Aqua-Firma is a trading name of Aqua-Firma Worldwide Ltd. of registered office Longdene House, Hedgehog Lane, Haslemere, Surrey GU27 2PH, and as such your booking contract and invoice is made with Aqua-Firma Worldwide Ltd. (hereinafter called ‘the Company’ or ‘we’ or ‘us’ or ‘AF’) subject to the following conditions:
1. How to book
1.1 To make a booking you must send us a completed booking form and the correct deposit amount. If your booking is made less than 10* weeks prior to the date of departure then full payment is required at the time of booking. We will confirm your booking in writing. The booking is not accepted and no contract exists until the date shown on this written confirmation issued by AF.
1.2 Full payment is required at least 10* weeks before the date of departure or the booking will be treated as a cancellation and the penalties in section 3 below will apply.
1.3 Where you book a single component of a holiday through AF, such as accommodation only at a hotel, then the Company acts only as a booking agent for the supplier concerned and accepts no liability for the provision of the product or service involved.
(*14 weeks, or as otherwise advised, in the case of polar voyages and trips incorporating a dive liveaboard).
2. Alterations by client before departure
If you wish to make changes to your booking more than 10* weeks prior to the departure date then we will try our best to assist you, but we cannot guarantee that it will be possible. Requests for any alterations need to be made in writing and signed by the signatory of the Booking Form. In the event of an amendment a £60 amendment fee will be payable in addition to all costs we incur and our suppliers impose on us as a result of the transfer of the booking. Alterations made within 10* weeks will be treated as a cancellation and the penalties in section 3 below will apply.
(*14 weeks, or as otherwise advised, in the case of polar voyages and trips incorporating a dive liveaboard).
3. Cancellations by client
Apart from polar voyages, dive liveaboard tours or where otherwise advised, if you cancel your booking more than 10 weeks prior to departure then the deposit will be forfeited. If you cancel your booking after you have paid in full then the following cancellation charges will apply:
between 45 and 69 days prior to departure: 50% of the holiday cost
31 to 44 days prior to departure: 75% of the holiday cost
0 to 30 days prior to departure : 100% of the holiday cost
Polar Voyages & Dive Liveaboard Trips (unless otherwise advised)
If you cancel your polar voyage or dive liveaboard booking more than 14 weeks prior to departure then the deposit will be forfeited. If you cancel your booking after you have paid in full then the following cancellation charges will apply:
between 61 and 97 days prior to departure: 50% of the holiday cost
0 to 60 days prior to departure : 100% of the holiday cost
Flights – If we are able to make your flight bookings on the basis of a deposit, then the conditions above will apply unless otherwise advised. Once flights are paid for in full then a 100% cancellation charge will apply.
4. If you are prevented from travelling
If you or a member of your party is prevented from travelling on the holiday you have booked, then you may transfer that booking to another person provided that they meet all the requirements for that holiday, that we are informed no less than 21 days prior to the date of departure and that our suppliers (such as transport providers) agree to accept the name change. If a transfer is allowed then a £60 amendment fee will be payable in addition to all costs we incur and our suppliers impose on us as a result of the transfer of the booking. In the event that you do transfer your booking to another person then you are both jointly liable for payment of the booking and other associated expenses.
5. Booking flights
Where you do book your own flights AF’s responsibility does not start until you have met our representative at the appointed time and at the designated location. If you fail to arrive there at the appointed time then we shall not be responsible for any additional expenses you may incur in order to resume your schedule. We recommend that you book changeable return flights in the event of delays during your tour.
6. Acceptance by AF of Bookee
AF reserves the right to refuse any bookings from prospective clients, or exclude from any trips clients whom AF considers unsuitable. We must be informed of any health issue or condition at the time of booking. If it is considered (with regard to your safety and enjoyment, and that of those around you) that such a condition would likely affect your ability to participate safely in any activity then we will not accept the booking. If, during the booking process any new information – or any change to health or fitness – is disclosed which would affect your ability to participate safely, we reserve the right to amend or cancel your booking. Such an amendment or cancellation would be regarded as a cancellation by the client, and our liability would be limited as to the terms set out in point 3.
7. Alterations or cancellations made by us
AF reserves the right at any time to make alterations to your holiday arrangements (including all transport, accommodation and services). These changes are usually minor, but if not then we will notify you in writing before you depart. Details on your invoice or in any of our publicity materials are for guidance only.
If a significant change has to be made then we will contact you. A significant change would mean one of the following:
- a change in destination
- a change to a lower standard of accommodation
- a change in the start or end point of a trip
- a change in the start or end timing of a trip by more than 12 hours
Upon the occurrence of a significant change then we will endeavour to inform you as soon as possible. It is your choice if you then decide: to accept the change, or: cancel the trip and claim full refund. In the event of us informing you of a significant change that you choose to cancel your trip then you must let us know in writing or by email within 7 days of such notification.
