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The prices displayed are up-to-date at the time of publication. In order to protect you as far as possible, we extend to all our clients our guarantee whereby the price we quote for your chosen arrangements at the time of booking is the price that we guarantee. Currency exchange rates are unpredictable but to counter this we buy forward our main currencies (US dollars and Euros), thus giving you a further degree of price stability. However, airfares and fuel costs continue to be volatile so some rises in brochure prices may be anticipated and therefore early booking is recommended.
The airline business has changed immeasurably over the past few years and there is now a distinct advantage for clients who are able to book their arrangements early with us. On some programmes we are able to hold a limited number of seats at an agreed favourable rate but once these have gone then additional space may cost more to secure. Late bookings may therefore cost more, rather than less.
All airline seat prices and availability are scrupulously checked before the brochure is printed and are therefore correct at that time. However, please be aware that seat prices can change without notice at any time after going to press. If applicable, you will be advised at the time of booking.
For the more independently-minded, or for those seeking a more personal experience, we can now arrange a selection of our tours as a ‘Private Journey’. Taking full advantage of our group buying power for accommodation, a relatively modest supplement offers the opportunity to follow the published itinerary, visiting all the programmed sights, but with your own private car and driver/guide. Independent optional tours can to be booked locally. These arrangements are based on two persons travelling but should also be of interest to those wishing to travel as a family or as a ‘closed’ group of friends. Your ‘Private Journey’ facilitates quicker check-in at hotels and easier access for sightseeing while also having the major benefit of being a guaranteed departure. There will of course be times when you will be joining other travellers when the itinerary involves internal flights, short train or cruising sections or if you wish to attend one of our Special Events. For the most part however, you and your chosen companion(s) will be enjoying a closer personal guiding service.
If you prefer the company of your choice, we can normally offer a private departure on an existing tour or a tailored arrangement to suit your need. We offer a discount of 3% for groups of 8 or more passengers, rising to 5% for groups of 15 or more travelling together on one of our scheduled tours.
We can offer a private tour and a customised itinerary for groups of 10 or more. Our experience and expertise enable us to arrange bespoke itineraries of special interest as well as facilitating independent journeys for study groups, societies, incentive groups and closed groups of friends.
Groups Contact: 020 7633 6799 or firstname.lastname@example.org
We are happy to give you advice and assist you where possible in choosing a tour that will suit your requirements. However, we must at the time of booking be provided with full details in writing regarding your disability and any special requirements as a result of this. Because of the nature of the journeys, involving significant distances, embarkation and disembarkation, or on occasion visiting less sophisticated destinations that may lack even the simplest of facilities such as ramps for wheelchairs, lifts, etc. a number of our tours would not be suitable for those with disabilities.
A feature of travel in airlines’ ‘Business Class’ cabins is more leg room and a wider seat that reclines considerably as well as, in many cases, separate check-in desks, a ‘fast track’ route through the airport and access to private lounges. British Airways also offer a World Traveller Plus service providing a small separate cabin with 4-6 rows (8 abreast seating) and more leg room with a 38” seat pitch.
We are aware that London’s airports do not suit everyone so, where practical, we have included options to fly from regional airports, sometimes with the ‘no frills’ airlines. Connecting flights via London are available on the majority of our tours at a small supplement. In Europe, Egypt and India (Kolkata and Chennai), we offer the option to travel direct from selected local airports. To Tanzania we offer KLM flights from Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow via Amsterdam. Ryanair and easyJet offer excellent value but early booking is recommended as fares invariably increase closer to the date of travel. They have also implemented luggage charges and restrictions, so where this applies, one piece has been included. In-flight meals are not generally included on these flights and this is also the case on some scheduled short-haul flights.
We recognise that in some cases it may be preferable for you to book your own flights around a tour, arriving and departing independently. For your convenience, we are now offering this option on many of our arrangements with appropriate price reductions shown on the brochure and web page. When travel is booked independently, arrival and departure transfers will not be included and you will join the group at the first hotel and leave at the last. However, if transfers are required then, where the extra cost is quoted, these can be arranged. Important: please refer to our Terms & Conditions, section entitled ‘Cancellation of Tours by Us’relating to the operation of the tours.
