Terms & Conditions
Please complete the booking form and return it with the deposit required. Alternatively, you can either book online or by telephone.
Upon receipt of your deposit we will send you a confirmation/invoice with, in most cases, a reading list. An itinerary, practical information and travel documents (if applicable) will be sent to you three weeks before the commencement of the tour.
ACE Cultural Tours meets or exceeds all the requirements of the Package Travel Regulations 2018, full details of which can be found online at: www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/634/contents/made
In addition, flight-inclusive tours benefit from the financial protection afforded by our Air Travel Organiser’s License (ATOL 10204), whilst UK and other tours without flights are protected through the Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT). We are also long-term members of the Association of Independent Tours Operators (AITO). For your own safety and financial security we do not recommend you book a holiday that does not benefit from the above protection.
The Package Travel Regulations 2018 together with the following booking information and our promotional material form the basis of your contract with ACE Cultural Tours. We have tried to keep this as concise and simple as possible, so please read all the following paragraphs to make sure you understand and are happy with the terms of your booking.
If you are booking 10 weeks or more before departure, the following deposits are payable at the time of booking:
- £300 per person for UK tours.
- £400 per person for all European tours.
- £550 per person for Worldwide tours.
- £500 per person for all cruises.*
The balance must be received by us not less than 10 weeks prior to departure. This date will be shown on the confirmation invoice. We do send an email reminder but ask that you also make a note of the date in your diary.
* In addition to the deposit at the time of booking all cruises require a further payment of £500 six months prior to sailing.
If you are booking less than 10 weeks before departure, full payment for all tours must be made at the time of booking.
Tour prices are confirmed at the time of booking and thereafter will not be subject to any surcharge. We have forward purchase of currency and other precautions in order to guarantee your holiday is not affected by fluctuations in fuel or currency rates. In the event of extraordinary circumstances making the tour unviable we would offer you a full refund or credit note or an alternative tour.
CANCELLATION BY YOU
You may cancel your booking at any time before departure. Notice of cancellation must be in writing and because we incur costs from the time we confirm your booking, the following charges will apply (for which we suggest you purchase appropriate insurance):
70 days or more
60% of total booking value
90% of total booking value
14 days or less
100% of total booking value
CANCELLATION BY YOU DUE TO COVID-19
Please note that if you are personally prevented from travelling as a result of COVID-19 our normal cancellation charges will apply. For this reason we highly recommend that you take out travel insurance at the time of booking that specifically includes cover in the event that you are personally unable to travel. In addition you should have insurance to cover additional accommodation/transport/repatriation costs incurred due to local/national quarantine requirements.
CANCELLATION BY US
We reserve the right to cancel your booking if there are insufficient bookings on your tour (this will depend on tour type and destination) or for other unforeseen operational reasons. In such an event, we will provide you with at least 70 days’ notice of cancellation and provide you with a full refund.
Very occasionally, due to extraordinary circumstances in the immediate vicinity of the destination, it may be necessary to cancel the tour with less than 70 days’ notice, in which case we will likewise provide you with a full refund.
Note that in either situation we cannot reimburse any incidental expenses you may have incurred (for example, train fares, additional accommodation or connecting flights). If you are buying your own flights, please liaise with the office before committing to significant expenditure.
CANCELLATION BY US DUE TO COVID-19
We also wish to reassure all our customers that if it is not possible for us to proceed with a tour due to COVID-19, we will transfer your booking to a future tour of your choice, provide a refund credit note or offer you a full refund.
CHANGES BY US
We do our utmost to ensure that all the arrangements and visits are as described. However, it is in the nature of travel that changes are sometimes inevitable, although most of these will be minor in nature. In the event that a particular visit is not possible, we will aim to replace it with another of equal interest. If we have to make more significant changes to the itinerary in advance of departure, we will provide you with a choice of a refund, credit note or an alternative itinerary.
Accommodation in hotels is in twin/double bedded rooms, the majority of which have private bath/shower and toilet.
On cruise ships, accommodation is in cabins with shower and toilet only.
Single rooms: As a general rule, we aim to provide our solo travellers with double/twin rooms for sole use. However, this is not possible on all tour departures, and occasionally, despite a supplement being payable, only single rooms may be available, and such accommodation may not meet exactly the same standard as double/twin accommodation or be located in the same area of the hotel. ACE Cultural Tours very much welcomes single travellers and we make no profit from single room supplements. The costs are simply down to the economics of running a hotel.
