Terms and Conditions
GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF SALE AND CONTRACT
SCOPE OF THE CONTRACT
Services are provided by Sea Heritage SARL ( limited liability company, with a capital of CHF20,000.) whose seat is located at Prangins (Canton of Vaud), 36 chemin de la Chenalette, and can be found in the Commercial Register of Lausanne under the number CHE-268.553.477
VAT number: CHE-268.553.477. VAT
Sea Heritage SARL has taken out Professional Indemnity Insurance with La Mobilière, contract no. G-1554-7688.
These terms and conditions of sale define the contractual relationship between the client and Sea Heritage SARL. These terms are conveyed to the client in a durable medium (PDF sent by e-mail) and can also be consulted on the website of the agency. They are designed to inform the client before conclusion of the contract and constitute part of the information that must be conveyed to the client at this time, as cited in Article 4 of the Federal Act on Package Travel.
1.1 Any trip booking implies complete adherence to the terms of sale, which the client acknowledges they have read carefully.
1.2 The client must provide Sea Heritage SARL with the full first and last names that they will be using during their trip, exactly as they appear on their passport or identity card. For married women, the last name that takes precedence is their maiden name. The client is responsible for the correct spelling of the first and last names of the travellers.
1.3 For security reasons, airlines have implemented new rules and restrictions, and to successfully complete the reservation process, the client must provide Sea Heritage SARL with their dates of birth, and on occasion a telephone number and an e-mail address.
1.4 A bill and itinerary will be provided detailing the services provided and shall be considered as a valid contract between Sea Heritage SARL and the traveller, after full payment of the services booked.
1.5 In the event of inconsistencies, the details conveyed in writing shall take precedence. The personal wishes of the client and additional agreements they make later require the express written confirmation of Sea Heritage SARL to be considered as valid.
2. CONCLUSION OF CONTRACT
2.1 Sea Heritage SARL shall gladly provide the client with non-binding quotes for a wide range of travel offers. Information provided as part of these quotes is not binding on Sea Heritage SARL and availabilities and rates for instance remain subject to change, depending on the time of booking.
2.2 Contracting Parties: The travel contract is formed between the client and Sea Heritage SARL. As a contractual partner of Sea Heritage SARL, the client answers for all the participants they have registered for the trip. The present General Terms and Conditions of Sale and Contract apply to all trip participants.
2.3 In the event that services are booked directly through a third party, the contract is formed between the client and the third party business. In this case, Sea Heritage SARL is not a Contracting Party and the present General Terms and Conditions of Sale and Contract do not apply.
Likewise, if another reservations office procures travel arrangements or individual services offered by other tour operators or service firms for the client, the client shall conclude a contract with these businesses and it is these businesses’ contract terms that shall apply. In this case, Sea Heritage SARL is not a Contracting Party.
3.1 Pricing: The price of the trip is determined, above all, according to the information conveyed by Sea Heritage SARL in writing (e.g. e-mails, trip confirmation, bill). Prices found on the Sea Heritage SARL website are indicative, as shown by the phrase “starting from”, and are not contractually binding.
In the absence of indications to the contrary, rates are per person in Swiss francs (VAT or Value Added Tax included) for accommodation in a double room. A single-room surcharge will be applied to all single-person bookings. In the event of a triple room booking, it should be noted that this will most likely entail a room equipped with a double bed, and an extra bed that could be less comfortable, particularly for an adult.
3.2 Prices do not include the costs involved in obtaining passports, visas, or vaccination certificates, exceptional expenses resulting from unforeseen circumstances (strikes, weather conditions), insurance, excess baggage, personal spending (drinks, parking fees, tolls, telephone charges, tips, etc.), and generally speaking any services not listed in the contract. It should be noted that the theory booklet, the certification (exam) and the dive log are not included in the price of diving lessons and must be paid for separately.
