Terms and Conditions

Liability Waiver

I am aware of the risks involved in traveling to and from any expedition and during the expedition itself, including hazards arising from the forces of nature, from living aboard ship, from accident or illness without medical facilities, and from travel itself, and agree to accept and assume the full risk of any injuries, including loss of life, personal injuries, property damages, or expenses as a result of participating in any activity associated with Volunteer Tours. My participation in any activity associated with Volunteer Tours is purely voluntary and I elect to participate despite the risks. I understand that Volunteer Tours and its directors, officers, employees, volunteers, affiliates, and agents assume no responsibility for any medical expenses, injury, or damage suffered by me in connection with my involvement with Volunteer Tours. In case of an accident or other medical emergency, I authorize Volunteer Tours and its directors, officers, employees, volunteers, affiliates, and agents to contact medical assistance on my behalf, and I agree to bear the costs of such assistance. I have no medical or physical conditions that could interfere with my safety in any activity associated with Volunteer Tours, or I am willing to assume and bear the costs of all risks that may be created, directly or indirectly, by any such condition. I will also obtain travel insurance for every participant before the trip and provide proof to Volunteer Tours.

I agree to waive, release, discharge, and not to sue Volunteer Tours or its directors, officers, employees, volunteers, affiliates, or agents from any and all claims or liability of any kind arising out of or resulting from my participation in any activity associated with Volunteer Tours or use of Volunteer Tours equipment or facilities. This agreement applies to any claim even if caused by negligence.

Payment Policies

Full payment of the total price of the expedition is due no later than 60 days (2 months) before departure. Travelers can choose to do monthly payments (the balance of the trip cost after deposit, divided evenly between the remaining months before the final payment is due) or pay 50% of the balance at 120 days before the trip with the remaining balance due 60 days before the trip. Monthly payment plans are unavailable within 4 months of trip departure. We reserve the right to cancel a reservation if payment is not made on time. In such cases, all payments are non-refundable.

Late Bookings: A late fee of $50 may apply to bookings received within 30 days of trip date.

Cancellation Policy: If you cancel your space, it must be in writing and is effective the day we receive it in our office. Your cancellation will entitle you to a refund of any deposit or payment made to us, less a cancellation fee, according to the following schedule:

  • 180 days or more prior to departure: $100.00
  • 120 to 179 days prior to departure: $300.00
  • 60 to 119 days prior to departure: 50% of expedition fee
  • 59 days or less prior to departure: 100% of expedition fee*

(*Some costs are occasionally recoverable from the supplier)

Cancelled Trips: We reserve the right to cancel any trip prior to scheduled departure due to not meeting our minimum number required or logistical problems (vessel breakdown, strikes, etc.). You may transfer to another expedition or we will refund all payments made to Volunteer Tours in full. In no event, however, shall our liability exceed the obligation to refund the amount you paid to us. Trip cancellation due to too few registrations normally occurs at a minimum of two months prior to departure. Refunds will not be given for individual hotel rooms, meals, sightseeing trips, or expedition arrangements for any reason. Expedition costs are quoted as a package; credits are not given for services not used.

Trip Cost Includes: Accommodations, excursions, entrance fees, local guides, most permits, and meals, unless otherwise indicated in the itinerary Volunteer Tours reserves the right to make any changes in the itinerary or to substitute hotels, modes of transport, or guides, for those mentioned in the literature if circumstances require it.

Trip Cost Does Not Include: The cost of international air to the tour starting point (unless otherwise indicated in the itinerary) airport taxes, passport and visa fees, immunizations, insurance of any kind, alcoholic beverages, laundry, gratuities, excess baggage, items of a personal nature, medical costs, costs of hospitalization, additional expenses arising from the delay or extension of a trip due to weather, political disputes, illness, failure of transportation, or other causes beyond our control.

Children on Trips: Some Volunteer Tours trips are suitable for children, depending on the child’s age and experience. Anyone under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Please call before sending a trip deposit for anyone under 18 years of age.

Unexpected Trip Costs: We reserve the right to raise the trip fee if there are cost increases beyond our control. These cases are extremely rare and would only occur where unforeseen cost increases from suppliers would result in a financial loss for the organization. In these cases, registered clients are given the option to transfer or cancel with no penalties.

Transfers: Depending on availability, you may transfer from one trip to another four months prior to departure at no charge. If you transfer less than four months prior to departure, you may be subject to the cancellation fees. Registration fees paid may be transferred to another traveler up until 2 months before departure with prior notice provided. In some cases, transfers may be made less than 2 months before departure.

Travel Protection Policy: We require all participants to obtain individual travel insurance to protect yourself and your equipment. Travel insurance may reimburse you for non-refundable air and expedition costs should you need to cancel or interrupt your trip. The carrier can be any insurance provider but we can provide recommendations. Proof of insurance is required before participating on the trip.

Accommodations: Land accommodations are based on double occupancy unless otherwise indicated in the trip description. We can try to match single travelers of the same sex but some trips require a single supplement if single rooms are preferred to there is no match available.

Single Travelers: if you are a single traveler wishing to share accommodations, we will try to match you with a roommate. If no roommate becomes available, you may be required to pay the Single Supplement Fee listed in the trip description if applicable. If you request a single, private room you must pay the Single Supplement Fee listed in the trip description regardless of sign-up date. Please note that single accommodations are not always available.

Budget Airfare Caution: We recommend against buying non-refundable airline tickets until your trip departure has been confirmed (usually a minimum of 90 days before departure). Budget air tickets often carry restrictions and you risk penalties in the event of itinerary or date changes or trip cancellation. Please await confirmation of the trip before purchasing non-refundable airfare.

Withdrawal: Volunteer Tours reserves the right to require any participant to withdraw from an expedition at any time if the expedition director deems his/her acts or conduct to be detrimental to or incompatible with the interest, harmony, comfort, or welfare of the expedition. In such cases, no refunds will be given.

Medical Issues: Although Volunteer Tours are not generally very physically demanding, you must be in general good health to participate. It is the passengers’ responsibility to judge the appropriateness of their physical capabilities to these travel activities. Anyone with medical problems or restrictions must make them known to us well in advance of the trip and should have a personal supply of any special medications they may need. The trip leader has the right to disqualify any member from the group at any time if considered medically necessary; no refund will be made under such circumstances. Volunteer Tours and its affiliates take no responsibility for special arrangements required by passengers physically unable to complete a trip and assume no liability regarding provision of medical care or medical evacuation.

Release Forms: On some trips you may need to sign an additional tour operator release form by our local partners and/or tour operators.

Suppliers of Services: Volunteer Tours is performing a non-profit service by informing potential participants of worthwhile expeditions. However, Volunteer Tours is acting independently and has no business association as partner or joint venture with any boat owner, resort, hotel, carrier, SCUBA operation, or other services. Any claims for inadequate performance or non-performance of services may be made against the supplier of those services but shall not be made against Volunteer Tours.