Terms and Conditions

Booking Conditions

The following Booking Conditions together with the general information contained in this brochure form the basis of your contract with the Acorn Adventure (a trading name of Acorn Venture Ltd.).  Please read them carefully as they set out our respective rights and obligations.

In these Booking Conditions, “you” means the Party Leader and “your” means all persons named on the booking including anyone who is added or substituted at a later date.  “Acorn”, “we”, “us” and “our” means Acorn Venture Ltd; Registered in England No. 2319525; Registered address Acorn House, Worcester Street, Stourbridge, DY8 1AN


1 Making your booking

When making a booking you guarantee that you have the authority to accept and do accept on behalf of your party the terms of these booking conditions.

Once we have received your booking information and appropriate payment, we will, subject to availability, confirm your holiday by issuing a Confirmation of Booking.  If your booking was made within ten weeks of travel a contract will exist as soon as we issue the confirmation.  Otherwise, a contract will exist seven days after we issue this confirmation, giving you time to receive and understand in full these conditions. This contract is made on the terms of these booking conditions, which are governed by English Law, and the jurisdiction of the English Courts. You may however, choose the law and jurisdiction of Scotland or Northern Ireland if you are resident in either of these countries and wish to do so.

Changes to these Booking Conditions or the General Information shown in our brochure will only be valid if confirmed in writing.

If any information given on the confirmation or any other document appears to be incorrect or incomplete you must inform us as it may not be possible to make changes later.  We regret that we cannot accept any liability if we are not notified of any inaccuracies in any document within ten days of our sending it out (or five days for tickets).


2 Consumer Protection

The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 require us to provide security for the monies that you pay for the package holidays booked with us and for your repatriation in the event of our insolvency.  We provide this security by way of an ATOL (number 5525) administered by the Civil Aviation Authority.  The air holidays and flights in this brochure are ATOL protected. In the unlikely event of our insolvency, the CAA will ensure that you are not stranded abroad and will arrange to refund any money you have paid to us for an advance booking. For further information, visit the ATOL website at www.atol.org.uk The price of our air holiday packages includes an amount per person as part of the ATOL Protection Contribution (APC) we pay to the CAA (currently £2.50). This charge is shown separately on your confirmation invoice. All other bookings are protected through the ABTA bond scheme.  We are a Member of ABTA, membership number v3629


3 Payment

You are responsible for making all payments to us.  Please note that, if you are paying via your Local Authority, governing body, central agency, or similar, it is important that you make any necessary arrangements to ensure that all payments reach us within the time limits below, and inform us immediately you know this might not be possible.

In order to confirm your chosen holiday, a deposit of either £50 per paying party member for all overseas trips and UK trips of 4 nights, £25 per paying party member for UK weekends or £150 per paying party members for air tours (or full payment if booking within ten weeks of departure) must be paid at the time of booking. In order to secure particular flight fares, or non-refundable elements of tour payable by us to suppliers, we may require a higher deposit than normal to be paid at the time of booking.  We will advise you of this before you confirm your booking.  A second deposit of 30% of the total booking price is due 8 weeks after confirmation of booking.

Deposit payments are not refundable, except where stated otherwise in these booking conditions.  However, in some circumstances they can be reclaimed under the terms of some insurance policies, less any excess which applies.

The full remaining balance must be received by us not less than 10 weeks prior to your departure date.  This date will be shown on the Confirmation of Booking.  Reminders are not normally sent.  If you do not pay your second deposits or final payment by the dates specified this will be a breach of the contract between us entitling us to consider the booking as cancelled by you and to apply cancellation charges as set out in these booking conditions.  In these circumstances you will not be able to travel.


4 The cost of your holiday 

The prices shown in our brochure were calculated on 22nd March 2016 on the basis of known cost and exchange rates as per our “Daily Market Update” from HSBC: £1=€1.2760.

Most of our prices include VAT calculated under the Tour Operators’ Margin Scheme (TOMS), the conditions of which do not permit us to issue invoices showing VAT as a separate element, nor you to reclaim VAT. Prices to some of our UK destinations do show the VAT element separately which may be reclaimable by you under normal VAT rules.  Our prices and invoices will clearly state where VAT is a separate element.

