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Terms and Conditions

Quark Expeditions

The purchase of any travel services offered by Quark Expeditions, Inc. (hereinafter with its affiliates, owners, officers, agents and employees collectively referred to as "Quark" or "QEI") creates a contractual relationship between QEI and you, the customer/participant in the travel package by QEI and represents your acceptance of the terms and conditions of your travel package set out herein (the “Terms and Conditions”). Please read the following information carefully.

Late Payments
All late payments are subject to a penalty of 1.5% interest per month, or 18% per annum. Quark reserves the right to cancel any booking that is not paid within 120 days of departure or deny boarding on any unpaid balances.

Special requests - Quark Expeditions will always try to accommodate special requests, but will not guarantee such things as cabin number, bedding type, special meals and airline seats. Please ensure all special requests are conveyed to your booking agent at time of reservation.

Emergency Evacuation Insurance
Emergency evacuation insurance, to a maximum benefit per paying traveler of $100,000 USD, is included in the cost of Quark Expeditions voyages from Travelex insurance company. Included coverage is applicable only to travel occurring between the first and last day of program purchased from Quark Expeditions. Additional days of travel prior to the expedition and/or after the expedition purchased from suppliers other than Quark Expeditions are not covered by the included emergency evacuation insurance.  

Travel Insurance
It is a condition of the booking that you and all members of your party have comprehensive travel insurance coverage. Due to the remoteness of the areas in which we travel, travelers must have a minimum $50,000 of emergency medical coverage. Quark Expeditions requires proof of coverage prior to embarkation. The travel insurance policy should also cover trip cancellation insurance, trip delay (interruption or after departure coverage), baggage and repatriation. Quark Expeditions will not be held responsible for delays due to force majeure. Any additional costs accrued will be the responsibility of the traveler.

Adventure Options
Prices quoted are based on group participation and no refunds will be made for any part of the program in which you choose not to participate, including kayaking, camping, skiing, mountaineering or ballooning (if applicable and which, at the discretion of the Captain and Expedition Leader, may or may not be used). It is understood that refunds cannot be made to travelers who do not complete the services for any reason whatsoever.

Any child under the age of 18 must have a waiver signed by a parent prior to embarkation on any Quark vessel.  

Pre and Post Travel
Pre and Post travel options arranged by Quark Expeditions  may not be refundable after booked, please consult with your travel agent for full terms and conditions on the product you booked. Cancellations received less than 120 days before departure are 100% non refundable.

Cancellation by Quark Expeditions
Quark Expeditions begins planning our voyages many months in advance of departure.  Occasionally, we have to make changes both before and after bookings have been confirmed.  Quark reserves the right to cancel any service prior to departure, in which case payment will be refunded without further obligation on our part. Please note that in the event of cancellation Quark Expeditions will not be responsible for the cost of any additional travel arrangements beyond the voyage or other items not purchased through Quark Expeditions. Due to the nature of Quark's Antarctic Express (Fly South, cruise North; Fly the Drake; and cruise South, Fly North) programs, Quark Expeditions will not offer passengers a refund in the event of trip cancellation if the charter flight is not able to take off by 1400 hrs on day 3 (travel insurance is STRONGLY recommended. The Travelex Travel insurance sold via Quark Expeditions would cover a cancellation due to weather on the charter flight.)  Cancellation policy for Quark's Antarctic Express (Fly South, Cruise North; Fly the Drake; and Cruise South, Fly North) programs are set forth in the Contingency Plan below.

Amendments to Bookings
Quark Expeditions will make every effort to assist in changing your reservation; however, changes must be submitted in writing a minimum of 120 days prior to departure. If the amendment is possible it will be subject to a $100 change fee per person plus any difference in fare if applicable.  

