TERMS & CONDITIONS
The following Terms and Conditions form the basis of my contract with Gentle Turtle and I should therefore read them carefully. In this document, I, and any minors in my charge, am referred to as “I,” “my” and/or “guest(s)” and any reference to "Gentle Turtle" refers to OpenWinds LLC, a U.S. business registered in the State of New Jersey at 475 Wall St., Princeton NJ 08540, USA.
Reference to SUPPLIERS and SERVICE PROVIDERS means all third parties who provide services to me during my travel with Gentle Turtle including airlines unless otherwise specified.
The following Terms and Conditions apply to all bookings with or through Gentle Turtle. These terms and conditions supersede any others expressed in any other Gentle Turtle commentary whether written or spoken.
Proposals/Invoices from Gentle Turtle are valid for 48 hours, but are based on availability. Prices and availability are subject to change until a trip is booked. Some items are non-refundable once a trip has been booked.
WHO IS TRAVELING?
All guests under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
All guests of any age must have a valid passport or government issued ID prior to booking, and the identification needs to be valid for at least six (6) months past the return date of my itinerary.
Bookings are accepted by website form submission only. To reserve a tour, complete and submit the Tour Booking Form on Gentle Turtle website. You will receive an Invoice within 24 hours after submission. Once you have completed full payment, you will receive confirmation of your reservation via your Confirmation Voucher.
Occasionally, Gentle Turtle may confirm a reservation immediately after payment although availability of accommodation is yet to be confirmed. In this case, a contract for the services will only go into effect once we have specifically confirmed that those services have been booked even if we have issued a Confirmation Voucher in the meantime. In this situation, a contract for all services we can confirm immediately will go into effect when we issue the Confirmation Voucher.
Upon confirmation of booking, all guests 18 years of age and older must complete a Tour Agreement. The Tour Agreement is the contract that goes into effect when the Confirmation Voucher is issued by Gentle Turtle.
PAYMENTS, CANCELLATION & REFUNDS:
Tours commencing greater than 15 days of initial booking: A deposit of $250 per person is required at the time of reservation. Remaining balance is due 15 days prior to your trip departure date. Any payment made (including the first $250 per person deposit) is fully refundable up until 15 days before your trip departure date. The deadline to request a cancellation with full refund is 11:59 pm EST, fifteen days before the tour start date.
Tours commencing within 15 days of initial booking: Payment is due in full and is non-refundable.
We accept payment by bank transfer (through Zelle), domestic/international wire transfer, and in-person check deposit at a Bank of America branch located near you. Payment by credit card/debit card will incur a 4% surcharge. While processing a refund for a payment made by credit card, the 4% surcharge will not be refunded back to you. An additional 1.5% fee will be charged for processing refunds for payments made by credit card.
CONTRACT OF SERVICES:
Any payment to Gentle Turtle constitutes your acceptance of the Terms and Conditions set out herein, and in more specific pre-departure passenger documentation.
CHANGES/AMENDMENTS/CANCELLATIONS BY GUESTS:
Should you wish to cancel your booking or make any changes to your booking after it has been confirmed (e.g., changes to departure dates), you must advise Gentle Turtle in writing by email, and you must confirm Gentle Turtle is in receipt of this notification. Change requests to your reservation within 15 days of your tour departure date may result in a $15 change fee per person, per request. While we will endeavor to assist, we cannot guarantee we will be able to meet such requests.
Gentle Turtle strongly recommends that you purchase travel cancellation and interruption protection to help protect you and your travel arrangements against the unexpected. Protection plans can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more.
As this product is not purchased through Gentle Turtle, you are responsible for making yourself aware of the benefits and limitations of any policy that you purchase.
FLIGHT EXCLUSIONS FROM TOUR PRICE INVOICE: The Gentle Turtle Tour prices provided in the invoice are for land only and do not include domestic or international flights to and from the beginning and ending locations (tour commencement and conclusion locations).
