SAPPHIRE COACH HOLIDAYS It is our policy to conform to the terms of all major trading charters. Our Trading Charter and holiday information shows clearly and simply the responsibilities which we at Sapphire Coach Holidays have to you and which you in turn have to us when a contract is made between us. The contract is made when you make a booking and we accept it by written confirmation on the terms set out in this brochure. When signing the booking form for your holiday you will sign on behalf of yourself, and the others named in your party, that you have read, understood and have accepted this Trading Charter and the Holiday information provided in this brochure. Your obligation is to pay the price of the holiday and recognise your liabilities if you wish to alter the holiday or have to make a cancellation. On our part we have obligations to provide you with the holiday you have booked. Our specification of that holiday and our terms are clearly stated in this brochure. Your contract is entered into with Sapphire Coach Holidays. Any other subsidiary companies of Sapphire Coach Holidays involved in the booking or management of your holiday shall be deemed to act as our agents. This Trading Charter applies to all holidays sold from this brochure, published in 2011.
1. Why should I read this? Because it is important. This Trading Charter, together with the important holiday information, forms the basis of a legally binding contract between you (the person making the booking and everyone else named) and us (Sapphire Coach Holidays Ltd). If you take a few moments to study them you will see that they set out in simple terms what responsibilities we each have under the contract. Reading it now may help to avoid problems later.
2. How do I make a contract with you? You can make the contract in a number of ways -
1. By calling personally at our Travel Shop in 35 Station Road, Clacton-on-Sea
2. By filling in the booking form and posting it to us with your deposit to 35 Station Road, Clacton-on-Sea CO15 1TD
3. By making your booking by telephone to 01255 688066
4. By booking via the internet at www.sapphirecoachholidays.co.uk
The contract between us is made when your booking is entered on our computer immediately after we receive the booking, and a booking reference number is produced. At that moment the contract between us begins. We will send you or your agent a confirmation usually within 24 hours. Please check it carefully to ensure all the details are correct and inform us or your agent immediately of any errors. We cannot be responsible for mistakes if we are not notified. The contract appertains to all persons named on the booking form.
3. How is my money protected? Because we are a new company all clients monies will be held in a Clients Account and therefore it is safeguarded.
4. When do I have to pay and how much? When you make your booking you must pay a deposit of £50 on coach holidays for every person named on the booking. If you book within the balance due date you must pay the total price of the holiday (including any insurance premiums) at the time you book. In other cases, you must pay the balance of the price of the holiday on or before the balance due date. If you do not, we may cancel your booking and you will have to pay the cancellation charges set out in section 7. Deposits per person and balance due dates (the period before departure date on which your full balance normally becomes due) are 42 days before travel.
5. Can you increase the price after I have booked? Yes, but only in very limited circumstances. The price of your travel arrangements is subject to surcharges on the following items for increases in: transportation costs e.g. fuel, ferry operator fares and any other ferry operator surcharges which are part of the contract between ferry operators (and their agents) and us; Government action, such as increases in VAT, or any other Government imposed increases; currency in relation to adverse exchange rate variations. Even in this case we will absorb an amount equivalent to 2% of the holiday price which excludes insurance premiums and any amendment charges. Only amounts in excess of this 2% will be surcharged but where a surcharge is payable there will be an administration charge of £1 per person. If this means paying more than 10% of the holiday price you will be entitled to cancel your holiday with a full refund of all monies paid except for any premium paid to us for holiday insurance and amendment charges. Should you decide to cancel because of this you must exercise your right to do so within 14 days from the issue date printed on the invoice. We will not surcharge you within 30 days of your departure.
6. Can I change my holiday arrangements?
a. More than 1 month before travel If you want to make any changes to your booking such as changing the date, room type or joining point, we will do our best to help but we cannot guarantee to make the changes that you want. If we do manage to make the changes we will charge a fee of £10 to cover our administration costs providing that all notifications of changes are received no later than the due date of the balance payment of your holiday.
b. Within 1 month before travel Any alteration by you made later than the original balance date will be treated as a cancellation of the original booking and will be subject to the cancellation charges set out below. Other alterations such as the addition of requests or change of pick-up point that require a reconfirmation to be issued must be notified and accompanied by a payment of £10 to cover administration costs.