Transfers of Deposits or Payments to Alternate Voyages
Should travelers be unable to take the expedition they originally booked, but would like to travel on an alternate date, it may be possible to transfer deposits or payments from the original booking to an alternate booking, subject to the following conditions: The new expedition must occur within one year of the original expedition date and a request to transfer must be made in writing to Quark Expeditions more than 120 days prior to the departure of the original voyage. Quark Expeditions reserves the right to prohibit transfers on any of its voyages. Should a transfer request be granted, a fee of $250 per person will be charged.

2012-2013 Quark's Antarctic Express (Fly South, Cruise North; Fly the Drake; and Cruise South, Fly North) Programs Contingency Plan
For "Antarctic Express (Fly South, Cruise North; Fly the Drake; and Cruise South, Fly North) " only: Quark Expeditions will make every effort to ensure the Antarctica Express programs takes place, but due to weather conditions, flying in this region can be difficult and is beyond the control of Quark Expeditions.  We strongly recommend that all expedition guests purchase a travel insurance policy including trip delay, cancellation and interruption insurance. Please ask your Polar Travel Advisor about travel Insurance.

In the unlikely event that the charter flight is unable to fly on day 2 due to weather delays, Quark Expeditions will provide an additional night hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas and a ½ day tour.

On day 3 should the charter flight not be able to take off by 1400hrs, Quark Expeditions will officially cancel the voyage and provide letters for all clients to submit to their travel insurance providers under trip delay/Interruption and cancellation clause.

Quark Expeditions will not offer passengers a refund in the event of trip cancellation. Quark Expeditions will not offer passengers compensation in the event of a delay.

If the charter flight is not able to take off by 1400 hrs on day 3, Quark Expeditions will make every effort to assist passengers with rebooking hotels or flights, but this will be at the cost of the passengers, and Quark Expeditions strongly recommends that all clients contact their insurance provider prior to changing any reservations.

Passengers on board the ship during these delays will remain on board with no additional cost until the time in which the charter flight is able to arrange transport.  Quark Expeditions advises all clients to book changeable airlines tickets along with cancellation and interruption insurance to assist with additional airline change fees. We advise all passengers to have flexible travel arrangements upon disembarkation of the voyage if delays arise.  Quark Expeditions will not be held responsible for any change/cancellations fees due to weather related delays or any other delays arising from force majeure.

For cancellation due to all other events of force majeure, the standard terms and conditions of Quark Expeditions shall apply.

Medical Forms
Medical forms will be sent to you via e-mail link once the deposit has been received. You must review and complete the forms and immediately return them. Questions that relate to your physical or mental suitability must be completed by a medical practitioner. Quark Expeditions cannot offer medical advice. Medical forms must be filled out in full, honestly and accurately, and disclose all medical history and information. Should your medical situation change after submitting the medical forms, it is your responsibility to advise Quark Expeditions immediately. Quark Expeditions will review the information submitted and reserves the right to ask for further information, clarity on information, or for documentation from your medical practitioner. Quark Expeditions reserves the right to deny passage to any traveler on reasonable medical grounds. For travelers that book within 120 days of departure, completed medical forms must be received within 7 days of making payment. Quark Expeditions reserves the right to deny boarding, without refund or resulting expenses, to any traveler at the pier for any reason at its sole discretion, including but not limited to in the event that the on board medical officer determines that the traveler has not disclosed accurate medical information.

Adventure Options
All adventure options require a signed Adventure Option waiver, which will be sent to you once you have booked and paid for your adventure option. This form MUST be completed prior to you taking part in the adventure option. The Expedition staff reserve the right to deny participation to any client who has not signed the adventure option waiver, does not follow the rules set out by expedition staff or is not medically/physically able to participate safely.

