Great Empires by Private Jet Terms and Conditions


Please read the following information carefully. By registering for a National Geographic Expedition (the “Expedition”), the participant (“Participant”or “you”) agrees to the Operator-Participant Contract and Terms and Conditions herein (the “Agreement”). In order to secure your reservation on the Expedition, you must read the terms of the Agreement, and indicate your acceptance of the terms of the Agreement by signing and submitting the Reservation Form to National Geographic Expeditions along with a deposit.


National Geographic Expeditions (also referred to as “we”) will provide educational enrichment as outlined in its catalog and on its website ( and has licensed TCS & Starquest Expeditions, Inc. (“the Tour Operator”), 3131 Elliott Avenue, Suite 300, Seattle, Washington, 98121, a qualified professional Expedition operator, to organize and administer the Great Empires by Private Jet: Exploring Ancient Persia to the Mediterranean expedition. The Tour Operator is responsible to you for arranging and providing all the services and accommodations offered in connection with the Expedition, provided, however, that in the absence of gross negligence on our part, we are not responsible for personal injury or property damage caused by the air carrier, hotel, or other suppliers of any of the services being offered in connection with this Expedition.


$68,950 per person (double occupancy) with a $7,500 single supplement.

Reservations and Payments: To reserve your place on the Great Empires by Private Jet: Exploring Ancient Persia to the Mediterranean expedition, complete the Reservation Form and return it with your deposit of $5,000 per person. The deposit may be made by check, wire transfer, or by a major credit card. If you pay your initial deposit by credit card, it is fully refundable until you sign the Reservation Form. The second payment of $20,000 per person and final payment are payable by check or wire transfer only, made out to a secure escrow account. The second payment is due September 29, 2017. Final payment is due January 29, 2018. Make checks payable to “NGCC-18 Escrow”.

Mail or fax the Reservation Form to National Geographic Expeditions, 3131 Elliott Avenue, Suite 300, Seattle, Washington 98121; fax: 206-447-7717; or call 1-800-224-1894. If the Expedition is fully booked when your reservation is received, your payment will be returned within 7 days, or with your authorization, the Tour Operator can retain the deposit and place your name on a waiting list in the event other passengers cancel their reservations. Even if you authorize the Tour Operator to put your name on a waiting list and retain your deposit, the Tour Operator will notify you within 7 days if the Expedition is still fully booked.

Security Agreement: Your payments are held in an escrow account at The Commerce Bank of Washington (“TCBW”), 601 Union Street, Suite 3600, Seattle, WA 98101-1342. Participants are protected by a Letter of Credit #592 issued by TCBW (the “Security Agreement”). Any claims against this Security Agreement must be filed with the Tour Operator or TCBW within 60 days of the termination of the Expedition. After that time, the Tour Operator and TCBW will be released from liability under the Security Agreement.

What Is Included in the Price: A privately chartered Boeing 757 that departs from Madrid, Spain and returns to Madrid, Spain, as indicated in the itinerary. Deluxe or best available accommodations and all applicable taxes in the destinations and options as indicated in the brochure, from arrival at the first hotel through departure from the last hotel. All meals beginning with dinner on the first night of the expedition and ending with breakfast on the last morning of the expedition. All taxes; airport transfers at the beginning and end of the Expedition; group transportation; excursions; special events and activities; extensive program of customized options at most destinations; enrichment program, including lectures by a team of experts; services of professional staff, including an Expedition physician; amenities package; $100,000 medical evacuation insurance (which includes minimal accident/sickness/baggage insurance) for covered reasons; bottled water throughout the Expedition (during sightseeing, at scheduled meals, and in your room); all beverages, including liquor, aboard the private jet; liquor during special events and cocktail parties on land; house wine and/or beer at lunch and dinner; nonalcoholic beverages at all scheduled meals on land; baggage handling during the Expedition; Internet access in hotels, where available; and tips or gratuities to local guides, drivers, porters, and waitstaff are included. Any tips or gratuities not specifically mentioned as included in the total Expedition price will be at your discretion. No refund will be made for any accommodations or services included in the Expedition price that you voluntarily do not use. The exact Expedition itinerary, name and location of hotels, length of stay at each hotel, and other ground accommodations and services, are set forth in the itinerary, which is by this reference expressly incorporated into this Agreement.

What Is Not Included in the Price: Commercial airfare from your home city to Madrid, Spain, and from Madrid, Spain to your home city; optional and additional accident/baggage/cancellation insurance; passport and visa fees; personal expenses such as laundry, telephone, and fax fees; all beverages not mentioned above as included; hotel minibar charges; meals not scheduled by the Tour Operator; and inoculation and medication costs of any kind.

Insurance: National Geographic Expeditions and the Tour Operator strongly recommend trip insurance. Insurance premium payments are subject to the policies of the insurance carrier.