3.3 Additional Administrative Fees: Any booking made less than 15 days before the departure date shall incur a surcharge of 50 CHF per person to cover additional administrative expenses and express delivery charges. Furthermore, the same administrative fees as those mentioned in paragraph 5.2, shall be charged in the event of cancellations or changes to the trip.
3.4 Sea Heritage SARL calculates its prices according to the number of nights (not days). The client’s stay may be made shorter by a few hours at the time of arrival and departure, either due to flight times or to the individual practices of international hotels in regards to the provision of rooms. In these circumstances, the client is not entitled to compensation. Check-in for rooms is normally possible from 14:00 onwards and check-out is normally required before 10:00.
3.5 Price Increases: Prices are quoted for payment in cash. Should the client pay by credit card, Sea Heritage SARL could charge an additional fee. Clients shall be charged prices valid at the time of booking. Trips that extend over multiple rate periods shall be billed proportionally according to each seasonal rate.
In the event of an increase above actual rates, Sea Heritage SARL reserves the right to increase the price of the trip after the conclusion of contract, in the cases of for instance:
· An increase in transportation fees (e.g. fuel surcharges);
· Newly introduced or increased taxes (e.g. national taxes, an increase in VAT);
· Fluctuations in exchange rates.
Price increases may be implemented no later than 22 days before the start of the trip. Should the price increase amount to more than 10% of the price of the trip, the client reserves the right to terminate the contract free of charge up to five days after the announcement of the price increase. In this case, the client is free to select another trip, according to availabilities. Should the new trip have a lesser value than that of the trip agreed upon in the contract, the client can request that they be reimbursed for the difference. Any other claims for damages are excluded.
3.6 Terms of Payment: A deposit equalling 50% of the price of the trip must be paid at the conclusion of the contract. The remaining amount is due 45 days before the planned start date of the trip. In the following cases, payment of the full price of the trip is required at the conclusion of the contract:
· A conclusion of contract made less than 45 days before the planned start of the trip;
· Trip with specific terms (e.g. special offers);
· Plane tickets that must be issued immediately.
3.7 Late Payment: The above-mentioned payment dates are the deadlines for payment (art. 102, al. 2, Code of Obligations). In the event that payment is not received by the deadlines given, the client is in arrears without formal notice. Sea Heritage SARL has the right to withdraw from the contract without notice and to cancel the travel arrangements. In this case, the client must pay the cancellation fees as stipulated in paragraph 4.2. The trip documents shall only be sent to the client after the full price for the trip has been paid.
4. OBLIGATION OF THE CLIENT TO COOPERATE
4.1 In addition to the payment of the price of the trip, the client in particular is bound to the following obligations to cooperate:
· The client is obliged to examine the documents that are sent to them without delay (e.g. bills, trip confirmation and other trip documents) regarding their accuracy, particularly if they are in line with the reservation, to verify that the documents are complete, and to inform Sea Heritage SARL without delay in writing if there are any inconsistencies.
· The client is obliged to respect the applicable entrance requirements of a country (including the validity of passports, the visa process, and vaccination requirements). Sea Heritage SARL wishes to stress that the costs of repatriation are the responsibility of the client should entry into a given country be refused. The client is also advised to inform themselves of the legal consequences involved in the illegal import of certain goods and other items, according to the law in force in the countries visited.
· The client is obliged to respect the timeframes imposed by service providers (e.g. at airports) and all baggage restrictions. If the client does not show up to the departure of their flight or shows up too late (“no-show”), the price for the trip shall not be reimbursed. The airline’s obligations to the client are terminated. If the client misses their return flight, they must reserve another return flight at their own expense. This also applies to cases where flight times have been changed. The same holds for accommodation reservations: a no-show resulting in the cancellation of a reservation shall not entitle the client to a reimbursement of their trip or of nights not spent in the accommodation.
· In the event that a client is pregnant, they must enquire about the terms of transport beforehand and respect them; the same applies when making bookings for diving services. Furthermore, the client is obliged to inform Sea Heritage SARL of the said pregnancy in writing.
