ANTARCTICA TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE OF THE SUN December 4, 2021
WELCOME TO OUR 48th SOLAR ECLIPSE TRIP
2021 ANTARCTICA ECLIPSE CRUISE EXPEDITION FEATURING
ANTARCTICA AND THE SOUTH ORKNEY ISLANDS
STATUS AS OF NOVEMBER 11, 2021
THE CRUISE IS PROCEEDING AS PLANNED. TO SEE THE LATEST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS CLICK HERE.
AS OF OCTOBER 10 WE HAVE ONLY 3 CABINS AVAILABLE: 621/623 SUITE, 531 and 407. ALSO ONE FEMALE LOOKING FOR A CABIN MATE. CONTACT firstname.lastname@example.org if you are seriously interested.
The path of totality for the Antarctica Eclipse 2021 is shown in gray with the blue line indicating the center of the eclipse experience. The arrow points to the location where we plan to see the eclipse. Ignore any other lines. Map courtesy X. Jubier.
NEW: KAYAKING EXCURSION OFFERED as of Feb 2021!
We are now offering a 2 hour kayaking option in two-person kayaks. Price (likely around $400, normally $500 per person) and specific locations are not known at this time but this is a great new feature that we hope will appeal to all of you. While programs like this routinely fill up BEFORE we sail, if there are any open slots after you board the ship we will attempt to let you sign up.
Sea kayaking is without a doubt the best way to get a deep connection with nature and feel at one with the environment. Weaving in between icebergs, sailing along cliffs, paddling by glaciers, sea kayaking allows you to slip silently and gently into the very heart of this pristine natural environment. Led by qualified and experienced kayak guides, in small groups and in stable and robust two-seater expedition kayaks, you will be able to slide over the water’s surface surrounded by icebergs and observe the wildlife in the most discreet and respectful way possible, while at the same time being immersed in the majestic landscapes of these regions.
Join Paul D. Maley of the NASA Johnson Space Center Astronomical Society on what will be his 78th trip to see an eclipse of the Sun! If the weather in Antarctica cooperates, the Sun will be blacked out for approximately 1 minute 40 seconds from our vantage point east of Coronation Island. We at RING OF FIRE EXPEDITIONS will be using a relatively new ship introduced in 2015 by Ponant Cruise Lines, the Le Boreal ship. This cruise ship will carry a maximum of 200 passengers to Antarctica for our solar eclipse in 122 staterooms. In addition, we will be joined by Dr. Michael Shara of the American Museum of Natural History and Dr. Patricia Reiff of Rice University who have both been on our previous solar eclipse adventures.
Onboard our Antarctica Solar Eclipse cruise will also be certain naturalists assigned by Ponant. At the current time they will be selected from this group or similar:
- Alain Bidart – generalist
- Petra Gladron – marine biology
- Benjamin Dy – biology
- Nicolas Tolstoi – marine biology
- Sylvain Mahuzier – ornithologist
- Laureline Formanek – marine biology
- Susan Currie – geology
- Samuel Blanc – generalist
- Agnès Brenière – generalist
- Valentin Nivet – marine biology
- Daphné Buiron – ice
- Christian Genillard – history
- Saskia Travert – generalist
- Heidi Sevestre – ice
- Chris Collins – ornithologist
- Christophe Gouraud – ornithologist
- Barbara Post – generalist
- Christophe Bassous – generalist
This is your chance to see whales, penguins, birds and other life forms in the pristine environment called Antarctica. If you have never been to the 7th continent the term ‘once in a lifetime experience’ is not an exaggeration. It is a legendary bucket list trip. Paul and his wife Lynn have even run half marathons on the Antarctic Peninsula.
The Antarctica Eclipse cruise itself will start/end in Ushuaia, Argentina and span an 11 day/10 night period from November 28 to December 8, 2021. You will first arrive in Buenos Aires, Argentina (airport code EZE) on November 27 and overnight at our hotel there before transferring the next day to a domestic flight to Ushuaia. We can only accommodate a few guests in triple cabins (sold out). The rest will be twin sharing.
Penguins discussing their future options on an ice flow
Planned route map for the Antarctica Eclipse Cruise in 2021. Getting off the ship will be via Zodiacs since there are no piers or docking facilities except in Ushuaia. NEW COUNTRY: BRITISH ANTARCTIC TERRITORY (SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS), CHILEAN ANTARCTIC TERRITORY.
