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Terms and Conditions

Ponant

General Information

1-Cruise Rates Include:

  • All meals from dinner on the day of embarkation to breakfast on the day of disembarkation
  • Captain's welcome cocktail and gala dinner
  • Mineral water, tea, filter coffee, a selection of white, red and rosé wines offered during meals; afternoon tea
  • Evening gatherings, organized entertainments and events
  • Porterage from the quayside to the ship and vice versa
  • 24 hr room service (selected menu)
  • English speaking lecturer on selected sailings identified by “lecturer on board” logo
  • Highly experienced multi-lingual expedition team for all expedition cruises identified by “Soft Expedition” logo
  • Water sports activities using the ship's equipment, when permitted by local authorities and confirmed by ship master according to safety and sea conditions onsite

2-Cruise Rates Don't Include:

  • Port and safety taxes
  • Air Packages; Pre or Post-cruise programs, airport taxes, transfers, luggage handling, hotel accommodation or in general any ground services before and/or after the cruise. Air package as well as pre and post programs exist upon request
  • Optional shore excursions sold on board
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned
  • Laundry services, hair salon and Spa treatments
  • Medical services, Medications and supplies
  • Personal expenses and crew gratuities
  • Cancellation/luggage/assistance/repatriation/medical insurance(s)
  • Visa expenses

3-Air Package and Pre/Post Cruise Programs:

Air Packages are available on Antarctic itineraries only, Pre and Post-cruise programs are available on all cruises. These packages include transfers, visits and ground services to/from the ship before and/or after the cruise as mentioned in the detailed description available upon request 10 months before the departure date for each cruise. Hotel accommodations (4* local rating) are based on standard room category and double occupancy. Standard hotel check-in times apply to all programs, rooms are available from 4pm. Standard check-out times apply to all programs, rooms are to be vacated by 11am.

Packages are in connection with Compagnie du Ponant selected flights or private charter flights made by Compagnie du Ponant. All airline agreements on regular flights are made on group basis in economy class with a limited number of seats. If the class is not available anymore, we will suggest, depending on the availability, extra seats with a supplement.

Final timings and schedule of the day by day program will be communicated with the cruise ticket. On Intercontinental flights and/or private flights, check-in luggage is limited to 20kg/44lbs per person and carry-on luggage is limited to 8kg/17lbs per person. We thank you for taking these restrictions into account. Airline carriers charge for extra weight and sometimes refuse, for strict security reasons, to check in overweight and oversized luggage. Compagnie du Ponant and the airline carriers waive all liability for luggage with extra weight that is refused at check-in.

4-Shore Excursions

Excursions are sold and charged on board and are ruled by general conditions that apply to the contract signed with the local tour operator and the relevant national regulations.

The passenger agrees that Ponant acts as agent and/or trustee for any person including ground and maritime agents and subcontractors, who provide any service forming, or in connection with, any part of the cruise. Transportation services to the port of departure, transfers to the ship, including, as applicable, hotel room and restaurant bookings or guided tours, are performed by independent suppliers who are not employees of Ponant. In this respect, Ponant acts only as an agent and shall not be held liable for said services or for the acts or omissions of sub-contractors or other contractors.

Excursions can involve activities that may not suit persons with disabilities. Prices are only given as an indication and may change. Before departure, you will receive a tour program detailing the excursions on offer with the latest rates. Six months before cruise departure, shore excursions can also be viewed on the website. Shore excursions are currently only bookable onboard. In the event of an excursion being cancelled due to a technical reason, shortage of participants or a case of force majeure, the client will not be eligible for any compensation. Please note that you will not be reimbursed for excursions if you cancel after registration. Any meals offered during excursions are simple and should not be compared to the standards on board the ship.

Do remember to bring your binoculars for a better and quicker view of fauna. Please do not forget to bring your medical certificates when it is required to participate in a cruise.

5-Rates and Savings

Please find the rates for each cruise on the website. Port charges are in addition to the cruise rates and subject to change. Ponant Bonus saving is not applicable to port charges.

