OUR QUALITY COMMITMENT
Bentours is a member of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) and the Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO). Bentours is a licensed travel agent giving you the consumer protection offered by the Travel Compensation Fund (TCF). Although some travel products can be booked via the Internet, only booking through an Australian accredited licensed tour operator and travel agency affords you consumer protection. The international travel products that you purchase from Bentours are quality assured through our vetting of product and suppliers. We are committed to the provision of excellent service and quality products in which consumer feedback forms an integral part. Our knowledgeable staff can assist your travel agent in the selection of the right holiday products to suit your budget and expectations.
This brochure is valid for the period 01 December 2009 to 31 December 2010, unless otherwise specified.
All prices in this brochure are in Australian dollars (A$) and are current as at the time of printing (01 December 2009). Any mandatory supplements payable locally in the destination (e.g. Some port taxes, national park fees) will be expressed in local currency as well as the approximate equivalent in Australian dollars at the time of printing. Where exchange rate fluctuations occur of more than 2.5%, or any other increases in the price of services provided which are beyond the control of Bentours including any fuel surcharges, we reserve the right to adjust package prices accordingly, at any time up until the delivery of service, irrespective of the reservation payment status. Acceptance of this arrangement is a condition of booking. Package prices which include flights are subject to change due to fluctuations in airline fees, fuel surcharges, taxes and other charges. Our prices are inclusive of the cost of research of our travel products, consultation with travel agents, communication costs incurred in confirming travel services with overseas suppliers, providing documentation, brochure production, marketing and advertising. No representation is made by us to imply that the same, or similar, product may, or may not, be obtained at a lower price. Receipt of your payment signifies the acceptance of the costs of services provided on your invoice, E&OE* excepted.
Accommodation standards vary quite dramatically throughout the region and hotel rooms are often smaller than equivalent properties in Australia. Our hotels are generally selected for their location, facilities and price however in some areas we may need to use basic accommodation which is regarded as ‘best available’. Classifications are based on the grading given by local tourist authorities and reflect the size of the rooms and type of facilities offered, rather than denoting a style of hotel. Hotel photographs are intended to give a general impression only, city maps are only a guide to the location of the hotel.
The mention of facilities such as parking, gyms, saunas etc does not imply that the use of these is free. Often a charge applies, payable locally (unless otherwise specified). Tea and coffee making facilities in rooms are the exception rather than the rule. Swimming pools are not necessarily open all year round.
Prices are generally based on standard twin share accommodation. Requests for specific bedding types must be made at the time of booking. eg. twin (separate) beds or a double bed. Such requests cannot be guaranteed as hotels or cruises may have limited availability of certain bedding types. Double rooms may have either twin or double beds. It is common practice to link together two single beds to use it as a double bed. Single rooms are often smaller than other rooms and may contain only a single bed depending on the hotel. Triple rooms usually consist of a twin or double bedded room with an additional sofa bed, folding bed or rollaway for the third person; please be aware the room may be crowded as a result. In some cases, triple rooms are not available.
Travelling with Children
Where a child shares the room with two paying adults and stays free, in most cases the hotel will not provide an extra bed and the child is expected to share an adult’s bed. Additional charges may be levied and paid direct for child meals. Where a child discount rate is applied the child receives an extra bed, normally a rollaway. When children stay in a room without adults the adult charge applies.
COSTS FOR EXTENDED SERVICES
Rates shown in the brochure are only available when booked and paid in advance in Australia. Where hotel stays, car rental days or other services are extended overseas, locally published prices may be applied.
Many sites necessitate a reasonable amount of walking. While the walking is normally quite easy, if you are in any doubt about the nature of the sightseeing please ask your travel agent to consult with us. Special requests, such as wheelchair suitable accommodation and touring, ground floor rooms 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.
Exceptional & Operational Circumstances
In some circumstances following a natural disaster or political crisis or for operational reasons including insufficient passenger numbers, services such as coach tours or cruises may be cancelled by the supplier at very short notice, up to several days prior to the date of service. We stress that this occurs extremely rarely, however in such eventualities Bentours will make every endeavour to offer substitute arrangements of a similar nature, standard, and cost. If the arrangements offered are not acceptable to you, a full refund of the cancelled tour or cruise will be offered. Should the alternative arrangements you have accepted be at a higher cost than that originally charged, the additional cost will be charged by Bentours to your account.
PAYMENT TERMS STANDARD DEPOSIT
A deposit of $110.00 per person, sent through your travel agent within 48hrs 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. 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. Receipt of your payment signifies the acceptance of the costs of services provided, and the booking conditions contained herein.