Prepare for the most amazing spectacle on December 4 as the Moon blocks out 100% of the Sun’s light. B. Braswell photo.
|SATURDAY||27 NOVEMBER 2021||ARRIVE BUENOS AIRES. OVERNIGHT|
|CRUISE DAY||DAY OF WEEK||DATE||PORT OF CALL||ARRIVAL TIME||DEPARTURE TIME|
|1||SUNDAY||28 NOVEMBER||FLY TO USHUAIA,|
|2||MONDAY||29 NOVEMBER||AT SEA|
|3||TUESDAY||30 NOVEMBER||ELEPHANT ISLAND, ANTARCTICA||1300||1900|
|4||WEDNESDAY||1 DECEMBER||BROWN BLUFF||0700||1200|
|5||THURSDAY||2 DECEMBER||KINNES COVE||0600||1200|
|6||FRIDAY||3 DECEMBER||AT SEA|
|7||SATURDAY||4 DECEMBER||TOTAL ECLIPSE|
1 MINUTE 40 SECONDS OF TOTALITY
|LAURIE ISLAND, SOUTH ORKNEYS||1500||2300|
|8||SUNDAY||5 DECEMBER||CORONATION ISLAND||0700||1200|
|9||MONDAY||6 DECEMBER||AT SEA|
|10||TUESDAY||7 DECEMBER||AT SEA|
|11||WEDNESDAY||8 DECEMBER||USHUAIA, ARGENTINA||600|
|11||FLY BACK TO BUENOS AIRES|
*Note that we cannot guarantee the weather will be clear for this or any other solar eclipse.
Intense discussions with penguins may be possible during shore excursions. In this shot with Lynn Palmer, juvenile gentoo penguins each tries to convince her to bring one of them back to the ship. Outerwear such as boots, pants and parka are typically provided by the ship. photo credit: Paul Maley
The following diagram shows the location of all passenger cabins from Deck 6 down to Deck 3. Note: all cabins except 300-307 have balconies.
Note the three cabins configured for handicapped guests: 509, 407 and 307.
Killer whales/orcas as seen from the deck of the ship. Even if you don’t go ashore, there is plenty of wildlife to view.
CABIN PRICES FOR ANTARCTICA ECLIPSE CRUISE 2021 (as of 09/19/19)
Prices shown are per person with 2 sharing a cabin. All remaining cabins/suites will be limited to two persons. The price of one person occupying a single cabin is shown in the table below.
|CABIN TYPE||PRICE PER PERSON||CASH DISCOUNT PRICE PER PERSON||SUPPLEMENT FOR SINGLE OCCUPANCY***||NUMBER OF CABINS||PRICE PER PERSON TRIPLE OCCUPANCY *|
|OWNER'S SUITE||$35,000||$33,000||$33,000||1||SOLD OUT: WAIT LIST ONLY|
|DELUXE SUITE||$28,000||$26,000||$24,000||3||SOLD OUT: WAIT LIST ONLY|
|PRIVILEGE SUITE (PRESTIGE SUITE DECK 6) 621/623||$23,500||$22,500||$19,000||9||1 AVAILABLE|
|PRESTIGE CABIN - Deck 6||$20,000||$19,000||$18,000||2||SOLD OUT: WAIT LIST ONLY|
|PRESTIGE CABIN - Deck 5 - 531||$18,000||$17,000||$16,000||25||1 AVAILABLE|
|PRESTIGE CABIN - Deck 4 - 406||$16,000||$15,000||$13,000||24||1 AVAILABLE|
|DELUXE CABIN - Deck 3||$15,000||$13,000||$12,000||28||SOLD OUT: WAIT LIST ONLY|
|SUPERIOR CABIN||$15,000||$13,000||$12,000||8||SOLD OUT: WAIT LIST ONLY|
***The total price for one person occupying a cabin is found by adding the per person price column/row to the supplement price column row.
CABIN AVAILABILITY TABLE
Check the table below to see if the cabin you want is reserved or not. Prices are shown per person. All remaining staterooms and suites accommodate 2 persons per room.
|NO.||TYPE||AVAILABLE?||TRIPLE?||CONFIGURED FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES?|
|333||DELUXE||FEMALE SHARE AVAILABLE|
|601||DELUXE SUITE 1||RESERVED|
|602||DELUXE SUITE 2||RESERVED|
|603||DELUXE SUITE 3||RESERVED|
|607||PRIVILEGE SUITE 1||RESERVED|
|609||PRIVILEGE SUITE 1||RESERVED|
|608||PRIVILEGE SUITE 2||RESERVED|
|610||PRIVILEGE SUITE 2||RESERVED|
|611||PRIVILEGE SUITE 3||RESERVED|
|615||PRIVILEGE SUITE 3||RESERVED|
|612||PRIVILEGE SUITE 4||RESERVED|
|614||PRIVILEGE SUITE 4||RESERVED|
|617||PRIVILEGE SUITE 5||RESERVED|
|619||PRIVILEGE SUITE 5||RESERVED|
|616||PRIVILEGE SUITE 6||RESERVED|
|618||PRIVILEGE SUITE 6||RESERVED|
|620||PRIVILEGE SUITE 7||RESERVED|
|622||PRIVILEGE SUITE 7||RESERVED|
|621||PRIVILEGE SUITE 8||AVAILABLE|
|623||PRIVILEGE SUITE 8||AVAILABLE|
|624||PRIVILEGE SUITE 9||AVAILABLE|
|626||PRIVILEGE SUITE 9||AVAILABLE|
IMPORTANT NOTICE: As is typical for every cruise charter in advance, Ponant Cruises has also provided a caveat to the cost. Should fuel prices increase beyond a specific index value by more than 5% up to 30 days prior to the start of the cruise, Ponant Cruises will increase prices to Future Travel (and to you). This could be caused by such things as a huge spike in oil futures or an event such as closing of the Strait of Hormuz. We do not anticipate this will happen, but Ponant Cruises are protecting themselves in case it does. Future Travel will be forced to notify all passengers of a cost increase should this happen.