The price of your chosen holiday will be confirmed at the time of booking.

We reserve the right to make changes to, and correct errors in, advertised prices at any time before your holiday is confirmed. If there are any changes to the published prices, these will be confirmed at the time of booking. We will advise you of any error of which we are aware and of the then applicable price at the time of booking.  Once the price of your chosen holiday has been confirmed at the time of booking then, subject to the correction of errors, we will only increase or decrease the price, subject to the conditions set out in this clause, if our costs increase or decrease as a result of transportation costs (e.g. fuel supplements, scheduled airfares and any other airline surcharges which are part of the contract between airlines (and their agents) and the tour operator) or dues, taxes or fees payable for services such as landing taxes or embarkation or disembarkation fees at ports or airports increasing or decreasing.

We will absorb increased costs up to a total amount equivalent to 2% of the cost of your confirmed holiday (excluding insurance premiums and any amendment charges).  Only if the increased costs exceed this 2% will we ask you to pay the difference.  If any increase is greater than 10% of the cost of your holiday (excluding insurance premiums and any amendment charges), you will be entitled to cancel your booking and receive a full refund of all monies paid to us (except for any amendment charges) or alternatively purchase another holiday from us as referred to in clause 7 “Changes and Cancellations by Us”.   You have 14 days from the issue date printed on the surcharge invoice to tell us if you want to cancel for this reason.  If you do not tell us that you wish to cancel within this period of time, we are entitled to assume that you do not wish to cancel and will pay the surcharge. Any surcharge must be paid with the balance of the cost of the holiday or within 14 days of the issue date printed on the surcharge invoice, whichever is the later. A refund will only be payable if the decrease in our costs exceeds 2% as set out above. Where a refund is due, we will pay you the full amount of the decrease in our costs. Except as set out below, we promise not to levy a surcharge within 30 days of departure, nor will refunds be paid during this period.


5 Changes by You

Please read each of our booking documents carefully as soon as received and contact us immediately if any information appears to be incorrect or incomplete as it may not be possible to make changes later. 

If you should wish at any time to change your arrangements in any way, for example your chosen departure date or accommodation, we will do our utmost to accommodate your request(s) but this may not always be possible.  You must confirm in writing any requests for changes to be made.  We reserve the right to make a £25 amendment charge per change per booking form and will pass on to you any costs we incur from our suppliers in making the alteration(s) requested.  You should be aware that these costs are likely to increase the closer to the departure date that changes are made.  Please note that in some cases (e.g. budget airlines) amendment charges (including ticket name changes) can exceed the initial costs


6 Cancellation by You

Should you, or any member of your party, need to cancel your chosen holiday once it has been confirmed, you must immediately advise us in writing.  Your notice of cancellation will only be effective when it is received in writing by us at our offices.  As we incur costs from the time we confirm your booking and may be unable to re-sell your holiday, the following cancellation charges will always be payable.  Where the cancellation charge is shown as a percentage, this is calculated on the basis of the total cost payable by the person(s) cancelling excluding insurance premiums and amendment charges.  These cancellation charges are payable by you whether or not you have already paid a sufficient amount to us in deposits.

Period before departure Cancellation charge within which written per person cancelling notification of cancellation is received by us
70 days or more All deposits due only
22 to 69 days 75% of total cost
0 to 21 days 100% of total cost

Depending on the reason for cancellation, you may be able to reclaim these cancellation charges, less any applicable excess, under the terms of an insurance policy. Claims must be made direct to the insurance company. If any member of your party is prevented from travelling, that person may transfer their place to someone else providing we are notified not less than two weeks before departure.Where a transfer to a person of your choice can be made, all costs and charges incurred by us and/or incurred or imposed by any of our suppliers as a result must be paid before the transfer can be affected.  For flight inclusive bookings, you must pay the charges levied by the airline concerned.  As most airlines do not permit name changes after tickets have been issued for any reason, these charges are likely to be the full cost of the flight.