Changes in the travel that do not substantially alter the nature of the travel do not entitle you to cancel the contract or to a refund or reduction.
Some of the trips AF organises rely on minimum numbers of people, so if we fail to consolidate this minimum number then we reserve the right to cancel the trip without issuing any compensation. If we cancel your trip for any other reason then any payment made by you will be refunded in full, except where cancellation is a result of your failure to pay any balances by their due dates. Compensation will not be payable if we are forced to cancel, or in any way change your trip for reasons of force majeure, namely war, the threat of war, terrorist activity, civil strife, natural or man-made disaster, industrial dispute, fire or adverse weather conditions or other similar events beyond our control and that of our agents and suppliers.
In the event that you cancel due to a significant change, or that we cancel your trip, then except in the event of force majeure or lack of consolidation of numbers for the trip (please refer to 7.2 above) then we will pay compensation as detailed below:
Notification of material change Compensation
(period before departure)
More than 60 days Nil
14 to 60 days £20
Less than 14 days £30
8. Prices and surcharges
The prices we quote are calculated based upon costs and foreign currency exchange rates prevailing at the time when each itinerary is prepared. The Company reserves the right to amend prices and impose surcharges at any time up to 20 days prior to the date of departure to take into account any changes in currency exchange rates, park fees, dues, taxes, government action, or transportation costs including the cost of fuel. If this means that you have to pay an additional 8% or more on the price of your trip with us then you will be entitled to cancel with full refund of any monies paid, excluding amendment charges. To exercise this right to cancel you must do so within 10 days of the date shown in communication from us on which the price changes were advised.
It is a condition of your booking and essential for your personal protection that you have adequate insurance cover. It is essential that you provide us with details of the insurance cover you have purchased, including the name of the insurance company, policy number and an emergency contact telephone number. It is your responsibility to make sure that you read the details of your insurance policy and make sure that it covers all of the activities you will be participating in on your AF trip, covers the full duration and is adequate for your personal needs. Specifically, you must make sure that your insurance includes satisfactory cover for helicopter rescue, air ambulance, repatriation and cancellation*.
*We STRONGLY recommend that your travel insurance includes cancellation and curtailment cover in the event that you cannot complete part, or all your trip due to illness including COVID, such as circumstances whereby you test positive for COVID and you are consequently unable to leave your home country, or you are unable to enter a destination or location, or board a boat, or board a plane etc. Aqua-Firma will not be liable to provide any refunds under these circumstances.
We do not review alternative insurance policies. Please make sure that you bring full details of your insurance policy with you on your trip.
10. Itinerary and your expectations
Your booking is accepted on the understanding that trips organised by AF are often to remote locations and involve a degree of adventure; physical exertion you may be unprepared for; weather extremes; subject to sudden change; remote from medical services; involve evacuation difficulties if you are disabled. You also acknowledge that activities including (but not exclusive to) diving, sailing, snorkelling, trekking, rafting, kayaking and canoeing may involve a significant degree of personal risk and that the safety standards by which they are run are likely to be different in each country and different to the standards to which they are run in your own country. Your booking is accepted on the understanding that you realise the hazards involved with these kind of activities and travel, including but not exclusive to injury, disease, loss or damage to personal effects, inconvenience, and discomfort.
11. You need to accept the need to maintain a philosophy of allowing for alternatives and a substantial degree of on-trip flexibility. It is part of the nature of adventure travel that the elements surrounding you can be unpredictable. Itineraries and images featured in publicity materials are inspirational in character and do not necessarily depict the exact wildlife and landscapes you will encounter on your trip; they are an indication and not a contractual obligation of AF and we will not be held liable for any claims for non-fulfilled expectations.
AF will not be held liable for any loss whatsoever caused as a result of any delay or alteration that may occur during your trip. Delays or alterations may be necessary for the safety of you and those around you (e.g. answering a Mayday call at sea or changes in weather or visibility); any activities that are cancelled on reasonable grounds will not be refunded.
By travelling on a trip organised by AF you accept this flexibility and acknowledge that delays may occur and alterations may result.
12. AF responsibilities
We are responsible for the proper performance of our obligations under this contract whether those obligations are provided by us or third party service providers engaged by us and acting within the proper course of their employment. We will accept liability for any damage caused to you by our failure to perform the contract, unless the failure is:
i) is attributable to you;
ii) is attributable to a third party not connected to the performance of the contract;
iii) due to unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all due care and attention had been taken;
iv) due to an event which even with all due care and attention we could not foresee or forestall.