Non Escorted Tours, excluding Hurtigruten: $330.00pp
Escorted Tours, River Cruising and Norway Hurtigruten
Cruises: $660.00 pp
Spitsbergen Cruises and Greenland Cruises: $1200.00 pp
Non Escorted Tours inclusive of Hurtigruten: $660.00 pp - $1100.00 pp
Final payment is due 45 days prior to departure from Australia, except on the following products where final payment is due as follows:
Escorted Tours and any tour inclusive of a Hurtigruten
Cruise: 70 days prior to departure from Australia
Viking River Cruises: 100 days prior to departure from Australia
Exceptions to this are bookings made less than 45 days (or less than 70/100 days in the case of the products mentioned above), prior to departure whereupon full payment is required within 48 hrs, or by sale-end date, or other payment deadline as specified in individual package conditions, whichever is the earlier. 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 reserves the right to cancel the booking and apply the appropriate cancellation charges. Late payment may result in late issue of documentation which will not be issued until we are in receipt of payment in full.
SPECIAL BOOKING CONDITIONS
Some services cannot be booked within 30 days prior to commencement of the services being utilized unless we are holding a 50% deposit, or full payment where applicable, in order to process your booking. Bookings for all coach tours and cruises, made less than 30 days prior to departure will require a deposit of 50% in order to process your booking. This also applies to certain hotels. You will be advised by Reservations when this condition is applicable. If unable to confirm your booking for any reason we will refund this deposit in full. Final balance is required immediately upon confirmation.
Except as stated below, no fee will be charged for the first amendment or to extend an existing booking. Charges will apply in the following circumstances: A proposed amendment may be treated as a cancellation in the case of airline tickets, rail passes and ferry tickets or holidays incorporating any of these components and the relevant cancellation charges will apply. For second and subsequent alterations, excluding extensions or additions, an additional fee of A $33 per booking applies. Any additional charges applied by suppliers are payable by the customer and will be charged to your account.
Due to the costs of communication and provision of documents a charge will apply for the following services (all prices include GST): Minimum Booking: A$33 for bookings of less than A$500 total.
Late Booking: A$33 for any booking made less than 7 days prior to departure from Australia. A guarantee of full payment is required at the time of booking. Courier fees may also be applied.
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 and passed on to you.
Credit Card Payment: A fee will be charged on the value of the amount being charged to your credit card and will be added to the amount being paid. Current fees applicable are as follows:
MasterCard, Visa Card, Diners Club & American Express: 2%.
These additional charges are inclusive of GST.
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. It is the responsibility of the travel agent to ensure all invoice details are correct and the client acknowledges all cancellation conditions.
Travel vouchers and other documentation will normally be issued two weeks prior to departure. Documentation will not be issued until we are in receipt of payment in full. Issuance of documentation does not absolve responsibility for any outstanding payments due.
All cancellations must be made in writing through Bentours in Australia. 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.
Cancellation of confirmed services forming part of an existing booking will incur cancellation fees as listed.
BENTOURS CANCELLATION FEES
Our standard schedule of cancellation fees is as follows:
• 46 days + prior to departure: forfeit of deposit.
• 45-1 days prior to departure: up to 100% total cost
The above fees are subject to 10% GST.
SUPPLIER CANCELLATION FEES
Supplier cancellation charges may be in addition to the charges outlined above. Supplier charges are based on the commencing date and cost of each confirmed arrangement. Some services have cancellation fees higher than the standard scale, as listed below as a guide. Actual cancellation charges may vary as they are based on the amount levied on Bentours by suppliers at the time of cancellation. Charges may be up to 100% of the cost paid.
Ferry and rail tickets: Full payment is required prior to any reservations being made. Once reservations are confirmed 100% cancellation fee is applicable. Any amendment to a confirmed reservation will be treated as a cancellation.
Air tickets: prior to ticketing $25; after ticketing $250; after departure no refund. Cancellation fees depend on the conditions of the applicable airfare.
ADDITIONAL CANCELLATION FEES
All packages which including Hurtigruten, Polar Star (Spitsbergen) and Fram (Greenland) cruise vessels:
• 65-52 days prior- 30% of packages cost or deposit, whichever is the greater
• 51-46 days prior- 50% of package cost or deposit, whichever is the greater
Viking River Cruises:
• 120-90 days prior- 15% of package cost, or deposit, whichever is the greater
• 89-60 days prior- 35% of package cost, or deposit whichever is the greater
• 59-46 days prior- 50% of package cost, or deposit whichever is the greater
If you fail to check-in at your designated hotel/ferry/ship as confirmed, 100% No Show Fee will be charged.