An absolutely outlandish stroke of good fortune as our Zodiac boats were visited by a curious humpback whale who kept ‘spy hopping’ in March, 2018. Distance from my camera was about 15 feet. This encounter lasted almost one hour!! This is not a common experience and it will stay with me forever. You don’t have to own a really expensive camera; in fact, I used a ‘point and shoot’ camera for this and other shots. We cannot guarantee specific wildlife sightings on this or any other cruise. Photo credit: Paul Maley.
DEPOSIT AND PAYMENT SCHEDULE
From time of booking until Feb. 1, 2020, 20% per person of the total cruise cost (see table above).
Feb. 1, 2020, 50% of the total cruise cost.
Jan. 31, 2021, 100% of the total cruise cost.
Until Feb 1, 2020, $1000 per person for non-suite cabins (or $2,000 for cabin with people travelling alone); $3000 per person for all suites(or $3,000 per cabin for people travelling alone)
From Feb 1, 2020 to Jan. 30, 2021, $2000 per person for non-suite cabins (or $4,000 for cabin with people travelling alone); $5000 per person for all suites (or $10,000 for cabin with people travelling alone)
From Jan. 31, 2021, 100% nonrefundable.
The thrill of a Zodiac whale encounter is represented by this shot. It is one of the many whale tail images from my last trip. photo credit: Paul Maley
TRIP PROTECTION / TRAVEL INSURANCE
Based on the remoteness of the region, extended advance purchase and the requirements of the Cruise Line, all passengers are required to purchase insurance from Future Travel at an additional cost at the time of deposit. You may buy your own insurance or supply an existing policy, but coverage will need to be approved prior to deposit. If you are not a US Citizen, the minimum travel insurance coverage you will need to provide from an in-country travel agent, will be $50,000 USD Emergency Medical and $1,000,000 USD Emergency Medical Evacuation and repatriation PER PERSON. INSURANCE PRICES WILL VARY BY TOTAL TRIP COST AND LOCATION. INSURANCE WILL BE QUOTED AND MUST BE PAID UPON DEPOSIT. INSURANCE PRICES ARE IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE LISTED CABIN PRICES. There is no discount on travel insurance. Note: email@example.com. For more information and a quote on insurance pricing, contact Michelle Weller at:
A penguin complaining to me: no cable TV, heaters or beer… photo credit: Paul Maley
COMBING TWO CABINS INTO A SUITE
All combined cabins are sold out as of 02/02/2019
DETAILS ON THE SHIP
• All outside staterooms and suites, with private balconies**
• Butler service for all suite categories (Categories 4 and above)
• Sun deck and multiple outer deck observation areas
• Outside heated pool
• Library with extensive selection of books and reading areas
• Two restaurants offering exquisite dining experiences
• Panoramic lounge & terrace
• Three bar plus a ship’s boutique
• Passenger elevators
• Fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment
• Hairdresser offering full-service hair styling, manicures and pedicures
• Spa and steam room
• 24-hour on-board medical facilities with certified doctor (extra cost)
• 24-hour room service and laundry services (extra cost)
• The Club lounge for live music and dancing
• A theater with unobstructed seating for more than 200 guests
• Wireless internet access throughout the ship (extra cost)
• Electricity: 110/220 volts
**except for deck 3 cabins 300-307
Don’t get hung up on the weather when you could really be hung up on a humpback whale! photo credit: Paul Maley
• Overall length: 466 feet
• Beam: 59 feet
• Draft: 15.3 feet
• Average speed: 16 knots
• Ice class: 1C
• Passenger cabin decks: 4
• Passenger capacity: limited to 200 for Antarctica
• Crew: 142 (crew-to-guest ratio of 1 to 1.4)
• Gross tonnage: 10.700 GRT
• Electric Motors: 2 x 2.3 MW
If you decide not to go onshore, here is a sample of what humpback whales look like as seen from the deck. P. Maley photo.
SOLAR ECLIPSE ANTARCTICA CRUISE 2021 PRICE INCLUDES:
• mineral water during lunch and dinner
• open bar included so guests will not have to pay for wine, beer and cocktails on board.