Baggage: On the private jet, each passenger is limited to 90 pounds of checked baggage in 2 bags (one bag of your choice limited to 50 pounds and one wheeled bag that the Tour Operator will send to you ahead of time for use on the Expedition limited to 40 pounds), plus a few smaller carry-on items like a backpack and/or camera. For international flights, the air carrier’s liability is limited to the actual value of the baggage but not more than 1,000 Special Drawing Rights, approximately $1,250 per passenger, unless a higher value is declared at the time of check-in and an appropriate excess valuation charge is paid. Baggage, when not handled by the Tour Operator, and personal effects are at all times the sole responsibility of the Participant.

Aircraft: The private jet flights will be performed using a Boeing 757 jet with 80 VIP-class seats. The air carrier for the Expedition will be TAG Aviation (UK) Ltd, Farnborough Airport, Hampshire, GU14 6XA, United Kingdom. The Tour Operator and the air carrier reserve the right to substitute equivalent aircraft if necessary. Your itinerary may include flights on smaller aircraft operated by local approved airline carriers. Seating on these aircraft will be economy or economy with limited business seats, based upon the configuration of the aircraft.

International Flights: The operation of these flights is subject to the foreign governments involved granting landing rights for the flight. If the air carrier cannot obtain these rights for any particular flight leg of the Expedition, that flight leg will be canceled and alternative arrangements may be made at the discretion of National Geographic Expeditions or the Tour Operator.

Cancellations and Refunds: If you cancel your reservation or change your plans, your right to receive a refund is limited, as described in the following schedule. All requests for refunds must be sent to us in writing via mail, fax, or email. All cancellations will become effective as of the date of the postmark or email receipt.

If your notice is received... You will receive a refund of all deposits less a...
On or before May 30, 2017 $2,500 per-person cancellation fee.
May 31 to September 29, 2017 $5,000 per-person cancellation fee.
September 30 to November 29, 2017 $15,000 per-person cancellation fee.
November 30, 2017 to January 29, 2018 $25,000 per-person cancellation fee.
After January 29, 2018 No refund.
Refunds will be made within 14 days of receipt of your notice of cancellation.

Leaving an Expedition in progress, for any reason whatsoever, will not result in a refund, and no refunds will be made for any unused portions of an Expedition. If you cancel and provide a substitute Participant for the Expedition, you will receive from the Tour Operator a full refund of money paid toward the price less an administrative charge of $25 for effecting the substitution once the substitute Participant has paid in full. Please note that the costs for visas, commercial air tickets, insurance, suite upgrades, and pre- or post-Expedition independent arrangements may not be refundable.


Itinerary Changes: The itinerary and staff are subject to modification and change by National Geographic Expeditions or the Tour Operator. Every reasonable effort will be made to operate the program as planned; however, should unforeseen world events and/or other conditions require our itinerary to be altered, we reserve the right to do so, in our sole discretion (including for the safety and best interest of the group). National Geographic Expeditions and the Tour Operator reserve the right to cancel any trip in the event inadequate enrollment makes the trip economically infeasible to operate. In such a case, the Tour Operator will provide you with a full refund of the monies paid to the Tour Operator for the Expedition.

Photography: We reserve the right to take photographs or videos during the operation of any Expedition or part thereof and to use the resulting photography, videos, or recordings for promotional or commercial use. By making a reservation on the Expedition, the Participant agrees to allow his/her likeness to be used by National Geographic Partners, LLC, its parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, and their respective employees, officers, directors, successors, representatives, assigns (collectively “National Geographic”), National Geographic–authorized third parties, and the Tour Operator without compensation to the Participant. If the Participant prefers that his/her likeness not be used, he/she must notify us in writing prior to departure of the trip. Copyright in all photographs, video, and related materials created by the Participant (“Expedition Materials”) shall belong to the Participant upon creation. The Participant grants to National Geographic a nonexclusive, worldwide, irrevocable license to use any Expedition Materials provided to National Geographic and/or the Tour Operator in any media now existing or subsequently developed for the following limited purposes: editorial use, promotion of this editorial use, promotion of National Geographic’s travel programs, or promotion of the mission of National Geographic.

Release of Liability: The passenger tickets in use by the carriers shall constitute the sole contract between the carriers and the passenger; the carriers are not responsible for any act, omission, or event during the time Expedition Participants are not aboard their conveyance. Neither National Geographic, the Tour Operator, nor any of their respective owners, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, employees, contractors, officers, or agents (collectively, the “Released Parties”) shall be held liable for (A) any damage to, or loss of, property or injury to, or death of, persons occasioned directly or indirectly by an act or omission of any other provider, including but not limited to any defect in any aircraft, watercraft, or vehicle operated or provided by such other provider; (B) any loss or damage due to delay, cancellation, or disruption in any manner caused by the laws, regulations, acts or failures to act, demands, orders, or interpositions of any government or any subdivision or agent thereof, or by acts of God, strikes, fire, flood, war, rebellion, terrorism, insurrection, sickness, quarantine, epidemics, theft, or any other cause(s) beyond their control; and (C) any and all claims, actions, or losses for bodily injury, property damage, wrongful death, loss of services, lost profits, consequential, exemplary, indirect or punitive damages or otherwise which may arise out of or occur during your travel in connection with the Expedition. The Participant waives any claim against any of the Released Parties for any such loss, damage, injury, or death, including any right to seek consequential, punitive, or exemplary damages against any of the Released Parties for any reason whatsoever. None of the Released Parties shall be liable for any air carrier’s cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a nonrefundable ticket.

