the following Terms and Conditions, when effectively agreed, become part of the travel contract concluded between you, hereinafter referred to “you” or “customer”, and Galapagos Pro GmbH, hereinafter referred to as “GPG“. They complement the legal provisions of Section 651a–m of the BGB (Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch – German Civil Code) and the information regulations for tour operators according to Sections 4–11 of the BGB-InfoV (Ordinance on the Requirement to Provide Information and Supporting Documents under Civil Law). Please read these Terms and Conditions carefully before you make your booking!
The English version of this text serves only for information and is not part of this legal transaction, please refer to clause 16.
1. Conclusion of Travel Contract, Customer Obligations
1.1. The following applies to all types of bookings:
a) The offer of GPG and the customer’s booking are based on the description of the package tour offer, the important travel information as well as the supplementary information contained in the basis of the booking, as far as it is available to the customer upon booking.
b) Information contained in hotel brochures and similar lists not issued by GPG are non-binding for GPG and its obligation to perform, unless they have been made part of GPG‘s obligation to perform by express agreement with the traveler.
c) If the content of the booking confirmation deviates from the content of the booking, then it shall form a new offer of GPG. The contract shall be concluded on the basis of the new offer when the customer accepts it by express declaration, advance payment or payment of the balance, or by making use of the travel services.
d) The customer making the booking shall be liable for the contractual obligations of fellow travelers for whom he/she makes the booking in the same way as for his/her own obligations, provided he/she has assumed a respective obligation by express and separate declaration.
1.2. The following applies to bookings made by word of mouth, in writing, by telephone, by e-mail, by fax:
a) With the booking, the customer bindingly offers the conclusion of the travel contract to GPG. The traveler shall be bound by the booking for three working days.
b) The contract shall be concluded upon receipt of the booking confirmation (confirmation of acceptance) of GPG which does not require a certain form and therefore word of mouth and confirmations by telephone are also legally binding for the customer. After the customer´s word of mouth booking or booking by telephone GPG supplies the customer with a written booking confirmation. Word of mouth bookings and bookings made by telephone with respective binding word of mouth confirmations and confirmations by telephone are still binding, even if the customer does not receive a written confirmation.
1.3. Following applies to the conclusion of contract for bookings which are made online without special means of individual communication (contract within electronic commerce):
a) The process of online bookings is explained to the customer on GPG´s website.
b) As far as a possibility of direct booking is offered by GPG, the customer has the possibility to correct entries, before making a billable and binding booking, which is explained to the customer in advance.
c) All languages which are possible for the transaction of the online booking are indicated. The German language is exclusively legally relevant.
d) As far as the wording of the contract is recorded in GPG´s online booking system the customer will be informed about this and has the possibility to access the wording subsequently.
e) By activating the button “booking with an obligation to pay” the customer offers GPG a binding conclusion of the contract. The customer is bound to this for seven days after sending his electronic declaration.
f) The receipt of the booking is immediately confirmed electronically to the customer.
g) The transmission of the contract offer by activating the button “booking with an obligation to pay” does not substantiate any claim that a contract has been concluded referring to the booking specifications. GPG however is free to accept or not accept the offer of the customer.
h) The contract is concluded when the customer receives the booking confirmation from GPG.
i) The contract is concluded with no further notice of receiving the booking offer as per Section f) if the booking confirmation is immediately shown on the customer`s screen after activating the button “booking with an obligation to pay” (real-time booking). In this case the customer has the possibility to store and print the booking confirmation. The customer´s use of this possibility however it is not mandatory for the conclusion of the contract. GPG will additionally submit the booking confirmation by email, email attachment, by mail or by fax.
1.4. GPG points to the fact that, according to the provisions of law (Section 312 g Subsec. 2 Sentence 1 No. 9 BGB), there is no right of revocation in connection with package tour contracts, even if they are concluded by way of distance selling according to Sections 1.2. and 1.3 above. The other rights of the customer remain unaffected.