· The client must assess the state of their own health taking into account the demands of the planned trip and, if required, forego their travel plans.
4.2 Should the client not respect their obligations to cooperate, Sea Heritage SARL does not assume any liability. Any requests for compensation made by clients who do not respect these obligations are not admissible.
5. CHANGES OR CANCELLATIONS after the conclusion of the contract and before departure
The client may cancel the trip at any time before the start of the trip. All cancellation requests must be sent to Sea Heritage SARL as soon as possible by registered mail with acknowledgement of receipt. Sea Heritage SARL shall always endeavour to reduce the fees to the greatest extent possible so as not to penalize the client or their insurance company.
5.1 Changes to the itinerary such as the changing of travel dates or of accommodation etc., shall be considered as a cancellation, and followed by a new reservation if necessary.
5.2 In the event that all or part of the trip is cancelled, the following fees, calculated in proportion to the price of the trip, are to be paid immediately in addition to the administrative fees: from the date of booking to 121 days before departure: 25% of the package price, 120 to 61 days before departure: 50% of the package price, 60 to 31 days before departure: 75% of the package price, 30 to 0 days before departure (no-show included): 100% of the package price. The client must still pay both the insurance premiums for the trip and the fees for visas that have already been issued in their entirety.
Administrative fees: In the event that the client cancels, the client shall be charged administrative fees totalling 100 CHF per person, to a limit of 200 CHF per contract.
5.3 Special Provisions: If the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and/or the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) strongly advise against travel, the client must only pay the administrative fees (see paragraph 5.2), any potential insurance premiums, visa fees, and any further costs incurred by Sea Heritage SARL (attested by supporting evidence). The client may not claim any damages if the trip is cancelled due to cases of force majeure or for reasons pertaining to traveller safety.
Any accommodation, car rentals and other services offered by third-party service providers (e.g. airlines, boat companies, travel agencies) are subject to their own terms and conditions. The client must be made aware of these terms and conditions before the conclusion of the contract.
5.3.1 Special Provisions Governing Flight-Plus Holidays and Stand-alone Flights: For flights at special rates and flights without any added services the client is charged the full price of the plane ticket on the date of its issue. In the event of a change or cancellation, the provisions in paragraphs 5.2 and 5.3 respectively shall apply to all other services.
5.3.2 Special Provisions Governing Dive Cruises: Dive cruises are subject to strict cancellation policies. In addition to the aforementioned administrative fees, cancellation fees shall amount to: from the date of booking to 181 days before departure: 50% of the price of the boat trip, 180 to 0 days before departure (no-show included): 100% of the boat trip.
5.4 Any requests to make changes to the booking must be made in writing and sent by registered mail with acknowledgement of receipt. The date on which this request is received by Sea Heritage SARL shall be considered as the date of cancellation or change; if this date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, the next working day will serve as the date of reference.
5.5 Change of Transport Tickets: Any request to change the name or the spelling of the name of the passenger shall be interpreted as a transfer of the contract, shall incur the fees mentioned above (see 5.2) and may incur additional charges and penalties. Changes such as these are considered by airlines as a full cancellation and shall require the client to make a new booking, at the prices in effect at this new time. In certain circumstances, these fees may amount to the full price of the plane ticket and taxes.
5.6 Partial Changes and Cancellations: If one or more travellers cancel their trip bookings, and the other travellers keep their bookings, the following fees shall apply:
· For shared services (e.g. car rental, guided tour, shared double room): 100% of the fees will be charged to the share of travellers cancelling their trip, regardless of their date of cancellation.
· For individual services (e.g. plane tickets, etc.), the standard scale (see 5.2) shall apply to travellers that cancel their trip.
6. CHANGES OR CANCELLATIONS after departure
6.1 Any change made after departure shall be regarded as a cancellation or may result in being charged additional fees. In all cases, changes or modifications cannot be made without prior authorization on the part of Sea Heritage SARL.
