• About Us
  • Blog
  • Store
  • Contact
  • Login

Expedition Terms & Conditions

Your reservation on an Oceanic Society Expedition is subject to our General Terms & Conditions (below) and the following Liability and Release. Please read these carefully and contact us with any questions or concerns.

In traveling to and from any expedition and during the expedition itself, there are certain risks and dangers, including but not limited to the hazards arising from the forces of nature, from living aboard ship, from accident or illness without medical facilities, and from travel itself. In consideration of, and as part payment for, the right to participate in any expedition, I hereby voluntarily assume all of those and all other reasonably foreseeable hazards which may be encountered on an expedition, including acts of God, detention, annoyance, weather, quarantines, strikes, civil disturbance, theft, government regulations, etc. I agree to hold Oceanic Society Expeditions harmless from any and all liability, actions, causes of action, debts, claims and demands of every kind and nature whatsoever, including but not limited to those arising from any loss, injury, damage, or inconvenience to person or property in connection with any expedition.

Reservations are limited and on a first-come basis. To reserve space on an expedition, you must return a signed application form and pay a DEPOSIT of US$750 per person, per trip (US$1,000 per person, per trip for liveaboard trips), payable online through our website or via check.

A SECOND PAYMENT of $1,000 per person, per trip is due 180 days (6 months) prior to departure ($2,000 per person, per trip for liveaboard trips)

FULL PAYMENT of the total price of the expedition is due no later than 120 days (4 months) before departure.

We reserve the right to cancel if payment is not made on time. In such cases, all payments are nonrefundable.

Late Bookings: A special handling fee of $50 may apply to bookings received within 30 days of trip date.

Cancellations: If you cancel your space, it must be in writing and is effective the day we receive it in our office. Your cancellation will entitle you to a refund of any deposit or payment made to us, less a cancellation fee, according to the following schedule:

Please note: All cancellation fees are enforced on a per person basis. Deposit terms for liveaboard programs have stricter guidelines, as well as a higher penalty for last minute cancellation. Liveaboard cruise dates are reserved sometimes 2 years in advance. Oceanic Society is agreeing to pay for the full vessel at the specific charter date regardless of how many sign-ups we have. In addition, liveaboard charter companies require larger holding deposits further out from the start date that are non-refundable to us (cannot be recovered). Some costs are occasionally recoverable, depending on the supplier.

Effective Cancellation Date Per Person Cancellation Fee Per Person Cancellation Fee
(liveaboard programs)
• 180 days or more prior to departure • $150 • $300
• 120 to 179 days prior to departure • $500 • 100% of deposit
• 90 to 119 days prior to departure • 50% of expedition fee • 50% of expedition fee
• 60 to 89 days prior to departure • 75% of expedition fee • 100% of expedition fee
• 59 days or less prior to departure • 100% of expedition fee • 100% of expedition fee

Note: For expeditions listed as a package which includes airfare as part of the package, cancellation fees apply to the entire expedition cost, including air and land cost.

Transfers: You may transfer from one trip to another six months prior to departure at no charge. If you transfer less than six months prior to departure, you are subject to the stated cancellation fees.

Cancelled Trips: We reserve the right to cancel any trip prior to scheduled departure due to under subscription or logistical problems (vessel breakdown, strikes, etc.). You may transfer to another expedition or we will refund all payments made to Oceanic Society in full. In no event, however, shall our liability exceed the obligation to refund the amount you paid to us. Trip cancellation due to under subscription normally occurs at a minimum of two months prior to departure. Please refer to "Travel Protection Policy" and "Budget Air Fare Caution."

Refunds: Refunds will not be given for unused airline tickets, hotel rooms, meals, sightseeing trips or expedition arrangements for any reason. Expedition costs are quoted as a package; credits are not given for services not used.

Trip Cost Includes: Accommodations, some group flights and airport transfers as specified in the trip itinerary, excursions, most entrance fees, leadership, crew, local guides, most permits and most meals, unless otherwise indicated in the itinerary. Oceanic Society reserves the right to make any changes in the itinerary or to substitute hotels, modes of transport, or guides, for those mentioned in the literature.

Trip Cost Does Not Include: The cost of international air to the tour starting point, unless otherwise indicated in the itinerary, airport taxes, passport and visa fees, immunizations, insurance of any kind, alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, laundry, gratuities, excess baggage, items of a personal nature, medical costs, costs of hospitalization, additional expenses arising from the delay or extension of a trip due to weather, political disputes, illness, failure of transportation, or other causes beyond our control.

