILABILITY as of 5/18/2017 

Tour#1:

TOUR IS SOLD OUT. WAIT LIST ONLY.

Tour #2:

TOUR IS SOLD OUT. WAIT LIST ONLY.

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Be aware that Tour 2 is a minimalist tour; it includes 3 nights at our group hotel, breakfast daily, eclipse briefing, periodic tour note emails with educational material, photo guide for eclipse photographers, eclipse glasses and round trip hotel/airport transfers if arriving by air into Grand Island. IT DOES NOT INCLUDE ANY LUNCHES OR DINNERS, TOURS OR ECLIPSE DAY BUS TRANSPORT.  It will work for you ONLY if you have your own ground transportation: a rental car or driving your own vehicle to Grand Island NE. For the eclipse observation, Tour #2 participants can either remain at the hotel which will experience almost the maximum amount of total eclipse or you may follow our buses to our eclipse site(s). 

Tour#2 price is $699 per person sharing or $1398 per person for single occupancy. Payment by credit card is 5% additional. Trip insurance can be provided by Future Travel at extra cost if desired. Deposits, cancellation conditions are shown in the COST AND PAYMENT tab below.

INSURANCE: SEND EMAIL TO shawj@travelleaders.com and she can let you know the insurance cost.  

To sign up you must register AND send in full payment for each person. We cannot hold the room without full payment. Follow both of these steps:

1) click on REGISTRATION tab below and complete a form for each person in your party.

2) click on COST AND PAYMENT tab below, read payments and cancellation penalty information.  Read the HOW TO PAY section and use one of the 2 secure links.  Future Travel requires full payment to be sent.  It is no longer possible to get refunds once full payment is received as Future Travel now must make non-refundable remittance to ground service suppliers. Once both items are received, you will be confirmed on Tour#2.  Due to the very limited space we will accept applications on a first come, first served basis until all remaining space is completely sold out.

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Seeing the “Diamond Ring” at the beginning and end of the total eclipse is reason enough for a marriage proposal! It also shows that the eclipse may be seen even through thin cloud.

Prepare to be amazed!  The reason we call this the Great American Eclipse Tour is that for the first time in 38 years we will have a total eclipse of the Sun passing through the USA. This will be a uniquely “American eclipse” as this is the only land mass over which the solar eclipse 2017 track will cross.  If you are looking for a 2017 solar eclipse tour, sign up for our Grand Island, Nebraska adventure which serves as a rare and exclusive zone with excellent weather prospects and good road access in both the northwest and southeast directions.

This will be Ring of Fire Expeditons‘ 47th solar eclipse adventure to be organized and led by Paul D. Maley of the NASA Johnson Space Center Astronomical Society (and Phoenix Astronomical Society), and we welcome all those who have never before witnessed a total eclipse of the Sun.  Paul has led  eclipse expeditions all over the planet and has traveled to 287 countries and territories.  If you want to see an eclipse of the Sun, go with a group that has a proven track record like Future Travel who has handled all of our astronomy tours for over 40 years! 

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Our Great American Eclipse Tour area is under clear skies in this satellite image taken at the time of central eclipse on August 21, 2015 and the same conditions are what we saw August 21, 2016.  The yellow arrow points to our destination.  Participants should be aware that although skies were clear on eclipse day in 2015 and 2016 there is no guarantee that this will happen in 2017.  We (and no other tour operators) are unable to guarantee weather conditions in advance.  NOAA image.

Give your loved one(s) a spot on the GREAT AMERICAN ECLIPSE TOUR as a present for an August birthday, anniversary or special occasion such as an engagement or an educational experience before returning to school in the fall.