Porterage is included on overseas tours where available.
FLIGHTS & TICKETS
Specific instructions relating to the departure and travel arrangements will be sent with your air and/or other travel tickets approximately 2 weeks before departure. It is essential that you check your tickets carefully immediately upon receipt to ensure you have the correct flight times. Occasionally carriers will make late changes to departure times but we will contact you as soon as possible if this occurs.
We will always aim to provide you with the name of your likely airline and flight times when you make a booking. However, flight schedules are set by the airlines and outside our control. We therefore reserve the right to change the actual carrier and flight times for your tour.
In accordance with the regulations, we are required to bring your attention to the Community List of air carriers subject to an operating ban within the UK & EU: https://transport.ec.europa.eu/transport-themes/eu-air-safety-list_en
HEALTH & SAFETY
We operate a safety audit system and work hard with our suppliers to ensure the safety and comfort of our travellers. However, please note that some of the destinations to which we travel have lower requirements and standards than those of the UK. It is therefore essential that you follow any instructions and guidance provided by your tour manager or director.
The majority of ACE Cultural Tours are active in nature and, to make the most of our time in a destination and provide excellent value for money, they are busy with visits every day. As such, they require a certain minimum level of mobility, physical and mental fitness, and stamina. Our visits may involve navigating several steps, uneven ground, steep ascents and descents, and embarking and disembarking aircraft, coaches, trains, cruise vessels and even Zodiac dinghies. Plenty of walking, punctuated by lengthy periods of standing, is the norm, and some tours may involve long coach journeys. All customers must be fit and able enough to fully participate. Furthermore, every tour comprises a group of guests. We cannot allow the entire group to be negatively impacted by one participant, either holding up the pace we reasonably need to maintain or disproportionately requiring the attention and support of the tour staff.
We carefully consider the intensity, fitness and other requirements of each itinerary and describe them on the tour pages of our brochures and website. Please study these descriptions closely. When you call to book, we will reiterate those requirements and ask you to confirm that all group members are indeed fit enough and otherwise able to meet the criteria. It is your responsibility to answer fully and honestly. If it transpires that you are not able to keep pace with the tour and/or it reasonably appears you are negatively impacting (or are reasonably likely to negatively impact) the enjoyment of the rest of the group (including their ability to complete all scheduled visits), we may ask you to sit out certain days/visits, take a taxi at your own expense (if available in the location), or even, if we consider there is no other reasonable alternative, ask you to leave the tour and make your own way home.
As a minimum, participants should be able to successfully complete the following self- assessment tests:
- Walk for one hour at a reasonable pace and without needing to take a break to rest
- Climb at least two flights of stairs at a reasonable pace
- Stand unaided for one hour
- Stand up and sit down ten times in one minute
- Carry or otherwise move your own luggage
If you have a medical condition, disability or restriction on your mobility (whether age related or not) which requires special arrangements or adjustments, please provide us with all relevant information and discuss this with us prior to booking. If we do not feel that we can reasonably accommodate your needs and restrictions, we reserve the right to decline your booking. If you have a medical condition, disability or restriction (from whatever cause) which develops or becomes worse after booking your tour and before travelling, please let us know as early as possible so that we can discuss the situation including any new requirements. In certain such circumstances, we reserve the right to cancel your booking if we reasonably feel unable to accommodate your requirements or limitations.
DIETARY AND SPECIAL REQUESTS
Please advise us at the time of booking of any food allergies or special dietary requirements you may have for medical or religious reasons and we will do our very best to assist. Please note, it is important that you distinguish between food allergies and other dietary requirements which have or are likely to have medical consequences if they are not met and food or dietary preferences. It is your responsibility to ensure that requirements which have (or are likely to have) medical consequences if not met are clearly communicated in writing as such. We are entitled to assume that failure to meet a request will not have medical consequences if the risk / likelihood of medical consequences is not made specifically clear in writing at the time the request is made. We may ask for independent verification of the medical consequences where we consider it appropriate to do so.
We are happy to cater for vegetarians or pescatarians. It is not, however, possible to offer extensive choices at every meal to cater for food preferences or requirements as many of our menu selections are fixed. Inclusion of the dietary or special request on your booking confirmation or any other documentation is not a guarantee that the request will be met. Food / dietary related requirements which have a medical consequence if not met must be discussed and specifically agreed with us at the time of booking to ensure we fully understand and can meet these requirements.
