Scope of these General Conditions, Your Contractor
These general conditions regulate the legal relationship between you as the passenger and the tour operator, who performs under the brand names "Holland America Line" and "Seabourn." Your contractor and tour operator is HAL Services B.V. (Address: Otto Reuchlinweg 1110, PO Box 23378, NL-3001 KJ Rotterdam, The Netherlands) ("Travel Organizer").
These general conditions shall not apply if the traveler initiates legal action against Travel Organizer in a court outside of Germany, in which case the English terms and conditions ("Cruise Contract") as used in the United States will apply.
Personal Requirements of the Traveler
The passenger warrants that he/she is fit to travel. Travel Organizer has the right to demand a medical certificate about the fitness to travel from the passenger. Persons under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a person over 21 years to participate in a trip. Travel Organizer does not have the necessary medical facilities to provide appropriate medical care for children six months or younger for non-transocean sailings, 12 months or younger for transocean sailings and for pregnant women who will be in the 24th week of pregnancy at any point during the trip. Children and women who meet these conditions are excluded from the trip. If the pregnancy was not known at the time of booking, the pregnant woman and her companion will be refunded the full fare upon termination of the trip.
1. Completion of the Contract / Responsibility of Travelers
1.1 A traveler who is interested in a trip makes a binding offer to Travel Organizer by phone or in writing for the completion of a travel contract. If Travel Organizer then grants an option, such option will automatically expire after 10 days. Travel Organizer can shorten the option period for short term bookings. The travel contract is completed only after the written confirmation from Travel Organizer has been received by the traveler, and it is then valid for all participants listed by the traveler in the registration forms. If the content of the travel confirmation is different from the content submitted for registration, the confirmation will expressly state such discrepancies. Travel Organizer will be bound to this new offer for seven days. The travel contract is completed on the basis of this new offer if the traveler accepts it expressly or by implication within seven days from receipt of the confirmation, such as by a statement of acceptance submitted to the booking agency, by making a payment or deposit for the price of the trip or by commencing the trip.
1.2 Travel agents (e.g., travel agencies) and service providers (such as hotels, transport companies) are not authorized by Travel Organizer to enter agreements, to provide information or make any representation that might alter the agreed content of the contract, exceed the contractually promised services of Travel Organizer or that are contrary to the travel advertisement.
1.3 Local brochures and advertisements on the Internet that are not published by Travel Organizer are not binding for Travel Organizer and do not create any service obligation, unless they became part of the travel announcement or were included in the content of the service obligations of Travel Organizer by an express agreement with the traveler.
1.4 The passenger is responsible for the fulfillment of all contractual obligations by himself/herself as well as by all fellow travelers for whom he/she makes the reservation if such responsibility has been accepted in an express and separate statement.
2.1 Travel Organizer and travel agents may only demand and accept payments for the tour price before the end of the trip if the security certificate was given to the passenger. With the completion of the contract and transfer of the security certificate a deposit becomes payable.
Holland America Line: The deposit amount is 20% of the price for all other sailings. The balance is due:
- 45 calendar days before departure
- for all Europe sailings (excluding ms Prinsendam, ms Maasdam and ms Veendam),
- for all Caribbean sailings (excluding ms Rotterdam), and
- for all Panama Canal, Mexico, Canada & New England, Alaska cruises and cruisetours, and Hawaii (27 days or less) sailings;
- 75 calendar days before departure
- for all Europe sailings of ms Prinsendam, ms Maasdam, and ms Veendam,
- for all Caribbean sailings of ms Rotterdam,
- for all Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific, South America (including Inca Discovery), Antarctica, Asia (including ms Rotterdam Far East), Amazon, Incan Empires, Hawaii ,Tahiti & Marquesas (28 days or longer) sailings, and
- for all "Holiday" sailings;
- 90 calendar days before departure
- Grand World,
- Grand Voyages, and
- any segment of a Grand World or Grand Voyage;
as long as the security certificate has been provided.
Seabourn: The deposit amount is 10% of the price. The balance is due 42 calendar days before departure as long as the security certificate has been provided.
2.2 If the traveler does not pay the deposit and/or the remaining amount according to the agreed payment terms Travel Organizer has the right, after giving notice and setting a deadline, to withdraw from the travel contract and to charge the passenger the cancellation fee in accordance with Sections 5.2 through 5.5.