You are responsible for checking all details of the Confirmation Voucher and all other documentation (including airline tickets, if applicable) immediately upon receipt. You should inform Gentle Turtle immediately if anything appears to be incorrect as it may not be possible to make changes at a later stage. Gentle Turtle regrets that it cannot accept any liability if Gentle Turtle is not notified by you of any inaccuracies in any documentation within TWENTY-FOUR (24) hours of the issuance from Gentle Turtle.
Occasionally, Gentle Turtle is unable to confirm certain arrangements immediately (e.g. where accommodation or transport service is available at the time of the guest proposal/invoice, but after payment is received the accommodation or service is no longer available). In such cases, Gentle Turtle will try to provide a similar alternative(s). Details on booked services and hotels will be provided in my final trip documents.
On Customized tours a non-refundable deposit is required to receive a detailed proposal. Guests must obey the laws of the land and Gentle Turtle has no liability as a result of inappropriate or illegal guest behavior and its consequences.
ARRANGED AIR SERVICE:
Separate booking: Any air arrangement made by Gentle Turtle is a completely separate booking from guest(s) Gentle Turtle tours. Any questions concerning booked guest airfare should be directed to the booking agency (online agencies, travel agencies, etc.). When changes can be made: If flight changes are requested after the deposit has been received, or if flights are cancelled by the guest(s) after tickets are issued, revision fees or airline cancellation charges will apply. When changes cannot be made: For certain air arrangements, changes cannot be made after reservations have been ticketed as disclosed via the guest(s) separate air invoice. Should you wish to make any amendments to those bookings, you will incur a 100% cancellation charge and any new arrangements will be treated as a re-booking.
TOURS PREVENTED FROM OPERATING:
FORCE MAJEURE: Gentle Turtle regrets it cannot accept any liability or pay any compensation where the performance or prompt performance of our contractual obligations is prevented by reasons or circumstances amounting to ‘force majeure.’ Force majeure means any event which Gentle Turtle or the supplier of the service(s) in question could not, even with all due diligence, foresee or avoid. Gentle Turtle assumes no liability for any loss, damage, or entry of any nature in whole or in part resulting from an Act of God or any other Force Majeure condition, including, without limitation: fire, volcanic eruption, environmental pollution or contamination, inclement weather, earthquake, low or high water levels, flood, water or power shortages or failures, tropical storms, cyclones or hurricanes, civil unrest, riots or civil commissions or disturbances, and any other acts of a similar nature, sabotage, arrests or police action, strikes or labor disruptions, restrictions or restraint of rulers, peoples or governments, governmental or other expropriations, acts of terrorism, war insurrections, quarantine restrictions, epidemics, pandemics, government health advisories, or warnings or alerts of any kind of nature, government seizures, refusal or cancellation or suspension or delay of any government authority or any license, permit or authorization, damages to its facilities or travel supplier and its facilities, or any other unforeseen circumstances or any other factors unforeseen by Gentle Turtle that impacts negatively on, or hampers, its ability to fulfill any of its contractual conditions. In the event that any of these conditions apply, Gentle Turtle shall be excused, discharged, and released from performance to the extent such performance is so limited or prevented, without liability of any kind.
If Gentle Turtle is notified, prior to guest(s) departure, Gentle Turtle will advise guest(s) of any relevant schedule changes to the itinerary. While Gentle Turtle will endeavor to assist guest(s) with any such changes, Gentle Turtle is not liable for any additional expenses guests may incur through a change in itinerary.
Gentle Turtle regrets it is not in a position to render any assistance in the event you are delayed at your outward or homeward points of departure. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ARRIVING ON TIME TO POINTS OF ORIGINATION BY Gentle Turtle.
Customary gratuities from $5 per person per day for the Tour Driver/Guide are not included in your tour package and should be extended on a voluntary, discretionary basis.
If you have any special requests, you should inform Gentle Turtle as soon as possible in writing. Although Gentle Turtle will endeavor to meet your requests, Gentle Turtle cannot guarantee to do so. Gentle Turtle's failure to accommodate your special requests will not be a breach of contract on the part of Gentle Turtle. Gentle Turtle cannot accept bookings that are conditional on the fulfillment of any special request; and such booking will be treated as a ‘normal’ booking (with no special requests.)
