The booking conditions set out below outline the terms and conditions of the contract between you and Top Liveaboards Ltd when you book a holiday. The contract will be governed by the laws of England and Wales.
1. Financial Protection
All of our holidays come with full financial protection via our membership in the Travel Trust Association (TTA No. U3422).
2. Booking a Holiday
Prices given in our holiday descriptions were correct at the time of last updating but should only be used as a guide. When you come to book your holiday we will provide you with an up to date quote based on your chosen holiday arrangements.
Please telephone us on 0208 408 1124 (from abroad: +44 208 408 1124) or fill in our booking form or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to check if there is space available on the holiday of your choice and to receive a quotation.
Once we have provided you with a quotation, and after you have accepted the quotation, we will issue you an invoice and will normally be able to hold a space open for you while you send us your deposit. Airfares in particular change frequently and any quoted airfares will be re-checked by us at the time of booking and we will notify you of any increase in price. For UK residents, invoices will be issued in Pound Sterling and for clients residing outside the UK there is a choice of Pounds Sterling, Euro or US Dollar invoicing. Please note that the chosen invoice currency will be used for the entire duration of your booking and cannot be changed part way through.
To confirm your booking you must pay us the required deposit per person, as specified in our invoice. The invoice will also detail your payment schedule, giving ‘due by dates’ for your subsequent payments. If the payments detailed on our invoice are not received by the due dates you will be responsible for payment of any increases in airfare or any other charges that may arise (for example late payment surcharges being levied by our suppliers). We reserve the right to treat the booking as cancelled by you and levy a cancellation charge of all monies paid to that date if the payments detailed on our invoice are not received by the due dates.
Group Bookings – We are always happy to handle group travel arrangements for groups of friends, dive clubs, underwater photography societies etc. For groups we can often provide one or more free places at the resort or on the liveaboard – the number of paying guests and free places available varies between different resorts and liveaboards. Please note that free places on flights are normally not available.
3. Paying for a Holiday
Top Liveaboards Ltd offers a variety of payment methods to make paying for your holiday as convenient as possible.
Payment methods are as follows:
a) Payment by UK Debit Card (Visa Debit, Maestro, Solo, Electron), and UK & International Credit Cards (Visa, MasterCard & American Express). There is no charge for payments made using UK Debit Cards. Payments made using Credit Cards carry a 2% handling charge (Visa & MasterCard) or 3.5% handling charge (American Express) due to the high charges imposed by the card issuers. All cards will be billed in Pounds Sterling. Please be aware that your Credit Card company may apply a foreign exchange charge when using an International Credit Card. All card payments are processed using our secure WorldPay™ system.
b) Send us a Pound Sterling, Euro or US Dollar cheque made out to Top Liveaboards Ltd.
c) Have your bank make a wire transfer of the required amount direct to Top Liveaboards Ltd Pounds Sterling account, Euro account or US Dollar account at National Westminster Bank Plc (Branch name and address). The relevant bank account details for wire transfer will be shown on your invoice. When you send the transfer you must instruct your bank that all bank charges (at both ends of the transaction) are charged to you.
4. Airport Taxes
Our airfares include all pre-payable taxes, but please note that some countries still levy airport departure taxes in cash, rather than have these included in air ticket prices. Where any such taxes are known to us we will alert you in the holiday information we provide to you before departure – such taxes must be paid by you in person at the airport.
5. Holiday Alterations or Cancellations made by you
If you wish to make alterations (as opposed to additions) to your holiday subsequent to the time of original booking we will try to accommodate these, but cannot guarantee alterations will be possible. For alterations that are possible we will charge you a £50 per person booking amendment fee for each alteration in addition to any charges that may be levied by our suppliers in connection with any alteration. Please note that alterations to flights are likely to be costly.
Any cancellation by you of a confirmed booking must be notified to us in writing (email is acceptable) and will take effect on the day that this is received by us. Deposits, booking amendment fees, credit card fees, flights, hotels and transfers are non-refundable.
Balance payments are by default non-refundable, however, if you cancel your booking more than 100 days before your holiday start date we will, where possible, return any monies to you refunded to us by our suppliers or recouped by resale of your space (group trips only) minus a £50 per person cancellation fee and any bank fees. If you cancel your booking 100 days or less before your holiday start date your balance payment will be non-refundable.
If the reason for your cancellation falls within the terms of your travel insurance policy the cancellation charges may be refunded by your insurance company (less any excess applicable).
6. Transferring a booking
If you wish to transfer your booking to another holiday this will normally be treated as a cancellation and rebooking, and the appropriate cancellation charges will apply.