TOUR#1

You cannot just wait until a solar eclipse passes over your home town. Chances are this will never happen in your lifetime which is the reason that so many have gotten hooked on traveling to far away countries to see this enigmatic phenomenon.  A solar eclipse only happens when the Sun, Moon and Earth line up with the Moon situated precisely in between the others.  A shadow cone is created by sunlight passing behind the Moon. When it falls onto the Earth a solar eclipse is declared.  With just the right size relationship of the Sun and Moon, the Moon will pass directly across the Sun in a 3 hour time period. In the middle of that the Sun may be completely blocked out revealing the outer atmosphere of the Sun, reddish flame-like extensions silhouetted against the disc of the Sun and allowing you to simultaneously spot bright planets or stars in the sky. That is what will happen on Monday August 21, 2017.

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The ground track of the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse crosses parts of 11 states. Nebraska is right in the middle of the track.  Courtesy X. Jubier.

POSSIBILITIES 3

                           Nebraska landscape is mostly flat with gently rolling hills in this part of the state.

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Location of our Great American Eclipse Tour expedition will be Grand Island, Nebraska at approximately 40.9 deg N, 98.3 deg W where from our hotel about 2 minutes 35 seconds of total eclipse can be seen around 1:00 pm local time (1800 GMT).  If you are unable to fly into Grand Island, there are other airport options: Omaha, North Platte, Kearney or Lincoln, Nebraska.  From there you should be able to book ground transport to Grand Island and back.

Skies are dark enough in the northern part of Nebraska to host the Nebraska Star Party in July/August. The site, south of Valentine NE boasts limiting naked eye magnitude of 7.8 under New Moon.  Those with a rent car might consider driving out to this or another location for dark sky viewing on your own since the eclipse occurs at New Moon. In addition, the Hyde Memorial Observatory in Lincoln, NE features a Celestron 14 and is completely free to the public.

Absence of light pollution: The western portion of the Sandhills is noted as one of the top two areas in the nation with the least amount of light pollution, which makes it an extraordinary region for stargazing.  Those with rental cars might consider to drive here at night.

#1 place in the world for birding: This according to Forbes FYI Magazine. Although not timely during our  summer trip, the world-renowned Spring Migration of Sandhill Cranes occurs at the far eastern portion of the byway, part of the North American Central Flyway. Each spring, 500,000+ Sandhill Cranes gather on the central Platte River valley.

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Nebraska at night. Notice the bright lights of the major cities and the absence of lights in the north central and western part of the state.

CITIZEN SCIENCE COMPONENT

Do you have an interest in contributing to eclipse science? We want to determine the precise location where the eclipse is 100% total vs where it is not.  This is a challenging goal and to do so we intend to station a number of students with smart phones who will attempt to record the Sun at the critical moment of maximum eclipse.  Check out our eclipse edge project which will take place at the town of Minden. See: http://eclipsetours.com/eclipse-edge-2017/ 

If you are traveling independently or as part of our tour#2 you are welcome to contact me to assist in this project.

SPECIAL OPENINGS: none at this time. 

                                 TOUR #1 ITINERARY

B=breakfast, L=lunch, BL=boxed lunch, D=dinner

August 19, 2017 (Saturday): Arrival day

Arrive on your own into Grand Island.  If arriving at the airport, our official Ring of Fire Expeditions (ROFE) hotel has a shuttle bus that will transport you.  We will need you to send us the details of your arrival flight and departure flight as early as possible so we can coordinate with the hotel well in advance.  Should your luggage misconnect or be delayed, there will hopefully be enough time for it to arrive prior to the eclipse; you would need to work that out at the airport before going to the hotel.  We advise everyone to bring a cell phone.

Because an event like this will bring out entrepreneurs ready to market all kinds of eclipse products you can expect to see an overabundance of souvenirs.

trains

Up to 140 trains per day pass through Grand Island carrying such things as fuselages from the Boeing plant in Kansas.  The top train spotting location is called “The Diamond” in town.

Check-in to the hotel at 4:00 pm unless a room is available prior to that time.  A tour board will be posted in the lobby enabling you to see a daily schedule of events.  This evening enjoy dinner in the hotel restaurant followed by overnight in Grand Island. (D)

August 20 (Sunday): Local tours and eclipse briefing

Enjoy breakfast in the hotel restaurant.  After this meet your group leads in the lobby (all times to be posted daily) to board the buses for the Crane Trust Nature and Visitors Center.  Nebraska is basically flat with rolling hills to the west of Grand Island. Few potential obstructions to prevent viewing of the eclipse!