Air and Land Cost Combined: On some of our expeditions, airfare and land cost are combined. In order to offer you special low cost airfares, we work with specific carriers for group bookings.

Trip Cost: We reserve the right to raise the trip fee if there are exceptional cost increases beyond our control. Live-aboard programs occasionally add a fuel surcharge that may result in an additional expense.

Travel Protection Policy: We strongly recommend you obtain Traveler's and Trip Cancellation / Interruption Insurance to protect yourself and your equipment. Forms are available through our office or your insurance broker. Travel insurance may reimburse you for nonrefundable air and expedition costs should you cancel or interrupt your trip. To waive pre-existing condition limitation, call Travelex (800-228-9792) at the time you pay your deposit.

Accommodations: Land accommodations are based on double occupancy, unless otherwise indicated in the trip description. Most vessel accommodations are double but some are triple or quadruple occupancy. Cabins on charter vessels vary greatly in size, amenity and privacy.

Single Travelers: Single travelers wishing to share: if you are a single traveler wishing to share accommodations, we will try to match you with a roommate. If no roommate becomes available, you must pay the Single Supplement Fee listed in the trip description.

If you request a single, private room you must pay the Single Supplement Fee listed in the trip description regardless of sign-up date. Please note that single accommodations are not always available.

Airline Clause: The airlines and/or travel agencies concerned are not to be held responsible for any act, omission or event during the time the passengers are not aboard the aircraft. The passenger tickets in use by the airlines when issued shall constitute the sole contract between the airline and the purchaser of these tickets or the passenger. Money paid to Oceanic Society Expeditions for air tickets is money paid in trust to the airlines and Oceanic Society Expeditions can assume no responsibility for fluctuations in price or scheduling, and in the event of a default, clients must look to the airline for refunds.

Budget Airfare Caution: We recommend against buying non-refundable airline tickets until your trip departure has been confirmed (usually a minimum of 90 days before departure). Budget air tickets often carry restrictions, and you risk penalties in the event of itinerary or date changes, or trip cancellation. Please call for departure confirmation before buying a high-penalty airline ticket.

Tier Pricing: If applicable, tier pricing will be offered to permit a trip's departure with fewer than our minimum signups.

Withdrawal: Oceanic Society Expeditions reserves the right to require any participant to withdraw from an expedition at any time if the expedition director deems his/her acts or conduct to be detrimental to or incompatible with the interest, harmony, comfort or welfare of the expedition. In such cases no refund will be given.

Medical: Although Oceanic Society trips are not physically demanding, you must be in general good health to participate. It is the passengers' responsibility to judge the appropriateness of their physical capabilities to these travel activities. Anyone with medical problems or restrictions must make them known to us well in advance of the trip and should have a personal supply of any special medications they may need. The trip leader has the right to disqualify any member from the group at any time if considered medically necessary; no refund will be made under such circumstances. Oceanic Society Expeditions and its affiliates take no responsibility for special arrangements required by passengers physically unable to complete a trip and assume no liability regarding provision of medical care or medical evacuation.

Oceanic Society has partnered with Divers Alert Network and encourages all participants to purchase a DAN Membership (available for purchase here) which offers medical evacuation coverage on any trip taken. Contact our office for more information.

Tour Operator Release: On some expeditions you will need to sign an additional tour operator release form.

Smoking: Participants may not smoke below decks on our chartered vessels, in buses or cars. If rooming with a non-smoker, smokers may not smoke in rooms.

Children on Trips: Oceanic Society trips are adult-oriented, but some may be suitable for children, depending on the child's age and experience. With the exception of our specialized high school program, anyone under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Please call before sending a trip deposit for anyone under 18 years of age.

Suppliers of Services: Oceanic Society Expeditions is performing a non-profit service by informing potential participants of worthwhile expeditions. However, Oceanic Society Expeditions is acting independently and has no business association as partner or joint venture with any boat owner, resort, hotel, carrier or other services. Any and all claims for inadequate performance or nonperformance of such services may be made against the supplier of those services but shall not be made against Oceanic Society Expeditions.

Baggage: Weight limits and other restrictions imposed by air carriers vary considerably from trip to trip. Oceanic Society Expeditions cannot assume any responsibility for loss or damage to baggage or personal property (see "Insurance") or charge for excess baggage.

SCUBA: Certification through a nationally recognized agency is required to participate in scuba activities.