LIMITS ON GENTLE TURTLE RESPONSIBILITY:
Gentle Turtle, its owners, employees, officers, directors, staff and agents, do not own or operate any entity which is intended to or does provide goods or services for your travel event. It purchases transportation (by aircraft, coach, van, train, vessel, or otherwise), hotel and other lodging accommodations, restaurant, ground handling and other services from various independent suppliers. All such persons and entities are independent contractors. As a result, Gentle Turtle is not liable for any negligent or willful act of any such person or entity or of any third person. In addition and without limitation, Gentle Turtle is not responsible for any injury, loss, death, inconvenience, delay or damage to personal property in connection with the provision of any goods or services whether resulting from but not limited to acts of God or Force Majeure, illness, disease, food poisoning, acts of war, civil unrest, insurrection or revolt, animals, strikes or other labor activities, quarantines, criminal or terrorist activities of any kind, over booking or downgrading of services, mechanical or other failure of aircraft or other means of transportation or for failure of any transportation mechanism to arrive or depart on time. There are certain inherent risks in travel of the type involved with Gentle Turtle. These include, but are not limited to, risks of river cruising, hiking, walking travel events, inaccessibility to medical attention and difficulty in evacuation from remote locations in the case of a medical emergency. You understand that you assume all such risks with regard to these possibilities.
Any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to these Terms and Conditions, to the Limits on Gentle Turtle's responsibility clause, to the brochure, to any information relating in any way to the trip, to the trip itself, or to any products or services related to the trip, shall be settled solely and exclusively by binding arbitration in New Jersey, in accordance with the Commercial Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association, except that (a) in lieu of a personal appearance at arbitration, the arbitration may be conducted by telephonic means, (b) arbitration is the exclusive forum for dispute resolution (no court actions), and (c) except as otherwise provided by statute, each party shall bear its own costs and expenses and an equal share of the arbitrator and administrative fees.
Arbitration against Gentle Turtle must be commenced within one year following the date of travel event completion. Neither Gentle Turtle nor any affiliate shall in any case be liable for other than compensatory damages, and by booking a tour with us you waive any right to punitive damages.
PARTICIPATION & CONDUCT WHILE ON TOUR:
Gentle Turtle offers group and private travel events. When you participate in a group travel event, Gentle Turtle will do its best to ensure that the trip is enjoyable for the entire group. You are responsible for respecting the authority and following the directions of the Gentle Turtle Tour Driver/Guide, any guidelines expressed or implied from Gentle Turtle tour communications, and the laws of the countries in the Itinerary during a Tour. Gentle Turtle may exclude you from participating in all or any part of the tour or remove you entirely from the Tour if, at the sole discretion of Gentle Turtle Tour Driver/Guide, your condition or behavior renders you unfit for the Tour or unfit for continuation once the Tour has begun. Unfitness may include, without limitation, any behavior that regardless of its cause, is inappropriate or offensive or interferes with the delivery of Tour services or may constitute a hazard or embarrassment. Any decision(s)s to exclude or remove you or members of your party are at the complete discretion of the Gentle Turtle Tour Driver/Guide.
Should you decide for any reason not to participate in certain parts of the Tour or use certain goods included in the Tour, no refunds will be made for those unused parts or goods of the Tour.
In either case, Gentle Turtle will not refund or cover any cost or expenses incurred for termination of vacation arrangements due to unacceptable conduct and will offer no assistance with onward travel.
You and any minors in your charge are required to provide a description of any disabilities or needs that would require special assistance. It is your responsibility to report those needs to Gentle Turtle at the time the reservation is made. Gentle Turtle will make reasonable attempts to accommodate the special needs of disabled travelers, but is not responsible in the event it is unable to do so, nor is Gentle Turtle responsible for any denial of services by air carriers, hotels, restaurants, or other independent suppliers. Gentle Turtle cannot provide assistance to a traveler for walking, dining, getting on and off transportation, or other personal needs. Gentle Turtle requires that a qualified and physically able companion must accompany travelers who need such assistance. Gentle Turtle is not responsible for any missed activities due to a participant’s inability to participate with the group.