2.1. After conclusion of the contract and delivery of the Bankruptcy Insurance Note (Sicherungsschein) in accordance with Section 651 k BGB, an advance payment amounting to 20 % of the travel price shall become due for payment. For travel arrangements which contain a cruise trip to the archipelago of Galapagos a first advance payment amounting to 30 % of the travel price shall become due for payment after conclusion of the contract and a second advance payment amounting to 50 % of the travel price shall become due for payment 75 days before the start of the travel. Payment of the balance shall become due for payment 30 days before the start of travel, provided the Bankruptcy Insurance Note was submitted and the travel can no longer be cancelled for the reason mentioned under Section 5.
2.2. If the customer fails to pay the advance and/or the balance in accordance with the agreed payment terms, although GPG is ready and able to properly perform the contractual services, and there does not exist a legal or contractual right of retention on the part of the customer, GPG reserves the right, after sending a reminder and setting a period, to rescind the travel contract and charge the customer cancellation costs in accordance with Section 5.
3. Changes to Services
3.1. Changes to essential travel services in deviation from the agreed content of the travel contract that become necessary after conclusion of the contract and have not been caused by GPG in breach of good faith shall only be allowed when such changes are not substantial and do not impair the overall nature of the travel.
3.2. Possible warranty claims remain unaffected as far as the changed services involve deficiencies.
3.3. GPG is obliged to inform the customer about essential changes to services immediately after receiving knowledge of the reason for the change.
3.4. In case of a substantial change in an essential travel service, the customer shall be entitled to rescind the travel contact free of charge or demand participation in another travel package of at least equivalent value when GPG is in a position to offer such travel from its program without charging the customer a higher price. The customer must assert such rights against GPG immediately after GPG‘s declaration on the change to the travel service or the cancellation of travel.
4. Price Increase
4.1. GPG reserves the right to change the price agreed in the travel contract in case of an increase in transportation costs or in charges for certain services, such as port or airport fees, or in case of a change in the rates of exchange applicable to the respective travel, in accordance with the following provisions:
4.2. An increase of the travel price shall only be admissible when there is a period of more than 4 month between the date of conclusion of the contract and the agreed travel date and the circumstances leading to the increase had not occurred before conclusion of the contract and were not foreseeable to GPG upon conclusion of the contract.
4.3. In case of an increase in the transportation costs in force upon conclusion of the travel contract, in particular in fuel costs, GPG can increase the travel price according to the following calculation:
a) In case of an increase on a seat basis, GPG can charge the customer the additional amount.
b) In other cases, the additional transportation costs charged by the transport provider per means of transport are divided by the number of seats of the contractual means of transport. GPG can charge the customer the resulting additional amount for the individual seat.
4.4. If charges such as port or airport fees payable by GPG are increased above the amount applicable at the time of conclusion of the contract, the travel price can be increased by the corresponding pro-rata amount.
4.5. In case of a change in the rates of exchange after conclusion of the travel contract, the travel price can be increased to the extent the travel costs incurred by GPG have increased due to such change.
4.6. In the case of a subsequent change of the travel price, GPG shall inform the customer immediately after getting knowledge of the reason for the change. Price increases shall only be admissible when received by the customer not later than 21 days before the start of travel. In case of a price increase by more than 5 %, the customer shall be entitled to rescind the travel contract without incurring any charges or demand participation in another travel of at least equivalent value when GPG is in a position to offer such travel from its program without charging the customer a higher price. The customer must assert the aforementioned rights against GPG immediately after having been notified by GPG of the price increase.
5. Cancellation by the Customer Before the Start of Travel / Cancellation Costs
5.1. The customer can cancel travel at any time before the start of travel. Cancellation is to be declared to GPG via the address provided above/below. For evidence purposes, the customer is recommended to declare cancellation in writing.
5.2. If the customer cancels before the start of travel or fails to take part in travel (no-show), GPG will lose its entitlement to the travel price. As far as GPG is not responsible for the cancellation or there is no event of force majeure, GPG may claim reasonable compensation for the travel arrangements made until cancellation and its expenses incurred depending on the respective travel price.