• complimentary parka (given to you on the ship)
• all gratuities to the ship’s crew
• no formal nights: dress code is always ‘eclipse casual’
• all Zodiac landings (you must be ambulatory to walk down/up stairs and be able to get in/out of Zodiacs on your own)
• one gala dinner
• all meals on the ship including early risers coffee, breakfast served in cabin or in the restaurants, lunch and dinner in the restaurants
• 1 pre-night hotel and transfers in Buenos Aires at a 4 star property
• round-trip economy class air between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia, Argentina
• round-trip transfers between Ushuaia airport and pier
• eclipse glasses
• specialty speakers
• one welcome drink (composed of non alcohol cocktails/juice) upon arrival
• welcome and farewell cocktails
• daily afternoon tea and pastries
• unlimited change of towels; bed clothing changed once during the cruise
• in suite dining and room service
• superior cuisine
• a team in charge of day and evening activities
SOLAR ECLIPSE ANTARCTICA CRUISE 2021 PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
• international airfare
• transfers to/from ship (unless specified)
• pre or post cruise packages (unless specified)
• additional onboard services such as wifi, spa, etc.
• shore excursions and special sea activities other than the Zodiac landings (this itinerary does not feature ports where the term ‘shore excursion’ applies)
• a washing and ironing service for laundry
• cost of passports and any visas (if required)
• medical services and fees related to this
• anything else not mentioned in the SOLAR ECLIPSE CRUISE 2021 PRICE INCLUDES section above
• trip cancellation and delay, medical evacuation insurance which is mandatory (passengers are required to secure this from Future Travel or approve international insurance if you are a foreign national)
Our ship in the Weddell Sea
GUESTS WITH DISABILITIES:
Prospective participants need to know that the ship has very limited capability for guests with disabilities. Wheel-on and / or wheel-off access is only possible in Ushuaia; the Zodiacs are not wheelchair accessible. This is an ‘expedition ship’ which is geared to go into areas larger ships cannot venture. In certain situations if guests are not physically fit enough to board or disembark Zodiac boats, it may not be possible for them to accomplish wet landings. In all the areas the ship operates it is important to be of a moderate fitness level in order to participate in the activities offered. As they make use of the Zodiacs on a regular basis, it is important guests are physically able to embark and disembark the Zodiacs by means of the gangway which involves a lot of steps at a steep angle in a moving sea. On shore, the Expedition team will be taking guests on guided hikes which can involve moderate to difficult walking on uneven terrain. Also note that if you are 24 weeks pregnant or more, you cannot participate in Solar Eclipse Cruise 2021.
Be sure to ask permission before taking a penguin’s photo. Some are quite shy. photo credit: Paul Maley
BOARDING THE SHIP
It is important to also point out that all passengers are responsible for being sure they are on board the ship on departure day. Failure to do so will result in the passenger being left at the port and it will be the passenger’s responsibility to catch up to the ship using the passenger’s own resources. Neither Ponant Cruises nor Future Travel can be responsible for any passengers who fail to board the ship prior to the schedule time of departure.
How close to a whale can you really get? If you are truly lucky–within a couple of feet. This is one of more than 50 images that I took while our Zodiacs were in the middle of a pod of humpback whales. photo credit: Paul Maley
REGISTRATION & PASSENGER INFORMATION FORMS
Three forms are required for the Antarctica Eclipse Cruise:
- Click HERE to REGISTER. One registration form for each person in your party. IMPORTANT: ON THE REGISTRATION FORM IF YOU LIVE OUTSIDE THE USA ONLY, ENTER ANY 10 DIGIT PHONE NUMBER.
- Scroll up above and look at the CABIN AVAILABILITY TABLE. Choose any cabin that is designated “AVAILABLE”
- Complete the cabin request form to select your cabin.
- Finally, complete payment by one of the two methods shown below.
We cannot confirm you unless the registration form, cabin request form, and payment are all received.
All prices are quoted in US Dollars and can be paid in the following ways:
PAY BY CREDIT CARD: Future Travel, Inc. – A Direct Travel Company does accept VISA, Master Card, American Express, and Discover. We will need you to view, complete the Credit Card Authorization form:
FOR CASH DISCOUNT PRICE, PAY BY ELECTRONIC CHECK: Use our secure electronic payment form. It is faster/safer than going through the regular mail. The web link is:
IF YOU LIVE OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES you may pay by one of these methods: 1) credit cards, 2) electronic check transfer from a bank in the United States, or 3) wire transfer. A USD$50 fee is charged if a wire transfer is used for each payment. No checks or money orders can be accepted! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements.
When the ship anchors in a quiet bay it may be possible to cruise in a Zodiac boat near whales! Paddleboarding with whales is no longer allowed per IAATO rules.