5-1 Public Rates:

They are the reference rates of the cruise applicable for the validity period of the brochure. Public rates are per person based on double occupancy.

5-2 Ponant Bonus Fares:

PONANT BONUS is a special savings program off published cruise-only rates for selected voyages. Ponant Bonus is the guaranteed best price you can obtain on the day you make your reservation. It can save you up to 30% off the public rates. Ponant Bonus fares are capacity controlled, subject to availability and may change at any time without notice. Ponant Bonus could decrease or be closed for specific stateroom and suite categories or entire cruise. Contact your travel agent to determine the Ponant Bonus available at the time of booking your cruise (s). Ponant Bonus may not be combinable with other promotional offers or on board cruise credits.

6-Children

Children under 6 months of age and women who are over 6 months pregnant are not authorized to board. Children under 8 years old are accepted subject to agreement at the time of booking. In Antarctica, children must be able to disembark/embark by zodiac without assistance. Therefore disembarkation is submitted to Captain's decision depending on weather conditions and landing sites. In all cases, children and young adults, once on board, are the entire and total responsibility of their parents or guardians.

These special savings listed below are not applicable to safety and port taxes.

  • Children from 8 to 11 years old sharing a Superior Cabin and a Prestige Suite with 2 adults sail complimentary.
  • Teenagers from 12 to 18 years old sharing a Superior Cabin and a Prestige Suite with 1 or 2 adults: 50% off on the adult cruise-only rate per teenager.
7-Mobility

Both Le Boréal and L'Austral have three cabins which are specially adapted for disabled guests (ADA Norms). Nevertheless, for safety reasons, all passengers must either be fully mobile or must be accompanied by a travelling companion fit and able to provide all necessary assistance during the voyage. Persons who are not fully mobile, with physical disabilities or other handicaps requiring special treatment or assistance, including persons who use a wheelchair, must advise the Company in writing of the nature of such conditions when making a reservation. The Company reserves the right to refuse passage to anyone who has failed to notify them of such limited mobility, disabilities or need of assistance, or who, in the Company's opinion is unfit for travel. Please note that in some ports, disembarkation is done using tender or zodiacs making them very difficult or even impossible for passengers with limited mobility.

8-Others
  • All our vessels are non-smoking with the exception of designated areas on outside decks.
  • Animals are not permitted aboard.
  • Women who are more than 6 months pregnant are not authorized to embark.
  • Euro and US Dollar currencies and credit cards (VISA and AMEX) are accepted on board. Note there are no ATMs onboard the ships or money exchange. Onboard purchases may be charged back to the guest's stateroom.
  • The master of the ship retains the right to change the itinerary as a result of weather conditions or security risks per article 4.2 of the cruise ticket.
  • Detailed terms and conditions are available upon request.

Winter 2012 - 2013 – Terms and Conditions

These are extracts of the terms and conditions which will apply to your cruise. Please read them carefully. Complete terms and conditions are available upon request. Attention is particularly drawn to the exemption and limitation of liability in favor of Compagnie Du Ponant / Compagnie Du Ponant USA LLC, hereinafter referred as “the Company” or “CDP”. These terms and conditions are subject to change without notice.

1-Transferability:

A reservation for one of the programs listed in this brochure is only valid for date, cruise program and passenger(s) names listed on the written confirmation received upon reservation and on the cruise ticket provided with travel documents. Passenger may transfer the ticket to a third party, who shall fill the same conditions as the passenger to perform all purchased services, as long as the agreement has not rendered any effect. The transferor and/or transferee must settle any fees which result, and inform the Company and the seller of this decision by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt no later than 90 days prior day of embarkation. In the event where the passenger transfers his/her ticket without informing the Company and the seller as per the terms described above, this ticket transfer will be invalid and the ticket will be cancelled without any possible refund.