3. Service Changes
3.1 Changes in essential travel services from the agreed content of the contract which are necessary after the completion of the contract and were not caused by Travel Organizer in bad faith are only allowed if the changes are not substantial and do not affect the overall character of the trip. Changes that are not considered substantial and that do not affect the overall character of the trip, include, but is not limited to the following: (i) the substitution of the vessel for technical, operative or other good reason, by an alternative vessel with similar characteristics; (ii) a change of stateroom or a change in hotel accommodation, provided that the stateroom and/or hotel are in the same category or higher; and (iii) changes to the program of shows and other forms of entertainment onboard the vessel.
3.2. Any warranty claims remain unaffected if the amended services are deficient.
3.3. Travel Organizer is obligated to inform the passenger immediately of significant changes to services and, if known, the reason for the changes.
3.4 In the event of a major change in an essential travel service, the traveler is entitled to withdraw from the contract or to demand participation in an equivalent trip if Travel Organizer is able to offer such a trip without additional cost to the traveler. The traveler must claim these rights immediately after receiving notice from Travel Organizer about the change in travel services or the cancellation of the trip. Travel Organizer is not obliged to offer any compensation whatsoever in the event of a canceled stop in Half Moon Cay (i.e., inability to offer safe passage between the ship and Half Moon Cay due to weather).
4. Price Increase
Travel Organizer reserves the right to change the contract price in the event of subsequent increases in transportation costs or charges for certain services such as port or airport fees, taxes or a change in the currency exchange rates applicable to such travel. Such changes can be made as follows:
4.1 If the transport costs (particularly fuel surcharges for air transport costs and fuel costs for the ships) increase beyond the levels at the completion of the travel contract, Travel Organizer may increase the tour price in accordance with the following calculation:
a) In case of an increase for individual seats, Travel Organizer may request payment for the increased amount from the passenger.
b) Otherwise, the additional transport costs charged by the transport partner for the means of transport will be divided by the number of seats occupied in the agreed means of transport. Travel Organizer can pass on the additional amount calculated in such way for each seat to the passenger.
4.2 If the port or airport fees existing at the completion of the contract are increased for Travel Organizer the tour price can be adjusted accordingly by Travel Organizer to the extent in which the costs of the trip have increased for Travel Organizer.
4.3 In the case of a change in the exchange rates after completion of the travel contract, the tour price will be increased to the extent in which the trip has become more expensive for Travel Organizer.
4.4 An increase according to paragraphs 4.1 to 4.3 is only permissible if more than 4 months separate the date of completion of the contract and the agreed date of travel and the circumstances leading to the increase were not present before the contract was completed and were not foreseeable at the time for Travel Organizer.
4.5 In the event of a subsequent change of the price Travel Organizer has to inform the traveler immediately upon knowledge of the reason for such change. Price increases are only permitted if they are received by the passenger no later than 21 days prior to departure. If the price increases by more than 5% the traveler is entitled to withdraw from the travel contract without fees or to request participation in an equivalent trip if Travel Organizer is able to offer such a trip from its own program without additional cost to the traveler. The traveler must act upon the above-mentioned rights without delay after the notification by Travel Organizer about the price increases.
4.6 Holland America Line: The contract price does not include those facilities and services that are customarily sold to travelers on Holland America Line cruises (e.g., casino, photos, videos, beauty and massage, retail shops, meals in specialty restaurants and other food and drink that are customarily paid for by the traveler on Holland America Line cruises, shore excursions, bingo, internet cafe, shopping promotions, art auction and tuxedo rental). An optional service charge of US$11.50 per guest for staterooms or U.S.$12.00 per guest for suites, as applicable, is automatically added to each traveler's shipboard account on a daily basis. If the service onboard exceeds expectations, the traveler is free to adjust this amount at the end of the cruise, likewise the traveler is free to remove it from his/her shipboard account. The service charge is paid entirely to Holland America Line crewmembers. Likewise, a 15% service charge is automatically added to bar charges and dining room wine purchases.
4.7 Seabourn: The contract price for Seabourn products does not include those facilities and services that are customarily sold to travelers on Seabourn's cruises (e.g., casino, beauty and massage, retail shops, premium food and drink that are customarily paid for by travelers on Seabourn's cruises, shore excursions, internet service, and shopping promotions).
5.1 The traveler can withdraw at any time prior to the start of the trip. An explanation for the withdrawal is to be sent to Travel Organizer at the address provided above. If the trip was booked through a travel agency the withdrawal declaration can also be presented to the travel agency. The traveler is advised to declare the withdrawal in writing.
5.2 If the traveler withdraws his/her participation prior to departure or if he/she does not commence the trip Travel Organizer loses its claim to the tour price. Provided that the cancellation is not caused by Travel Organizer and is not caused by force majeure, Travel Organizer can instead charge a reasonable cancellation fee based on the applicable tour price for the travel arrangements made before the withdrawal and for its expenditures.
5.3 Travel Organizer has established a staggered scale for such compensation claims which takes into account the closeness of the withdrawal to the agreed date of departure and stipulates lump sum payments in proportion to the trip price, and which reflects expenses that may be saved under normal circumstances as well as possible other uses of the travel services. The cancellation fee is calculated as follows according to ship, destination and date of receipt of the withdrawal declaration from the traveler.
5.4 The passenger is always free to prove to Travel Organizer that Travel Organizer has actually incurred no damage or much lesser damage than the stipulated lump sum payment.
5.5 Travel Organizer reserves the right to demand a higher, specific compensation instead of the above lump sums if Travel Organizer can prove that it has incurred much higher expenses than covered by the applicable lump sum. In this case, Travel Organizer is required to state and to document a specific amount for the requested compensation, taking into account any savings in expenses and a possible alternative use of the travel services.
5.6 The legal right of a passenger, pursuant to § 651 b BGB (German Civil Code), to provide a substitute traveler is not affected by the above terms; in such a case, a lump sum fee of €30 will be charged, unless the costs caused by the substitution request are proven to be less by the passenger.
6.1 If a traveler wants to switch to another trip, he/she should ask Travel Organizer to clarify whether the request can be met. A right to rebook does not exist. A rebooking are only possible if the rebooking is made for a trip that begins within 6 months from the original departure date and is more expensive. A rebooking can only be made until day 56 before the departure date and shall be allowed only once. A fee of €100 per person plus related costs (e.g., fees of third parties) will be charged. If the traveler changes only one component of the trip (e.g., hotel or flight), a fee of €37 per person plus related costs will be charged. The advertised conditions apply to any rebooking and new booking; discounts and special rates are not transferable.
6.2 Notwithstanding the foregoing, each traveler can withdraw from the originally booked trip according to the cancellation terms defined in Section 5.3. and can subsequently book a new trip.
7. Unused Services
If personal reasons (e.g., because of an early return or other compelling reasons) prevent a traveler from making use of any individual travel services which were properly offered to him/her, such traveler is not entitled to a partial refund of the trip price. Travel Organizer will seek reimbursement of the expenses saved by the service providers. This obligation does not apply if the services are totally irrelevant or if a refund is contrary to statutory or regulatory provisions.
8. Termination for Behavioral Reasons
Travel Organizer can cancel the travel contract without notice if the traveler:
- Did not notify Travel Organizer about a known health issue prior to departure;
- Knowingly provided a false age;
- Is in the opinion of the captain or the ship's doctor, unable to travel because of illness, infirmity or other reasons;
- Relies on assistance or monitoring by others, but is traveling alone;
- Disturbs the continuation of travel on an ongoing basis despite a warning from Travel Organizer or the ship's management or acts in breach of contract in such a manner that the immediate cancellation of the contract is justified;
- Has provided false information at booking;
- Arrives late for the commencement of the trip; or
- Does not meet the travel requirements or does not have the necessary travel documents, thereby risking that other passengers will not be allowed to leave the ship and go ashore.
If Travel Organizer cancels the trip, he/she will retain the right to receive the travel price. However, Travel Organizer can deduct the value of the saved expenses and the benefits he/she obtains from a different use of unused services, including any amounts refunded by the service providers.
9. Responsibilities of Travelers
9.1 Notice of Deficiencies
If the trip is not provided according to the contract the traveler may request redress.