6.2 Any trip that is interrupted or cut short, or any service that is not used by the traveller, for whatever reason, shall not constitute grounds for reimbursement.
6.3 Any unused tickets in either direction cannot be reimbursed and, even in the event of a postponed flight, a flight change shall result in the payment of the ticket in full, at the published price.
6.4 Shortening of a trip: Should the client be required to prematurely end their trip, they shall not be reimbursed the quoted price of the trip.
6.5 In the event of an emergency (e.g. illness or accident involving the concerned party, serious illness or death of next-of-kin), service providers will assist the client to the best of their abilities in organizing an early return. To do so, the client must contact Sea Heritage SARL. Equally, it should be noted that the client shall still be responsible for paying any possible charges, such as for transport and other services. The client shall also have the option of purchasing so-called repatriation insurance, which is not included in the price of the trip. The client is asked to contact Sea Heritage SARL for further information on the subject.
7. CHANGES AND CANCELLATIONS on the part of the organizer
7.1 Standard Procedure: Should Sea Heritage SARL be forced to cancel a trip exceptionally, the client will be informed at the very latest 21 days before the trip’s start date.
Sea Heritage SARL shall always endeavour to propose alternative options to the client. Should the client not be satisfied by these options, the client shall be reimbursed in full, however Sea Heritage SARL is not obliged to provide further compensation.
7.2 Group trips: Sea Heritage SARL reserves the right to cancel a group trip that does not attract a sufficient number of participants, or to substitute one means of transport for another, or one boat for another. In this last case, should the boat be of a lower grade, the clients shall be reimbursed the difference in price; should the boat be of a higher grade, the clients shall be charged the difference in price.
7.3 Changes on the part of the organizer before the start of the trip: Sea Heritage SARL reserves the right to unilaterally change the clauses of the contract, other than those regarding the price, provided that the change is minor (e.g. a substitution of accommodation arrangements of an equivalent category, or of a boat). The traveller shall be informed in writing on a durable medium.
7.4 Changes or cancellations after the start of the trip: Should, after the start of the trip, an essential component of the trip not be able to be provided, Sea Heritage SARL shall propose at no extra cost another appropriate alternative, if possible of equal or superior quality. Should the proposed alternative result in a trip of inferior quality, the organizer shall offer the client a price reduction. The traveller may not refuse the proposed alternative based solely on the grounds that they are not comparable to what was stated in the contract, or on the grounds that the price reduction granted to the client was not sufficient.
8. TRANSFER OF THE CONTRACT
8.1 The client may transfer their contract. They must advise Sea Heritage SARL of their intention to do this by any means, with acknowledgement of receipt occurring no later than seven days before the start of the trip. The client must precisely indicate the name of the transferee, and prove that the transferee meets the same condition as the original client.
8.2 The transferor of the contract and the transferee are jointly and severally liable for the payment of the balance due and any possible fees, charges or other additional costs that might arise from the transfer of the contract. They are obliged to settle any resulting charges in advance. In addition to the actual costs of modifying the contract which can be substantiated upon request, the transfer also incurs the following administrative fees: 100 CHF for a transfer up to 30 days before the start of the trip, and 200 CHF for a transfer made seven to 30 days before the start of the trip, per person.
8.3 It should be noted that the insurance contract is for a specific named person and is therefore non-transferable.
8.4 As airlines refuse to change names on tickets, it is likely that the price of the ticket of the transferee will be higher than the price of the original ticket. In addition, if the ticket has already been issued, it cannot be exchanged or refunded and the section of the travel contract pertaining to flights shall not be able to be transferred.
9.1 Optional insurances: No insurances are included in our prices. Even if the customer reckons that they are covered by personal repatriation assistance insurance under the coverage of their bank card or private insurance, Sea Heritage SARL strongly advises the client to take out insurance themselves.