The itinerary described is subject to change at the discretion of the ship's Master and Quark Expeditions' Expedition Leader. This is an expedition to a remote part of the world and Quark Expeditions reserves the right to change the itinerary due to weather conditions, availability of anchorages, political conditions or other factors beyond its control, without consulting the travelers. It is understood that such decisions will be made in the best interests of all travelers aboard and with regard to the safety of the vessel. Travelers have no right to any refund or other considerations in the event of these itinerary changes. Nothing in this brochure or website is meant to signify the use of any specific design or model of helicopter. The images featured are inspirational in character and do not necessarily depict the exact people, animals and places encountered by travelers. The traveler must be in possession of a valid passport and any visas, permits and certificates that are required for the duration of the services provided by Quark Expeditions and shall arrange such vaccinations as are normally recommended for the countries through which they intend to travel.  Information about these matters and climate, clothing, baggage, gear, and similar items is given in good faith but without responsibility on the part of Quark Expeditions.

All fares are quoted in U.S. dollars (USD). Rates for voyages, flights, as well as optional pre-expedition and post-expedition extensions are based on tariffs and exchange rates in effect at the time of printing and are subject to change prior to departure. Substantial changes in tariffs, exchange rates and the price of fuel, services and labor sometimes increase the cost of expedition arrangements significantly.  Quark reserves the right to alter prices or introduce surcharges accordingly, even if payment has been received in full.  All travelers are required to pay for their excursion and additional purchases in conjunction with their excursion in the same currency.

Discounts and Promotions
Quark Expeditions has the right to limit, withdraw or change any and/or all discounts and promotions without notice and/or compensation.  

Scheduled Flights
Any tour does not include international airfare or any other flights unless mentioned in the inclusions.

Quotes: All quotes are in USD dollars, unless otherwise stated.

Price changes: Until the tickets are issued, Quark Expeditions reserves the right to change prices in the event of any price increase for any reason including, but not limited to, airfares wrongfully quoted due to system error, the price of fuel and/or currency fluctuations or government taxes or levies, or any other reasonable cause.

Full payment: Full payment must be received by Quark Expeditions before the Option period expires to guarantee the reservation at quoted price. A guarantee of payment by the Client is an acceptance of the travel arrangements as requested at the total price quoted. Cancellation fees will apply if the Client subsequently decides to cancel after ticket has been issued.

Changes & cancellations: Unless otherwise stated, airline tickets are 100% non-changeable & non-refundable once tickets have been issued. Changes made prior to ticket issuance may be applied at Quark Expeditions discretion, and will also have Administrative Fees applied.

Flight reconfirmation: Quark Expeditions strongly recommends flight times and numbers be verified or reconfirmed at least 72 hours prior to departure. Quark Expeditions is not responsible for any change to airline schedules or flight numbers after tickets have been issued.

Airline tickets: Once issued, all airline tickets are non-transferable and are valid only for the dates and routings shown. If an airline ticket is lost, the client is responsible for the full cost of a new ticket and any changes that may occur in replacement.

Airline, airport or weather delays: Quark Expeditions will not be held responsible for any additional expenses or loss that may arise from airline, airport or weather delays. Quark Expeditions will not reimburse for any additional expenses incurred by the Client as a result.  Quark Expeditions will not refund any unused portion of air tickets purchased in the event of such delays due to conditions beyond its control.

For scheduled flights, the fare rules of the airline carrier, including payment and cancellation conditions, apply.  

Charter Flights
Charter flights are at an additional cost unless otherwise stated. Quark Expeditions reserves the right to change charter flight costs based on fuel surcharges or increased charter hire rates.  

Compensation for personal injury is limited in accordance with the provisions of any applicable International Conventions. These include, for example, in the course of road travel, air travel, rail travel, sea travel, or hotel accommodation and are limited to the provisions of, respectively, the Geneva Convention 1973, the Warsaw Convention as amended by the Hague Protocol 1955, the 1961 Berne Convention, the 1974 Athens Convention and the 1962 Paris Convention.

