This expedition has a week each in two different valleys in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania. The area is one of outstanding natural beauty with species rich meadows that have been managed with late hay cuts and no fertilizers for the last 700 years and ancient forests that were once part of the forest that covered much of Europe. On this project you will be working with specialists quantifying change in different taxa and using a wide variety of ecological survey techniques. The surveys include assessing the value of meadows from the occurrence of 30 species of plants that are indicators of high quality meadow communities, forest structure surveys from 20m x 20m quadrats and estimating carbon levels, pollard counts and sweep net surveys of butterflies, point count and mist net surveys for birds, small mammal trapping and camera trapping for the large mammal species including bears and wolves. In addition, there is the opportunity to go out with a member of the local community and see if you can see some of the larger mammals in person, for example bears, wild boar and wild cat. Interview based surveys of small farms are used to assess whether the farming practices (date of hay cuts, amalgamation of fields, use of fertilizer etc) are changing in a direction that would threaten this spectacular scenery and wildlife. At the end of each week you will travel over the mountains and down into the next valley to repeat the surveys. Note with European train passes it is possible either before or after your expedition to explore by train other parts of Europe including Budapest, Vienna, Prague and many other sites.
Terms and Conditions
The following conditions form the basis of your contract:
1) MAKING A BOOKING AND PAYING YOUR DEPOSIT AND FINAL BALANCE
A deposit of 10% per person must be paid when booking and accepting these terms and conditions. In order to help spread the payments we require a further 10% payment 150 days prior to your expedition start date, and 20% payment due by March 31st in the same year as your expedition. If you are booking within 8 weeks of your intended departure date then we require full payment. Should we be unable to process your booking for any reason then your deposit will be returned to you.We must have the full balance payment at least 8 weeks (56 days) prior to departure.
There is an early-payment discount available if you pay either 50% or more of the total sum owed, or 100% of the total sum owed, prior to the 150 day payment date. The discounts available are as follows:-
- For 2 week expeditions, $25 discount for greater than 50% payment or $50 discount for 100% payment
- For 4 week expeditions, $40 discount for greater than 50% payment or $80 discount for 100% payment
- For 6 week expeditions, $60 discount for greater than 50% payment or $120 discount for 100% payment
- For 8 week expeditions, $75 discount for greater than 50% payment or $150 discount for 100% payment
All correspondence will be sent to you at either of the addresses you enter at time of booking. In the event of the alteration or cancellation of a confirmed booking by you, conditions in section 3 will apply. Please note that the person completing the booking form undertakes full payment of all the expedition components booked, therefore should have the full consent of the person named on the form. Payment of your deposit confirms you comply with these booking conditions.
2) THE PRICE OF YOUR EXPEDITION AND SURCHARGES
While we reserve the right to amend prices upwards or downwards at any time, it is our policy to offer expeditions at a clear and firm price. However, the factors which may force us to surcharge you are government action, changes to the cost of currency or fuel – unless full payment is made six months or more prior to your departure date.
3) IF YOU NEED TO CANCEL YOUR BOOKING
Should you have to cancel your booking we ask that you advise the us promptly in writing or by email. The cancellation will take effect from the day the written confirmation is received. Cancellation will incur a $95 handling charge. Additional cancellation charges, which become effective more than 30 days after the date of booking*, are as follows:
|More than 185 days before departure
||No further cancellation charges
|185 days before expedition start date to 150 days before expedition start date
||Loss of 10% of total expedition costs
|149 days before expedition start date to 70 days before expedition start date
||20% of your total expedition costs
|69 days before expedition start date to 42 days before expedition start date
||40% of your total expedition costs
|Less than 42 days before the expedition start date
||100% of your total expedition costs
* this applies only to bookings taken before 1 March in the year of the expedition. Bookings taken after the 1 March in the year of expedition are subject to the cancellation charges as shown in the above table.
Note if you are doing a dissertation/thesis topic then you are able to cancel up to 15 April in the year of your expedition with no loss of deposit, if documentary evidence can be produced that your university will not permit you to undertake the dissertation or thesis topic chosen.
4) IF OPERATION WALLACEA CANCELS YOUR BOOKING
In the unlikely event of Operation Wallacea deeming travel to your particular destination unsafe for any reason, more than 3 months before departure, we will provide a suitable alternative. As a result we are unable to refund any monies, beyond the conditions outlined above. We undertake not to cancel any expedition closer than 3 months to the expedition start date unless in exceptional circumstances such as war, riots, civil strife, industrial action so severe that alternative transport and accommodation cannot be provided, terrorist activity, natural and nuclear disaster, fire, adverse weather conditions, technical problems with transport and similar unforeseeable circumstances where compensation payments cannot be made.
5) IF OPERATION WALLACEA CHANGES YOUR BOOKING
We undertake not to make any significant changes to your booking. However since this is a field research project, from time to time certain aspects will change between the planning stages and the project delivery. These can include (but are not limited to) details of the accommodation, survey methods and transportation between sites. We will inform you of any significant changes and will provide a suitable alternative to the original project. Such changes will not constitute being offered a refund when a suitable alternative is made available.
6) IF YOU WANT TO TRANSFER YOUR BOOKING
If you want to transfer your booking to the following year or to another named person who does not currently hold a booking with Operation Wallacea then you need to obtain prior approval from the Opwall office. In the event that you make your decision to transfer after 1 January in the year of the expedition, then you need to pay an additional 10% to secure the transfer. If the decision is made before the 1 January in the year of the expedition then no further payments beyond the 10% deposit are required. No transfers are allowed after 1 April in the year of the original booked expedition. Only one transfer to a future year or of the named person per application is allowed and once that transfer is made then all monies paid would be forfeited in the event that the completer of the form wanted to cancel.
7) IF YOU WANT TO CHANGE YOUR BOOKING
If you decide to move on to another project or expedition, you can do this free of charge, capacity allowing, until 1 April of the year of your expedition. You will be asked to fill in a new booking form to confirm the change of project. If the project or expedition you want to move to is longer you will be invoiced for the difference in price. If it is shorter, your payment schedule will be adjusted to take the new total amount payable into account. If, following you confirming that you wish to change your booking, you should decide to cancel, cancellation charges will apply in line with your original booking rather than the new booking.
8) JURISDICTION AND LEGAL ASPECTS
Please note that when you have read the booking conditions above and completed the booking form, and when a confirmation invoice has been issued by or on behalf of us or the relevant supplier, you enter into a binding contract which will be governed and interpreted in accordance with the law of England and Wales. As a member of the Association of the Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT), an Association approved by the BIS, Operation Wallacea Ltd has provided a Bond to meet the requirements of the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992. In the event of the Company’s insolvency this Bond provides security for all non-flight inclusive packages provided by Operation Wallacea Ltd. In the above circumstances, the following will apply:
- A refund of your package pre-payments if you have not yet travelled; or
- Transport costs back to the start point of the expedition and a refund of the unused portion of the package price if you have already travelled
Operation Wallacea has insurance in place to provide medical and repatriation cover up to £1million for all participants on the expedition. This insurance does not cover other insurable costs such as cancellation and curtailment of your expedition due to your ill-health, flight and travel delays, loss of personal baggage or theft of possessions etc. It is a condition of your booking with Operation Wallacea that you take out travel insurance to cover these items.
7) WHAT DOES THE BOOKING WITH OPERATION WALLACEA NOT INCLUDE?
- Costs of flights and transport to and from the start and finish points of each expedition
- Accommodation and food costs before or after the expedition start and end dates
- Additional insurance cover beyond the £1 million expedition medical and evacuation insurance cover provided by Opwall
- Costs of additional elective training (e.g. canopy access course, dive training beyond PADI Open Water)
- Dive equipment rental
- PIC cards and PADI training Manuals (or BSAC equivalents)
- Local taxes
- Park or Reserve entrance fees
- Visa costs
- Vaccination or prophylactic medicine costs