Where optional excursions are shown (with costs in Sterling) pre-booking is recommended to avoid disappointment. Due to changing exchange rates, fuel and economic factors, the price of locally purchased optional excursions may vary. Depending on the season and local circumstances, additional sightseeing may be arranged locally.
Hotel ratings vary worldwide and although we always include the official local star rating, standards in some countries may not reflect those in the UK.
The reason for supplements for single rooms is that our contract with the hoteliers is commonly based on a price per room while our holidays are sold per person including flights and other elements. Therefore, the per person price for a lone traveller normally includes the entire room cost. We do not make additional or excessive profits from these sales. The prices charged merely reflect the real cost to us. In some hotels there are rooms that are designed for single occupancy only. In this instance there will normally be a supplement but usually less than when a single person occupies a double room. These single rooms are often smaller and sometimes less well-appointed. We do not know which room you will be allocated as your hotel will usually decide this shortly before you arrive. We have been able to negotiate a number of departures (with limited availability) where no single supplement is payable and these can be found here.
Many of our touring arrangements, by necessity, include some long overland journeys by coach. In many cases, especially in India, the experience delivered by travelling at ‘ground level’ is an intrinsic part of the journey. Distances however, do not always tell the whole story so to help you appreciate the tour logistics, where a journey time is three hours or more, we have indicated the duration in the itinerary. This duration takes into account any comfort stops en route. For journeys split by an extended stop such as sightseeing or lunch we have treated those as two separate journeys.
In most cases, we will arrange for sightseeing to be undertaken by expert local guides and escorts who we consider to be the best source of information on the sites visited. On occasion, a Tour Manager may also accompany the group from the UK.
Tours are based on a minimum number of passengers and these are clearly shown against each tour. Should the minimum not be reached, it may be necessary to cancel the tour although we also reserve the right to continue to operate the tour if it is at all possible.
We strongly recommend that you carry any essential medication and items such as contact lens solution in your hand baggage and keep them with you at all times. Please do not ask or expect your guides or drivers to take responsibility for your money or valuable items as they are not authorised to do so.
Tipping, which is not included, is discretionary and varies by country and by tour. We would suggest you budget about £4-£7 per day for porters, guides, drivers and the Tour Manager (cruises £7-£12). On occasion, tips may be collected by the Tour Manager, creating a pool, which is then distributed on your behalf as the tour progresses. Porterage is not included except where stipulated. However, this service can normally be purchased locally; the average tip per bag is £1.
If visas are required for your tour they can be obtained either directly from the embassies or through a visa procurement agency. Whichever method you use, please remember that it is your responsibility to ensure that you travel with the correct documentation to enter the countries included in your itinerary. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office produces up to date travel information to help British travellers make informed decisions about travelling abroad. For further information please visit www.fco.gov.uk. The embassy websites of the countries to which you will be travelling will also provide full details of current visa application procedures.
Visa procurement and information on visa requirements relating to your VJV tour are available from CIBT who are our recommended supplier of visa processing services. CIBT provide and maintain a dedicated Visa Service web portal for our travellers at http://www.cibtvisas.co.uk/vjvvisas. You can also contact CIBT by telephone for advice or information on 020 7593 6286. You will be dealing directly with CIBT for your visa applications and you will be responsible for informing them of all relevant details, amendments or cancellations for yourself and your party relating to your visa arrangements. VJV will not be liable for any costs that you incur relating to visa applications.
In our Key Features panels, we have included advice on the ‘Walking Content’ of each tour and its scheduled excursions. The multi-centre nature of the tours, together with the comprehensive excursion content, makes it important for you to be aware of the amount of walking involved and, by extension, the degree of fitness and mobility necessary in order to undertake the arrangements. The ratings are based on an overall assessment of the tour taking into account that occasionally some elements may overlap into the adjacent categories. Many of our tours include visits to ancient or historic sites which are simply not suitable for wheelchairs or for travellers with mobility problems. Applying a 1 – 4 rating, ‘content’ takes into consideration both difficulty and amount of walking and is categorised as follows:
- Relaxed walking, mostly over short distances, generally over easy ground. Possible steps and staircases.