2-Payment Schedule:

In order to secure a booking, the guest is required to pay 25% of total cruise price upon confirmation. The final 75% is due no later than 30 days prior to sailing/ departure. All reservations are subject to cancellation fees if payments are not received by the due date. Your full payment or acceptance of a ticket constitutes agreement to the terms and conditions of the Passenger Ticket Contract. Any revisions to the above payment plan must be in writing and approved by CDP.

3-Revisions and Modifications:

Guests who deviate from the scheduled embarkation or disembarkation port should inform the Company in advance to obtain her agreement. Once a booking is secured by a deposit, all revisions and/or changes which occurred less than 45 days before departure (90 days before departure for expedition cruises in Antarctica, Falklands Islands and South Georgia), are subject to an administration change fee of 150€ (or equivalent in USD or GBP) that has to be paid by the passenger as stated hereunder in “Cancellation & Refunds”. The passenger who decides to shorten his journey cannot claim any refund for any unused services. The passenger who fails to present himself in time for his departure or relinquishes booked services included in the program for any reason, cannot claim any refund.

4-Cancellation and Refunds:

All cancellations must be in writing. Any and all guests not reporting for departure or prevented from reporting for departure or waiving for any reason whatsoever the benefit of services included in the program cannot claim any refund. CDP shall not be required to refund any monies to any guests who must leave the sailing prematurely for any reason, nor shall CDP be held responsible for any costs, fees, damages or causes of action which result from the transportation expenses incurred by guest's early departure.

For any deposited or fully paid booking, cancellation penalties will be assessed as noted on Ponant's Payments & Refunds page. These cancellation penalties are also applicable to any hotel and/or air bookings and ground services.

5-Formalities and Health Information

Before booking one of these journeys or trips offered in this brochure, each passenger is personally responsible for complying with the required legal regulations. All passengers must carry a valid passport, as well as the visas and vaccination certificates which may be required at the airport, at the port of arrival and departure. Company du Ponant waives all liability for not complying with the required legal regulations regarding immigration, customs or sanitary documents required before departure and during his trip.

Any guest who fails to obtain the appropriate travel documentation to board the airplane or access to the ship is responsible and may not claim any compensation or refund of his trip or services.

The information given in this brochure is current but subject to change at any time without advance notice from government authorities. Please consult respective government agencies up to the departure date.

6-Transportation and Services Terms and Conditions:
6-1 Air transport and Air Package information

All airline tickets are provided in the electronic ticket format and are issued 45 days before departure. It is imperative to ensure that the first names and surnames communicated are those mentioned on the relevant passport, as they cannot be changed later. Any mistakes, or requests to alter the name, will require the purchase of a new ticket.

Compagnie du Ponant will provide passengers, at the time they make their booking, with the name of the airline or airline carriers which have either already been selected or are likely to be selected. Compagnie du Ponant undertakes to inform passengers, before departure, of any changes to the identity of the airline or airline carriers as soon as they are known.

The words “direct flight” mean there will be no change of aircraft, but do not exclude the possibility that there may be one or several stops. A “direct non-stop flight” means no change of aircraft and no stops. Chartered flights do not offer special meals. Airline carriers can enter into a “code share” agreement whereby they are able to sell a flight under their own name, although the aircraft itself may be operated by another airline company.

The schedules and type of transportation listed are provided by the transportation companies at the time this brochure was being produced. They are a guideline to the moment of departure and are subject to change for all kinds of reasons (additional stops added, weather conditions, air traffic control authorization, strikes, etc). In accordance with the Warsaw and Montreal Convention, timings and routes as well as departure/destination airports are not a contractual element of the transportation ticket. Under these conditions, Compagnie du Ponant cannot be held responsible for changes that are beyond its control.

Changes to the original travel program may be the result, in particular, of technical faults, weather conditions, political reasons, delays or cancellations, strikes, additional stops, changes to aircraft or routes, etc. Under no circumstances can these incidences be attributed to Compagnie du Ponant or any compensation made whatsoever. If a client wishes to abandon his journey, he will be liable to the cruise cancellation fees.