5.3. In calculating compensation, GPG has taken usually saved expenses and a usually possible alternative use of the travel services into consideration. The compensation shall be calculated depending on the date of receipt of the customer’s notice of cancellation as follows:
a) travels with arranged flights
- until the 31st day before start of the travel – 20%
- from the 30th day before start of the travel – 25%
- from the 22th day before start of the travel – 35%
- from the 15th day before start of the travel – 50%
- from the 8th day before start of the travel – 70%
- from the 2nd day before start of the travel until the day the travel starts or in case of no-show – 80% of the travel price.
b) cruise trips to the archipelago of Galapagos
- until the 75th day before start of the travel – 30%
- from the 74th day before start of the travel – 80%
- from the 60th day before start of the travel – 90%
- from the 30th day before start of the travel until the day the travel starts or in case of no-show – 95% of the travel price.
5.4. In any case, the customer shall be free to prove to GPG that it has incurred no damage or only damage substantially lower than the flat-rate amount it has claimed.
5.5. Cancellation terms may vary from the above mentioned for certain travel offers. The traveler shall be informed by these cancellation terms within the travel brochure and description.
5.6. Instead of the flat-rate amounts shown above, GPG reserves the right to claim a higher concrete compensation, provided GPG proves that it has incurred substantially higher expenses than the respectively applicable flat-rate amount. In such case, GPG shall be obliged to concretely specify and substantiate the claimed compensation, paying due regard to saved expenses and a possible alternative use of travel services.
5.7. The customer’s legal right pursuant to Section 651 b BGB to appoint a suitable substitute participant remains unaffected by the above provisions.
5.8. GPG recommends getting travel cancellation insurance and other relevant insurance covering costs for repatriation in case of accident or illness.
After conclusion of the contract the customer shall not have any claims in regards to changing the travel date, travel destination, place of departure, accommodation or means of transportation (rebooking). Demands for rebooking by the customer which occur after the second scale of cancellation of the particular type of travel according to Section 5 above, as far as the demands are feasible, can only be executed after a cancellation of the booking according to Sections 5.2. to 5.5. and new booking at the same time. This is not applicable for rebookings which only cause minor costs.
7. Unused Services
If the customer does not make use of individual travel services duly offered to him/her for any reasons that he/she is responsible for (e.g. due to early return or for other compelling reasons), he/she shall not be entitled to a pro-rata refund of the travel price. GPG will make an effort to obtain reimbursement for saved expenses from the service provider. This obligation shall not apply when the services are absolutely insignificant or when a refund is in conflict with legal or official regulations.
8. Cancellation for Not Reaching the Minimum Number of Participants
8.1. GPG can cancel the travel subject to the following provisions when the minimum number of participants is not reached:
a) The minimum number of participants as well as the latest possible time of cancellation by GPG must be specified in the respective travel brochure or, in case of uniform regulations for all travels or certain types of travels, in a general note in the catalogue or in a general service description.
b) GPG must indicate the minimum number of participants and the latest possible date of cancellation in the booking confirmation or include a reference to the respective specifications in the catalogue.
c) GPG is obliged to immediately notify the traveler of the cancellation of travel as soon as it is certain that the travel will not take place because the minimum number of participants has not been reached.
d) A cancellation by GPG later than 30 days before the start of travel is inadmissible.
8.2. In case of cancellation, the customer can demand participation in another travel of at least equivalent value when GPG is in a position to offer such travel from its program without charging the customer a higher price. The customer shall assert this right against GPG immediately after receiving the notice of cancellation of travel from GPG.
8.3. When the travel does not take place for this reason, the customer shall immediately be refunded any payments made on the travel price.
9. Customer`s Obligation of Deficiencies Notification during Travel; Termination of Travel Contract by the Traveler/Customer; Obligations of the Customer in Reference to Flight Travel Baggage; delayed Receipt of Travel Documents
9.1. The obligation to notify deficiencies under §651 d Subsec. BGB applies as follows to GPG travels:
a) The customer is obligated to immediately notify the local GPG representative of any deficiencies and demand redress.
b) The customer shall be provided with the information of GPG‘s representative (name, availability and contact details) with the delivery of the travel documents at the latest.
c) If under the terms of contract there is no requirement for a local representative or tour guide the customer is obliged to immediately file the complaint directly to GPG at the below-mentioned address.
d) Claims made by the customer shall only remain valid if the failure to notify a default does not result from any responsibility of the customer.