The traveler is, however, required to notify Travel Organizer of any deficiencies without delay. If he/she culpably fails to provide notice the tour price will not be reduced. This does not apply if the notification would obviously be futile or would be unreasonable for other reasons.
The passenger is obligated to make his/her complaint known without delay to Hotel Manager on board. If the Hotel Manager is not available on site any deficiencies must be brought to the attention of Travel Organizer in its main office. The traveler will receive information about how to contact the Hotel Manager and/or Travel Organizer in the service description or in the travel documentation.
The Hotel Manager is charged with taking remedial action, if possible. However, the Hotel Manager is not authorized to approve claims of the traveler.
9.2 Setting a Deadline prior to Termination
If a passenger intends to cancel the travel contract due to unacceptability because of a deficiency in the trip of the kind described in § 615 c BGB and according to § 615 e BGB or for good reason apparent to Travel Organizer he/she must give Travel Organizer sufficient time to remedy the deficiency. This restriction does not apply if remedial action is impossible or refused by Travel Organizer or if immediate termination of the contract for a special concern of the traveler that is recognizable for Travel Organizer is justified.
9.3 Loss, Damage and Delay of Luggage
Travel Organizer strongly recommends to report any damage or delivery delays in connection with air travel immediately on the spot by submitting a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) to the responsible airline. Airlines usually refuse refunds if the damage report has not been completed. In the case of damage to luggage, the damage must be reported within 7 days and, if delays occurred, within 21 days of delivery. Moreover, the loss, damage or misdirection of luggage must be reported to the Hotel Manager or local representative of Travel Organizer. Travel Organizer does not assume liability for luggage that has been entrusted to a third party carrier or airline whose services are not included in the travel contract.
9.4 Travel Documents
The passenger must inform Travel Organizer when he/she does not receive the necessary travel documents (including airline ticket, hotel vouchers) within the period specified by Travel Organizer.
10. Limitation of Liability
10.1 The contractual liability of Travel Organizer for damages, excluding personal injury, is limited to three times the travel price,
a) if the damage to the passenger is not caused by intent or gross negligence; or
b) if Travel Organizer is responsible for the damage caused to the traveler only because of the fault of a service provider.
10.2 The tort liability of Travel Organizer for property damages that are not based on intent or gross negligence is three times the travel price. This maximum amount applies per passenger and per trip. Any other claims related to luggage under international conventions which may exceed this limit remain unaffected by the restriction.
10.3 Travel Organizer is not liable for service disruptions, personal injuries or property damage in connection with (i) transportation, shore excursions, accommodations and services in the air and on shore that are provided by third parties (e.g., goods and services provided by shoreside physicians, air ambulance, hotels, restaurants, airlines, railroads, shore excursions and tour operators (other than Travel Organizer), helicopter operators, amusement park operators, dayboat operators, motorcoach operators) or (ii) the acts or omissions of the ship's physician, ship's nurse, retail shop personnel, health and beauty staff, photographers or any other third party providing services, provided these services are specifically identified in the travel description in Travel Organizer's brochure or website or the booking confirmation as external services and the procured contractual partner is indicated in such a way that the traveler can immediately recognize that the external services are not part of the travel services provided by Travel Organizer.
Except as provided above, Travel Organizer is liable:
a) for services which include the transportation of passengers from the announced starting location of the trip to the announced destination, intermediate transportation during the trip and accommodation during the trip;
b) if and to the extent Travel Organizer is responsible for causing damage to the passenger by violating its informational, educational or organizational obligations.
11. Exclusion of Claims
The traveler must submit claims for non-conforming provision of travel services within one month after the contracted date for the conclusion of the trip. The assertion of such claims must be submitted to Travel Organizer at the above address within the specified time limit. After expiration of this time limit, the traveler may only assert claims if he/she was prevented from meeting the deadline by no fault of his/her own.
However, this does not apply to the deadline for filing damage to luggage or delays in the shipment of luggage in connection with flights according to Section 9.3. Such claims must be reported within 7 days for damaged luggage and within 21 days after delivery of delayed luggage.