Whilst we will provide details of any compulsory health requirements applicable to British citizens for your tour, it is your responsibility to ensure you are aware of all recommended vaccinations and health precautions in good time before departure. Please check with a doctor or clinic not less than ten weeks prior to departure to ensure that you have met the necessary requirements and have the applicable information.The following website may also be helpful: travelhealthpro.org.uk
For tours in the EU/EEA you should obtain an GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card) prior to departure from https://services.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/cra/start. Please note that an GHIC is not a substitute for travel insurance.
You must be in possession of all necessary travel and health documents before departure (and pay for any related costs). We regret that we cannot accept any liability if you incur fees or are refused entry onto any transport or into any country due to failure on your part to carry all required documentation.
MEDICAL CONDITIONS OR DISABILITY
We aim to provide authentic cultural experiences and to provide excellent value for money. As a result, the majority of itineraries are quite intensive and can be tiring. They may involve a significant amount of walking, uneven surfaces at outdoor sites or in historic buildings, long journeys, and uncomfortable climatic conditions which might exacerbate existing medical or mobility issues. Destinations include many countries with lower standards of health and safety than the UK and limited adaptations for people with reduced mobility. Some destinations do not (and cannot reasonably be expected to) provide emergency and/or health care to the standard that travellers with mobility and/or health conditions may require in the event of any form of incident or emergency.
For the above reasons, our holidays may not be suitable for people with certain disabilities, medical conditions or significantly reduced mobility.
If you suffer from any medical condition, disability or reduced mobility (including any which affect the booking process) or have any special requirements as a result, please tell us before making your booking so that we can assist you in considering the suitability of the arrangements and in order that we can assess the potential risks to your welfare and health and safety.
If we feel that we cannot reasonably accommodate your needs, we reserve the right to decline your booking or, if full details are not given at the time of booking or the condition of disability develops after booking, cancel when we become aware of these details.
When we refer to reduced mobility, this means any material reduction in mobility whether this is permanent or temporary and whether caused by age or by physical or mental disability or impairment or other cause of disability.
We consider comprehensive travel insurance essential for all tours (UK and abroad), including cover for medical expenses, infectious diseases including Covid, quarantine, repatriation and personal liability, as well as cancelled, delayed and missed departure and loss or damage to personal possessions. Whilst accidental damage is a rare occurrence, your insurance should also cover any damage or loss caused by you and cover any resultant claims made against you or us. For overseas tours, you must give us details in writing of your insurance, preferably on your booking form but in any case no later than before the departure date of your tour. If you fail to do so, we reserve the right to cancel your booking.
We recommend that insurance premiums are paid as soon as you receive your booking confirmation as cover (in particular cancellation cover) will not be effective until you have done so. Please read your policy details carefully and take them with you on holiday. It is your responsibility to ensure that the insurance cover you purchase is suitable and adequate for your particular needs.
We cannot accept responsibility for any services which do not form part of this contract, for example, any additional services or facilities that you agree directly with a local hotel or other supplier. Please make sure you have adequate insurance to cover such services and the acts of other third parties.
CONSIDERATION FOR FELLOW TRAVELLERS
One of the great pleasures of ACE tours is meeting other people with shared interests and making new friends. This has always depended on mutual consideration for your fellow travellers. We therefore reserve the right that in the unlikely event you cause danger, upset or distress to any third party, we are entitled, without prior notice, to terminate your tour without liability for any expenses or costs incurred as a result of the termination.
PASSPORTS & VISAS
Whilst we will provide guidance for each individual tour and help where we can, your specific passport, visa and other immigration requirements are your responsibility and you should confirm these with the relevant embassy or consulate. In particular, if you are not a British Citizen or hold a non-British passport, you must check the requirements for all countries to or through which you are intending to travel. Requirements may change and you must check the up to date position in good time before departure.
For some tours and destinations we will require a copy of the picture page of your passport.
If you are unhappy with any element of your tour or the arrangements, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can attempt to resolve the issue. If you are on tour you should speak directly to your tour manager or tour director and not wait until you return home, when it may be impossible for us to help. In the unlikely event that we cannot agree on a satisfactory outcome between us, we will ask AITO’s Independent Dispute Settlement Service to find an amicable solution.
Our contract with you is subject to English law (and no other) and the jurisdiction of the Courts of England and Wales only.