1. Please check your government’s travel advice for the places you are visiting.
2. Visit www.culturaltravel.co.uk or call +44 (0)20 3370 1988 to make a booking. It is important that you read our booking conditions at this stage. We require a deposit (or full payment if you are booking within 10 weeks of departure) as well as a signed booking form.
3. Upon receipt of your deposit and booking form, we shall send you a booking confirmation. After this, your deposit is non-returnable and non-transferable, except in special circumstances as per our booking conditions. Full trip details will be sent with your final documents, about 3 weeks before departure.
We will meet all our legal and regulatory responsibilities. We aim to provide accurate information about our holidays – if there are changes, we will tell you promptly. If something does go wrong, we will try to put it right – our overriding aim is to ensure that every client is satisfied with our services. It is important that you read the information we send to you.
When we receive your booking form and initial payment, a contract is made between you and the Cultural Travel Company, a division of Martin Randall Travel Ltd.
When you make your booking, you must pay a deposit of 10% of the trip cost per person. The balance must be paid at least 10 weeks before your departure date. The price of your travel arrangements is fully guaranteed, and will not be subject to any surcharges.
You need to be in good health, and have a level of fitness which would not spoil other participants’ enjoyment of the trip by slowing them down, or by absorbing disproportionate attention from the tour leaders. To this end we ask you to read our fitness guidelines, and take the self-assessment fitness test. By signing the booking form, or completing an online booking, you are stating that you have met these requirements. If during the trip it transpires you are not able to cope adequately in the judgement of the tour leaders, you may be asked to opt out of certain visits, or be asked to leave the trip altogether, which would be at your own expense. If you have a medical condition or a disability which may affect your holiday, or necessitate special arrangements being made for you (including any which affect the booking process), please discuss this with us before booking, or if the condition develops or changes subsequently, as soon as possible before departure. We reserve the right to refuse to accept a booking without giving a reason.
For most of Western Europe, additional vaccination beyond what is required for life in Britain is not necessary. Please refer to www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk, and to your doctor or practice nurse for the most up-to-date information specific to your destination.
It is a condition of booking that you have adequate travel insurance, and we recommend you have this in place from the time you make your booking. Cover for medical treatment, repatriation, loss of property and cancellation charges must be included (including cover in the unlikely event of the Cultural Travel Company having to cancel the trip). Experience tells us that free travel insurance offered by some credit card companies is not reliable in the event of a claim.
British citizens must have valid passports for all trips outside the UK. For most countries, the passport needs to be valid for six months beyond the date of the trip. If visas are required, we will advise UK citizens about obtaining them. Nationals of other countries should ascertain whether visas are required in their case, and obtain them if they are.
There is an amendment fee for changes to the basic package, such as booking additional hotel nights. This is £25 per booking.
If you have to cancel your place on a trip, you need to advise us in writing. Notice of cancellation will only be effective the day it is received by us. There will be a charge which varies according to the period of notice you give. Up to 57 days before the trip the deposit only is forfeited. Thereafter a percentage of the total cost of the trip will be due: between 56 and 29 days: 40%. Between 28 and 15 days: 60%. Within 14 days: 100%. If you cancel your booking in a double or twin room, but are travelling with a companion who chooses to continue to participate on the trip, the companion will be liable to pay the single supplement.
We may decide to cancel a trip if there were insufficient bookings for it to be viable (though this would always be more than 8 weeks before departure). We would give you a full refund. If the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against travel to places visited on a trip for security reasons, we would cancel the trip or adjust the itinerary to avoid the risky area. In the event of cancellation before the trip departs we would give you a full refund. We would also treat sympathetically a wish to withdraw from a trip to a troubled region, even if the Foreign Office does not advise against travel there. We may also cancel if civil unrest, natural disaster or other circumstances amounting to force majeure affect the region to which the trip was due to go.
Our trips subscribe to the health and safety legislation of the destination. In some parts of the world the law concerning seatbelts differs to the UK.
As principal, we accept responsibility for all ingredients of a trip, except those in which the principle of force majeure prevails. Our obligations and responsibilities are also limited where international conventions apply in respect of air, sea or rail carriers, including the Warsaw Convention and its various updates.
Circumstances might arise which prevent us from operating a trip exactly as advertised. We would try to devise a satisfactory alternative, but if the change represents a significant loss to the trip we would offer compensation. If you decide to cancel because the alternative we offer is not acceptable, we would give a full refund.
For payments for trips which do not include a flight from/to the UK. We are a member of ABTA – The Travel Association (membership number Y6050). We provide full financial protection for our package holidays by way of a bond held by ABTA. We are obliged to maintain a high standard of service to you by ABTA’s Code of Conduct. We can also offer you ABTA’s scheme for the resolution of disputes, which is approved by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute. If we cannot resolve your complaint, please visit www.abta.com to use their simple procedure. Further information on the Code of Conduct and ABTA’s assistance in resolving disputes can also be found on their website. You can also access the European Commission Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform online. This platform is a means of registering your complaint with us; it will not determine how your complaint should be resolved.
Any money you have paid to us for a trip which includes an international flight is protected by our parent company, Martin Randall Travel Ltd's, Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (ATOL, number 3622).
Financial protection – the official text:
We are required to publish the following. We provide full financial protection for our package holidays which include international flights, by way of our Air Travel Organiser’s Licence number 3622. When you buy an ATOL protected flight inclusive holiday from us you receive an ATOL Certificate. This lists what is financially protected, where you can get information on what this means for you and who to contact if things go wrong. Most of our flights and flight-inclusive holidays on our website and in our brochure are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. In order to be protected under the ATOL scheme you need to be in the UK when you make your booking and/or one of the flights you take must originate or terminate in the UK with the group.
We provide full financial protection for our package holidays that do not include a flight, by way of a bond held by ABTA The Travel Association.
We will provide you with the services listed on the ATOL Certificate (or a suitable alternative). In some cases, where we aren’t able do so for reasons of insolvency, an alternative ATOL holder may provide you with the services you have bought or a suitable alternative (at no extra cost to you). You agree to accept that in those circumstances the alternative ATOL holder will perform those obligations and you agree to pay any money outstanding to be paid by you under your contract to that alternative ATOL holder. However, you also agree that in some cases it will not be possible to appoint an alternative ATOL holder, in which case you will be entitled to make a claim under the ATOL scheme (or your credit card issuer where applicable). If we, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL certificate, are unable to provide the services listed (or a suitable alternative, through an alternative ATOL holder or otherwise) for reasons of insolvency, the Trustees of the Air Travel Trust may make a payment to (or confer a benefit on) you under the ATOL scheme. You agree that in return for such a payment or benefit you assign absolutely to those Trustees any claims which you have or may have arising out of or relating to the non-provision of the services, including any claim against us (or your credit card issuer where applicable). You also agree that any such claims maybe re-assigned to another body, if that other body has paid sums you have claimed under the ATOL scheme.
These conditions form part of your contract with the Cultural Travel Company, a division of Martin Randall Travel Ltd, and are governed by English law. All proceedings shall be within the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.