7 Changes and Cancellation by Us

We start planning the arrangements for all tours many months in advance. Occasionally, we have to make changes to and correct errors in the brochure, website and other details both before and after bookings have been confirmed, and cancel confirmed bookings.  Whilst we always endeavour to avoid changes and cancellations, we must reserve the right to do so. Most changes are minor. Occasionally, we have to make a “significant change” before departure, such as: a change of accommodation to that of a lower official classification or standard for the whole or a major part of the time you are away, a change of accommodation area for the whole or a major part of the time you are away, a change of outward departure time or overall length of time you are away of twelve or more hours, alterations to your confirmed place of departure that add more than 100 miles to any single leg of your journey. If we have to make a significant change or cancel, we will tell you as soon as possible. If there is time to do so before departure, we will offer you the choice of the following options:

(a) accepting the changed arrangements or (b) purchasing an alternative holiday from us, of a similar standard to that originally booked if available. We will offer you at least one alternative holiday of equivalent or higher standard for which you will not be asked to pay any more than the price of the original holiday. If this holiday is in fact cheaper than the original one, we will refund the price difference. If you do not wish to accept the holiday we specifically offer you, you may choose any of our other then available holidays. You must pay the applicable price of any such holiday. This will mean you paying more if it is more expensive or receiving a refund if it is cheaper, or (c) cancelling or accepting the cancellation in which case you will receive a full and quick refund of all monies you have paid to us.

Please note, the above options are not available where any change made is a minor one. If we have to make a significant change or cancel we will as a minimum where compensation is due pay you reasonable compensation depending on the circumstances and when the significant change or cancellation is notified to you subject to the following exceptions. Compensation will not be payable and no liability beyond offering the above mentioned choices can be accepted where (1) we are forced to make a change or cancel as a result of unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, the consequences of which we could not have avoided even with all due care or (2) we have to cancel because the minimum number of bookings necessary for us to operate your holiday has not been reached - in this case we will notify you not later than 8 weeks before departure. No compensation will be payable and the above options will not be available if we cancel as a result of your failure to comply with any requirement of these booking conditions entitling us to cancel (such as paying on time) or if the change made is a minor one. A minor change is any change which, taking account of the information you have given us at the time of booking or which we can reasonably be expected to know as a tour operator, we could not reasonably expect to have a significant effect on your confirmed holiday. Except as set out above, we will in addition, where appropriate, pay you any reasonable proven costs and expenses you incur as a result of a cancellation by us. Very rarely, we may be forced by "force majeure" (see clause 8) to change or terminate your holiday after departure but before the scheduled end of your time away. This is extremely unlikely but if this situation does occur, we regret we will be unable to make any refunds (unless we obtain any refunds from our suppliers) nor pay you any compensation or be responsible for any costs or expenses incurred by you as a result.


8 FORCE MAJEURE

Except where otherwise expressly stated in these booking conditions, we regret we cannot accept liability or pay any compensation where the performance or prompt performance of our contractual obligations is prevented or affected by or you otherwise suffer any damage or loss (as more fully described in Clause 9) as a result of “force majeure”. In these Booking Conditions, “force majeure” means any event which we or the supplier of the service(s) in question could not, even with all due care, foresee or avoid. Such events may include war or threat of war, riot, civil strife, terrorist activity, industrial dispute, natural or nuclear disaster, adverse weather conditions, fire and all similar events outside our control.


9 Our Liability to You

If the contract we have with you is not performed or is improperly performed by us or our suppliers we will pay you appropriate compensation if this has affected the enjoyment of your travel arrangements.  However we will not be liable where any failure in the performance of the contract is due to: you; or a third party unconnected with the provision of the tour arrangements and where the failure is unforeseeable or unavoidable; or unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all due care had been exercised; or an event which we or our suppliers, even with all due care, could not foresee or forestall.

Our liability, except in cases involving death, injury or illness, shall be limited to a maximum of three times the cost of your travel arrangements. Our liability will also be limited in accordance with and/or in an identical manner to:

a) The contractual terms of the companies which provide the transportation for your travel arrangements, who’s terms are incorporated into this contract; and SPACE 4 b) Any relevant international convention, for example the Montreal Convention in respect of travel by air, the Athens Convention in respect of travel by sea, the Berne Convention in respect of travel by rail and the Paris Convention in respect of the provision of accommodation, which limit the amount of compensation that you can claim for death, injury, delay to passengers and loss, damage and delay to luggage. We are to be regarded as having all benefit of any limitation of compensation contained in these or any conventions.

