Terms & Conditions

Please read this information carefully as payment of your deposit or participation in travel booked pursuant to these terms will constitute your agreement to all terms and conditions set out below. References to “you”, “client”, “passenger” or “traveller” mean each of the persons who make or are subject to a booking with us.

It is imperative that you check with Bentours all current requirements relating to the products (including but not limited to packages, accommodation, coach, rail, cruise and expedition cruise) when enquiring, requesting a quotation or booking. Supplier T&C’s may be subject to change at any time.

THE COMPANY

The “Company”, “Bentours”, “we”, “us” or “our” in the context of these terms and conditions means Tempo Holidays Pty Ltd. trading as Bentours International, ABN 51007331213. The Company is also a member of the Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO).

BROCHURE VALIDITY & PRICING

The brochure is valid for the dates shown. All prices are quoted in Australian dollars and current at the time of publication (31 August 2019). We use minimum total prices in this brochure with lead in rates/grades (including but not limited to hotels and ships, commonly found in packages) where applicable. Prices may vary substantially if booking higher grades and/or season. We will advise the applicable price which relates to the client’s travel dates at the time of enquiry or booking.  Applicable pricing is also displayed on our website. Prices may also change due to alterations in exchange rates, airfares, fuel surcharges, taxes, or other price rises beyond control of the Company. The current price will be advised on our invoice. We reserve the right to adjust prices at any time up until full payment of the deposit has been received by us. Our prices are inclusive of research, communication, documentation and marketing costs. No representation is made that identical, or similar product may, or may not, be obtained at a lower price. Receipt of your payment signifies the acceptance of the prices of services provided on your invoice, errors and omissions excepted (E&OE*).

PRICE APPLICATION

Prices are applicable for bona fide international leisure travellers. Service providers may refuse to honour our vouchers if presented by travellers who are unable to meet local qualifications for international leisure travellers. Conference attendees and business travellers may not qualify. We will not be liable for, and you release us from, any loss which may result. Prices shown in the brochure are only available when booked and paid for in advance in Australia. Where services are extended overseas, locally published prices may be applied. The specified prices constitute the minimum total price for the relevant package including al mandatory taxes, duties and fees. Seasonal surcharges and other supplements may apply at certain times of the year.

ACCOMMODATION STANDARDS

Bentours Preferred Hotels in City Focus Packages are generally selected for location, facilities and value. In more remote areas we may need to use basic accommodation which is regarded as ‘best available’. Classifications and star ratings are based on assessments provided by tourist authorities in the countries concerned and reflect the type of facilities offered, rather than denoting a style of hotel, for more Information please visit our website. Photographs in this brochure are intended to give a general impression only and city maps are only a guide to the location of the hotel. Your actual hotel room and location may differ. For full hotel listings see our website at www.bentours.com

Hotel Facilities

The mention of facilities such as parking, gyms, saunas etc does not imply that the use of these is free. Where charges apply, they will be payable locally (unless otherwise specified). Tea and coffee making facilities in rooms are the exception rather than the rule. Swimming pools, heating and air-conditioning are not necessarily available all year round.

Bedding Configuration

Prices are based on lead-in twin share accommodation, unless otherwise stated. Requests for specific bedding types must be made at the time of booking but are not guaranteed. Double rooms may have either twin or double beds. It is common practice to link two single beds together to use as a double bed. Single rooms are often smaller than other rooms and may contain a single bed. Triple rooms usually consist of a twin- or double-bedded room with an additional sofa bed, folding bed or rollaway for the third person - the room may be cramped as a result. In villas and apartments, the bedding configuration is as advised at the time of publication or booking, and is subject to change. Bedrooms in villas, apartments or similar refer to sleeping areas and does not infer that these areas afford total privacy.