Limitation of Liability
QEI purchases transportation, hotel accommodations, and other services from various independent suppliers that are not subject to its control. Neither QEI, its affiliates, owners, officers, agents, employees, nor any associate organization shall be held liable for any act, default, injury (including death), loss, expense, damage, deviation, delay, curtailment or inconvenience caused to or suffered by any person or their property, howsoever arising, which may occur or be incurred by any organization or person, even though such act, default, injury, loss, expense, damage, deviation, delay, curtailment or inconvenience may have been caused or contributed to: (a) by the act, neglect or default of QEI, or of any persons for whose acts it would otherwise be responsible, or (b) defects or failures of any aircraft, vessel, automotive vehicle or other equipment or instrumentality under the control of independent suppliers. In issuing tickets for transportation of the travel by any means and making arrangements for travel, hotel or other accommodation, QEI is not acting as principal but only as agent for the companies, corporations, owner, public carriers or persons providing or offering the means of transportation and accommodation. You further understand that QEI neither owns nor operates such third party suppliers and accordingly, agree to seek remedies directly and only against those suppliers and not hold QEI responsible for their acts or omissions.  In no event will QEI be responsible for incidental, consequential or special damage or loss suffered by any person. QEI's maximum liability, for any reason whatsoever, will be limited to the amount paid to QEI for its services. Without limitation, QEI is not responsible for any negligent or willful acts of God or force majeure, weather emergencies, breakdown, or failure of diving or mechanical equipment, government actions, inclement weather, sickness, attacks by animals, availability of medical care or the adequacy of the same, criminal activity of any kind, terrorism, war, civil disturbance, sanitary conditions, quality or sanitation of food, quarantine, customs, regulations, epidemics, strikes, hotel overbooking, safety and/or security standards at hotels or other accommodations, or for any other reason beyond the control of QEI.  You understand, agree with, and agree to be legally bound by the terms of the release and waiver of liability set forth herein.

QEI reserves the right (at their discretion) to alter or omit any part of the itinerary or change any reservation, feature and/or means of conveyance without notice and for any reason whatsoever, without allowance or refund and with extra costs, if any, resulting, said changes being paid by the travelers. We reserve the right to cancel any services prior to departure, in which case payment will be refunded without further obligation on its part.  QEI shall not be responsible for any injury to person (whether or not resulting in death) or damage to property arising out of any act of war, insurrection, revolt or other civil uprising or military action occurring in the countries of origin, destination or passage.

In case of a medical problem arising during the voyage, either on board or on shore, which results in costs for evacuation, use of aircraft or repatriation, the responsibility for payment of these costs belongs solely to the traveler if costs incurred are above that of the Emergency Evacuation Insurance.
The traveler contract in use by the carriers concerned (when issued) shall constitute the sole contract between the transportation companies and the purchaser of these services and/or passage. By accepting the ticket, the traveler also agrees to its terms and conditions.

Acknowledgment of Risk
You understand and acknowledge that your travel in connection with and participation in the tour arranged at your request by QEI may involve risk and potential exposure to injury. You also realize and acknowledge that risk and dangers may be caused by the negligence of the owners, directors, employees, contractors, subcontractors, officers or agents of QEI or the negligence or participation of other participants, contractors and/or subcontractors to QEI. You also recognize and acknowledge that risk and dangers may arise from foreseeable and unforeseeable causes, including weather and other acts of nature. You fully understand and acknowledge that the aforementioned risks, dangers and hazards are a potential in connection with recreational activities which may take place during your journey.

By payment of your deposit, you certify that you do not have any mental, physical or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for yourself or other travelers and you confirm that you are physically and mentally capable of participating in the activity and willingly and knowingly elect to participate in your travel package in spite of the potential risk of danger. By payment of your deposit, you certify that you willingly and voluntarily assume full responsibility for any injury, loss or damage suffered, whether caused in whole or in part by the negligence of the owners, directors, agents, officers, employees, contractors or subcontractors of QEI. QEI reserves the right to remove a passenger or cancel or withdraw any reservation at any time at its sole discretion.