7. Can I cancel my holiday? Yes, you or any member of your party may cancel your holiday at any time, but if you do so you will have to pay us cancellation charges based on the scale below. When you cancel you must inform us or your travel agent in writing and your cancellation only takes effect from the date we or your travel agent receive your notice in writing, signed by the person who made the booking, together with any travel tickets or vouchers we may already have sent you. Please note that if only part of a booking is cancelled this may mean that the accommodation booked will be under-occupied and may result in the remaining passengers having to pay any applicable supplements e.g. changing a twin room to a single.
Cancellation charges are based on the following scale:
42 DAYS OR MORE - Loss of deposit
BETWEEN 42 DAYS AND ON DAY OF DEPARTURE - Total holiday payment
Alternatively, you have the right to transfer the booking to another person provided that they satisfy all the conditions applicable to the package and as long as you give the Company at least seven days written notice of your intention to do so. Both you and the person to whom you transfer the booking will be responsible for the payment of any outstanding monies and in addition there will be an administration charge of £25 per passenger to cover costs incurred. NOTE: If the reason for cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to reclaim these charges. Please note; no changes can be made within 7 days of travel and any change will be treated as a cancellation.
8. What happens if you change my holiday? The arrangements for your holiday are likely to have been made many months in advance and changes are sometimes unavoidable. Most of these changes are likely to be minor and we will do our best to keep you informed.
(a) Changes before departure If we have to make a significant change to your holiday after you have booked, you will have the option of withdrawing from the holiday without penalty or you may accept the changes with a variation in the price to take account of the changes. A ‘significant change' is one that involves changing your departure date; departure point; resort area; or reducing the quality of your main hotel. Compensation for such changes is payable on the scale in (c) below.
(b) Cancellation and withdrawal If you withdraw from the holiday because of a significant change made by us or if we have to cancel the holiday for any reason (except where it is your fault) you will be offered the choice of:
1. A replacement holiday of equivalent or superior quality where available, or
2. A replacement holiday of lower quality where available and a refund of the price difference, or
3. A full refund. Once we have notified you of the changes and the options available, you must notify us as soon as possible of your decision. We will pay you compensation for significant changes on the following scale:
(c) Period before departure within which a significant change is notified to you or your travel agent
More than 28 days NIL
15 to 28 days £10
8 to 14 days £15
0 to 7 days £20
No other claims for compensation or expenses will be considered. Important - compensation payments do not apply to changes caused by reasons of war; riots; civil strife; terrorist activity; industrial disputes; natural or nuclear disasters; fire; epidemic or health risk; technical problems to transport; port or airport closures; adverse weather conditions and similar events beyond our control.
(d) Changes after departure If after departure a significant proportion of your holiday cannot be provided we will make suitable alternative arrangements for you to continue the holiday at no extra cost to you. If it is impossible to make alternative arrangements or you have reasonable grounds for refusing the alternative offered we will transport you back to your point of departure or another place agreed to by you.
(e) Compensation in general in all cases not specifically covered by sections (a), (b) and (c) where we are liable to pay compensation to you we limit our liability in two ways;
1. As if we were covered by the international conventions which govern the services we provide to you.
2. To a maximum of the cost of the holiday. We accept responsibility for ensuring that all component parts of your holiday as described in this brochure are supplied to you to a reasonable standard. If any such part is not provided in the advertised manner, we will pay you reasonable compensation unless the non-provision was due to circumstances which we could not predict and which were beyond our control, such as adverse weather, Road or traffic conditions or the matters referred to in paragraph (b) above. For all claims other than death or personal injury which result from non-performance or improper performance of the contract by us, our liability to each claimant is limited to the total cost of the holiday per person.
9. What is included in the holiday price? Holiday prices include all coach travel, hotel accommodation and meals as specified in the holiday and hotel description and VAT where applicable. Morning coffee, afternoon tea and other refreshments are not included. Some hotels may make a small charge for tea or coffee served after dinner. Gratuities to hotel staff and driver/couriers are discretionary. Unless specifically indicated in the tour itinerary or description, entrance fees, guide fees and city sightseeing tours are not included in the holiday cost. All coach travel is included except where it specifically states ‘option' or as an extra on that tour for example rail trips, cable cars, gondola rides, guided tours or entrance fees etc. in the UK, breakfast is defined as an ‘English breakfast' and in Europe it is defined as ‘Continental breakfast' unless otherwise stated. Evening meals are generally three courses and in the UK there will usually be a choice of courses on the menu. In Continental hotels, there may be a restriction in choice.
The itinerary for your chosen holiday is summarised on the appropriate brochure page. To help you in planning your holiday, the excursions which are included in the price of your holiday are clearly shown in the brochure. Minor changes to the brochure itinerary and the final itinerary will not entitle you to compensation. Unless otherwise stated, excursions to cities and other major places of interest do not include guided tours or entrance fees to places of interest. Whilst you are on an included excursion, a guided boat cruise, a cable car ride or entrance to an attraction may be offered as an optional activity at a reasonable charge.
On some of our coach holidays you will be offered a selection of optional excursions which can be bought only through your driver or courier. You are under no obligation to take these optional excursions. Customers choosing not to take an optional excursion will normally have time at leisure at the starting point of the optional excursion. Optional excursions may not operate when demand is insufficient. Refunds will not be given once payment has been made to the driver/courier. Please note that any part of the itinerary that incurs a charge is payable directly by the customer unless the itinerary specifically states that the item is included. This includes extra such as, rail journeys, cable cars, boat trips, entrance fees etc.
10. How do I complain? The driver/courier or representative on your holiday is there to deal with any queries or problems that you may encounter. If you have a problem during your holiday, you must inform them immediately. Likewise, if you encounter any problems within the hotel, you MUST inform the hotel staff to allow them to rectify
the matter. In most cases these difficulties can be rectified on the spot and it is never possible to reverse hotel problems (i.e. room or food) after you have returned from your holiday. Consequently, any such complaint cannot be investigated if no prior notice is made to our driver/courier and no claims will be entertained under these circumstances. If they are unable to resolve the problem to your satisfaction you should complete a Holiday Report Form which is available from your driver or courier. If the
matter cannot be rectified at the time, you must notify us in writing so that we are in receipt of your complaint within 21 days of the completion of your holiday and this must be sent to The Customer Relations Manager, Sapphire Coach Holidays Ltd, 35 Station Road, Clacton-on-Sea and must quote your booking reference number and complaint immediately in accordance with the above procedure may affect the outcome. Please note that we can only respond to one letter per booking and that comments written on our questionnaire forms are not classed as a formal complaint.
What happens to complaints? All complaints that are received are thoroughly investigated. Sometimes these investigations can take time awaiting response from our suppliers.
11. What if I adopt anti-social behaviour? If you, or a member of your party, are persistently disruptive or seriously affect the enjoyment of other holidaymakers, we have the right to terminate the contract with you forthwith. In such circumstances we will have no further obligations or liability to you. The driver is entitled to refuse boarding to you if, in his opinion, you are unacceptably under the influence of drink or drugs. If you are refused boarding on the outbound journey or flight for this reason we will regard this as a cancellation of the contract by you and cancellation charges will be levied according to the scale in section 8. If the refusal is on the return journey or flight we have the right to terminate the contract. In such circumstances we will have no further obligations or liability to you. If you are disruptive during the journey, the coach driver may have to divert to off-load you. In those circumstances you will also be liable to us and/or airline for the costs incurred by the diversion. For the comfort and enjoyment of the rest of our passengers, you may not:
a) Bring a pet, livestock or any other animal other than a Registered Assistance dog on UK holidays but not on overseas holidays.
b) Play a radio or personal stereos or any other entertainment equipment which may be heard by other passengers on the coach.
c) Smoke at any time on our coaches.
d) Bring alcohol on the coach for the purpose of consumption of it.
NB: You are responsible for ensuring that you are at the correct joining point, on time, throughout the holiday. We would also ask you to consider other passengers and refrain from using mobile phones on the coach.
12. Do I have to buy insurance? Yes, and it will be necessary to purchase your own insurance policy. We regret that Sapphire Coach Holidays are currently unable to offer a holiday insurance policy. This is essential as we prefer you to take insurance because a happy holiday needs peace of mind.
13. Pick-up points/joining points, travel documents and itineraries You are responsible for ensuring that you are at the correct departure point at the correct time and we cannot be held liable for any loss or expense suffered by your party because of late arrival at the departure point, whether at the joining point or during your holiday. Your booking confirmation confirming your departure point will be sent to you after we have received your deposit payment. Certain travel documents may have to be retained by us and your driver/courier will then issue them to you at the relevant time. If you lose any of your travel documents we will replace these for an administration charge of £10. Sapphire Coach Holidays Ltd. reserves the right to modify itineraries to conform to requests from the competent authorities in the UK and any other sovereign state through which the holiday will operate.
14. Terminating your holiday If you choose to terminate your holiday of your own volition for whatever reason, Sapphire Coach Holidays Ltd will not be liable for any additional expenses incurred and no refunds will be given for any part of the holiday not taken.
15. Travel delays There are occasions when our holidays are delayed due to traffic congestion, delayed ferries etc. We cannot accept liability for these delays, howsoever caused.
16. Mechanical failures Whilst we go to great efforts to ensure that everything functions correctly to ensure a smooth and enjoyable holiday, there are occasions when mechanical items can fail. In the event of any such failure, Sapphire Coach Holidays will attempt to minimise any inconvenience but we cannot be financially liable should such failures occur.
17. Hotel accommodation Accommodation throughout the UK, Europe and varies and our range of hotels includes everything from top quality group hotels to homely, family run hotels. We go to great lengths to ensure that your holiday accommodation will be of an acceptable standard and every effort will be made to provide the type of room that you have booked.
(a) Hotel grading Hotel grading and classification systems vary so widely throughout the UK and Europe that they do not represent a consistent method of comparing accommodation standards from one country to another. We advise you to look upon them merely as a general guide.
(b) Additional facilities Our liability for the provision of additional facilities for which a supplement has been paid is limited to the published price of that supplement. Rooms with private facilities will include EITHER bath and WC OR shower and WC. Where you specify a preference for either a bath and WC or a shower and WC we will make every effort to accommodate your request. We CANNOT guarantee your preference will be met. Occasionally, in older hotels, a wash basin may be located in the bedroom rather than the bathroom. Please note that in Continental Europe it is not normally the custom to have tea or coffee facilities in rooms.
(c) Room type When booking a double room you should clearly request either a double bed or twin beds, otherwise we shall assume that either is acceptable. Please note that many hotels in Europe have a majority of twin bedded rooms and that bookings for double rooms are only taken on a request basis. In some hotels, particularly in Continental Europe, a twin-bedded room may have a single king-size base with two mattresses, each with its own bed linen. Three and four bedded rooms are normally twins or doubles with extra beds and are not suitable for adults and space will be limited. The room description shown on your holiday confirmation refers to the main hotel on your holiday. Overnight hotels may offer different room types. Please note that the location, position, size or type of any room cannot be guaranteed. Room allocation is the responsibility of the hotelier. However, all special requests, such as low floor rooms, are passed on and we make every endeavour to see that they are considered.
(d) Single rooms Single rooms are always in short supply and early booking is advised. If a payment for single room supplement is shown against the holiday, then that price must be paid. The payment of a single room supplement does not imply that any room allocated will be anything other than a single room.
(e) Overnight hotels In the best interests of our customers, it may sometimes be necessary or desirable to change the location of single overnight hotel stops, We will do our very best to notify you in advance if such a change is necessary but we reserve the right to make such a change without notice. The alternative hotel will always be of an equivalent standard to the original.
(f) Special diets It may be difficult for some hotels to fulfil special dietary requirements. If in doubt, it would be beneficial for the client to telephone the hotel direct to ascertain the position and to arrange payment with them for additional charges that may be incurred.
(g) Hotel amenities All the amenities described on the appropriate brochure page, leaflet or advert will normally be available for the enjoyment of our customers. However some amenities (lifts, swimming pools and so on) may occasionally require servicing or cleaning and therefore we cannot guarantee that they will always be available. Some resort services may be affected by weather conditions or out-of-season reductions or cancellations. Unless otherwise indicated in the brochure, certain amenities (such as sun beds, sporting activities and entrance to discos or nightclubs) may incur an additional charge. Entertainment provided by hotels is frequently subject to demand and the type or frequency may be varied if there is a lack of demand or insufficient numbers staying at the hotel. In many hotels you may be asked to share a table in the restaurant with other guests. If a hotel has lifts, these are described as serving some, most or all floors or rooms. Many hotel buildings are historic rather than purpose-built and therefore there may also be some steps on a floor served by a lift, which lead to or from public rooms. Most UK hotels include tea or coffee making facilities in the bedrooms. Where this facility is provided there may be a charge for additional beverage supplies.
(h) Bath/shower mats For your own safety, there are bath/shower mats provided in your en suite room. If they are not, then please request one from the hotel reception who will be happy to provide one.
18. Special requests All special needs and requests MUST be entered on the booking form. We will do our best to provide what you want but we cannot guarantee such. Some special requests such as dietary requirements may involve extra charges which may have to be paid for locally at your hotel. Our liability for the provision of extra facilities, for which a supplement is paid, shall be limited to the brochure price of that supplement.
19. Disabled clients We try our best to provide holidays which all our customers can enjoy, but we do recognise that not all our holidays will be entirely suitable for people with disabilities, poor mobility or special needs. Some coach tours, for example, involve a great deal of travelling and changes of hotel and it is not possible for our driver(s) to provide a sufficient level of care, particularly in cases of mobility problems. If each passenger who has a disability is accompanied by a companion (on a 1 to 1 ratio), who is able to provide the necessary assistance and the five steps can be negotiated when boarding the coach, then you are most welcome. We are pleased to carry your folding wheelchairs in the luggage compartment and we would request that you notify us or your travel agent of your intention to bring one. We regret that, due to health and safety regulations, we are unable to carry battery powered wheelchairs. In certain circumstances, we may be able to carry a small mobility vehicle provided they conform to size and weight regulations. Please contact our reservations staff for further details. If you do not advise us of any disabilities, we cannot be responsible for any inconvenience or costs incurred by you and this may include us having to refuse to take you on holiday.
20. Children Children of five years and over are very welcome on all tours and reductions where available are detailed on each tour price panel. These reductions are applicable to children up to 12 years of age in a twin or triple room sharing with parents. We regret that we cannot carry children under the age of 5. Children of 14 and under are forbidden to occupy the front seats of the coach.
21. Statutory authorities This brochure is issued subject to applicable Acts of Parliament and Government Regulations and the company reserves the right to modify itineraries to conform to requests from the competent authorities in the United Kingdom and any other sovereign state through which the tours operate.
22. Conditions of carriage When you travel on a train or ship, the conditions of carriage of that carrier apply and are subject to National and international conditions which may limit or exclude liability. Your contract made under the terms of this Trading Charter is subject to English law and jurisdiction.
23. Other operators' coaches Sapphire Coach Holidays Ltd will be using coaches from other coach operators. We can assure you that those coach operators have been carefully chosen for their good reputation in the provisions of, clean, top-quality touring coaches with all the facilities you would expect from a top company. Because of coach type variation, the specification may be different to that detailed in this brochure.
24. Medical arrangements European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) On all holidays to the Republic of Ireland and any holiday where an excursion to a Member State of the EC is offered, included or optional, it is advisable to carry with you your EHIC card. Details for this are available from the Post office or online and entitles you to free or reduced cost emergency state medical treatment in the EC. Please seek medical advice with regard to required inoculations prior to departure.
25. Passports and Visas UK citizens travelling on holiday abroad MUST have a valid 10 year passport before they leave the UK. British citizens should allow sufficient time from the date of posting a correctly completed application form to receipt of their passport. NB: Most countries require a passport to be valid for at least six months beyond the length of your stay. At the time of our brochure going to press, visas were not required by holders of British Passports to any of the destination countries covered in our brochure. We strongly advise all our customers to keep their passports securely on their person or locked in a hotel security safe throughout their holiday with us. At the time of booking the following information will be required by us to supply to the UK Border Controls agency for your re entry to the UK: - Full Name, Date of Birth & Nationality. Your passport number will be taken by your driver during your holiday.
26. Non-EU Citizens Holders of non-EU passports may well be subject to varying visa requirements for certain countries visited on our holidays, and they should check with the appropriate embassies or consulates to ascertain any visa requirements and the likely time needed to obtain them. All of our holidays to Continental Europe travel through France via the Dover to Calais short sea crossing. We cannot accept responsibility if passengers are not in possession of the correct travel documents and we cannot entertain any refunds in respect of holidays uncompleted and/or additional expenses incurred.
1. Can I book my seats? Yes, requests for particular coach seats can be made on most coach holidays at the time of booking, and you will be told when you book. We cannot accept bookings which are conditional on the provision of specific seats. We will do everything possible to conform to the seating plans shown and to provide the seat numbers booked by customers; however, this may not always be possible. On occasions it may be necessary for us to reallocate seats, in which instance all customers will be notified. A seating plan is held for each holiday and passengers can choose their seat. Bookings by post are allocated the seats available nearest the front of the coach unless otherwise requested. These seats are kept throughout the holiday. Please note that occasionally we use coaches with a different seat plan and the seat position may alter. Where seats are located behind entrances, the driving area etc. there is a modesty board are located there and as a consequence there may be a slight reduction in leg room. Occasionally, it may be necessary to relocate single seats but clients will be advised in this eventuality.
2. Local joining points Our holidays and departure dates have been carefully planned to ensure that the coach you join will be your tour coach and generally, there will be no feeder routes or delayed interchanges. There will be some minor exceptions when it will be necessary for a minor exchange to be made particularly when travelling with our partner companies. However, absolute minimum inconvenience will be caused and all luggage handling will be undertaken. Please note: We regret that, due to time constraints, we are unable to pick up or drop off at any place other than those published. No changes of joining point may be made less than 14 days before your holiday departure.
3. Luggage Your suitcase should weigh no more than 18 kilograms (or 39 pounds) and should be kept to a medium-sized one. Should you choose to utilise one suitcase between two persons then the maximum weight should again be no more that 18 kilograms. We reserve the right to impose charges for excess baggage weight. Health and Safety regulations may prevent suitcases weighing in excess of this from being lifted onto the coach. A small hold-all may also be taken on board the coach. On overnight hotel stops, ALL luggage must be removed from the coach for security reasons.
4. Lost property Any items of lost property found on our coaches will be handed into our office as soon possible. It is then available from there for collection. We cannot, however, accept responsibility for any items of lost property left on our coaches.
5. Brochure photography Much of the photographic material used in this brochure has been supplied by various British and European Tourist Boards and we thank them for their assistance. Some of the pictures are used to express the atmosphere of a particular destination or to inform of local attractions that are available and it should not be implied that any particular holiday itinerary includes places or attractions featured in photographic material on any brochure page. All images are protected under copyright by their respective owners. We would like to thank the companies and customers who provided images for use in the brochure: We would be pleased to publish photographs taken by our customers. If you wish to submit any for consideration, we, in return, shall be pleased to send you a holiday discount voucher and your picture will be fully acknowledged.
6. Errors and omissions Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this brochure at the time of printing we cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions.
©Sapphire Coach Holidays Ltd 2011.