The airline carrier's responsibility, in the event of damages, complaints or claims of any kind, is limited to the carriage of passengers and their luggage by air, within the terms and conditions stipulated on the tickets and by the airline companies themselves. Compagnie du Ponant will not reimburse any expenses (taxis, meals, hotels, etc), when the passenger is under the responsibility of the airline company. The consequences of accidents/incidents occurring when travelling by air are governed by the Warsaw and Montreal Convention, or by the local regulations governing national transportation in the country concerned.

On Intercontinental flights and/or private flights, check-in luggage is limited to 20kg/44lbs per person and carry-on luggage is limited to 8kg/17lbs per person. We thank you for taking these restrictions into account. Airline carriers charge for extra weight and sometimes refuse, for strict security reasons, to check-in overweight and oversized luggage. Compagnie du Ponant and the airline carriers waive all liability for luggage with extra weight that is refused at the check-in.

6-2-Pre/post programs, overland packages, hotel and ground services information

Pre and post programs as well as overland packages proposed in the brochure Compagnie du Ponant “WINTER CRUISES 2012-2013” are subject to minimum of participants. CDP may cancel any of these programs up to 21 days prior its departure date, if a minimum of 20 participants (unless noted otherwise) is not reaches.

Under no circumstances will Compagnie du Ponant be held responsible for cancellation and/or change fees, inconveniences incurred for any kind of services NOT booked directly with Compagnie du Ponant.

6-3-Boarding and cruising terms and conditions

a) Embarkation: Guests must report for boarding in the conditions set by the cruise ticket (details of cruise ticket document are available upon request). Passengers are responsible for having received all medical inoculations necessary for the voyage and having their cruise ticket, a valid passport, visas and other documents mandatory for the scheduled ports of call and disembarkation. If a passenger does not have proper documents he/she will not be allowed to embark. Boarding the ship automatically makes the passenger subject to the application of the provisions hereafter, as well as the general conditions concerning the travel program, which they are familiar with and which they have accepted.

If guests decide to organize their own transport to/from the ship, it is highly recommended that they choose refundable and changeable tickets and to take reasonable buffer time with transfers to/from the ship.

b) Visas, Passport and Health information: At the time of boarding, all guests must have a passport valid for six months following disembarkation as well as necessary visas and vaccination certificates which may be required in destination ports where the ship calls. CDP accepts no responsibility for obtaining required visas or for advising guests of visa or other immigration requirements. Please consult relevant authorities or a visa service to determine accurately if any visas, health certificates, or vaccinations are required. If incorrect documents are obtained, guests will be unable to participate in particular shore excursions and may be denied boarding and/or disembark in certain port of calls/countries. The Company and/or master of the ship are entitled to refuse embarkation or to prevent disembarkation of any passengers who do not show the documents allowing them to disembark at the scheduled destination or stopover ports. Every passenger is personally responsible for compliance with the statutory and regulatory provisions in force before departure.

c) Health and Security: If it appears to the Company and/or the Master of the ship that a passenger is for any reason whatsoever unfit to travel or likely to endanger his health or safety or impair the comfort of others on board or seems likely to be refused permission to land at any port or to render the Company liable for his maintenance, support or repatriation, the Company or the Master of the ship shall be entitled at any time to take any of the following courses as appear appropriate to them, namely

  • To refuse to embark or disembark the passenger at any particular port;
  • To disembark him at any port;
  • To transfer him from one berth to another;
  • To confine him to one cabin of the ship's medical centre;
  • Through the ship's doctor and/or his staff to administer any drug, medication or other substance or to admit and/or confine the passenger to the hospital, or any similar institution at any port provided that the ship's doctor considers it necessary. Health care, medical expenses and drugs on land or aboard the ship shall be paid by passengers.

Passengers accept civil and criminal liability for all damages caused to CDP, other passengers or third parties by their actions. Passengers are individually and solely responsible for the payment of any and all fines or penalties inflicted by competent authorities on account of their own acts.

d) Itinerary changes/alterations/cancellation of a trip: Arrival and departure times are given as an indication only. The Company cannot guarantee coincidence with corresponding schedules (plane, train...) notably due to modification of the programme duration initially planned, which cannot incur any compensation, as the Company cannot be held liable for indirect damages. CDP reserves the right to withdraw and/or cancel a sailing to make changes in the itinerary whenever, in its sole judgment, or in the judgment of the vessel owner or operator, conditions warrant it.