Travelling with Children

Where a child shares a room with two paying adults and stays free, an extra bed may not be supplied and the child could be expected to share an adult’s bed. Additional charges may be levied and paid directly for child meals. Where a child discount rate is applied the child receives a bed, normally a rollaway. When children stay in a room without two adults the adult charge may apply.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

No special provision is made for travellers with physical or mental disabilities. Some accommodation and sightseeing may involve walking or climbing stairs. Special requests, such as wheelchair suitable accommodation and touring, ground floor rooms, cabins or limited step access, must be made to us in writing by your travel agent, and confirmed by us in writing; otherwise any such requests cannot be guaranteed. IMPORTANT: Suppliers of products in this brochure relating to travel on ships that are deemed ‘expedition’ themed, including but not limited to Antarctica & Arctic regions – will require additional special requirements to be met. These may include, but are not limited to, medical forms, history and certificates and/or participation forms. Please check on individual form requirements – as most forms will need to be received/approved no later than 120 days prior to departure, in some cases 180 days prior. It is incumbent upon you to check the special requirements before booking. Specifically, Hurtigruten medical forms are required to be completed within 8 weeks prior to travel, to ensure validity, and must be taken on-board. For expedition cruises, each passenger warrants that they are fit to travel. The client acknowledges and understands the destination visited is remote, isolated and far removed from medical care facilities. Suppliers and the Company reserve the right to require any passenger to produce evidence of forms/health and cannot accept liability for any situation arising out of a failure to disclose any pre-existing condition or disability. Passengers with physical or mental disabilities or other conditions which may require special assistance, e.g. use of a wheelchair or scooter, or service animal must advise us in writing before a booking is made and any booking is subject to ship approval. Passengers who use wheelchairs or may require special assistance must be accompanied by someone who is able to assist them on shore and at sea. Suppliers and the Company reserve the right to deny any client on reasonable medical grounds. In the event the client has made a booking and subsequently is unable to complete the required medical form for any reason by the final payment dates, rights are reserved to treat the booking as cancelled, and applicable cancellation fees will apply.

PASSENGER PARTICIPATION

We, or our agents, reserve the right to refuse a reservation, or to exclude a passenger from a service whose socially unacceptable behaviour or medical condition is likely to affect the smooth operation of a service, or adversely affect the safety or enjoyment of other passengers. Any decision to refuse carriage or exclude any person on these grounds will be made without recourse, refund or compensation.

VARIATION AND CANCELLATIONS

Product descriptions were correct at the time of publication. We, or our agents, reserve the right to cancel or modify services due to events beyond our control including insufficient participants or adverse weather conditions. Where arrangements are cancelled, full refunds will be provided by us.

PAYMENT TERMS

STANDARD DEPOSIT

A deposit of $250.00 per person, sent through your travel agent within 7 days of making the booking, is required to secure your reservation, irrespective of the status of the booking. Failure to pay the deposit on time may result in your booking being cancelled.

ADDITIONAL CHARGES

Any reservation that has to be rebooked due to expiry of the booking through non-payment of a deposit will be subject to an amendment fee of $33 in addition to immediate payment of the deposit. If we are unable to confirm the initial booking the deposit will be refunded in full. You will be notified at the time of booking if any additional deposit requirements apply.

ADDITIONAL DEPOSITS

Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal Voyages (or any tours which involve a Norwegian cruise sector), all Russian river cruises and Swedish Göta Canal cruises require a non-refundable deposit of 10% of the package price within 7 days of booking and confirmation. Some packages or tours that additionally include air sectors, cruise and/or coach, may require between 20-50% deposits, specified at time of booking/invoicing or as soon as we can afterwards in the unlikely event of a change by our supplier. ‘Expedition’ themed cruises as mentioned in ‘Special Requirements’ - on a range of vessels, require additional non-refundable deposits that vary per ship/supplier. These will be specified at time of booking/invoicing, or as soon as we can afterwards in the unlikely event of a change by our supplier, and commonly equate to 20% of the package price, required within 7 days of booking and confirmation.

FINAL PAYMENT

Bentours final payment is due no later than 70 days prior to departure from Australia. However, exceptions to dates for final payment prior to departure from Australia are required for ‘Expedition’ themed cruises as mentioned in ‘Special Requirements’ -  on a range of vessels, which will require full/final payment typically no later than 100 days prior (in some cases, up to 180 days prior). These will be specified at time of booking/invoicing. Exceptions to this are bookings made inside dates of final payment, where full payment is required either at time of booking, or within 7 days, or by sale-end date, or other payment deadline as specified in individual package conditions. Some airline tickets and/or special offers may require payment well in advance of the normal requirements. If you fail to meet payment conditions Bentours International reserves the right to cancel the booking and apply the appropriate cancellation charges.

SPECIAL BOOKING CONDITIONS AND OPTIONS

Some services cannot be booked without monies being paid. We will advise you if this condition is applicable. A full refund for the service will be made if the booking cannot be confirmed. For some arrangements, an option system is used. Once an option is advised to your travel agent the deposit (or full payment if applicable) must be made within 5-7 working days in order to confirm your booking. If payment is not received on time the option will automatically lapse.

AMENDMENTS

Except as stated below, no fee will be charged for the first amendment or to extend an existing booking. For second and subsequent alterations, excluding extensions or additions, a fee of A$33 per booking applies. A proposed amendment or name change may be treated as a cancellation. Any additional charges applied by suppliers are payable by you.

ADDITIONAL CHARGES

Due to the costs of communication and provision of documents a charge will apply for the following services:

  • Minimum Booking Value: A$33 for bookings with a total value of less than A$500.
  • Late Booking: A$33 charge for any booking made less than 7 days prior to departure from Australia or New Zealand. Additionally, full payment is required at the time of booking regardless of whether services are confirmed. This payment will be refunded in the event that we are unable to subsequently confirm satisfactory arrangements.
  • Document Re-issue Fee: A$66 for any amendment made which necessitates re-issue of documents. This may be in addition to any other amendment fee charged by our suppliers.
  • Credit Card Payment: A fee of 1.49% for VISA and MASTERCARD or 2% for AMERICAN EXPRESS will be applied to all credit card payments and will be added to the amount to be paid.
  • Courier Fee: Where vouchers, tickets and travel documents are sent via specialist courier this cost will be charged to your booking.

 INVOICE ERRORS OR OMISSIONS (E&OE*)

We reserve the right to correct any errors in rates quoted or calculated for any service, notwithstanding that the invoice may have been paid in full. All confirmed bookings are issued with an invoice detailing the services booked. If any service is still on request this will be indicated on the invoice

DOCUMENTATION

Travel documentation will normally be issued two weeks prior to departure. Documentation will not be issued until we are in receipt of full payment. Issuance of documentation does not absolve responsibility for any outstanding payments due.

CANCELLATIONS

All cancellations must be made in writing through the Company in Australia or New Zealand. No responsibility is taken for cancellations of hotel bookings or other services made directly by the client or the client’s travel agent with the service provider, regardless of whether written proof is given.

PARTIAL CANCELLATION

Cancellation of confirmed services forming part of an existing booking will incur cancellation fees as listed.

BENTOURS INTERNATIONAL CANCELLATION FEES

Our standard schedule of cancellation fees is as follows:

  • 70 days + prior to the commencement of the service: forfeiture of deposit.
  • 69-15 days prior to the commencement of the service: up to 50% of total price or deposit, whichever is greater
  • 14 days or less prior to the commencement of the service: 100% of total price

If your holidays have commenced, 100% of the price is charged. There is no refund for unused services or if portions of the holiday package are missed. If you fail to check-in at your designated hotel as confirmed, 100% No Show Fee will be charged. SUPPLIER CANCELLATION FEES These fees may be in addition to the charges outlined above. On some occasions, hotels, airlines and other service providers offer instant purchase rates which may involve cancellation or amendment fees of up to 100% if changes occur after booking, regardless of the date of travel. Supplier charges are based on the commencement date and price of each confirmed arrangement. Some services have cancellation fees higher than the standard scale, as listed below as a guide. Charges may be up to 100% of the price paid.

ADDITIONAL CANCELLATION FEES

Hurtigruten Norwegian coastal cruises on all vessels - 70 days or more prior to departure - loss of deposit; 69 days or less – may be liable to forfeit up to 100% of total price. ‘Expedition’ themed cruises as mentioned in ‘Special Requirements’ - on a range of vessels, will have individual cancellation policies and fees. These will vary from minimum 100 days prior (in some cases up to 180 days prior) with a subsequent cancellation charge of either loss of deposit, or up to 100% charge. These vary per ship/supplier and will be specified at time of booking/invoicing.  Volga Dream: 70 days or more prior to departure – loss of deposit; 69-46 days: 25% of total price; 45–26 days: 50% of total price; 25 days and less: 100% of total price. Symphony River Cruises, Volga River Discovery and Historic Volga River Cruises: 70 or more days prior to departure – loss of deposit; 69-50 days: 50% of total price; 49-31days: 75% of total price; less than 31 days: 100% of total price. Göta Canal cruises, both canals and coastal: 46 days or more prior to departure: loss of deposit; 45-20 days: 50% of total price; 19 days or less: 100% of total price. Trans- Mongolian/Siberian: cancellation 75 days or more equals to loss of deposit, 35-74 days is 50% of tour price, less than 35 days is 100% of total price.

REFUNDS

No refund will be given for any service which is not used by you due to late arrival, early departure, or by choice. This includes the failure of any transportation to operate as scheduled. We do not authorise any supplier to promise refunds on our behalf. If the price of your holiday is reduced after the deposit or payment is made, this alone will not entitle you to a refund.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

Travel insurance is not included in our prices. We strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance from your travel agent at the time of booking to cover yourself against loss of monies paid in the event of cancellation due to illness or other unforeseen circumstances; as well as for medical expenses, loss of luggage and other expenses incurred while travelling.

LOCAL REPRESENTATIVES

Contact details of our local representatives are included in documentation. Please do not hesitate to contact local representatives for any assistance with difficulties or changes. If you need to alter your arrangements once overseas or to add services to your booking you may do this through our local representative. Any additional costs incurred therein must be paid directly. We cannot be held responsible for (and you release us from) any subsequent complaint with arrangements booked directly with a supplier abroad. Cancellations of confirmed services must be notified through the Company even if you have advised the local representative.

CONSUMER CLAIMS

We endeavour to ensure that all your arrangements proceed smoothly. However, should a problem occur during your travels it is recommended and most practical for you to resolve it with the local service provider. If you are unable to resolve the matter, it should be referred to our local representative immediately. If this is not possible, we should be informed immediately. If you are unhappy with your hotel room or cabin, please inform the duty manager so the situation may be rectified on the spot. If you have an unresolved complaint this should be put to us in writing detailing the efforts that were made with the local operator to resolve the issue. It is important to send this with supporting documentation, via your travel agent, within 30 days of the date of the service.

TIPPING

Our prices do not include tips. Tipping tour drivers and guides is customary in the countries included in this brochure. The amount of your tip is left to your discretion and should be seen as a reward for good service.

OVERBOOKING

Overbooking is common practice among airlines and hotels. You need to accept that any claim arising from overbooking may only be made against the airline or hotel concerned. Without prejudice to the foregoing, we will try to protect your interest should overbooking occur.

BROCHURE CONTENT

Reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that the brochure is accurate at the time of publication. We do our best to ensure that all inclusions, itinerary flow, package details, rates and policies are both relevant and current at time of print. Brochure product and most up to date details can also be found online at www.bentours.com. There may be changes made by suppliers, that result in necessity to update product details, inclusions, policies and rates. If for reasons beyond the Company’s control, and if the Company determines in the interest of safety and security or for operational reasons to change your package arrangements, modify or cancel scheduled services and/or accommodation, either in whole or in part we reserve the right to do so, and will endeavour to provide alternative arrangements of the same standard as that originally booked where necessary.