FUTURE TRAVEL TERMS AND CONDITIONS
ANY TOUR MEMBER WHO ENGAGES IN EXTREMELY RUDE/OFFENSIVE/REPETITIVE/ILLEGAL BEHAVIOR OR INTERFERES WITH TOUR REPRESENTATIVES ABILITY TO FUNCTION WILL BE EJECTED FROM THE TOUR ON THE SPOT AND WILL BE BANNED FROM PARTICIPATING IN FUTURE TOURS. SUCH BEHAVIOR IS NOT PERMITTED AT ANY TIME.
Participant signature on the registration form will signify your agreement with the following terms and conditions.
In consideration for providing tour operating and planning services for 2021 Total Eclipse Cruise Antarctica (“Program”), Future Travel, Inc. d/b/a Direct Travel and tour participant, on behalf of himself or herself and all other persons traveling under this Program Participant Agreement (including any accompanying persons for whom the Program was purchased), (“Participant”) agree to the following terms and conditions outlined below for this Program Participant Agreement (the “Agreement”). As used below, the term “Tour Operator” refers to Future Travel, Inc. d/b/a Direct Travel and any companies that control, are controlled by or are under common control with Future Travel, Inc. d/b/a Direct Travel, and the term “Ground Operator” refers to the individual(s) or service provider(s) contracted to deliver elements of the Program based on experience and expertise at destinationPROGRAM ITINERARY: The itinerary on the Program webpage and any other materials are hereby included in this agreement. However, Tour Operator, reserves the right to make changes to the itinerary as explained further in this Agreement. For more information, please call (281) 480-1988 or (800) 929-9004 or email email@example.com.
- PROGRAM PRICE:Prices are based on two (2) 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 and due under terms and conditions relating to third-party service providers, including but not limited to airlines, hotels and other lodging providers, local hosts, sightseeing tour operators, bus lines, car rental companies, driving services, restaurants, and providers of entertainment (the “third-party suppliers”).
- DEPOSIT AND FINAL PAYMENT REQUIREMENTS:If Participant signs up before the dates posted on the Program webpage, a deposit in the amount stated on the webpage is due along with the signed reservation form in order to secure the reservation, which is subject to availability at the time Tour Operator receives the form and deposit. Dates and deposit amounts vary depending upon the specific Program. Failure to meet those deposit dates will result in cancellation of the reservation and loss of deposit as defined under the cancellation penalties portion of the webpage. If the Program is sold out at the time Tour Operator receives the reservation form and deposit, Tour Operator will contact the Participant and ask if the Participant wishes to be added to a waiting list. Tour Operator reserves the right to accept or decline any prospective Participant for any nondiscriminatory reason in its sole discretion. All reservations must be paid in full by the date specified on the Program Spaces not paid in full by that date are subject to cancellation without refund and will be charged a $250 late-payment fee. Participant agrees it will not initiate a credit card dispute, such as a chargeback, except in the instance of actual fraud. In the event Tour Operator must respond and settle a credit card dispute, absent an incident of actual fraud, Tour Operator reserves the right to charge for any related expenses, including reasonable attorneys’ fees and interest charges at the highest rate allowed by law, which Participant will be responsible for. Participant agrees to work with Tour Operator to find resolution to the best of its ability, prior to initiating any chargebacks.
- PROGRAM CANCELLATION BY PARTICIPANT: Due to the substantial costs of operation associated with the travel management of the Program and loss of anticipated revenue, in the event the Participant cancels, Tour Operator will retain the total of payments, which Participant agrees represents properly due liquidated damages and not a penalty. However, if Participant finds a replacement traveler or any other members of the traveling party, Tour Operator will instead charge a change fee of $250.00 as specified on the Program Tour Operator must receive the written (email is sufficient) notice of the change and a signed/scanned reservation form from the new participant at least ninety (90) days prior to the date of departure in order to be eligible for a partial refund in accordance with the rules specified on each specific tour page. If Tour Operator receives notice of the change less than ninety (90) days prior to the departure date, Tour Operator will not provide a refund. There is no refund for unused portions of the Program once the Program has commenced. The Participant is solely responsible for costs incurred due to missed, canceled or delayed transportation. Participant’s decision not to participate on the Program 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 the Participant from joining the Program on the departure date and time, the Participant will be considered a no-show, and Tour Operator will not provide a full or partial refund or credit toward a future Program, but the Participant may join the Program late at his or her expense. There are no exceptions to the cancellation policies.
- OTHER CHANGES TO TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS:There will be a change fee of $75.00 per Participant charged for any change in travel arrangements made after ticketing and at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of departure in addition to charges incurred by third-party suppliers. No changes will be allowed within thirty (30) days of the departure date.
- TRAVEL PROTECTON PLAN (INSURANCE): Travel Protection Plan coverage is required for all participants. Such protection must include sufficient coverage (as defined by Tour Operator) for medical expenses, potential medical emergency evacuation if required to receive medical care due to location; and is highly recommended to include trip cancellation coverage. Tour Operator will provide insurance information prior to processing deposit. However, any questions whatsoever regarding Travel Protection Plan coverage should be addressed directly to the issuing Travel Protection Plan company. Tour Operator offers Allianz Global Assistance Travel Protection Plan coverage to United States and Canadian residents and will provide costs associated with insuring the trip if Participant elects to purchase Allianz Global Assistance, both at time of deposit and final payment. If Participant is a resident to a country other than the United States or Canada, Participant will be obligated to purchase insurance in his or her home country. Participant will be required to purchase this insurance or produce a compatible coverage policy approved by Tour Operator.
- PROGRAM PRICE INCREASES: In the event that the cost of any aspect of the Program, including but not limited to currency fluctuations and the cost of third-party supplier services, should incur an unexpected cost increase, Tour Operator is obligated to pass on these increases to Participant. While rare, they can occur and are beyond the control of Tour Operator. If an increase occurs, Tour Operator will provide the amount and reason for such an increase to Participant, and Participant is required to provide payment by the date due per communication from Tour Operator or cancel Program in accordance with Section 4 of this Agreement.
- PROGRAM AIRFARES: Programs are generally based on land or sea only, and do not include airfare. Airline arrangements are usually optional and not included in the Program price unless specifically stated. In the event airline arrangements are included, specific terms and conditions applicable to the ticketing carrier (airline) will apply. Terms and conditions are subject to the specific airlines’ terms and policies in place which are governed solely by the airlines. Airlines and airfares included in the Program are subject to change without notice.
- ECLIPSE (or other astronomical event) VIEWING: Tour Operator has no control over any astronomical events. While the Tour Operator will use best reasonable efforts to arrange for the viewing, there is no guarantee that there will not be cloud cover, or that there will not be another reason beyond Tour Operator’s control or influence over other factors that affect the Participant’s ability to view an astronomical event. Therefore, Tour Operator 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 the control of Tour Operator.
- PROGRAM CHANGES OR CANCELLATION BY THIRD-PARTY SUPPLIER, PROGRAM, OR GROUND OPERATOR: The Ground Operator in its sole discretion may cancel, advance, or postpone any part of the Program, change the itinerary, and may (but is not obligated to) substitute another transport vehicle, and Tour Operator will not be liable for any loss whatsoever to passengers by reason of such cancellation, advancement, postponement, or substitution. If the Program is fully or partially canceled by the Ground Operator, the Tour Operator will provide a proportional refund in the event the Tour Operator receives a refund from the Ground Operator. Under such circumstances, Tour Operator shall have no further liability for damages or compensation of any kind, and Participant understands that any refund is contingent on Tour Operator receiving a refund from Ground Operator. Participant agrees that the availability of any refund from the travel protection plan and/or other travel products (airfare, lodging, transfers), even if purchased in conjunction with the Program, will be determined in accordance with the applicable third-party supplier cancellation policies for such other products or services.
- MINIMUM PARTICIPATION. Tour Operator reserves the right to cancel the Program for inadequate participation, in which case the Tour Operator will provide a full refund minus any non-refundable portion, or a full travel credit of the Program price, at the Tour Operator’s sole discretion, and shall have no further liability for damages or compensation of any kind. Notification regarding cancellation due to minimum participation will be provided as soon as reasonably possible, but typically at least one hundred (120) days prior to departure date. Sightseeing is subject to change due to weather conditions, accessibility, border crossing limitations, and hours of operation.
- GROUND OPERATOR’S PASSAGE CONTRACT: The Ground Operator’s Passage Contract shall govern the terms and conditions of such services. You may request a copy of the Ground Operator’s Passage Contract, which constitutes the agreement between the Ground Operator and Participant. The Passage Contract provides that the Ground Operator may exercise its rights in a variety of matters. The Tour Operator shall 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.
- PASSPORTS AND VISAS: International travel requires a passport valid six (6) months beyond the intended return travel date. In many cases, Participant will also need to have multiple consecutive blank visa pages within his or her passport, depending on the countries involved in the itinerary. Many countries also require that visas be obtained prior to travel. Please speak with Tour Operator if unsure about the visa requirements for the travel destination, but Participant is solely responsible for complying with all passport and visa requirements. Citizens of other countries must make their nationalities known to Tour Operator at registration and are responsible for obtaining proper documentation to enter the United States and any other countries involved in the Program.
- MEDICAL CERTIFICATION/UNAVAILABILITY AND PASSENGERS REQUIRING SPECIAL ASSISTANCE: By booking the Program, Participant certifies and represents that: (a) Participant is in good general health and physically capable of performing all activities in the Program; (b) Participant is capable of caring for himself/herself during any expedition and will not impede the progress of the trip or enjoyment of other Program participants; (c) Participant understands that any expedition may take him or her far from the nearest viable medical facility and the availability of medical care may be limited, delayed or unavailable; and (d) all expedition members must be self-sufficient; and (e) Participant has not been recently treated for, or is aware of, any physical, mental or other condition or disability, including but not limited to COVID-19 that would create a hazard to himself/herself or other Program Transport may be refused to any Participant whose state of health or physical conditions renders the Participant, in the opinion of the Tour or Ground Operator, unfit. Participant must notify Tour Operator in writing at the time of booking of any disability or other medical or physical condition that may require special assistance or treatment during the Program. Participant’s failure to do so will release Tour Operator from any liability for loss, damages or other compensation arising from or related in any way to such disability or condition. Tour Operator and Ground Operator(s) reserve the right to require that any Participant who is not self-sufficient must travel with a companion who takes responsibility for any assistance needed during the Program and in case of emergency. Participant understands that if he or she fraudulently represents himself/herself as fit for the Program, Participant may be removed prior to or during the Program at his or her own expense. Participant agrees to indemnify and reimburse Tour Operator and its Ground Operator(s) in the event that these entities by their sole discretion, advance to Participant 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. Tour Operator shall have no responsibility to advance any such costs.
- CHILDREN: Programs are formulated specifically for adults, and any children under the age of 18 must be accepted on a special approval basis in writing. Any approved 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.
- LUGGAGE: Each Participant may bring no more than (2) pieces of luggage on the Program unless specified otherwise in the Program It is recommended that Participants do not bring expensive jewelry or like possessions. Telescopes and observation equipment should be securely packed; insurance protection for high-value items (such as cameras, computers, etc.) is highly recommended. Pets, dangerous or illegal items such as weapons, explosives, combustible substances, non-prescription controlled substances, or illegal drugs may not be brought on the Program. Any such items shall be surrendered to security at embarkation and may be disposed of at the sole discretion of the Ground Operator. Tour Operator assumes no responsibility for checked or carry-on luggage. IF PARTICIPANT CHOOSES TO BRING A TELESCOPE OR ANY UNUSUAL EQUIPMENT, PARTICIPANT MUST PROVIDE A LIST OF SUCH ITEMS TO TOUR OPERATOR. TOUR OPERATOR WILL PROVIDE INSTRUCTIONS RELATED TO CUSTOMS FORMALITIES.
- TRANSFERS:When transfers between hotels and airports are included in the Program price, transportation of participants and their baggage is provided only when participant(s) travel with the rest of the group (or language in the tour terms indicates that participant(s) can arrive at any time). If the participant(s) 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 P 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 or available.
- TAXES: The Program price paid includes all taxes Tour Operator has knowledge of for included services such as lodging, transportation, meals, entry fees, permits, and any other services delivered as part of the Any newly enacted taxes imposed by local authorities’ unknown to Tour Operator as well as any applicable airport departure taxes will have to be collected from each participant during the Program.
- GRATUITIES: There are generally two types of applicable gratuities which are defined as: 1) Gratuity associated with Tour Operator provided services such as group meals; porterage; facilities; etc.; and 2) Gratuity which may be payable to Tour Director(s)/local guide(s) and/or driver(s) at participant’ sole discretion. The Program price paid generally includes type 1 gratuities, while type 2 gratuities are at the participant’ expense. Tour Operator makes every effort to advise participant ahead of time about type 2 gratuities which are customary in many cultures.
- MISCELLANEOUS ADDITIONAL COSTS: There are other associated costs that are not included in the Program price including but not limited to: cost of passports or visas, excess luggage, 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, and any additional gratuities.
- ROOMMATES/CABINMATES: If Participant is traveling alone, but wishes to share occupancy of a room/cabin, Tour Operator will use reasonable efforts to match same-gender roommates, along with smoking/non-smoking preferences. If Tour Operator cannot find a roommate for any reason, Tour Operator will advise Participant and charge the single supplement fee. Participant may wish to look for a roommate from a local astronomical society, family or friends. Participant’s decision to accept a roommate for the Program is at his or her own risk. Tour Operator is not responsible or liable for any and all claims or cause of action arising out of or in connection with Participant’s acceptance or selection of a roommate for the Program, 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.
- SMOKING: Smoking is prohibited on Program 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.
- INFORMATION: The information Tour Operator publishes on the Program Website is believed to be accurate and reliable. Tour Operator makes no representations or warranties regarding such information or any information provided by a third party. Unless expressly stated in writing, the Tour Operator does not endorse products or services offered by any company or person identified in brochures, collateral materials or Websites, nor is the Tour Operator responsible for any content published by a third party.