Once you have left Australia a refund will not be given for any service or accommodation not used by you due to late arrival, early departure, or by choice. This includes the failure of any transportation to operate as scheduled.
Bentours does not authorise any overseas suppliers including hotel management to promise refunds on our behalf. Any unused car rental is non-refundable. No refund applies if the cost of your holiday is reduced after final payment is made.
Travel insurance is not included in any of the prices quoted in this brochure. 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 unforseen circumstances; as well as for medical expenses, loss of luggage and other expenses incurred whilst overseas.
WHEN YOU GET THERE LOCAL REPRESENTATIVES
Your documentation states the name and telephone number of our local representative. Please do not hesitate to contact our 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 to the supplier of the service and may not be charged back to Bentours. We cannot be held responsible for any subsequent complaint with arrangements booked directly with a supplier abroad. Cancellations of confirmed services must be notified through Bentours even if you have advised the local representative. Bentours does not authorise the employees of any overseas supplier to promise refunds to clients.
We endeavour to ensure that all your arrangements proceed smoothly. Occasionally problems can occur while you are away, in which case it is essential and most practical to try to resolve it locally with the provider of the service. You must inform our local representative immediately, or contact Bentours if that fails. If you are unhappy with your hotel room please inform the Duty Manager so the situation may be rectified on the spot. If you fail to take these steps any claim to compensation may be reduced or denied. 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. Please send this with supporting documentation, via your travel agent, within 30 days of the date of the service. No claim made after this period will be considered.
Our prices do not include tips unless stated otherwise. Tipping tour drivers and guides is normal practice in the countries included in this brochure, however please try not to feel too harassed by the need to tip many people, albeit small amounts. In retrospect you will find that tips constitute a small proportion of your overall touring budget.
A tourism trend is the practice of over-booking by airlines and hotels. Client/s accept that any claim arising from overbooking may only be made against the airline or hotel concerned. Without prejudice to the foregoing, Bentours will take every possible action to protect the Client’s interest should such an over-booking or similar occur.
GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS
“The Company” means MyPlanet Australia Pty Ltd trading as Bentours. ABN 41001779951. Licence No. 2TA001141
Every effort has been made to ensure that the brochure is accurate at the time of printing and The Company shall not be liable for any injury, damage or loss caused by any unintended inaccuracy. 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.
COSTS NOT INCLUDED IN PRICES SHOWN
Airfares unless otherwise stated, visa and passport costs, travel insurance, vaccination and medical expenses, excess baggage, airport departure taxes, local government taxes and charges such as bed tax and city tax, laundry, postage, phone calls, fax/email charges, beverages, items of a personal nature, tips and meals not mentioned on itinerary.
GST does not apply to air and land arrangements consumed overseas e.g. coach tours, hotel accommodation, car rental or car leasing. Where applicable Australian GST is included in the prices and charges quoted in this brochure.
Bentours is not itself a carrier or hotelier, nor do we own aircraft, hotels, coaches or cruises. The services that The Company supplies consist of arranging and coordinating accommodation, tours and transfers, making bookings and issuing vouchers to be redeemed by suppliers. We exercise every care in the selection of reputable airlines, tour operators, coach operators, hotels and other suppliers of the various travel services used in these tours. It is important to note, therefore, that all bookings with Bentours 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 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 tour arrangements 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, 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).
You should familiarise yourself with any health or visa requirements that may be applicable in the areas that you intend visiting, and you shall be responsible for all entry, exit, health and other documents required by law, regulations, orders, demands or requirements of the countries visited or transited. You shall carry a valid passport at all times. Passport, visa and vaccination requirements are not our responsibility and we are not liable for any loss or expense due to your failure to comply with the above. It remains your responsibility to ensure that these documents are in order and to meet any additional costs incurred (whether by the client or by Bentours 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 remote areas without proper medical services, and accept the associated risks. 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 Bentours.
A. It is your Agent’s responsibility to advise us of any special requirements you may have and to communicate to you any changes or alterations advised to your Agent by The Company.
B. No representation made by your Agent to you concerning the quality, location, or any other matter in relation to the services and facilities provided by The Company shall bind The Company unless your Agent has been expressly or impliedly authorised by us to make such a representation.
Disclaimer Bentours International cannot be held responsible for errors and reserves the right to make changes to the prices, dates and itineraries. All prices are subject to seasonality, availability as well as other conditions. All prices may therefore fluctuate and may change without notice.
Copyright © Bentours International 2011. All rights reserved.
Tempo Holidays Pty Ltd trading as Bentours International ABN 51007331213, VIC License 31341
72 Market St. South Melbourne, VIC, 3205 - Call: 1800 221 712