12.1 Claims of the passenger under Civil Code §§ 651c to f in connection with the loss of life, body or health caused by an intentional or negligent breach of duty by Travel Organizer or a legal representative or agent of Travel Organizer will expire by limitation after two years. This also applies to claims for compensation for other damages resulting from an intentional or grossly negligent breach of duty by Travel Organizer or a legal representative or agent of Travel Organizer.
12.2 All other claims under §§ 651 c to f BGB expire after one year.
12.3 The limitation period according to paragraph 12.1 and 12.2 commences on the day following the day of the contractual end of travel.
12.4 If negotiations are pending between the passenger and Travel Organizer regarding the claim or the circumstances causing the claim, the limitation is suspended until the traveler or Travel Organizer refuses to continue the negotiations. The limitation period shall expire no sooner than three months after the end of the suspension.
13. Information Requirements Regarding the Identity of the Operating Air Carrier
The EU regulation requiring notification of air passengers about the identity of the operating airline requires Travel Organizer to inform passengers at the time of booking of the identities of all airlines involved in providing transportation services in the context of the booked trip. Once Travel Organizer knows which airline will operate the flights, Travel Organizer must inform the traveler.
Travel Organizer will inform the passenger about any changes to the operating airline. Travel Organizer must immediately take all reasonable steps to ensure that the passenger is informed as soon as possible of the change.
The "Black List" is available at: https://ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/air/safety/air-ban/index_en.htm.
14. Passport, Visa and Health Requirements
14.1 Travel Organizer will inform German, Swiss and Austrian nationals about passport, visa and health requirements before signing the contract and about any changes before departure. It is assumed that no special circumstances apply to the passenger and any fellow passengers (e.g., dual nationality, statelessness). Citizens of other countries should contact the appropriate consulate.
14.2 The traveler is responsible for obtaining and carrying required travel documents, securing any necessary vaccinations and complying with customs and currency regulations. Disadvantages arising from the failure to follow these rules, such as the payment of cancellation costs, will be at the traveler's expense. This does not apply if Travel Organizer has misinformed the traveler or provided insufficient or incorrect information.
14.3 Travel Organizer is not responsible for the timely issuance of necessary visas from the respective embassies if the traveler has entrusted Travel Organizer with such procurement unless Travel Organizer has violated its obligations.
15. Choice of Jurisdiction
The legal relationship between the passenger and Travel Organizer is governed by the applicable law at the place of residence of the traveler.
16. Notice of Termination Due to Force Majeure
Regarding the termination of the travel contract, the relevant statutory provision in the Civil Code is hereby referenced:
"§ 651j (1) If the trip is considerably impeded, endangered or impaired due to force majeure not foreseeable at the completion of the contract, both the tour operator and the traveler can terminate the contract solely pursuant to this provision.
(2) If the contract is terminated pursuant to Sect. 1, then the provisions of § 651 e Sect. 3 Clauses 1 and 2, Sect. 4, Clause 1 shall apply. The additional costs of repatriation are borne by the parties in equal shares. The traveler is responsible for any additional costs."
17. Data Protection
In this Clause 17, "you" means the traveler. In order to process your booking and to ensure that your travel arrangements run smoothly and meet your requirements, Travel Organizer needs to use the personal information you provide such as name, address, any special needs, health, medical, mobility or dietary requirements, etc. Travel Organizer may pass personal information on to other relevant suppliers of your travel arrangements such as travel agents, airlines, hotels, and transport companies. Your personal information may also be provided to security and/or credit checking companies, credit and debit card companies, government and enforcement agencies, public authorities such as customs and immigration if required by them, or as required by law. Depending on your travel arrangements, this may involve sending your personal information between different countries, including countries outside the European Union where controls on data protection may not be as strong as the legal requirements in this country and you agree to the transfer to such countries. This may also apply to any sensitive information that you give to us such as details of any disabilities or dietary/religious requirements. If Travel Organizer cannot pass your personal information on to the relevant suppliers, whether in the EEA or not, Travel Organizer cannot properly effect your booking. For the safety and security of the ship and its passengers, Travel Organizer may operate closed circuit television (CCTV) in certain areas on board the ship during your cruise. Please be aware, however, that Travel Organizer does not undertake to operate all cameras or monitor or record CCTV images at all times.
Effective: July 31, 2013