Terms, Conditions and Travel Policies
Explore Whitsundays highly recommend guests read the following:
COVID-19 Safe and Policies
As part of our check-in procedure following the Coronavirus Outbreak, our business would like to ensure any potential customers are aware that they MUST NOT attend if they have ANY symptoms potentially consistent with COVID-19.
COVID-19 symptoms include; cough, fever, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath.
We will ensure potential customers who are in the ‘at-risk’ groups are aware of risk mitigation strategies. The Australian Government advises that the following people are most ‘at risk’:
- Aged over 70
- Aged over 65 with a material medical condition
- Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander aged over 50 with a material medical condition
- People with material medical conditions
- People who are immunocompromised
We would like to assure our customers that our Operations meet the following criteria:
- Promote and facilitate pre-screening to prevent potentially infected staff and customers from attending
- Alter business practices where relevant to ensure social distancing in line with Government Health Guidelines
- Enhance cleaning and hygiene practices to reduce the risk of infection
- Establish and maintain COVID safe procedures aligned to Work Safe QLD guidelines
If guests are restricted to travel due to Government closures of QLD, Australian or International borders, our normal cancellation policy will not be enforced. These guests will be issued an open-dated ticket for travel over the next 24 months or refunded in full.
If guests’ book through a travel agent, guests will need to rely on the agent’s COVID policy.
All other cancellations will fall under the normal Terms and Conditions below.
COVID Cancellation Policy
In circumstances where guests are unable to travel due to Covid restrictions such as;
– Snap lockdowns in your residential area which includes the date you are booked to travel on one of our boats,
– Government closures of international or state borders which prevents you from travelling with us on your scheduled departure date,
– Government enforced restricted travel to or from declared hotspots which would prevent you from travelling with us on your scheduled departure date,
– Mandatory government ordered 14 day isolation periods after visiting or living in a declared hotspot,
– Mandatory government ordered 14 day isolation following coming into contact with someone who has tested positive to Covid, or following a Covid test while awaiting results,
We can offer the following options.
1) Open date your ticket for up to 24 months so you may travel at a later date once you can.
2) Provide a refund.
*****You must be able to provide evidence to support your reason for cancelling under the Covid cancellation policy (i.e. text message/email from the government giving orders to self-isolate, up to date government website information on currently declared hotspots or border closures that apply to you with proof of postcode, proof of recent Covid test etc.)
If the above does not apply to your situation then our usual cancellation policy applies.
If you have booked through an agent or anyone else other than Explore Whitsundays, you will need to rely on their Covid cancellation policy and will need to contact them directly.
Cancellation Policy for Individual Travellers.
We RECOMMEND ALL GUESTS have Travel Insurance which covers Cancellations.
Day Tour Cancellations
No show and 24 hours or less notice cancellation is 100% of the full ticket rate.
24 hours – 72 hours before departure 50% of full ticket rate.
DAY TOURS – Where a guest cancels and we can resell the space on the departure and we have been prepaid, Explore Whitsundays will refund the ticket price less 20% of the ticket price. This does not include Commissions or Bank Fees. Where Explore Whitsundays has not been prepaid, 20% of the full ticket price will be charged by Explore Whitsundays.
Extended / Overnight Tour Cancellations
Cancellations from 30 to 60 days of departure will result in a loss of 25% of the ticket price.
14 to 30 days before departure, loss of 50% of the ticket price.
14 days to departure will result in forfeit of full trip fees.
Where a customer cancels and full payment has been made, and we can resell the space on the departure, we will refund the ticket price less 20% (not including commissions or bank fees).
The Operator cannot guarantee a refund of the travel agent deposit component in any refund situation.
POSTPONEMENT/TRANSFER of a trip by an individual will be allowed 14 days before departure, so long as we have capacity on the alternative date. An Admin Fee ($40) may be applied to postponements or transfers. Postponements under 14 days before departure will be given due consideration based on the merit of the circumstances causing the postponement, such as a medical emergency. In all cases, the best advice for a customer is to hold applicable travel insurance and the final discretion remains with the Operator of the tour.
Please advise guests that the sooner they speak to us regarding possible delays the easier it is to find suitable options for our guests.
PRIVATE CHARTER BOOKING TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF TRAVEL
Booking will be confirmed on payment of deposit.
Balance payments to be made in full 30 days before charter commencement.
Cancellations greater than 60 days before departure result in a loss of 50% of the deposit. Cancellations 30 to 60 days before departure result in loss of deposit. ONCE balance payment has been made, and within 30 days of departure date will result in forfeit of Full Charter Price. We highly recommend all charterers have travel insurance to protect against unexpected cancellations.
The Operator strongly recommends that guests have travel insurance to:
- cover valuable items (eg. Cameras, Luggage)
- protect against unforeseen flight or coach cancellations, road closures or late arrival into Airlie Beach for any reason which subsequently leads to missing the scheduled departure time,
- cover medical conditions that may occur during carriage, and the associated extra costs of accessing medical care around the islands, including returning to port or emergency air evacuation.
- cover against an emergency where you need to return to port urgently, eg. a family member becomes very ill,
- cover against full ticket refunds, including the agent commissions component.
Please ensure that the guests understand the details of the cover included for the Travel Insurance to ensure that it covers the above, for their peace of mind.
Guests should note that sailing, snorkelling and aquatic activities can be dangerous and while our crew will make every effort to ensure guest safety, Explore Whitsundays and the Operator cannot be accountable for the actions of guests that are beyond crew control.
Guests will be required to complete a pre-departure questionnaire, and sign a travel agreement during the check-in process. Guests should be aware that marine stingers and other marine life live in the oceans. The Operators have the applicable Shipowners insurance to cover public liability for our guests and staff. A copy of the certificate will be forwarded if required.