Acknowledgment of Risk: You understand and acknowledge that your travel in connection with and participation in the Expedition or any activities which may take place during the Expedition may involve risk and potential exposure to injury or fatal injury and that risk and dangers may arise or be caused by the negligence or participation of other Participants, contractors, and/or subcontractors for the Expedition or from other foreseeable and unforeseeable causes, including weather and other acts of nature.

Express Assumption of Risk and Responsibility: In recognition of the inherent risk of the travels and related activities in which you are intending to engage, you confirm that you are physically and mentally capable of participating in the Expedition and that you willingly and voluntarily assume full responsibility for any injury, loss, or damage suffered by you or caused by you. By registering for the Expedition, you certify that you do not have any mental, physical, or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for yourself or other Participants. The Tour Operator reserves the right in its sole discretion to accept, decline to accept, or remove any Participant on the Expedition and reserves the right, subject to the terms and conditions contained herein, to withdraw any part or all of the Expedition and to make such changes as may be necessary.

Arbitration: Any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to this Agreement or the performance thereunder, including without limitation any claim related to bodily injury, property damage, or death, shall be settled by binding arbitration in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A., in accordance with the rules of the American Arbitration Association then existing, and judgment on the arbitration award may be entered in any court having jurisdiction over the subject matter of the controversy. Such proceedings will be governed by substantive Washington State law. This agreement to arbitrate does not waive or modify the liability release contained in this document.

Exclusive Governing Law and Jurisdiction: This Agreement shall be governed by the laws of the State of Washington, without regard to conflicts of laws principles. If the right to seek arbitration is for any reason waived by both parties, or if judicial review of any arbitration is sought, any action or legal proceeding arising out of this Agreement shall be brought exclusively in the courts of the State of Washington, or, if it has or can acquire jurisdiction, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington or the appropriate appellate courts, and the parties hereby waive any objection to venue or jurisdiction in connection therewith. In connection with any action or legal proceeding arising out of this Agreement, the parties hereby specifically and knowingly waive any rights that either party might have to demand a jury trial.

Single/Shared Accommodations and Suite Upgrades: A limited number of single rooms are available at extra cost on a first-come, first-served basis. The Tour Operator will make reasonable efforts to assist persons requesting a roommate. Participants will be notified if a suitable roommate is found. If a roommate is not confirmed, the single rate will be charged. Suite rooms are available in some destinations; more information about them, including their extra costs, will be sent to you in the months before departure.

Airfare: The Tour Operator is happy to assist you in reserving commercial flights from your home city to Madrid, Spain, and from Madrid, Spain, to your home city, in the class of service that you prefer. Please ask for details.

Visas and Entry Permits: To participate in the Expedition, visas and/or entry permits may be required for some countries. Acquiring visas and/or entry permits is the responsibility of the Participant. Failure to obtain visas and/or entry permits does not negate the Terms and Conditions. Any extra costs for rerouting a Participant without visas and/or entry permits will be the responsibility of the Participant. The Tour Operator will provide information on the necessary visas and/or entry permits in pre-departure documents.

Health Requirements: This is an active trip that requires you to make a realistic assessment of your health. All Participants are expected to be in active good health, to enjoy traveling as part of a group, and to be ready to experience cultural differences with grace. Walking and climbing stairs are required in many hotels and airports, and to board the aircraft, and are part of many excursions. Please note: You will need to obtain your physician’s approval to join this expedition and a form will be sent to you for your physician to sign. For the latest recommendations on specific health precautions for the areas you will visit, consult your physician and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Any physical condition requiring special attention, diet, or treatment should be reported in writing when the reservation is made. We will make reasonable efforts to accommodate travelers with special needs; however, we regret that we cannot accommodate wheelchairs. If you require a slower pace, extra assistance, or the use of a cane or walking stick, arrangements will be made for private touring at each destination, if necessary, at the discretion of our Expedition staff. Any extra cost for such arrangements will be the responsibility of the traveler. If you would like to forgo some of the scheduled sightseeing to rejuvenate and relax, please feel free to do so at any time.

Basis of Rates: All prices are based on two persons sharing a room. All prices and fares are quoted in U.S. dollars. The rates are based on current tariffs and are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances. While we will make reasonable efforts to maintain the listed prices, if it is necessary to levy a surcharge, we reserve the right to do so and will notify you at the time of final invoicing.

The Tour Operator is a Registered Seller of Travel in the State of Washington (#602-320-265), a California Seller of Travel (#2071584-30), an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau, and is endorsed by IATAN, the International Airlines Travel Agent Network (#50-755585). The Tour Operator’s Dunn & Bradstreet D-U-N-S number is 17-084-7961.


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