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American bison at the nature center

The Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center is your headquarters for the Spring Migration of the Sandhill Cranes. The nature center manages numerous blinds along the Platte River and offers public tours during the spring migration for an up close experience with the cranes. A few blinds are reserved for overnight viewing if you want to extend the adventure. A viewing bridge and tower along the river are an easy walk on a paved path from the center.

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Bridge across the Platte River at Crane Trust

The center also has a butterfly garden, a growing herd of genetically pure bison and walking trails along the river. Inside you’ll find an art gallery, static wildlife displays and a gift shop.

The Crane Trust is re-introducing plains bison to the Platte River ecosystem on 4,500 contiguous acres of native tall- and mixed-grass prairie. The re-introduction of plains bison to Crane Trust lands on Mormon and Shoemaker islands will serve as an important restorative step in the Crane Trust’s long-term goals for managing the region’s habitat and ecology for cranes and other migratory birds.

Note: in the event the Crane Trust is closed due to the eclipse, an alternate tour will be scheduled.

 

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Buses similar to this one will be used for tours and the eclipse day.  They are air conditioned and have one bathroom.

Following this tour return to the hotel for lunch.

After lunch reboard the bus tour to the Stuhr Museum.  Stuhr Museum is an incredible way to relive the history of the pioneers who settled the plains of central Nebraska in the late 19th century. The Washington Post proclaimed it one of America’s top 12 Living History Museums. Good Housekeeping magazine ranks Stuhr Museum as one of the top 10 places to relive America’s past.  The 200 acre campus boasts spectacular architecture, gardens, and inspiring historical and artistic exhibits.

It features a living history village called Railroad Town, designed to evoke an 1890s-era prairie village and made up of many original period structures moved to the museum. pawnee_earth_lodge1

Pawnee earth lodge at the Stuhr Museum

The museum is named after Leo Stuhr, a local farmer and politician whose family were among the area’s pioneer settlers. He donated land, money, and numerous artifacts that served as the foundation of the museum. The building that houses the bulk of the museum’s exhibits, the Stuhr Building, was designed by architect Edward Durrell Stone and was built by Geer Melkus Construction Co.  It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2015.

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Steam engine from the 1890’s at Stuhr Museum

Among the structures in Railroad Town is the house where actor Henry Fonda was born in 1905.  Movies filmed at the museum include Sarah, Plain and Tall (1991) and My Antonia (1995).  The museum once had a working steam locomotive that traveled the 3 foot (914 mm) narrow gauge Nebraska Midland Railroad on the museum grounds.

Following this tour, return to the hotel for a late afternoon briefing on the solar eclipse and tomorrow’s activities.  Dinner and overnight tonight in Grand island. (B, L, D)

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ROFE solar eclipse briefing

August 21 (Monday): Solar eclipse day

Enjoy breakfast in the hotel restaurant. The group leads will announce/post the time for bus departure from the hotel either the previous night or early this morning.    You may decide to remain at the hotel to see the entire eclipse process from beginning to end or elect to go on the buses to a to-be-announced location/direction.  If you travel with us by bus, there will be no electric power in the field and you should bring your own power if required to operate your personal eclipse gear.  A boxed lunch is included for all today regardless of whether you remain at the hotel or travel on our buses to the eclipse site.  Depending on weather conditions we plan to arrive around the time of 1st contact and stay at the eclipse site until shortly after 3rd contact.  These plans are subject to change in real time as the group leads observe weather developing.

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Using eclipse glasses to observe the PARTIAL phases of the eclipse. David Flack photo taken during our 2008 expedition to China.

If you elect to remain at the hotel, you should be able to see all four contacts (i.e. the entire eclipse process, weather dependent).  For Grand Island observers, the times of the various contact events are listed below.  Photographers who want to produce a 3 hour montage of photos all the way from 1st to 4th contact should consider to remain at the hotel site.

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A classic example of an eclipse photo montage with one shot taken every 5 minutes or so then combined to produce a single image. Ruben Ruiz photo from our Ring of Fire Expedition to Tahiti in 2010.

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Rarely seen and even more rarely photographed are the eclipse shadow bands. These are from our Ring of Fire Expedition to Svalbard in 2015 as captured by Les Pearce.

In the several minutes preceding and following the TOTAL phase, you may be lucky enough to see faint shadow bands moving at a speed of several inches per second across the ground. They are best viewed on a white background such as a sheet.  The times mentioned below are for people in Grand Island. If we are on the road, those times will be different and advised by your group lead.

11:34:20am Central Daylight Time, Partial eclipse begins.  You will begin to see a bite taken out of the Sun. It will keep increasing with time as the Moon proceeds on its way around the Earth until the total eclipse portion begins after about 1 hour and 24 minutes. The Sun will be at elevation 50 degrees, azimuth 128 degrees.

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One of the fun things to do is to get under a tree or under a thatched roof (even a straw hat)–all of which have thin holes capable of projecting the Sun onto another surface.  As the eclipse proceeds you can see miniature solar crescents.  The process repeats after the TOTAL phase and you have plenty of time to try to capture them.  Jan Hellemans photo from our Ring of Fire Expedition to Tarawa, Kiribati in 2013.

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                                Partial eclipse phase with about 5% of the Sun covered

12:58:34pm, Total eclipse phase begins.  During this phase the sun will be at elevation 60 degrees, azimuth 162 degrees.

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Besides the eclipsed Sun you should be able to spot planets Venus and Jupiter and (maybe one or two bright) stars.  Map courtesy of Larry Stevens.

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Central eclipse with the Moon completely covering the Sun. The outer atmosphere of the Sun appears pearly white.  J. Guertin photo from our 2008 Ring of Fire Expedition to China.

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It is possible to see Diamond Ring effects just before the TOTAL phase and just after as in this montage from our Ring of Fire Expedition to China in 2008.

1:01:09pm, Total eclipse ends

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As the total eclipse ends the Moon’s shadow can be seen lifting off the ground and sunlight begins to stream in under the Sun/Moon combination.  You can see this with the unaided eye.  Maryann Ott photo from our Ring of Fire Expedition to Mare Island, Indonesia in 2016.

2:26:36pm, Partial eclipse ends.  The Sun will be at elevation 59 degrees, azimuth 204 degrees.

Totality time is 2 minutes, 34 seconds depending upon where you are.

You can use your “eclipse glasses” to safely view the Sun at any time of the day. But during the critical time when the TOTAL phase begins and ends you can take them off and watch the incredible sight unfold.  A boxed lunch will be provided for all team members.  Following the eclipse there will be a post eclipse dinner in the hotel restaurant where we will wrap up today’s activities and share stories about the eclipse.  Be sure to consider sending in your best solar eclipse related photos so we can publish them on a results web page in the following days.

Dinner and overnight in Grand Island. (B, BL, D)

August 22 (Tuesday): Departure day

Enjoy breakfast again in the hotel restaurant.  Look for a post eclipse newspaper account of the event to take home as a souvenir.  Dont forget to arrange in advance with the front desk to ensure that you will be transferred in time for your flight home.  End of our tour and hopefully a great experience! (B)

DO YOU NEED ECLIPSE GEAR? IF SO, OUR PARTNER COMPANY IN HOUSTON HAS SPECIALLY PREPARED PACKAGES TO SUPPORT YOUR NEEDS.  

CONTACT LAND, SEA, AND SKY Texas Nautical Repair Inc. at 713.5293551. They are able to mail products domestically and internationally. 

 

COST AND METHODS OF PAYMENT

(effective August 21, 2016)

Tour #1 USD$1259. (cash discount $ 1199.) per person double occupancy**

Tour #1  USD$1994. (cash discount $1899.) per person single occupancy 

Important:  The tour begins and ends in Grand Island, Nebraska USA.  It is a “land portion only” expedition and does not include any airfare. You must purchase the full tour in order to participate. It is not allowed to join the tour on eclipse day only without paying the full listed price.