13. Authority on your trip
In signing this contract you accept the authority and decisions of the employees, guides, leaders, agents and suppliers during your trip with us. If it is the opinion of these people that your conduct or health appears likely to endanger yourself, other people or the progress of the trip then you may be excluded from the whole, or part, of the trip. In the event of ill health or accident whilst you are travelling with us we reserve the right to make all arrangements which we feel are necessary and recover the whole cost of these arrangements from you. If you commit an illegal act then we will cease to have responsibility for you.
14. Information provided in good faith.
Any information or advice provided by AF on matters such as clothing, weather and sea conditions, vaccinations, permits, visas, baggage, special equipment etc. is done so in good faith but without any responsibility whatsoever on the part of AF.
15. Visas and Vaccinations
It is your responsibility to make sure that you seek relevant medical advice and vaccinations and make all other necessary arrangements prior to your departure. This includes compliance with passport, visa requirements and COVID vaccination requirements. We do not accept any responsibility whatsoever in the event that these matters are not dealt with prior to departure. You must bring all medical and vaccination certificates as required.
16. Other documentation and equipment
You may be asked to sign a liability waiver or our partner’s Terms and Conditions in order to participate in activities during your trip. It is your responsibility to bring any certificates, specialist clothing or equipment as stated in your travel information, failure to bring such items may result in your exclusion from certain activities at the discretion of trip leaders, which will not be refunded.
17. Complaints & Arbitration
If you are unhappy with a service or facility provided during the course of travel arranged for you by us then you should address your concern to the Company’s local representative and / or management of the facility straight away. If you at not satisfied with the resolution proposed, then you must contact Aqua-Firma using the emergency contacts provided in your itinerary. This will provide the opportunity to address your concerns during the course of your holiday. If at the end of your trip you feel that your complaints have not been dealt with satisfactorily then we will try to resolve any issues with you, but you will first need to send us details in writing by email or fax within 14 days of the end of your holiday with us.
18. Your Financial Protection
The Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT https://www.abtot.com/) provides financial protection under its ATOL Franchise and The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 for Aqua-Firma Worldwide Ltd ABTOT number 5300, ATOL number 6947, and in the event of their insolvency, protection is provided for the following:
1. non-flight packages;
2. flight inclusive packages that commence outside of the United Kingdom, which are sold to customers outside of the United Kingdom; and.
3. flight inclusive packages, flight only and linked travel arrangements (LTAs ) sold as a principal under ABTOT ATOL Franchise.
ABTOT cover provides for a refund in the event you have not yet travelled or repatriation if you are abroad. Please note that bookings made outside the UK are only protected by ABTOT when purchased directly with Aqua-Firma Worldwide Ltd.
In the unlikely event that you require assistance whilst abroad due to our financial failure, please call ABTOT's 24/7 helpline on +44 (0)1702 811397 and advise you are a customer of an ABTOT protected travel company.
You can access The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/634/contents/made
When you buy an ATOL protected flight or flight inclusive holiday from us, you will 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.
The price of our ATOL-protected flight inclusive Packages includes the amount of £2.50 per person as part of the ATOL Protection Contribution (APC) we pay to the CAA. This charge is included in our advertised prices.
We, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL Certificate or holiday itinerary, will provide you with the services listed on the ATOL Certificate or itinerary (or a suitable alternative). In some cases, where neither we nor the supplier are able to do so for reasons of insolvency, an alternative ATOL holder or supplier 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 or supplier 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 or supplier. However, you also agree that in some cases it will not be possible to appoint an alternative ATOL holder or supplier, in which case you will be entitled to make a claim under ABTOT.
If we, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL certificate or holiday itinerary, are unable to provide the services listed (or a suitable alternative, through an alternative ATOL holder, alternative supplier or otherwise) for reasons of insolvency, ABTOT Limited may make a payment to (or confer a benefit on) you under its scheme. You agree that in return for such a payment or benefit you assign absolutely to ABTOT Limited 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, the travel agent (or your credit card issuer where applicable). You also agree that any such claims may be re-assigned to another body, if that other body has paid sums you have claimed under the ABTOT ATOL Franchise scheme.
For further information visit the ATOL website at www.atol.org.uk or the ABTOT website at www.ABTOT.com
19. Data protection
By entering this agreement you understand that information you send to us will be passed on, where necessary, to other third parties who are involved in arranging your itineraries. This information will not be used for any other purpose, nor will it be passed to any other parties without your prior consent.
This contract and all matters arising from it are governed exclusively by the Laws of England and Wales.