In the event of adverse meteorological conditions or adverse political or social conditions in the country of a port of call or for any other fact that may jeopardize the safety of guests or of the ship, or in the event of orders by public authorities, the Company may change the itinerary or ports of call or destination, delay, end or cancel the trip, divert the ship, tow or be towed, transfer guests and their luggage aboard any other means of transportation, even when this results in an increase or a shortening of the advertised program. The Company does not warrant that these will correspond to the time schedule of connecting flights or transfers (e.g. planes or trains...), due to the fact that the initially scheduled trip duration may be altered. No indemnification shall be due on this account, as the Company is not liable for indirect damages.

Under any circumstances, the ship may provide assistance to any person or goods at sea, and will not be liable for the consequences of a modification to the cruise programme for this reason.

In the case of external events beyond the control of the Company or for any reason regarding the safety of travellers or the ship or due to an insufficient number of participants, according to that which is provided for by the terms and conditions of the trip programme, the Company may cancel the cruise and must inform the passengers by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt or email, fax with proof of delivery.

Cruise programs indicated in the brochure “COMPAGNIE DU PONANT- WINTER CRUISES 2012 - 2013” are subject to a minimum of participants. CDP may cancel any cruise program up to 21 days before departure if the minimum of guests registered is under or equal to 50% of the ship capacity (200 on Antarctica, Falkland Islands and South Georgia expedition itineraries; 264 for other cruises).

In the event of an alteration of the contract by the Company after boarding the ship, passengers shall in any case not be entitled to any indemnification other than refund for unperformed services for which no replacement was provided. In addition, passengers may be requested to pay extra monies for services rendered under such circumstances and for the costs of living aboard the ship in the event that the duration of the trip is extended. The Company may give passengers cabins other than those initially planned.

e) Luggage:

a) Each Guest can bring aboard a reasonable amount of clothing and personal effects without charge, subject to airline restrictions. Hand luggage or cabin luggage and personal effects shall comply with allowances in the terms and conditions provided for in the programme. Luggage must be distinctly labeled with the passenger's full name, the name of the ship and cabin number.

b) All passengers are prohibited from transporting merchandise in their luggage whose content may threaten the health of other passengers, damage or contaminate their luggage on the vessel. It is notably forbidden to board or pack animals or inflammable, explosive, corrosive, dangerous, scented or leaking materials in your luggage. Failure to comply with these rules will lead to payment of a lump sum penalty provided for by law.

The passenger will in any case be responsible for any injury, loss or damages suffered due to the presence of these objects, and shall ensure that the Company is not sued due to such events. Such objects may at any time and in any place be disembarked, destroyed, thrown into the sea or made safe by the Company without any compensation. It is also prohibited to load objects as luggage other than those intended for personal use by the passenger, and notably goods in general, and objects whose importing is prohibited or which are not compliant with customs or police regulations. The passenger is responsible for all consequences, expenses, damages and penalties resulting there from, and the Company, in such cases, shall not be held liable for loss or damages.

c) Passengers must look after their personal luggage during the entire duration of the stay aboard the ship as well as during embarking, transfer and disembarking operations. CDP waives all liability for luggage left unattended by passengers and for which passengers have not taken the necessary precautions against theft, loss or damage. Specifically, the Company shall not be liable for breakable items and valuables including but not limited to money, watches, securities, jewelry, computers and any electronic materials, mobile phones and other precious objects which must be hand carried by the passenger on and off the ship; are the full responsibility of the passenger at all time. CDP is not responsible for loss of or damage to such items. Passenger is responsible for subscribing to insurance to cover luggage.