** Price for each of 2 people sharing a room. SORRY, NO CHILDREN UNDER 12 and no more than 2 people to a room.

Great American Eclipse Tour#1 PRICE INCLUDES

  1. 3 nights in a shared double room at our eclipse hotel which is a NO SMOKING facility
  2. round trip airport-hotel transfers if arriving by air
  3. tours to the Stuhr Museum and Crane Trust and Nature Visitors Center
  4. entrance fees
  5. bus transportation to/from eclipse site on August 21
  6. all meals beginning with dinner on August 19 and ending with breakfast on August 22; box lunch on the bus August 21
  7. solar eclipse briefing conducted by our group leader
  8. solar eclipse glasses for viewing of the partial phases of the eclipse
  9. water onboard buses used for the eclipse and local tours

Great American Eclipse Tour#1 PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:

  1. Soft drinks, beer, alcoholic beverages of any kind
  2. airfare of any kind; all participants must arrive in Grand Island on their own or consider to travel to an adjacent city such as Lincoln or Omaha, Nebraska and use shuttle service or car rental for the duration. We recommend you work on this early!!
  3. Tips to bus drivers
  4. Any other service not mentioned in the PRICE INCLUDES section above.
  5. Passport or visa fees for persons entering the USA
  6. Personal expenses such as (but not limited to) laundry, phone, internet, optional tours
  7. porterage of luggage.  You will need to transport your own bags.
  8. meals not listed
  9. trip cancellation/interruption insurance

HOW TO PAY

Future Travel no longer accepts actual checks due to the time to process and risk of loss through the postal system.

PAY BY ELECTRONIC TRANSFER: Use our secure electronic payment form. It is faster/safer than going through the regular mail. The web link is: 

https://houstonwebsolutions.formstack.com/forms/ach_authorization

Once you open the link all items marked with an asterisk (*) need to be filled in.  No need to attach passport.

PAY BY CREDIT CARD: Requires adding 5% to the cost!! Future Travel does accept VISA, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. We will need you to view, complete the Credit Card Authorization Form: https://houstonwebsolutions.formstack.com/forms/credit_card_authorization_form

If you are OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES, you can pay by the following:

1) credit cards, 2) money order; or 3) wire transfer (NOTE: a $50 wire transfer fee will have to be added to your deposit because of bank charges here). Please contact Judy Shaw at shawj@travelleaders.com to make arrangements.

PAYMENT SCHEDULE for all tours

  • AFTER August 21, 2016………………………………Tour #1 Deposit due USD$525.  (cash discount price $500.) per person double; Early bird discount ends on this date
  • …………………………………………………………..Tour#2 Full payment USD$734.  (cash discount price $699.) per person double; USD$1469.  (cash discount $1399. ) single.
  • December 1, 2016…………………………………….Tour #1 Early Bird Price Balance due USD$525.  (cash discount price $499.) per person double; USD$1259. (cash discount $1199. ) single.
  • December 1, 2016……………………………………Tour #1 Regular Price Balance due USD$734.  (cash discount price $699.) per person double; USD$1469.  (cash discount $1399. ) single.

CANCELLATION FEES for Tour#1 (per person)

  • BEFORE December 1, 2016…………………………..USD$250. + any service fees (if applicable) up to that point unless you find a replacement. In that case the cancel fee would be USD$250.
  • December 1, 2016 to May 1, 2017…………………100% OF THE TOTAL TOUR COST unless you find a replacement. In that case the cancel fee would be USD$250.
  • May 1, 2017…………………………………………..100% of the total tour cost.

CANCELLATION FEES for Tour #2 ( per person)

          No refund permitted after August 21, 2016.

Clients should be aware that we cannot guarantee the weather for this astronomical event or any other.

Solar eclipse tour 2017 ONLINE REGISTRATION FOR TOUR#1 AND TOUR#2

To sign up for the trip, follow these steps. ONE REGISTRATION FORM MUST BE FILLED OUT FOR EACH PERSON!