Under EU law (Regulation 261/2004) you have rights in some circumstances to refunds and/or compensation from your airline in cases of denied boarding, cancellation or delay to flights. Full details of these rights will be publicised at EU airports and will also be available from airlines. However reimbursement in such cases will not automatically entitle you to a refund of your holiday cost from us. Your right to a refund and/or compensation from us is set out in clause 7. If any payments to you are due from us, any payment made to you by the airline will be deducted from this amount. If your airline does not comply with these rules you should complain to the Air Transport Users' Council on 020 7240 6061 www.auc.org.uk


10 If You Have A Complaint

In the unlikely event that you have any reason to complain or experience any problems with your holiday whilst away, you must immediately inform the resort representative, Centre Manager, hotelier, carrier, or other supplier in question.  Any verbal notification must be put in writing and given to them as soon as possible.  If the complaint or problem is not resolved to your satisfaction straight away, you must contact us with full details by telephone or fax as soon as possible, or at least within 48 hours.  Until we know about a problem or complaint, we cannot assist and therefore cannot be held liable.  If you remain dissatisfied by our response, however, you must write to us within 28 days of your return to the UK giving your booking reference and full details of your complaint.

We are a Member of ABTA, membership number v3629. We are obliged to maintain a high standard of service to you by ABTA’s Code of Conduct. We can also offer you an arbitration scheme for the resolution of disputes arising out of this contract. The scheme is arranged by ABTA and administered independently. It is a simple and inexpensive method of arbitration on documents alone with restricted liability on you for costs.  The upper limit on claims is £5,000 per person and £25,000 per booking form. The scheme doesn’t apply to claims which are solely in respect of physical injury or illness or their consequences.   It can however deal with claims which include an element of minor injury or illness subject to a limit of £1,500 on the amount the arbitrator can award per person in respect of this element. Your request for arbitration must be received by ABTA within eighteen months of the date of return from holiday. For injury and illness claims, you can request the ABTA Mediation Procedure and we have the option to agree to mediation. Further information on the Code and ABTA’s assistance in resolving disputes can be found on www.abta.com.


11 Your responsibilities 

Bookings are accepted on the understanding that all persons travelling are normally in good health and able to fulfil the physical demands of the chosen holiday. Please do not take risks while on an activity or skiing holiday. In the interests of safety, you must follow the guidance in our notes, as well as that provided by any of our staff, agents, suppliers or indeed anybody on our behalf; comply with any local codes of conduct, follow the Country Code, and act sensibly and prudently and with common-sense at all times.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of all necessary travel and health documents before departure.  All costs incurred in obtaining such documentation must be paid by you. We regret we cannot accept any liability if you are refused entry onto any transport or into any country due to failure on your part to carry correct documentation such as a valid passport and relevant visas.  Please pay particular attention to passport and/or visa requirements of countries through which you may be transiting.  If you or any member of your party is not a British citizen or holds a non-British passport, or holds a non-machine-readable British passport, you must check passport and visa requirements with the Embassy or Consulate of the country (ies) to or through which you are intending to travel. If failure to have any necessary travel or other documents results in fines, surcharges or other financial penalty being imposed on us, you will be responsible for reimbursing us accordingly.

For all travel abroad we recommend you take FCO advice – www.fco.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo

Information on health is contained in the Department of Health leaflet T6 (Health Advice for Travellers) available from your local Department of Health Office and most Post Offices.  For European holidays, you should obtain a completed and issued EHIC CARD (details in leaflet T6 referred to above) prior to departure.