7. Unused Services
No refund or compensation is payable for any unused accommodation, flight, service or feature provided during the holiday, nor are these exchangeable or assignable to others. If clients make any alterations to any portion of their holiday, such alterations will be completely at their own expense. Clients who do not complete the diving element of their holiday, for any reason, cannot be refunded by us for the unused portion of the diving.
8. Holiday Alterations or Cancellations made by us
Our holiday descriptions are prepared long before the date of operation and as such alterations may sometimes be necessary, either voluntarily by us or involuntarily.
Where alterations are necessary they are usually of a minor nature and will not materially affect the enjoyment of your holiday or your ability to travel. Examples of changes of a minor nature that can be expected from time to time include rescheduling of flight departure or arrival times, minor changes to the holiday dates (to cope with flight and liveaboard rescheduling etc), minor changes to the holiday duration, variations in itinerary that do not significantly alter the nature of your holiday, and substitution of equivalent quality accommodation or liveaboard. We also reserve the right to substitute an alternative
group leader on group holidays and liveaboards. Such minor changes are not grounds for cancellation without charges.
Any major alterations or cancellations will be dealt with on a case by case basis but where flights have been already booked as part of a holiday these are considered non-refundable and non-changeable unless Top Liveaboards can change/cancel the flights for free, which in a modern travel industry is not often. If changes are requested the client is responsible for the cost of changes.
Important conditions for Liveaboard holidays
A liveaboard holiday is a holiday which includes as part of or in whole a liveaboard trip. Due to the nature of these types of trips they do not always sail and the liveaboard supplier may cancel the liveaboard trip at late notice – this could be due to a number of reasons, including but not limited to – insufficient passengers, bad weather, or technical problems with the vessel. When flights have been already booked as part of a liveaboard diving holiday these are considered non-refundable and non-changeable unless Top Liveaboards can change/cancel the flights for free, which in a modern travel industry is not often. If changes are requested the client is responsible for the cost of changes.
Should a liveaboard trip be cancelled, Top Liveaboards will offer you alternative liveaboard or resort arrangements where possible with any cost difference between the cancelled liveaboard and the new liveaboard or resort payable by the client. Alternatively, we will offer you a refund for the liveaboard component of the holiday (minus any credit card and/or bank fees) unless the liveaboard operator instead issues a credit note for use on future cruises – in this case the credit note will be passed directly to the client instead of a refund. Liveaboard operators commonly issue credit notes when they have to cancel liveaboard trips due to circumstances outside their control (i.e. force majeure).
If for any reason you are delayed in transit and fail to reach a liveaboard boat by the scheduled time of departure, you will be responsible for all costs involved in catching up with the boat (should this be possible to arrange locally), staying at onshore accommodations, alternative diving arrangements etc. In such circumstances we will, of course, do our utmost to assist you to resume your holiday. Please contact us as soon as possible if you miss a liveaboard’s departure and cannot resolve the problem locally.
Because of the possibility that a flight delay, cancellation or change of schedule could cause you to miss a liveaboard’s departure we recommend your travel is arranged to have you arrive at the liveaboard’s departure point at least one day before the liveaboard departs. If you would like this extra security building into your itinerary please request it during the booking process. Please note that some flights are non-refundable even when the airline makes a change to their schedule. If an airlines schedule change will affect you reaching your liveaboard on time you will be responsible for all costs involved in booking new flights and/or amending/cancelling old flights.
We advise you to take out travel insurance to cover any loss of funds for these types of holidays. In particular your insurance should cover against refunding your flights, and any other components of your holiday, e.g. overnight hotels, if a liveaboard trip is cancelled and you therefore wish not to take your holiday. It should also cover the liveaboard component of your holiday as well as the flights, in the case that a change in flight schedule or a delay in transit causes you to miss your liveaboard’s departure.
Importantly, Top Liveaboards cannot be held responsible for any financial loss due to the cancellation of a liveaboard trip or if an airline schedule change or a delay in transit means that you fail to reach a liveaboard boat by the scheduled time of departure.
9. Flight Delays and Missed Flight Connections
If you are seriously delayed departing from your home airport or an airport en route, accommodation, meal and hotel transfer needs may be looked after by the airline concerned if they consider themselves responsible. Please note that Top Liveaboards does not carry responsibility for such expenses. In the event of a missed connection between flights from the same airline, the airline concerned will normally cover any accommodation, meal and hotel transfers involved during the wait for the next onward flight by that airline that has space available, but if the missed connection is with another airline, and provided the flight delay is due to circumstances outside their control or unanticipated events (see below), neither airline, nor Top Liveaboards, carries any financial responsibility and all costs involved are your own responsibility. In such circumstances we will, of course, do our utmost to assist you resume your holiday. Please contact us as soon as possible if you miss a connection and cannot resolve the problem locally. Circumstances outside the airline’s control or unanticipated events include technical or maintenance problems, government action, industrial dispute, war or threat of war, civil strife, terrorist activity, riot, natural or man-made disaster, and severe weather conditions.