9.2. Incoming agencies, service providers and their staff members are neither entitled nor authorized by GPG to confirm deficiencies or recognize claims against GPG.
9.3. If travel is seriously impaired as a result of a deficiency in the travel, the customer can terminate the contract. The same shall apply when, as a result of such deficiency, the customer cannot be reasonably expected to participate in the travel for good cause apparent to GPG. Termination shall only be admissible after GPG or their agents (to the extent there are any and they have been contracted to act as contact persons) have allowed a reasonable period fixed by the customer to expire without providing any form of redress. The provision of a period is not required if the remedy is impossible or is refused by GPG or its agents or if the immediate termination of the contract is justified through a special interest on the part of the customer.
9.4. In the event of loss or delay of luggage when travelling by air, the customer must immediately report any damage or delay in delivery to the airline company responsible by completing a Passenger Irregularity Report on the spot. Airline companies may refuse reimbursements when the Passenger Irregularity Report was not completed. In case of luggage damage, the Passenger Irregularity Report must be submitted within seven days of the incident and in case of delayed luggage delivery, it must be submitted within 21 days of the luggage being delivered. Moreover, the loss of, damage to, or misrouting of luggage must be reported to the tour guide or representative of GPG.
9.5. The customer must inform GPG when he/she does not receive the required travel documents (e.g. flight ticket, hotel vouchers) within the period notified to him/her by GPG or does not receive all documents.
9.6. In the event that vehicles are rented from GPG‘s respective partner company for a separate fee, the conclusion of a separate rental contract is required (see Section 14I). There is no right to a replacement vehicle in the event that damage occurs during the rental period.
10. Limitation of Liability
10.1. The contractual liability of GPG for damage not resulting from fatal injury, bodily harm, or damage to health is limited to three times the travel price,
a) as far as the damage suffered by the customer was not caused willfully or through gross negligence, or
b) as far as GPG is responsible for a damage incurred to the customer solely due to the fault of a service provider.
Any claims, against airlines resp. contractually air carriers for arranged flights, made under the Montreal Convention or the Air Traffic Act in connection with the flight transport that may go above and beyond the above remain unaffected by this limitation of liability.
10.2. GPG shall not be held liable for of service disruptions, personal injury, and damage to property arising in relation to third-party service for which GPG is the brokering agent (e.g. excursions, sports events, theater visits, exhibitions, transportation services from and to the specified places of departure and destination), provided that said third-party services are expressly identified as such in the brochure and booking confirmation in such a clear and unequivocal manner that they are readily apparent to the customers/traveler as being separate and distinct from the travel services provided by GPG.
11. Time-limited Enforcement of Customer`s Claims against GPG; Information about Alternative and Online Dispute Resolution (ADR/ODR)
11.1. Claims on account of the travel not being provided in accordance with the contract must be asserted by the customer within one month after the contractually agreed end of travel. The deadline commences on the day following the day of the contractually agreed end of travel. If the last day of this period falls on a Sunday, generally recognized public holiday at the place of declaration, or Saturday, the next working day shall be taken as the end of the period.
11.2. In order to be validly asserted within the above-stated period, claims must be lodged with GPG at the address indicated below.
11.3. After expiry of the period, the customer can only assert claims when he/she was prevented from observing the period without fault on his/her part.
11.4. The European Directive on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is seeking to ensure that consumers have access to out of court redress in every EU member state. It was implemented in German law by the „Verbraucherstreitbeilegungsgesetz“. The use of ADR is not obligatory and GPG does not use ADR. GPG will inform the customer if the use of ADR will be obligatory in future.