When you book with us, you accept responsibility for any damage or loss caused by the actions or inactions of you or any member of your party. Full payment for any such damage or loss (including lost keys) must be paid direct at the time to the accommodation owner or manager or other supplier. If you fail to do so, you will be responsible for meeting any claims subsequently made against us (together with our own and the other party’s full legal costs) as a result of your actions


12 Behaviour

The Party Leader is at all times responsible for the standards of behaviour of all members of the party. We expect all clients to have consideration for other people. If in our reasonable opinion or in the reasonable opinion of any other person in authority, you or any member of your party behaves in such a way as to cause or be likely to cause danger, upset or distress to any third party or damage to property, we are entitled, without prior notice, to terminate the holiday of the person(s) concerned. In this situation, the person(s) concerned will be required to leave the accommodation or other service. We will have no further responsibility toward such person(s) including any return travel arrangements. No refunds will be made and we will not pay any expenses or costs incurred as a result of the termination.


13 Special Requests and Medical Problems

If you or any member of your party has any special request, you must advise us at the time of booking and clearly note it on you booking form.  Although we will endeavour to pass any reasonable requests on to the relevant supplier, we regret we cannot guarantee any request will be complied with unless we have confirmed this in writing.  Confirmation that a special request has been noted or passed on to the supplier or the inclusion of the special request on your confirmation or any other documentation is not confirmation that the request will be met unless and until specifically confirmed.  All special requests are subject to availability.  If you or any member of your party has any medical problem or disability which may affect your holiday, please tell us before you confirm your booking so that we can advise as to the suitability of the chosen arrangements.  In any event, you must give us full details in writing at the time of booking.  If we reasonably feel unable to properly accommodate the particular needs of the person concerned, we must reserve the right to decline their reservation or, if full details are not given at the time of booking, cancel when we become aware of these details.


14 Conditions of Suppliers

Many of the services which make up your tour arrangements are provided by independent suppliers. Those suppliers provide these services in accordance with their own terms and conditions. Some of these terms and conditions may limit or exclude the supplier’s liability to you, usually in accordance with applicable International Conventions, and may affect your rights to compensation. Copies of the relevant parts of these terms and conditions are available on request from ourselves or the supplier concerned.

This brochure is our responsibility, as your tour operator. It is not issued on behalf of, and does not commit any independent organisations/suppliers/carriers whose services are featured in it.


15 Safety Standards and excursions

The requirements and standards of the country in which any services are supplied are those which apply to those services.  As a general rule these requirements and standards will not be the same as in the UK and may sometimes be lower.  Adventurous activities operated by us will always comply with UK standards. Excursions or other tours that you may choose to book or pay for whilst you are on holiday are not part of your package holiday provided by us. For any excursion or other tour that you book, your contract will be with the operator of the excursion or tour and not with us. We are not responsible for the provision of the excursion or tour or for anything that happens during the course of its provision by the operator.  For your convenience we may list in your itinerary any of your own chosen excursions that you inform us of in advance, and may arrange for your transport to and/or from such excursion sites.  This assistance is for your convenience only and does not suggest any responsibility or liability on our part for those excursions.


16 Delay

On occasions flights, coach journeys, or ferry crossings may be delayed or altered due to circumstances outside our control. It will be the responsibility of the individual airline or cross-channel operator to offer refreshments depending on the length of the delay. Airlines and cross-channel operators do not offer compensation for inconvenience, loss of holiday time or delayed arrival in the UK due to flight delays. Similarly we are unable to make any compensatory payments or provide refunds for any unused holiday accommodation or facilities, missed connections or additional losses or expenses due to an extended delay, including unexpected road traffic delays, on the outward and/or homeward points of departure.  Insurance policies sometimes provide some cover in the event of such delays.


17 Flights

In accordance with EU Directive (EC) No 2111/2005 Article 9, we are required to bring to your attention the existence of a “Community list” which contains details of air carriers that are subject to an operating ban with the EU Community. The Community list is available for inspection at http://ec.europa.eu/transport/air-ban/list_en.htm

In accordance with EU Regulations we are required to advise you of the carrier(s) (or, if the carrier(s) is not known, the likely carrier(s)) that will operate your flight(s) at the time of booking. Where we are only able to inform you of the likely carrier(s) at the time of booking, we shall inform you of the identity of the actual carrier(s) as soon as we become aware of this. Any change to the operating carrier(s) after your booking has been confirmed will be notified to you as soon as possible.