COSTS NOT INCLUDED IN PRICES SHOWN

Unless otherwise stated in writing at the time of booking, airfares, visa and passport costs, travel insurance, vaccination and medical expenses, excess baggage, airport departure taxes, local government taxes, laundry, postage, phone calls, fax/email charges, beverages, items of a personal nature, tips and meals are not included on the itinerary and are your responsibility.

COMPANY RESPONSIBILITY

Tempo Holidays Pty Ltd (including Bentours International) is not itself a carrier or hotelier; nor do we own aircraft, hotels, coaches or cruise vessels. The services that we supply consist of arranging and coordinating accommodation, tours, cruises and transfers, making bookings and issuing vouchers to be redeemed by suppliers. We exercise reasonable care in the selection of reputable airlines, tour operators, coach operators, hotels and other suppliers of the various travel services used in these services. It is important to note, therefore, that all bookings with Tempo Holidays (including Bentours International) are subject to the terms and conditions and limitations of liability imposed by airlines, coach operators, hoteliers, and other service providers including but not limited to shipping, rail, car hire and restaurant operators, whose services we utilise, some of which limit or exclude liability in respect of death, personal injury, delay and loss or damage of baggage. We always do our best to ensure that your holiday arrangements are satisfactory, and we accept liability for, but only to the extent of, any reasonably foreseeable loss or damage sustained by you as the result of our negligence, or that of our employees or agents. However the Company does not accept any liability of whatever nature for the acts, omissions or default whether negligent or otherwise, of those airlines, coach operators, shipping and cruise companies, hoteliers or other persons providing services in connection with your services pursuant to a contract between themselves and yourself (which may be evidenced in writing by the issue of a ticket, voucher, coupon or the like) and over which the Company has no direct and exclusive control. The Company does not accept responsibility in contract or in tort (actionable wrong) for any injury, damage, loss, delay, additional expenses or inconvenience caused directly or indirectly by force majeure or other events which is beyond its control, or which are not preventable by reasonable diligence on the part of the Company, including but not limited to war, civil disturbance, terrorism, fire, flood, unusually severe weather, acts of God, acts of Government or any other authorities, accidents to, or failure of machinery or equipment, or industrial action (whether or not involving our employees and even though such actions may be settled by acceding to the demands of a labour group).

PRIVACY

We respect your privacy and will not pass on your details to third parties except as required by law, or in the interests of securing reservations on your behalf. Your booking constitutes your consent to such disclosure. We are unable to accept responsibility for the confidentiality of information after it leaves our direct control. For more information, please refer to our Privacy Policy and Collection Notice, which are available on our website.

CLIENTS’ RESPONSIBILITY

You should familiarise yourself with all current health, passport, drivers’ licence or visa requirements that may be applicable in the areas that you intend visiting. You are responsible for all entry, exit, health and other documents required by law, regulations, orders, demands or requirements of the countries visited or transited. Any information pertaining to health and travel documentation contained in this brochure is of a general nature only and needs to be confirmed by the client prior to travel. We will not accept liability for (and you release us from) any loss or expense due to your failure to comply. You will be liable for any additional costs incurred (whether by the client or by the Company on the client’s behalf), as a result of failure to comply with such requirements. You accept that you may be travelling through areas of political or climatic instability, high altitude and remoteness without proper medical services, and accept the associated risks. It is your duty to inform your Agent of any circumstances of which we should be aware, such as medical conditions and other facts which could impact on the smooth running of your travel arrangements. The making of a booking constitutes your acceptance of all booking terms and conditions as described herein and forms the basis of your contract with the Company.

TRAVEL AGENT’S RESPONSIBILITY

Travel agents are responsible to advise us of any special requirements you may have and to communicate to you any changes or alterations advised to them by us. It is the responsibility of the travel agent to ensure all invoice details are correct and that you are made aware of and acknowledge all booking conditions. No representation made by your travel agent to you concerning the quality, location, or any other matter in relation to the services and facilities provided by us shall bind the Company unless your travel agent has been expressly or impliedly authorised by us to make such a representation.