1. Read and understand the deposit schedule and significant cancellation penalties.

2. Click on the Terms & Conditions tab. Review prior to starting your registration.

3.   CLICK HERE to open and then complete the registration form.  If you have trouble seeing the form, refresh your page or use a different internet browser. Some versions may not support this form!

 

Great American Eclipse Tour Participant’s Agreement

Your signature on our registration 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. Great American Eclipse Tour ITINERARY: The itinerary on the Great American Eclipse Tour 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 futuretravel@travelleaders.com.

2. Great American Eclipse Tour 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 Great American Eclipse Tour 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. Great American Eclipse Tour 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 Great American Eclipse Tour 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 the Great American Eclipse Tour 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 the Great American Eclipse Tour 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 the Great American Eclipse Tour 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 the Great American Eclipse Tour 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 check the box on our reservation form. 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 U.S and Canadian 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 will have to purchase your own insurance in your home country.

7. Great American Eclipse Tour PRICE INCREASES:  In the event that the cost of any aspect of the Great American Eclipse Tour 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. Great American Eclipse Tour 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. Great American Eclipse Tour 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 the Great American Eclipse Tour . 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. Great American Eclipse Tour 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 2017 is completely canceled by our Ground Operator, we will provide a full refund, or, if the Great American Eclipse Tour 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 Great American Eclipse Tour for inadequate participation, in which case we will provide a full refund of the Great American Eclipse Tour 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 2016, 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 the Great American Eclipse Tour: You assume sole responsibility for your own safety during the Great American Eclipse Tour.  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 2017, you certify that: (a) you are in good general health and capable of performing normal activities on the Great American Eclipse Tour; (b) you are capable of caring for yourself during any expedition and will not impede the progress of the trip or enjoyment of other Great American Eclipse Tour 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 Great American Eclipse Tour 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 2017 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 2017 or during the Great American Eclipse Tour and to children under the age specified on the Great American Eclipse Tour 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 Great American Eclipse Tour. 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 Great American Eclipse Tour 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 onboard 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 the Great American Eclipse Tour. 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 are included in the Great American Eclipse Tour price, transportation of participants and their baggage is provided only when participants travel with the rest of the group (or language in the tour terms indicates that you can arrive at any time). 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 Great American Eclipse Tour 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 Great American Eclipse Tour or along the way to/from the Great American Eclipse Tour, the availability of medical care may be limited and/or delayed. You acknowledge that all or part of the Great American Eclipse Tour 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 Great American Eclipse Tour 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 Great American Eclipse Tour brochures, collateral material and the Great American Eclipse Tour 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 Great American Eclipse Tour 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 Great American Eclipse Tour 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 Great American Eclipse Tour, 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 Great American Eclipse Tour, 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 Great American Eclipse Tour 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 2016. You understand that you may travel to countries and areas that are inherently risky. You are prepared to assume risks associated with the Great American Eclipse Tour 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.  

I hereby agree to the terms and conditions in the Future Travel Eclipse Participant’s Agreement, on behalf of myself and all members of my traveling party. Check the appropriate box below:
Signature: _____________________________ (1)___I certify that I am 69 years or younger and reside in the US or Canada. (2)___ I am 70 years old and reside in the US  or Canada. IF YOU CHECKED THIS BOX, CHECK 1 OF THE 2 ITEMS BELOW.
Name: ________________________________ ___I choose to purchase insurance from Future Travel.

__I decline to purchase trip cancellation and medical insurance. I understand the risks I am taking & that there is no reduction in tour price.

Date: _________________________________(3)___ I do not reside in the US or Canada. IF YOU CHECKED THIS BOX, CHECK 1 OF THE 2 ITEMS BELOW.____ I am also signing on behalf of: ________________________________________

___I choose to purchase Future Travel’s foreign resident insurance.

 ___I decline to purchase trip cancellation and medical insurance. I understand the risks I am taking & that there is no reduction in tour price.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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