Terms and conditions
WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU READ THROUGH OUR TERMS AND CONDITIONS CAREFULLY BEFORE BOOKING A TRIP
Please note that the below terms and conditions form part of the contract you enter into with us when you book a trip. Therefore, you should read through the terms and conditions before booking.
§ 1. IMPORTANT CONDITIONS / SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES
Hvitserk of Norway (HofN) organises special trips and facilitates individual trips. HofN complies with Act No 57 of 1995 relating to Package Tours with pertaining regulations and the general terms and conditions for package tours drawn up by the Norwegian Travel Trade Association (DNR) in cooperation with the Norwegian Consumer Ombudsman. HofN has furnished the required guarantee in relation to the Norwegian Travel Guarantee Fund. Our trips focus on nature-based experiences and activities that make specific requirements both of us as the tour operator and of our participants. We plan routes where we use local transport providers, tour guides and other sub-contractors, and use means of transport whose operation and regularity are sometimes affected by sudden and unpredictable changes. In addition, our destinations will also be subject to changing natural conditions more often than ordinary holiday destinations. All this requires flexibility in our production system. However, these circumstances mean that we will from time to time have to change the descriptions of our itineraries, tour content and times as shown in our information material at short notice. If possible, we will inform customers of such changes before they enter into a contract with us.
If the need to make changes arises after a trip has been booked, either before or after departure, we will do our best to find content/activities/destinations/transport that matches the original plan as closely as possible, and within the same price range. This uncertainty is thus part of the 'package' we offer. Even though we reserve the right to make certain changes as part of the contract, we will of course respect the customers' rights pursuant to the Package Tours Act if the changes to the trip are of such a nature that they are nevertheless deemed to constitute a lack of conformity in the performance of the package travel contract. Because of the special nature of our production, we need to have special conditions in place concerning payment times, fees and cancellation in return for payment compared to the ordinary rules set out in the general terms and conditions for package tours, see below.
The below clauses, together with the information provided in the detailed programme, constitutes the terms and conditions of our contract. If HofN provides information about changes to the itinerary route, conditions etc. before the trip is purchased, this corrected information will replace the corresponding items in the detailed programme. These terms and conditions, and corrected information and the booking confirmation/travel documents thus constitute the contract between the tour operator and the customer. Itineraries, flight and train routes, travel times, timetables, hotels, daily programmes and other information provided on our website, in our catalogues and/or price list are set long in advance, often a year or more. The information might, therefore, be incorrect by the time the trip starts, or changes may occur after the trip has started. Our itineraries must, therefore, be considered preliminary. In such cases, we as a tour operator, in cooperation with local operators, aim to replace the cancelled or amended programme with the corresponding content of the same quality.
Customers will normally be informed of such changes when booking the trip, alternatively as soon as we become aware of them. As a tour operator, we do everything in our power to solve any problems that arise. In extreme cases, this could mean that a destination may be replaced with another one. We will then choose an alternative within the same price range that is as similar to the planned trip as possible. In cases where external circumstances ('force majeure') make it impossible to carry out the planned itinerary, this will not normally result in the price of the trip being reduced. Please note that our trips involve a risk of hazardous situations and accidents.
As a customer, you must accept that you participate at your own risk. There is a greater element of risk involved in participation in our trips than most other package tours. For example, there is potentially a risk of the following (the list is not exhaustive): frostbite, avalanches/rockslides, falling into crevasses, dehydration, broken bones etc. Our tour guides have experience of the destinations, and their instructions must be obeyed. The tour guides or HofN cannot be held responsible for any accidents or discomfort that may nevertheless occur. Our trips often take place in areas prone to unfavourable weather conditions and may be based on logistical arrangements that are vulnerable to harsh weather, technical problems or accidents. This could result in customers missing the planned return journey, for example. The company and our tour guides will always focus on the safety of participants on our trips. If unexpected situations arise due to weather conditions, temperature, illness etc., and the tour guide deems it necessary out of consideration for the participants' safety to change the trip after it has started, you are obliged to comply with the new trip arrangements. Any additional costs incurred in such cases, for example for new tickets, transport costs, board and lodging etc., must be covered by the participants themselves.
§ 2. YOUR RESPONSIBILITY
§ 2.1 Cancellation protection must be taken out at the time of booking. If such protection has not been taken out, our ordinary cancellation policy applies.
§ 2.2. Any cancellations must be made in writing as soon as the customer becomes aware that he/she cannot go on the trip. It is your responsibility to contact your insurance company.
§ 2.3 A passport is required when traveling to Norway from a country outside the Schengen area. We recommend that you always bring your passport. If a visa is required for your travel to Norway, you are responsible to be granted a visa for Norway.
§ 2.4 You are obliged to take out satisfactory medical and accident insurance that must also cover repatriation if necessary. An insurance certificate for such an insurance policy must be presented.
§ 2.5 It is your responsibility to check that the travel documents you receive agree with your booking.
§ 2.6 It is your responsibility to meet the guide at the agreed time and place at the day of departure, given by HofN.