Express Assumption of Risk and Responsibility/Participation
In recognition of the inherent risk of the travels and related activities in which you are intending to engage, you confirm that you are physically and mentally capable of participating in the activity, that you are willingly and knowingly electing to participate in this tour in spite of the potential risk of danger, and you willingly and voluntarily assume full responsibility for any injury, loss or damage suffered by you or caused by you, whether caused in whole or in part by the negligence of the owners, directors, agents, officers, employees,  or contractors of QEI. You understand and acknowledge that QEI reserves the right to accept or reject any participant for any reason, and QEI or its guide has the right to disqualify you from any trip activity, if in QEI's or such guide's judgment, you are incapable of that activity and/or your continued participation in the tour will endanger yourself or the safety of the group. It is your responsibility and obligation to inform QEI, at the time your reservation is made, of any medical or physical disability or limitation that might disable you or render you unable to perform or safely complete the tour or any activity on the tour. You further acknowledge that you are the best judge of your own conditions and limitations and that it is incumbent upon you to fully disclose the full extent of any such conditions or limitations to QEI.

Release of Liability
In consideration of the services and arrangements provided by QEI, you, for yourself and for your heirs, personal representatives or assigns, do hereby release, waive, discharge, hold harmless and agree to indemnify QEI, and its owners, officers, directors, employees and affiliates from any and all claims, actions, or losses for bodily injury, property damage, wrongful death, loss of services, lost profits, consequential, exemplary, indirect or punitive damages or otherwise which may arise out of or occur during your travel in connection with the scheduled travel package and any activities conducted in conjunction therewith. You specifically understand and agree that you are releasing, discharging and waiving any claims or actions that you may have presently or in the future for the negligent acts or conduct of the owners, directors, officers, employees, agents or affiliates of QEI.

Express Waiver of Consequential, Punitive or Exemplary Damages
Regardless of the situation or circumstances giving rise to a claim, you waive any right to seek consequential, punitive or exemplary damages against QEI its owners, officers, directors, agents, contractors and employees, for any reason whatsoever.

Any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to these Terms and Conditions or the performance there under, including without limitation any claim related to bodily injury, property damage or death, shall be settled by binding arbitration in Atlanta, GA, USA in accordance with the rules of the American Arbitration Association then existing, and judgment on the arbitration award may be entered in any court having jurisdiction over the subject matter of the controversy. This agreement to arbitrate does not waive or modify the liability release contained in this document. Such proceedings will be governed by substantive Delaware law. The dispute will be resolved by a single arbitrator who must be a lawyer admitted to practice in the courts of at least one state in the United States and have a minimum of fifteen years of experience in civil litigation. The arbitrator so described will be selected by the American Arbitration Association.  Each party to the dispute shall have the right on a single occasion to veto the designation of an arbitrator so selected. There will be judicial review of the arbitrator's decision if either side can show plain error in the application of law or be able to show an abuse of discretion with respect to factual findings. The parties waive the right to rely on any state law or statute which creates an exception to enforcement of the requirement that disputes be resolved pursuant to arbitration in the manner set forth herein.

Exclusive Governing Law and Jurisdiction
These Terms and Conditions and any actions and proceeding brought hereunder shall be governed by the laws of the State of Delaware without regard to conflict of laws principles. If the right to seek arbitration is for any reason waived by both parties, or if judicial review of any arbitration decision is sought, any action or legal proceeding to enforce any provision hereof, or based on any right arising out of, these Terms and Conditions shall be exclusively in the courts of the State of Delaware, or if it has or can acquire jurisdiction, in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, and all of the parties hereto hereby consent to the exclusive jurisdiction of such courts and of the appropriate appellate courts in any such action or legal proceeding and waive any objection to venue or jurisdiction in connection therewith.

Waiver of Jury Trial
In connection with any action or legal proceeding arising out of this agreement, the parties hereby specifically and knowingly waive any rights that either party might have to demand a jury trial.

Use of Likeness
Travelers extend Quark Expeditions permission to take their photograph during the voyage, and release all rights over those images understand and consent that QEI may use any likeness taken of you and any of your comments while on your tour for future publicity and promotional material. Travelers who do not wish to be photographed during the voyage must inform Quark Expeditions in writing prior to the voyage.