Itineraries and Weather
The Operator reserves the right to alter the tour or the itinerary of any of its tours and organise alternative carriers to those advertised if necessary. The Operator will always consider the safety of guests and staff and as a result, some of the Whitsunday Icons may not be visited if the wind, visibility or wave/tidal conditions are not suitable or parts of the park have been closed by the managing authority. If it is raining, our tours still operate, as the guests can still experience the Whitsundays, including swimming and bushwalking. If the winds are light, the tours will still run, however, it will be necessary to use the motors on the boats to get to the stops around the islands.
We do not provide any guarantee that the winds will be consistent and from the correct direction to make sailing always possible. The Whitsundays is deemed partially smooth waters and tours will only be cancelled if the Regional Harbour Master closes the area due to gale warnings or the Operator deems it unsafe to travel. If tour cancellations are necessary and ticket balance payment or pro-rate refunds are approved, the amount being paid for the ticket to the operator will be refunded. Explore Whitsundays does not cover additional costs over or above the ticket amount. We do not guarantee a refund of the travel agent commission component or any other costs associated with the guest’s travel arrangements.
Minimum Guest Numbers
Where we do not meet the minimum number of guests to operate a service, it may therefore be necessary to cancel a scheduled departure and to offer an alternative TOUR of a similar or higher standard, or refund the amount being paid to the operator for that tour. We do not guarantee a refund of the travel agent commission component. Where a tour of lesser standard is arranged, any difference in the ticket prices will be refunded.
Please be advised that guests on overnight vessels who request alternative dietary requirements (Such as vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, gluten-free and dairy/lactose-free) will incur a $15 surcharge payable on check-in. Please note, that we are unable to accommodate Halal and Kosher requirements.
A dietary surcharge has been introduced to offset the additional costs and resources incurred in provisioning for guests’ alternative dietary requirements.
The majority of vessels represented by Explore Whitsundays are owner-operated, with a small team provisioning for the vessels. Airlie Beach is a remote location and does not have the same access to alternative foods as metropolitan areas.
We believe food is very important for our guests’ experience and re-fuelling for a day of activities
Guests are asked to limit luggage as storage on yachts is minimal. Guests should pack in soft-sided bags, NO hard case trolley bags, please. Please note that there is NO luggage storage available at the Marina. There are options available on the Main Street of Airlie Beach.
The Operator has the right to refuse to board guests who arrive intoxicated or who appear to be under the influence of illegal substances. While on Tour, Guests must abide by instructions from the Crew. Guests must also abide by the Law and public nuisance, harassment, abusing our staff or anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated. Guests who refuse to follow instructions and jeopardise the safety and security of Crew, Guests, Themselves or the Vessel may be restrained and/or removed from the tour. All associated costs of removal will be borne by the guest and no refund of ticket monies will be provided.
English Language Comprehension
Because many of the tours we offer are low guest numbers and some with 2 crew members, the guests must have basic English understanding. Guests will spend time snorkelling and swimming and it is critical for their safety that they follow the instructions from the crew delivered in English, while they are participating in the activities. If customers cannot understand English, it is important that a companion traveller speaks English and can translate for the non-English speaking guest.
We do have snorkelling summaries in other languages, which are provided for guests to read. If guests have any concerns at all, please contact us before departing.
Open Dated Vouchers
Are accepted for 2 Day 1 Night and 2 Day 2 Night Maxi Sailing and our 3 Day 2 Night Adventure Sailing. Vouchers are valid for 12 months from the issue date.
Please advise guests travelling on Open Dated Vouchers to book 14 days in advance. The earlier guests book their tour, the better chance they have of getting the date they request.
Guests need to email [email protected] or ph: 07 4967 7555 with their travel date request. Guests will need to quote their booking reference number at the time of making the request.
Guest Bed or Cabin Allocation
We will always try our best to accommodate our guest’s cabin requests, however, due to operational issues we can never 100% guarantee that the requested cabin or bed will be available. In the situation where a cabin is not available and if a downgrade was the case, a refund of the difference in ticket price would be made. Where multi-share cabin classes are advertised and ticket prices are the same, we cannot guarantee the number of beds in the Multi Share cabin. Where multi-share cabin fares are selected, and the guests do not wish to have other guests in the cabin, the only way to guarantee the cabin for the sole use of the party is to pay for the additional bed in the cabin.
The Operator will ask guests to vacate their accommodation and pack up their luggage on the final day, to allow commencement of accommodation servicing.
For 2 Day 1 Night, 2 Night and 3 Night Tours, on the final morning after breakfast, guests will be asked for their linen and may be asked to pack up their personal belongings.
For Solway Lass Guests, after lunch on the final day, guests will be asked to pack and vacate the cabin so servicing can be started.
GUESTS FOR OVERNIGHT EXTENDED TOURS MUST CHECK-IN BEFORE BOARDING
Guests are required to check-in via an online wavier. A confirmation email will be sent to the confirmed traveller.
Delayed guests, please phone our office on 07 4967 7555
FOR: Day tours and 2 Day 1 Night tours, check-in needs to be completed by 6.00 pm, the day before travel.
FOR: 2 Day 2 Night Sailing, and Solway Lass departures, check-in needs to be completed at least 2 hours before departure time.
Explore Whitsundays – Children and Age Range Conditions
Each boat has an overview of the youngest age accepted onboard in their Main Description.
It is important to contact our Reservations on a case by case basis. The owner/operator of the vessel may be flexible based on the load factors, time of year, ages of children, number of children, and other age range restrictions may be amended.
Please call us on 07 4967 7555 or email [email protected] for age restrictions on Private Charters