§ 2.7 Some of our trips are physically, mentally and technically challenging. Therefore, you are obliged to be physically and mentally fit and technically well-prepared on departure. Contact HofN for information about physical and mental fitness and technical skills requirements for your trip. We reserve the right to refuse participants who do not meet the necessary physical fitness standard, technical or mental requirements.
§ 2.8 You are responsible for keeping HofN informed of any change of address so that information and travel documents reach you in time.
§ 2.9 You are obliged to stay informed about departures and comply with any related instructions from the HofN.
§ 2.10 You must comply with the tour guides' instructions, directions and orders during the trip.
§ 2.11 You are obliged to comply with the rules and regulations stipulated by the authorities, tour operator or the tour operator's representatives, including any rules of conduct stipulated by individual hotels, carriers etc.
§ 2.12 You must not act in such a manner that you are a nuisance to your fellow travellers. If you grossly neglect your responsibilities and obligations, you may be denied participation in or excluded from the rest of the trip without being entitled to a refund from the tour operator. If you are excluded after starting the trip, you may have to cover the costs of your return journey. You can be held liable in damages if you, intentionally or negligently, inflict a loss on the tour operator, for example by not complying with the rules and regulations mentioned above.
§ 2.13 HofN accepts no liability for loss or inconvenience caused by neglect on the part of the traveller.
§ 3. BOOKING / PAYMENT / CHANGES / FEES
§ 3.1 HofN trips must be booked in writing or electronically, and the booking is binding. The provisions on cancellation in the Norwegian Cancellation Act (Act relating to the duty of disclosure regarding and right to cancel distance contracts and off-premises sales) does not apply when booking services. Failure to pay the amount on time is deemed to constitute a material breach of contract and entitles HofN to cancel the booking, but our deposit claim does not lapse in the event of such cancellation, and, if necessary, we will take steps to collect the money.
§ 3.2 When you book the trip, you pay the full amount by credit card. We accept the following credit cards: Mastercard and Visacard.
§ 3.3 A minimum fee of NOK 1,000 per change will be charged for changes to bookings, provided that the booking can be changed.
§ 4 HofN'S RESPONSIBILITIES
§ 4.1 The Package Tours Act applies to the purchase of package tours. As tour operator, HofN has furnished the required guarantee in relation to the Norwegian Travel Guarantee Fund (RGF).
§ 4.2 HofN undertakes to carry out an agreed programme with itinerary and content as described in the trip description distributed. However, this obligation is subject to changes to the order of the itinerary and changes in train, boat departures, and circumstances outside of our control.
§ 4.3 A minimum group size is required for our group trips. The minimum group size is specified in the trip description on our website. If we do not meet the minimum group size, we can often still run the trip at a small additional charge. If the additional charge exceeds 8 % of the total cost of the trip, travellers are entitled to cancel the trip and receive a full refund. If we have to cancel the trip, travellers will be informed of this no later than 30 days before the departure date. The participants shall receive a full refund of the amount payed to HofN.
§ 4.4 HofN reserves the right to adjust prices in accordance with changes in the underlying tour costs and governmental taxes. Customers must be notified of price increases no later than 20 days before the departure date. If the price increases by more than 8 % of the agreed purchase price, the customer is entitled to withdraw from the contract at no cost to the customer.
§ 4.5 In cases where we are held responsible for shortcomings in the trip that must be ascribed to the airline, the customer's acceptance of these terms and conditions also constitute an authorisation allowing us to submit claims against the airline on the customer's behalf when we have taken on this responsibility and settled the matter with the customer in advance.
§ 5. CANCELLATION AND REFUNDS
§ 5.1 Cancellations must be made in writing or electronically.
§ 5.2 The date on which HofN receives the cancellation is deemed to be the cancellation date. If a deadline for cancellation falls on a public holiday, any cancellations must be received on the preceding working day.
§ 5.3 Refunds in connection with cancellation of a trip are in accordance with the following rules: If you cancel more than 60 days before the departure date, you lose 5 000 NOK. If you cancel between 59 and 30 days before the departure date, you lose up to 50 % of the total price of the trip. If you cancel less than 30 days before the departure date, you lose up to 100 % of the total price of the trip.
§ 5.4 No refunds are paid to customers who fail to turn up on the day of departure.
§ 6. COMPLAINTS/DISPUTES
§ 6.1 If you believe that there is a lack of conformity in the performance of the contract, you must raise the matter with the tour guide immediately. If the problem is not rectified and you wish to complain after returning from the trip, you must send your complaint to HofN in writing and state your grounds for complaining.
§ 6.2 Any disputes that may arise regarding how the above terms and conditions are to be interpreted can be brought before a dispute resolution body. Disputes are regulated by Norwegian law.
§ 6.3 We disclaim any liability for printing errors in our catalogue, detailed programmes and on our website.
§ 7. RIGHTS RELATING TO TEXT AND USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS
In connection with some of our trips, we may publish text and photos at www.hvitserk.com, www.hvitserk.no and www.hvitserk.se. HofN also makes active use of photos from trips in its market communication. These photos may be used in different media. If you do not wish to appear in such photos, you must inform your tour guide on departure at the latest.