For information about the newly established EU-wide Online Dispute Resolution platform (ODR) to facilitate the online resolution of contractual disputes between EU consumers and traders over purchases made online GPG provides the following link: http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr/
12. Statute of Limitations
12.1. Claims of the customer under Sections 651 c to f BGB from fatal injury, bodily harm, or damage to health caused by a willful or negligent breach of duty on the part of GPG or a legal representative or vicarious agent of GPG will become statute-barred after two years. This applies also to claims for compensation for other damage based on a willful or negligent breach of duty on the part of GPG or a legal representative or vicarious agent of GPG.
12.2. All other claims under Section §§ 651 c – f become statute-barred after one year.
12.3. The limitation period according to Sections 12.1 and 12.2 commences on the day following the day of the contractually agreed end of travel. If the last day of this period falls on a Sunday, generally recognized public holiday at the place of declaration, or Saturday, the next working day shall be taken as the end of the period.
12.4. If negotiations between the customer and GPG on the claim or the circumstances giving rise to the claim are pending, the limitation period shall be suspended until the customer or GPG refuses to continue the negotiations. Limitation takes effect not earlier than three months after the end of suspension.
13. Obligation of GPG to Inform about the Identity of the Operating Airline Company
13.1. In accordance with the EU regulation on informing air transport passengers of the identity of the operating air carrier, GPG in its position as an agent shall inform the customer of the identity of the airline company performing all of the air transport services to be rendered within the framework of the booked travel prior to or at the latest at the time of booking.
13.2. In case GPG is notified by the operating airline company/companies, in reference to arranged flights by GPG, of a change in the operating airline company/companies, GPG must inform the customer of the change without delay within its position as an agent.
13.3. In case of this change, GPG is entitled and obligated to refer the customer directly to the particular airline.
13.4. The “blacklist” prepared according to EC Regulation (airline companies subject to an operating ban within the airspace of the member states) can be found on the website http://ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/air/safety/air-ban/index_de.htm.
14. Passport, Visa, and Health Regulations
14.1. GPG shall inform nationals of a country of the European Communities in which the travel is offered about the provisions of passport, visa and health regulations before concluding the contract and shall inform them about changes in such regulations, if any, before the start of travel. Nationals from other countries can obtain information from their respective consulate. In this case, it is assumed that the customer and any possible traveling companions do not involve any particularities (e.g. dual citizenship, statelessness).
14.2. The customer is responsible for obtaining and carrying the officially required travel documents, for receiving vaccinations that may be required, and for complying with customs and foreign exchange regulations. Any disadvantages that may result from a failure to observe such regulations, e.g. the payment of cancellation costs, shall be at the customer’s expense. This shall not apply if GPG failed to inform or provided insufficient of wrong information.
14.3. If GPG was entrusted with the visa application, GPG shall not be responsible for ensuring that the visas required are issued and sent by the respective consular authorities in good time, unless GPG has negligently failed in its own duties.
15. Choice of Law and Place of Jurisdiction
15.1. For customers/travelers who are not nationals of a member state of the European Union or Swiss nationals, it is agreed that the entire legal and contractual relationship between the customer/traveler and GPG shall be exclusively governed by German law. Such customers/travelers can sue GPG exclusively at the place where GPG has its seat.
15.2. For actions brought by GPG against customers or contract partners of the travel contract who are registered merchants, legal entities under public or private law, or persons having their domicile or habitual place of residence abroad or whose domicile or habitual place of residence is not known at the time the lawsuit is brought to trial, it is agreed that the seat of GPG shall be the place of jurisdiction.
16. English Text serves only for Information
The English version of this text serves only for information and is not part of this legal transaction. Therefore, in the event of any inconsistency between the German and the English version, only the German version shall apply.
© Protected by copyright: Noll & Hütten Rechtsanwälte,
Stuttgart | Munich, 2014 – 2018
- Galapagos PRO GmbH (GPG)
- Frankfurt am Main, HRB 102874
- Authorized representative: Beate Zwermann-Seibert
- Telemannstraße 20
- 60323 Frankfurt
- +49 (0) 69 713749812
- +49 (0) 69 713749820