7-Independent contractors/Limit of liability:

The passenger agrees that CDP acts as agent and/or trustee for any person, ground and maritime agents and subcontractors, who provide any service forming, or in connection with, any part of the cruise. Transportation services to the port of departure, transfers to the ship, including, as applicable, hotel room and restaurant bookings or guided tours, are performed by independent suppliers who are not employees of CDP. In this respect, CDP acts only as an agent and shall not be held liable for said services or for the acts or omissions of sub-contractors or other contractors.

CDP shall not be held liable for bodily injury to, or death of passengers, or for loss of, or damage to luggage or other personal belongings, unless it is proved that the carrier has infringed statutory obligations or that it or one of its employees or agents has committed gross negligence. However, in the event the liability of CDP is incurred, such liability is limited (details available upon request).

CDP shall in any case not be liable for failure of an improper performance when the same is due to or caused by the fault of the passenger; the unforeseeable or unavoidable fault or a third party unconnected with the provision of any services to be provided under the contract ; unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond the control of CDP ; an event of “Force Majeure” such as a war, threat of war, riots, civil commotion, acts of God, terrorist activities, natural and nuclear disaster, fire, technical problems with transport, closure of ports, strikes and any industrial action, or any other event beyond the control of CDP.

CDP and the Owners and operators of the vessels identified in this brochure shall be entitled to claim the benefit of whichever law, regulation, treaty or doctrine provides the greatest protection.

8-Validity of the brochure

From February 10th, 2012 and until further notice, this brochure cancels and replaces all information contained in the brochure COMPAGNIE DU PONANT “SUMMER 2012 CRUISES and ANTARCTICA WINTER 2012-2013” or any other leaflet.

9-Rates

The prices given at the time of booking are based on economic conditions known on February 02nd, 2012 for the period from September 03rd, 2012 and until further notice. These conditions are, amongst others, the cost of transport and fuel, relevant dues and taxes for the proposed operation (port taxes, embarkation and disembarkation taxes, entrance costs to tourist sites), currency exchange rates relevant to the pricing of these programmes. CDP reserves the right within the legal limits of French Law to vary the prices if necessary. All variation of the cost of transport, fuel, taxes, dues and visa costs will be passed on within the voyage cost. Any change in fare cannot be imposed less than 30 days prior to departure. For the cruise-only rate, daily surcharge, if any, will be calculated based on:

S = fuel variation * × daily consumption **
Ship capacity ***

(*): FOB Rotterdam 0,1%in US$

  • MGO Index for L'Austral (from November 22nd, 2012 until March 05th, 2013) and Le Bor éal (from November 29th, 2012 until March 13th, 2013)
  • IFO/HFO Index 380 except periods indicated above
(**): L'Austral and Le Bor éal 17t
(***): L'Austral and Le Bor éal 264 (200 on expedition cruises in Antarctica, Falkland Islands and South Georgia)

10-Travel Insurance:

Passengers shall be responsible for subscribing to cancellation/luggage/assistance/repatriation/medical insurance(s).

11-Claims:

No claims can be made against CDP without a written and detailed statement of the claim by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt requested within the following time periods:

a) For luggage: in the event of obvious damages or loss: at the time of disembarkation at the latest. In the event of hidden damages or loss: within seven (7) days of disembarking or of the date when disembarkation should have taken place;

b) For passengers in the case of bodily harm and damages other than to luggage: within thirty (30) days from the date when the passenger disembarked or should have disembarked. Failure to comply with these provisions shall mean that the passenger is deemed to have safely disembarked without harm and collected his or her luggage without damage thereto.

12-Jurisdiction:

These terms & conditions are subject to and interpreted according to International regulations and concern the transportation of passengers and their luggage from the time of boarding the ship to the moment of disembarking, as well as at ports of departure, destination, or stopover. CDP shall incur no liability outside this period of time. Without prejudice to required legal regulations, any actions related either to the interpretation, or execution of this agreement shall be brought before the competent courts of Marseille-France.

CDP is not responsible for omissions, printing and/or presentation errors and reserves the right to make corrections as required.