It is essential that the client is insured at the time of booking. The terms of coverage can be found on pamphlets provided by the insurers that are available from the trip organizer upon request.
Further information on the scope of coverage and on the caps, exceptions and deductibles of the insurance in question can be provided upon request and can also be found on the Sea Heritage SARL website. The client will receive a copy of the contract outlining coverage and exceptions with the rest of their travel documents.
9.2 Procedure in the event of damage: The client must declare any accident, illness or death that requires them to cancel their trip UP TO FIVE DAYS AFTER being made aware of it, by registered mail. At the same time, should the client be insured by one of Sea Heritage SARL’s providers, the client must also open a file with their insurer.
9.3 In the event of a trip cancellation, the insurance premium must still be paid.
Cancellation/assistance/repatriation insurance is obligatory in Switzerland. Should the client not be covered, Sea Heritage SARL will gladly recommend personalized coverage options provided by their partner XXXXXXX.
10. LIABILITIES AND CLAIMS
10.1 Should the services provided not correspond to what was agreed upon in the contract, the client must, in accordance with Article 12 of the Federal Act on Package Travel, inform their guide or the service provider without delay and demand that they take the necessary measures to address the issue free of charge. Nevertheless, Sea Heritage SARL’s liability is limited if the client is accountable for the damage, or in exceptional and unavoidable circumstances. Sea Heritage SARL’s liability is also limited if a third party is accountable for providing travel-related services included in the contract, and if the damage is of an unforeseeable or unavoidable nature.
10.2 Limitations of Liability: Sea Heritage SARL shall not be held liable for the consequences of the following events:
-Failure to check-in: If the client is absent at the point of their flight’s departure, or if the traveller presents identity or health documents necessary for travel (passport, identity card, visa, vaccination certificate, etc.) that have expired or are incomplete. In the event that the client fails to check-in for their flight at the point of departure, 100% of the trip cost will be withheld.
Even if trips offered by Sea Heritage SARL are organized meticulously, Sea Heritage SARL cannot guarantee that schedules and times will be respected. Sea Heritage SARL is not responsible for delays caused by heavy traffic, traffic jams, congestion accidents at airports, diversions, weather conditions, slowdowns at border crossings, etc. The client is strongly recommended to take the possibility of delays into account when planning their trip.
-Loss of transport tickets: The client is responsible for their transport ticket (plane or boat ticket), and as a consequence Sea Heritage SARL disclaims any liability if the client loses it.
-Unforeseeable or unavoidable events: These include but are not limited to wars, political unrest, protests, riots, strikes, technical incidents, airspace or airport congestion, lost, stolen or delayed baggage, bad weather, and natural disasters.
-Exceptional circumstances: Cases where a trip must be cancelled or changed due to exceptional, unforeseeable or unavoidable circumstances, traveller safety reasons, or the intervention of an administrative authority such as the Federal Department for Foreign Affairs. No damages shall be owed to the client by Sea Heritage SARL in cases where Sea Heritage SARL must cancel or change the trip as it was originally planned.
10.2.1 Damages (Property and Other Pecuniary Damages) Sea Heritage SARL’s liability for damages (including property and other pecuniary damages) resulting from breach of contract or imperfect compliance with the contract is capped at double the price of the trip. The limitations and exclusions of liability included in the present General Terms and Conditions, in addition to lower limitations of liability or the exclusions of liability under international agreements and national legislation currently in force shall remain unaffected.
10.2.2 Valuables, cash, jewellery, credit cards, photo equipment, mobile phones, etc.
Sea Heritage SARL would like to emphasize that the client is personally responsible for keeping their valuable, cash, jewellery, credit cards, photo and video equipment, mobile phones etc., in a safe place. In hotels, these valuables should be placed in the safe. Under no circumstances should the client leave these objects unattended in a car, on a boat, or in any other location. Sea Heritage SARL does not assume any liability in the event of theft, loss, wear, or misuse.