- A significant amount of walking, necessary to see the sights but mostly on easy terrain, some slopes, occasional steps and uneven ground (cobbles, unmade paths etc). Unsuitable for those with walking difficulties.
- Longer walking, some over two hours, possibly twice a day, steeper climbs, significant steps or rough terrain. Not manageable for those with walking difficulties.
- For seasoned walkers, strenuous, rough paths, hills or exposed ground. Walking boots necessary and full physical fitness required.
Overseas services are not covered by the Equality Act 2010, and facilities that are expected and required in the UK are not available in many of our destinations. If you have a disability or any issue with mobility you should be aware that our tours may involve significant distances, embarkations and disembarkations, visits to places that lack lifts or ramps, and areas of steep or rough terrain. Tours, or parts of tours, may be unsuitable for those with disabilities or restricted mobility. Our World of Wonders brochure and our website contain a guide to the 'walking content' applied to each tour which indicates the degree of mobility required. Please consider this issue as carefully as we have, ask for our advice, and do not undertake a tour that is unsuited to yourself or another member of your party.
Whilst we are committed to making every reasonable adjustment to provide access to our tours for those affected, our escorts and guides are responsible for the progress of the tour and for the tour group as a whole so cannot be relied upon to provide individual support or assistance such as pushing wheelchairs or carrying bags. Should you or any of your party require a carer or assistance with mobility, then you accept responsibility for including a suitably qualified person in your booking.
In making your booking, you confirm that you and all of your party are fit to take this tour, and that you have declared to us any disability or special need which is likely to affect the progress of the tour or the delivery to other travellers. If we reasonably consider that we are unable to properly accommodate the particular needs of the person concerned, we must reserve the right to decline their reservation or, if full details are not given at the time of booking, decline or cancel the reservation when we become aware of these details. You must also promptly advise us when any significant change in the condition or disability occurs or if any such medical condition or disability develops after your booking has been confirmed.
If we consider at any time that the tour is unsuitable, we will try to provide alternative arrangements which overcome the issues and will offer them to you at an appropriate cost. Alternatively, we reserve the right to cancel the booking. Should you or any of your party commence a tour without previously disclosing a disability or special need, and you are unable to take part in the activities or to keep to the daily schedule of the tour group, we reserve the right either to make whatever arrangements and engage whatever additional assistance we deem necessary for you to continue the tour, separately from the group if necessary, or else to make arrangements for your return to the UK without completing the tour. In either case you will be responsible for all additional costs.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are aware of all recommended and required vaccination and health precautions in good time before departure, and to have any member of your party who may have doubts about their fitness consult with their own doctor.
Some of our journeys (such as Nepal, Tibet, Himalayan India, Peru, Ecuador etc.) will be travelling at altitude. We therefore strongly recommend that anyone, regardless of age, should consult their doctor to ensure that they are fully fit and understand the effects of travelling at altitude. This is absolutely essential if you have any pre-existing heart conditions, anaemia or lung problems.
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risk vary worldwide. You should take health advice about your specific needs as early as possible and ensure that vaccinations or preventative measures such as anti-Malarial tablets are taken early enough (which may be a month or more prior to departure) to be fully effective at the time of travel. Sources of information include the Department of Health free leaflet ‘Health Advice for Travellers’ (available on request), your GP or local specialist clinic.
All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays in this brochure are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate.
We take full responsibility for ensuring that proper security measures are in place to protect the information you provide us in order to process your booking. We must pass this information on to the relevant suppliers of your travel arrangements such as airlines, hotels, transport companies etc. Additionally, where your holiday is outside the European Economic Area (EEA), controls on data protection in your destination may not be as strong as the legal requirements in this country. However, we will not pass on any information to any person not responsible for part of your travel arrangements. This applies to any sensitive information that you give to us such as details of any disabilities, or dietary/religious requirements. (If we cannot pass this information to the relevant suppliers, whether in the EEA or not, we cannot provide your booking. In making your booking, you consent to this information being passed on to the relevant persons).
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office produces up-to-date travel information to help British travellers make informed decisions about travelling abroad. For further information please visit www.fco.gov.uk. Alternatively, you can contact ABTA’s Travel Information line on 020 3117 0599. This line is open from 10.00 hrs to 14.00 hrs Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays.