TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE AUSTRALIA 2023
SMALL SHIP CRUISE TO WESTERN AUSTRALIA
APRIL 15-25, 2023
STATUS as of December 17, 2020: SOLD OUT. WAIT LIST ONLY.
The Coral Discoverer
Join Ring of Fire Expeditions 52rd solar eclipse expedition to Broome, Western Australia and witness a fabulous 1 minute 05 seconds of a total solar eclipse of the Sun aboard the 72 passenger Coral Discoverer! This is a true small ship in every sense and we have an exciting itinerary planned out. This expedition will be led by Paul D. Maley of the NASA Johnson Space Center Astronomical Society and will be his 82nd solar eclipse. Avoid the mobs of eclipse-goers on the narrow strip of land where it crosses Australia and come with us. Although we are also offering a ground tour, the cruise trip will experience about 7 more seconds of totality.
What kind of eclipse is this? Just to be clear, this is what is called a hybrid eclipse. That is, it is annular and it is also a total solar eclipse of the sun. But it is important to know that the path of this eclipse extends thousands of miles. In western Australia and the sea on the western and northwestern side of the continent, you can ONLY see a true total solar eclipse. We cannot possibly reach the transition point where there is a necklace of Baily’s Beads surrounding the entire disc of the Moon. This would be really cool to see. The two zones where this is possible are far out in the Pacific Ocean north of Butaritari Island at the sunset point and in the Indian Ocean near the sunrise point about 80km northwest of Kerguelen Island. Both of these places are quite remote and completely impractical for us to reach. In addition, the cloud forecast is not good for those areas. The overall cloud cover forecast for the area where we are headed is pretty good.
2023 TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE EXPEDITION HIGHLIGHTS
Snorkel or dive the pristine and rarely visited Rowley Shoals, accompanied by our onboard Marine Biologist
> Scuba dive the remarkable reefs of Muiron Islands, or ‘dusk dive’ the Navy Pier at Exmouth (additional cost) to encounter a huge variety of marine life
> Encounter the mega fauna of Ningaloo Reef – with the chance to swim with whale sharks and manta rays (this experience is subject to nature)
> Swim out to coral gardens from the beach at Coral Bay
> Discover sites of cultural significance to indigenous Australians, including the Dampier Archipelago petroglyphs, with expert interpretation
> Encounter a proliferation of wildlife, including rare birds and marine life on the remote islands and atolls
> Relax on pristine white-sand beaches in the Muiron Islands, Dampier Archipelago, and Turquoise Bay
ITINERARY: 11 DAYS/10 NIGHTS BROOME TO BROOME (preliminary itinerary as of 1/21/20 and is subject to change)
Cruise route with eclipse path
DAY 1 (April 15, 2023): DEPART BROOME
Board in Broome at 4:00pm for a 5:00pm departure.
DAYS 2-10: KEY DESTINATIONS OF YOUR EXPEDITION
At the edge of the continental shelf, 170 nautical miles offshore, lie the Rowley Shoals, a chain of three coral atolls including Clerke, Mermaid and Imperieuse Reefs. The shoals offer some of the best snorkeling and diving opportunities in the world. Their shallow lagoons are inhabited by myriad coral species and marine life, including giant potato cod, Maori wrasse, at least 233 species of coral and 688 species of fish. Water clarity here is unparalleled, making for superb underwater photography opportunities. Conditions permitting, we will spend 1-2 days here for snorkeling and diving opportunities. Guided by our marine biologist, snorkel away the day in the coral gardens of the Aquarium at Clerke Reef, try a drift snorkel in the channel, or beach comb on Bedwell Island.
MONTEBELLO and TRIMOUILLE ISLANDS
The Montebello Islands are an archipelago of more than 250 limestone islands and islets off the coast of the Pilbara. A bird watcher’s delight, the islands are an important bird area, as they support over 1% of the world populations of fairy and roseate terns, as well as sooty oyster-catchers. The Montebellos have an ‘explosive’ past – Alpha and Trimouille Islands were the site of British atomic weapons tests in the 1950s. Relics of the military operation can still be found on the islands. Spend a full day exploring here, with wildlife spotting opportunities including endangered rufous hare-wallabies and stingrays. There are also opportunities to swim from the beautiful beaches.
Using a Zodiac to go ashore
THE TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE
This will be the highlight of our total solar eclipse cruise! We plan to steer to a place where we can see the most totality—approximately 1 minute 4 seconds (determined by our location) which is about 7 seconds longer than our land tour group. The path width in the figure above is a mere 42km/26 miles. Initially we will anchor off Barrow Island and watch the spectacle from here. The Moon will begin its passage in front of the Sun’s disc starting at 10:07am local time (GMT+8); then starting at 11:33am totality will begin. The Sun/Moon will join at an elevation of 55 degrees, azimuth 20 degrees. Finally the Sun will regain its normal brilliance at 1:06pm.
Paul D. Maley providing a pre-eclipse briefing. Lynn Palmer photo.
Lawrence Tulissi took these photos to create a time sequenced montage of the eclipse leading up to totality on our July 2019 cruise from Tahiti.
Total eclipse of the Sun as photographed by Eliot M. Herman on our land trip from La Serena, Chile in July 2019.
You can also take eclipse photos from the ship. Bob Hulse shot this on our July 2019 cruise with one participant putting eclipse glasses in front of an Iphone.
Projecting partial eclipse crescent Suns can be done by interlacing fingers when there are no trees around. Lynn Palmer photo.
The Sun’s inner corona as captured by Brian Siegel.
Shadow bands in the sky, Baily’s Beads and chromosphere as photographed by Bob Hulse.
Located off North West Cape, the waters surrounding the uninhabited Muiron Islands are teeming with marine life. A variety of dive sites are on offer, including swim-throughs and ledges
where nudibranchs and angelfish hide. Snorkelers will appreciate many soft corals and gorgonians as well as colorful fish. After in water activities, stretch your legs on a stroll down the beach.
Coral reefs in the area
The forty-two iron-red islands of the Dampier Archipelago stand in bright contrast to the turquoise waters which surround them. The archipelago supports the largest Hawksbill turtle rookery in the Indo-Pacific, while birdwatchers may spot several species of migratory waders, as well as sea eagles and ospreys. With luck we may even see the elusive Rothschild’s rock wallaby. The archipelago not only offers exceptional natural beauty but significant National Heritage Listed Areas. The islands’ earliest inhabitants were the Yaburara people, as is evidenced by thousands of rock engravings, shell middens and stone arrangements scattered across the islands. During our time here, explore the pastoral, pearling and cultural history that remains in the form of ruins and petroglyphs. There will also be opportunities to enter the azure waters for snorkeling, kayaking and diving.
Rock art similar to what you can see in Dampier
NINGALOO REEF, EXMOUTH, & CORAL BAY
The World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef spans over 5,000 square kilometers/1930 square miles, with inner and outer reefs that create diverse habitats for vibrant corals and more than 500 species of fish. Mega marine fauna feed here during their migrations, including humpback whales, giant manta rays, and the majestic whale shark. We will spend 2-3 days here exploring this stunning coastline from Exmouth to Coral Bay. Snorkel and dive the outer reefs and relax on stunning beaches such as Turquoise Bay. With an experienced local operator, you may have the opportunity to swim with whale sharks and manta rays (these encounters are subject to nature). IMPORTANT NOTE: whale shark swims are not able to be conducted by the ship. This is an outside vendor so the cost for this will be extra.
Swimming with whale sharks.
DAY 11 (April 25, 2023): ARRIVE BROOME
Disembark in Broome at 8:00am
CABIN LOCATIONS ON THE SHIP
Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom
Located on the exclusive Bridge Deck close to the Lounge and Bridge, our six spacious Bridge Deck staterooms are 20sqm (195 square feet) in size and open out onto private balconies for expansive ocean views, along with a sofa, desk, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
Promenade Deck (Category A) Stateroom
Encircled by a full-ship promenade, our 19 spacious Promenade Deck (Category A) staterooms are 18sqm (195 square feet) in size and feature picture windows for expansive ocean views, along with a sofa, desk, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
Promenade Deck (Category B) Stateroom
Located in the bow of the ship and encircled by a full-ship promenade, our two Promenade Deck (Category B) staterooms are 15sqm (160 square feet) in size and feature picture windows for expansive ocean views, along with a desk, telephone and Junior King bedding.
Main Deck (Category A) Stateroom
Located close to the Dining Room, our six spacious Main Deck (Category A) staterooms are 18sqm (195 square feet) in size and feature large, twin porthole windows for expansive ocean views, along with a desk, sofa, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
Main Deck (Category B) Stateroom
Located close to the Dining Room, our three spacious Main Deck (Category B) staterooms are 18sqm (195 square feet) in size and feature twin portholes for expansive ocean views, along with a desk, sofa, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
A01-A06……………………………………………………………………JUNIOR KING DOUBLE BED
B03, B04, B07, B08, B12, B14, B17, B18, B21, B22 ………………………2 SINGLE BEDS
B05, B06, B09, B10, B15, B16, B19, B20………………………………….JUNIOR KING DOUBLE BED
B01*, B02*, B11*, B13……………………………………………………..JUNIOR KING DOUBLE BED
C01*, C02, C06, C07…………………………………………………………JUNIOR KING DOUBLE BED
C03, C04, C05, C08, C09…………………………………………………..2 SINGLE BEDS
*The bed configuration in these 4 cabins cannot be changed, but the rest can be.
CABIN AVAILABILITY TABLE WITH PRICES
|CABIN TYPE||CABIN NUMBER||PRICE PERSON*||CASH DISCOUNT PRICE PER PERSON*||AVAILABILITY|
|BRIDGE DECK BALCONY|
|PROMENADE DECK B 2 CABINS||B01||USD$14,438||USD$13,750||RESERVED|
|PROMENADE DECK A 19 CABINS||B03||USD$14,699||USD$13,999||RESERVED|
|MAIN DECK B 3 CABINS||C01||USD$12,600||USD$12,000||RESERVED|
|MAIN DECK A 6 CABINS||C04||USD$14,175||USD$13,500||RESERVED|
PRICES DO NOT INCLUDE REQUIRED TRIP PROTECTION PLAN INSURANCE. SEE BELOW.
WHAT IS INCLUDED ON the 2023 AUSTRALIA TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE CRUISE:
- All shore excursions including hiking, kayaking, and bird watching
- Presentations, briefings and workshops by the ship’s highly experienced Expedition Team
- Snorkeling and introductory scuba lesson
- All meals with morning and afternoon tea
- Select beers, wines, juices and soft drinks with lunch and dinner service, and 24 hours tea and coffee
- Daily room service
- Gratuities to ship’s crew
- Roundtrip airport transfers between Broome airport and the pier
- Open bridge access and engine room tours
- Eclipse briefing and solar eclipse observation
- “Eclipse glasses” for observing the partial phases
- No formal dress code: 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)
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED:
- Airfare of any kind
- Wi-fi charges
- pre or post night accommodations
- Passport, visa, personal expenses
- Laundry services
- Medical services and fees
- 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)
- Any item not specified in the WHAT IS INCLUDED section
Scuba Skills: FOC
Non Certified Diver fees (2023 pricing):
First Dive: AUD$109
Second Dive: AUD$109
Certified Diver fees:
Supply All: AUD$93
Supply Weight Belt and Tanks: AUD$83
You will need to fly to Broome (airport code BME). You may elect to use frequent flier miles or purchase a ticket from Future Travel who will endeavor to get group air where possible. Air costs for that time will not be available until 11 months prior to the eclipse. We suggest flying into Melbourne (MEL) where the group would connect to a QANTAS flight to BME. Arriving one day early is recommended into Melbourne to decompress and then proceed to Broome the next day in order to arrive on the day of the cruise. A group transfer will occur from the Broome airport to the ship. Future Travel will provide the connection that will allow everyone to arrive at the same time to make the transfer. If you arrive outside of this Broome arrival you will have to proceed to the ship on your own or wait for the included group transfer. At the end of the cruise there will be one group transfer to the airport. It would be best to take the flight from Broome to Melbourne so as to avoid excessive delays at BME. Broome airport is located about 2-3 miles from the pier.
Flights from San Francisco or Los Angeles to Melbourne take about 16 hours.
Flights from Melbourne to Broome are via Perth and take about 7.5 hours. So it may be good for an overnight stay in Melbourne before proceeding to Broome. Michelle Weller of Future Travel will advise as the time comes closer for flight booking.
PAYMENT SCHEDULE AND CANCELLATION FEES
Important: Please note the payment dates below that are driven by the Australia 2023 Eclipse Cruise ship charter contract.
- A deposit of $2500. per person is required upon registration. Cancellation fee is $1900 per person up until January 1, 2021 (or $3800 per cabin if the occupant is traveling alone)
- January 2, 2021: second deposit is due of $5,000 per person. Cancellation fee is $3500 per person up until June 2, 2021 (or $7000 per cabin if the occupant is traveling alone)
- June 30, 2022: full payment for the cruise is due in full. Cancellation fee is 100% per person as of June 30, 2022.
Once payments are made, in the event you wish to cancel, they cannot be transferred to another tour unrelated to the cruise due to contract agreement with the cruise carrier.
TRIP PROTECTION / INSURANCE
Travel Protection Plan coverage is required for this program upon deposit. Pricing for such coverage is additional to the cruise fare and is calculated based on resident state/province and age of participants. will give you the breakdown and price PRIOR to processing your deposit. This ensures all coverage is in place as most insurance require purchase the same day of the deposit now. Outside the US or if you choose to buy your own insurance the minimum coverage is for $1,000,000 USD emergency evacuation and repatriation and $50,000USD emergency medical PER PERSON. Michelle Weller will also need to get Future Travel’s approval on all insurance policies to assure it meets the charter company’s requirements.. Due to recent changes in travel insurance rules, Michelle Weller
REGISTRATION & DEPOSIT
- Click HERE to REGISTER. One registration form must be submitted for each person in your party. ON THE REGISTRATION FORM IF YOU LIVE OUTSIDE THE USA ONLY, ENTER ANY 10 DIGIT PHONE NUMBER.
- Finally, complete payment by one of the two methods shown below.
We cannot confirm you unless the registration form, trip protection policy and deposit are all received.
All prices are quoted in US Dollars and the $2500 deposit 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:
2. 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$75 fee is charged if a wire transfer is used for each payment. No checks or money orders can be accepted! Please contact email@example.com to make arrangements.
WHAT TO EXPECT
For most activities a relatively low level of exertion is required. You will need to climb into and out of Zodiacs and other excursion tenders for excursions ashore: there will be staff and crew members on hand to assist. Ashore, you must be able to walk moderate distances over sometimes rough terrain. Although our ship Coral Adventurer features an elevator, it is still essential that all guests have reasonable agility to use the steep stairways between decks. Participants will most enjoy the remarkable opportunities these expeditions offer if they travel with a spirit of adventure.
PASSENGER HEALTH AND RESPONSIBILITY
The passenger admits a full understanding of the nature and character of the Ship and the scope of the activities contemplated by the passenger during the Cruise (including those relating to off Ship activities such as excursions in the Ship’s tenders, snorkeling and diving) and assures and undertakes to the carrier:-
- that they are in good health and well able to undertake the Cruise and the contemplated activities;
- that they will effect travel insurance sufficient to cover any limitation of liability against them imposed by these Cruise Ticket Conditions should they wish to do so;
- that they accept the risk that they may suffer from sea sickness;
- that they have disclosed any physical or mental disability requiring special attention (including the use of a wheelchair) or treatment at the time when the reservation for the Cruise was made;
- that no passenger will be permitted to embark or continue on a voyage while their mental or physical condition is, in the opinion of any representative of the carrier, such as to render them incapable of caring for themselves, or whereby they become objectionable to other passengers, or they become a hazard to themselves or others. The carrier will not be responsible for any expenses resulting in such persons being precluded from completing the cruise;
- that the passenger accepts that a medical certificate certifying fitness for travel may be required at the carrier’s request and if any passenger has had surgery less than twelve (12) months prior to sailing that passenger must submit a letter from a qualified physician stating that he or she is fit to travel and the carrier reserves the right to deny passage if a passenger requires care and attention which the carrier cannot adequately provide and this decision may be made by the carrier in its sole discretion;
- The carrier reserves the right to refuse or deny participation in activities or programs either aboard the Ship or off Ship which are sponsored or promoted by the carrier to any passenger who has a past or present medical condition that may present risks if the passenger participates in those activities and any decision in this respect may be made by the carrier in its sole discretion;
- Any charges incurred by passengers for medical reasons including but not limited to physicians, surgeons, hospitals, off Ship accommodation, medication, diagnostic facilities, air ambulance evacuation or ground ambulance shall be the sole responsibility of the passenger;
- for the safety and comfort of passengers smoking is not permitted in the Ship except on designated open deck spaces outside all air-conditioned and sealed areas of the Ship;
- and the passenger agrees to indemnify the carrier from and against all claims, costs, charges, fines or penalties arising as a result of any claim made against the carrier in this respect.
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 2023 Total Eclipse Cruise Australia (“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 destination.
- PROGRAM 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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.