We recommend you take a travel insurance policy that will cover you against any losses or expenses you may incur in the event you have to purchase replacement flights or you have to make flight amendments in the event of a flight delay or missed connection.
10. Price changes made by us
We endeavour to offer complete price stability once your holiday quotation has been issued, but due to the possibility of substantial increases in transportation costs, fuel costs or taxes, or substantial negative movements in exchange rates, we cannot guarantee prices far into the unknowable future. We reserve the right to increase the price of any element of your holiday in the event of costs incurred by us that stem directly from increases in transportation costs (by air, land or water, and including increases in fuel costs), increases in government taxes, fees, dues or levies, or negative movements in exchange rates. In the majority of countries listed by Top Liveaboards the local operators charge for their services in US Dollars or Euros rather than the local currency, so it is the exchange rate of these currencies against the Pound Sterling which is often a key factor. Top Liveaboards will absorb a 2% negative change in exchange rate between the date we issue your holiday quotation and the date of your holiday payments. We do however reserve the right to increase your holiday cost for negative changes in exchange rate beyond 2%. The exchange rates used to determine the percentage change will be those given by http://www.xe.com/
11. Diving Qualifications
All those who book the diving element of a holiday should be fully qualified Open Water divers, and hold either PADI, BSAC, NAUI or other recognized certifying agency qualifications. All diving clients warrant that they have no health problems or other physical limitations (such as a history of lung disorders, asthma, epilepsy, diabetes or recent surgery) which would limit their participation in a diving holiday and agree to discontinue diving if respiratory congestion or a head cold takes place during the holiday. If any client has any medical condition contrary to these requirements they must produce, prior to booking, a medical certificate indicating their fitness for diving. Anyone failing to notify us at the time of booking of any such limitations faces the risk of losing the diving element of the holiday. If you have any doubts about your ability to participate fully in a holiday then please contact our office before making a booking.
12. Diving Equipment
If you require diving equipment rental please contact us to confirm it is available at your chosen resort or liveaboard.
13. Diving Waivers
All liveaboard and land-based dive operators will require you to sign a waiver prior to diving which effectively absolves them from any blame or liability whatsoever in the event of an accident.
14. Passports, Visas and Vaccinations
You are responsible for ensuring that you bring with you a valid passport with sufficient time left until expiry (time required is country specific), a valid visa (when necessary) and/or a valid Yellow Fever vaccination certificate (when necessary). If you require a visa you will need at least 2 blank pages left in your passport. Whilst we can offer advice it is your responsibility to check visa and vaccination requirements for the destination(s) you are visiting.
In the event that you have cause for complaint you should notify the management of the dive centre, the management of the accommodation, the liveaboard cruise director, the Top Liveaboards group trip tour leader or our office (where appropriate) as soon as possible so that we may do our best to assist you. If a problem remains unresolved in spite of prompt notification then you should make a complaint in writing to our office within 28 days of the completion of the holiday.
We take all reasonable steps to ensure that the holidays we offer are properly arranged and that the travel agents, vehicle operators, hotels, restaurants, dive centres, liveaboard operators and other organizations we use are reputable. We will accept liability for matters which arise as a direct result of our negligence and/or breach of our contractual duty to exercise care in making arrangements for you, including acts or omissions by our employees or agents. Further we will accept liability for any negligent act or omission by our suppliers, who may operate elements of your holiday arrangements. We will accept full liability for death, personal injury or illness arising out of our negligence or that of our employees, agents or suppliers. In the case of any other loss or damage suffered as a result of our negligence or that of our employees, agents or suppliers we limit the maximum extent of our liability to twice the amount paid for the holiday in question. However, we cannot accept responsibility for claims arising out of carriage by air, sea or land, or provision of hotel accommodation. We have no control over the carriers or providers concerned and you are subject to their terms and conditions, which are governed by international conventions which exclude or limit liability in respect of death, injury, delay and loss or damage to baggage. It is also important to note that operational decisions may be taken by air or sea carriers, or airport authorities, that result in delays, diversions or rescheduling. We have no control over such decisions and are therefore unable to accept responsibility for them.
17. Travel Insurance
We recommend that you obtain travel insurance cover against the usual risks associated with travel, from the time of booking your holiday until the time you return home.
In addition, we recommend that all divers take out specialist diving insurance. Specialist dive insurance is generally far superior to the cover provided by ‘regular’ travel insurance companies, who normally do not specialise in diving medical and evacuation emergencies. Divers travelling with expensive dive equipment and/or underwater photography equipment are also recommended to take out insurance to cover these items.