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.

Liability and Release:

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.

General Terms & Conditions


Reservations are limited and on a first-come basis. To reserve space on an expedition, you must return a signed reservations form and a traveler questionnaire (a link to this will be provided on your invoice) and pay a DEPOSIT of US$750 per person, per trip (US$1,500 per person, per trip for liveaboard trips), payable online through our website or via check.

A SECOND DEPOSIT of US$1,000 per person, per trip ($2,500 per person, per trip for liveaboard trips), is due 180 days (6 months) prior to departure.

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. Credit Cards (Visa, Master Card, Discover, and American Express) and checks are accepted for deposits. All payments must be made in U.S. Dollars.


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 below schedule. You may also transfer from one trip to another up to six months prior to the departure date at no charge; however, if you transfer less than six months prior to trip departure, you are subject to the stated cancellation fees. Cancellation fee 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).

Effective Cancellation DatePer Person Cancellation Fee
• 180 days or more prior to departure• 50% of deposit payment
• 120 to 179 days prior to departure• 75% of deposit payment
• 119 days or less prior to departure• 100% of expedition fee

Note: Cancellation fees apply to the entire expedition cost, including any air and land costs.


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. Please refer to “Travel Protection Policy” and “Budget Air Fare Caution” for additional cautions.

Late Bookings

A special handling fee of $50 per person may apply to bookings received within 30 days of trip date.


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. If we can manage to sell the cancelled spaces, we will work to refund any costs that are recoverable.

Trip Cost


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.

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, air fare and land cost are combined. In order to offer you special low cost air fares, we work with specific carriers for group bookings.

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

Travel Protection

Now’s the time to consider purchasing a travel protection plan to protect your trip investment. For more information on the available plans or to enroll, click here or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 05-2806.

Travel Insurance is underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company (formerly known as Stonewall Insurance Company), 1314 Douglas Street, Suite 1400, Omaha, NE 68102. 11.17 W20.


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 120-90 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.


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.

Wildlife Sightings

Wildlife is wild and nature experiences are never guaranteed. Although we try to recommend certain periods as “Best time to go” we cannot guarantee that you will experience what you have come for.

Because we work with wild animals in their natural habitat our success rate depends on Nature. We therefore ask you to make allowances for any changes from the tour itinerary. If we are unable to offer a certain service due to an unforeseen wildlife situation or weather condition, an alternative activity suitable for the current conditions will be provided. Please note that changes may occur at a short notice, even on the same day.


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 forms.


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. 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.

Photographic Release

Oceanic Society Expeditions may take photographs or videos during your trip for the purposes of sharing information about our travel programs with the public. By participating in an Oceanic Society Expedition, you understand that you may be photographed, filmed, or videotaped and you hereby give Oceanic Society Expeditions the right use your likeness, image, photo (collectively, “image”), without compensation, for any legitimate use without limitation or reservation.


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.


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

California Seller of Travel Registration No.: 2129744-40

Registration as a Seller of Travel does not constitute approval by the State of California. Oceanic Society Expeditions is not a participant in the California Travel Consumer Restitution Fund. California law requires certain Sellers of Travel to have a trust account or bond. Oceanic Society Expeditions has such a trust account.