10.2.3 Add-ons to the itinerary during the trip: In addition to the original itinerary, it is also possible to book special events or local excursions during the trip. It is impossible to rule out that these events or excursions will be without risk, and the client alone assumes responsibility for deciding to participate. These events and excursions are organized by third-party businesses (sub-contractors). As a result, Sea Heritage SARL is not a Contracting Party and subsequently does not assume any liability.
10.2.4 Spoiled holidays, claims of dissatisfaction etc. Sea Heritage SARL disclaims liability in the event of spoiled holidays or claims of dissatisfaction etc.
10.2.5 Weather conditions, diving seasons, fauna, etc. Sea Heritage SARL emphasizes that they cannot in any case be held liable for local weather conditions, diving opportunities, the presence of underwater fauna, etc.
10.3 Claims: In the event that no solution is found to address the client’s complaint on-site, the client is obliged to request the guide or service provider in question to confirm their claim and the matter of their complaint in writing. The client must address their claim and any other potential claims for damages in writing to Sea Heritage SARL no later than four weeks after the end of the trip as stated in the contract. Should the client neglect this deadline, the client loses and is stripped of their rights to their claim. If the client has referred to Sea Heritage SARL and was not satisfied by their handling of the claim, the client may refer to the Ombudsman of the Swiss Travel Industry, whose coordinates and procedures for assistance are available on their website: https://www.ombudsman-touristik.ch/en/home/.
11.1 Important: The client is advised to familiarize themselves with the safety guidelines in force concerning hand luggage (items permitted and terms of transport). Sea Heritage SARL emphasizes that current security clearance can incur lengthy wait times and that it is the client’s responsibility to schedule in ample time to that end. If the client does not manage to make their flight for that reason, the client could possibly face additional charges.
11.2 Baggage allowance varies between international flights, domestic flights and from airline to airline. The allowed weight is generally 15 kg on charter flights and 20 kg on scheduled flights. Low-cost airlines and some regular airlines offer fare types with no baggage included. Each airline has their own baggage policy and the client is advised to inquire with either the airline or Sea Heritage SARL. Airlines are more or less flexible on regarding the weight and the dimensions of hand luggage; it is the client’s responsibility to comply with their requirements.
11.3 Diving Equipment: If the client wishes to bring their own diving equipment, they must notify Sea Heritage SARL at the time of booking. The client must pay for the transport of the diving equipment and must advise the airline sufficiently in advance. The client is advised to inquire with the airlines in question regarding transport regulations in force.
12. SAFETY AND HEALTH RISKS
Sea Heritage SARL shall inform the client of the safety and health conditions of the countries to be visited on the trip. Sea Heritage SARL advises the client to visit the Travel advice & representations page on the website of the Federal Department for Foreign Affairs (https://www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/fdfa/representations-and-travel-advice.html), which will provide the client with all relevant information on the country or countries they are to visit (entry, stay, transport safety etc.). The client is also advised to consult the health advisories on the WHO website: https://www.who.int/home.
We advise French nationals to register for the Ariane service before their departure. Ariane will inform clients of any particular incidents and relevant information before and during your trip.
Given the number of service providers with which Sea Heritage SARL works, not all services provided are adapted to persons with disabilities. Sea Heritage SARL therefore requests that their clients specify their particular needs and circumstances. By properly knowing the client’s needs from the outset, Sea Heritage SARL will be able to select highly personalized services for the client. Sea Heritage SARL will provide all necessary information on each product (hotels, cruises, tours, transfers, dive boats). In regards to flights, the client must contact and notify the airline at least 48 hours before departure; the airline may refuse certain requests for operational reasons (crew, height of the aircraft, etc.)
14. APPLICABLE LAW AND JURISDICTION
This contractual relationship with Sea Heritage SARL is subject exclusively to Swiss law. The exclusive place of jurisdiction is Prangins, Switzerland.