- DISCLAIMER AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY: In no event will Tour Operator 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 Program even if advised of the possibility of such damages. In no event will Tour Operator’s aggregate liability exceed the total Program price set forth in the itinerary for any occurrence including, but not limited to: (1) injury, death or delay of Participant, or loss, damage or delay of or to Participant’s luggage or other property, which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from participation in the Program including, without limitation, Participant’s use of or participation in any excursion, on concession or athletic or recreational activity; (2) Participant’s request for or selection of a roommate/cabinmate for the Program; (3) emotional distress, mental suffering or anguish or psychological injury of any kind under any circumstances (except when such damages were directly caused by Tour Operator’s negligence and resulted from the same Participant 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 Tour Operator); (4) any change in scheduled Program events and/or celebrity appearances; (5) the Ground Operators’ exercise of its contractual rights; or (6) or (if Participant is entering into this Agreement on behalf of itself and its group, party, or traveling companions) any claim arising out of their assertion that Participant was not authorized to agree on their behalf. Participant further agrees that Tour Operator shall not be held vicariously liable for the intentional or negligent acts of any persons not employed or engaged by Tour Operator, nor for any intentional or negligent acts of Tour Operator’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 Tour Operator’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, Tour Operator shall have the full benefit of any applicable laws providing for limitation and exoneration from liability, and nothing contained herein is intended to operate to limit or deprive Tour Operator of any such statutory limitation of or exoneration from liability.
- FORCE MAJEURE: Tour Operator assumes 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 Tour Operator control including but not limited to a delay or cancellation that causes Participant(s) to miss all or any portion of the Program, acts of God, acts of government, acts by controlling or regulating bodies, war, terrorist acts, riots, disaster, fires, civil disturbance, disease epidemics, public utility failure, restraints or delays affecting carriers or inability in obtaining suppliers or adequate materials, hurricanes, earthquakes, weather extremes, strikes/labor disputes/labor unrest, or any other comparable condition beyond the reasonable control of the Tour Operator. has no special knowledge regarding the financial condition of third-party suppliers, unsafe conditions, health hazards, weather hazards, or climate extremes at locations to which Participant(s) may travel. Participant understands that health care standards, facilities, and services abroad may be different or even inadequate for treating health conditions. It is the responsibility of each Participant to obtain health and medical certificates, inoculations and vaccinations that may be required.
- DISPUTES: Except where prohibited by law, Participant and all members of Participant’s party expressly agree that: (1) any and all disputes, claims and causes of action against Tour Operator arising out of or connected with the Program 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) Participant waives any venue or other objection that Participant 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 Program, but in no event attorneys’ fees; and (4) Participant waives the right to claim any other damages whatsoever, including, but not limited to, punitive, special, 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. Participant agrees to present any claims against Tour Operator within 30 days after the Program ends and to file within one year of the incident, and Participant acknowledges 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.
- INDEMNIFICATION: Participant shall indemnify, defend and hold harmless Tour Operator and its officers, employees, directors, third-party suppliers and agents, in their individual capacities or otherwise, from and against any losses arising out of: (i) Participant’s negligence; (ii) Participant’s failure to comply with applicable law; or (iii) Participant’s failure to comply with this Agreement.
- ASSUMPTION OF RISK AND DISCHARGE: Participant acknowledges that he or she has voluntarily applied for the Program. Participant understands that he or she may travel to countries and areas that are inherently risky. Participant agrees to assume all risks associated with the Program 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 Participant hereby assumes such risks. Participant also assumes 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. Participant further assumes full responsibility for personal injury to himself or herself and further releases and discharges Program and its affiliates, managers, agents, representatives and assigns, for injury, loss, delay, or damage, all claims or causes of action related to Participant or Participant’s property arising out of Participant’s use of or presence upon the facilities arranged by or of any activities arranged by Program whether caused by the negligent or intentional acts or omissions of Participant or other third parties. Participant agrees that in the event he or she shall require medical care or treatment, Participant will be financially responsible for any costs incurred as a result of such care or treatment. Participant acknowledges that all activities associated with the Program, however conducted, including airline flights and ground transportation, are operated by independent contractors and third parties. Tour Operator neither supervises nor controls their actions, nor makes any representation, either expressed or implied, as to their suitability and safety. These services are provided only as a convenience for Participant, and Participant is choosing to use the services.
- MISCELLANEOUS: Tour Operator may assign its rights and/or delegate all or a portion of its duties under this Agreement to any third party at any time without the consent or permission of any parties to this Agreement. If there is a conflict between this Agreement and one or more terms contained in another agreement between Participant and Tour Operator, this Agreement will control. No alteration, cancellation, variation of, or addition to this Agreement shall be of any force or effect unless reduced to writing and signed by Tour Operator. If there is a conflict between any part of this Agreement 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. The Parties agree and intend an electronic or facsimile version of this Agreement shall be considered an original if signed by both Parties via an authorized digitally scanned signature or original signature.
BY SUBMITTING A REGISTRATION FORM HERE, I CERTIFY THAT I HAVE DIGITALLY SIGNED THIS AGREEMENT, AND I UNDERSTAND AND ACCEPT THE FOLLOWING TERMS AND CONDITIONS, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ALL REFUND AND CANCELLATION POLICIES.