We are not always in a position at the time of booking to confirm the flight timings which will be used in connection with your flight. The flight timings shown on our website and in our brochures and detailed on your confirmation invoice are for guidance only and are subject to alteration and confirmation. The latest timings will be shown on your tickets which will be despatched to you approximately two weeks before departure. You must accordingly check your tickets very carefully immediately on receipt to ensure you have the correct flight times. It is possible that flight times may be changed even after tickets have been despatched - we will contact you as soon as possible if this occurs. Any change in the identity of the carrier or flight timings will not entitle you to cancel or change to other arrangements without paying our normal charges except where specified in these conditions. If an airline cancels a service on the route specified in your booking we will attempt to make arrangements with an alternative airline and/or an alternative route. If the carrier with whom you have a confirmed reservation becomes subject to an operating ban as above as a result of which we/the carrier are unable to offer you a suitable alternative the provisions of clause 7 (“Changes and cancellation by us”) will apply.


17a Your Financial Protection 

When you buy an ATOL protected flight or flight inclusive holiday from us you will receive an ATOL Certificate. This lists what is financially protected, where you can get information on what this means for you and who to contact if things go wrong."

We, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL Certificate, will provide you with the services listed on the ATOL Certificate (or a suitable alternative). In some cases, where neither we nor the supplier are able to do so for reasons of insolvency, an alternative ATOL holder may provide you with the services you have bought or a suitable alternative (at no extra cost to you). You agree to accept that in those circumstances the alternative ATOL holder will perform those obligations and you agree to pay any money outstanding to be paid by you under your contract to that alternative ATOL holder. However, you also agree that in some cases it will not be possible to appoint an alternative ATOL holder, in which case you will be entitled to make a claim under the ATOL scheme (or your credit card issuer where applicable).

If we, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL certificate, are unable to provide the services listed (or a suitable alternative, through an alternative ATOL holder or otherwise) for reasons of insolvency, the Trustees of the Air Travel Trust may make a payment to (or confer a benefit on) you under the ATOL scheme. You agree that in return for such a payment or benefit you assign absolutely to those 

Trustees any claims which you have or may have arising out of or relating to the non-provision of the services, including any claim against us, the travel agent (or your credit card issuer where applicable).
You also agree that any such claims may be re-assigned to another body, if that other body has paid sums you have claimed under the ATOL scheme.


18 Insurance

All guests travelling with us are required to have valid travel insurance in place which is suitable for the travel and activities booked, including but not limited to all travel and activities you will undertake, medical costs and repatriation.  If we are arranging your insurance, details of the policy included in your price will be supplied at the time of booking.  Please read the details carefully.  It is your responsibility to ensure that the insurance cover is adequate for your needs, especially if you participate in any activities not arranged by us.  If you are arranging your own insurance cover, your policy must provide as a minimum the same level of cover as ours.  It is your responsibility to ensure you are adequately insured for the duration of your booking, we do not ask for proof of this.


19 Photography

We regularly take photographs and videos for promotional and training purposes; if you do not want you and/or your group members to appear in these you must inform us in advance of your departure.


20 This brochure

We will take all reasonable steps to ensure that the information contained within this brochure is accurate and relevant to your booking, however please understand that sometimes we print our brochures up to 20 months in advance of providing the services.  We therefore may make changes to the brochure after its publication. If we do so, we will communicate these changes to you in writing.
If you wish to receive a copy of this brochure in another format which is more accessible to you please contact us.  For example, we will be happy to provide the brochure in electronic format, which will be scalable on screen or printable in a larger version, and also which will be compatible with text-to-speech conversion on a personal computer.


21 Data Protection

Please be assured that we have measures in place to protect the personal booking information held by us.  This information will be passed on to the principal and to the relevant suppliers of your travel arrangements.  The information may also be provided to public authorities such as customs or immigration if required by them, or as required by law. Certain information may also be passed to security or credit checking companies. We will only pass your information on to persons responsible for your travel arrangements. This applies to any sensitive information that you give us such as details of any disabilities or dietary / religious requirements. If we cannot pass this information to the relevant suppliers we maybe unable to provide your booking. In making this booking you consent to this information being passed on to the relevant persons. Full details of our data protection policy are available upon request.  We will never pass any of your information on to third parties for marketing or other commercial purposes.

Acorn Venture Ltd.  March 2016