Terms of Service

Booking Conditions and Contractual Terms

Your contract is with Gianluca Pardelli Einzelunternehmen (Geschäftsbezeichnung: Soviet Tours), a company registered in Germany.

Tax ID 14/466/02688

This company’s office is at Glogauer Strasse 32, 10999, Berlin, Germany.

Parties to this contract are:

1) Gianluca Pardelli Einzelunternehmen (Geschäftsbezeichnung: Soviet Tours), or the "Company” or “we”: the for-profit organisation appearing as travel agent (Reisevermittler) and/or tour operator (Reiseveranstalter) in the Booking Form, in the Correspondence with the Client, in the Tour Program, in the Secured Payment Certificate (Sicherungsschein) and in any other relevant document.

2) The Client or “you”: the person whose signature and details appear on the Booking Form.

The Contract is:

a) these Terms of Service;

b) the specific itinerary for the tour on which the Client has booked;

c) the booking form;

d) the additional Acceptance of Risk (if applicable);

e) any other additional document attached to the booking form.

The Date of Departure is the date of commencement of the tour.

Force Majeure is unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond the control of the Company, the consequences of which could not have been avoided, even if all due care had been exercised.

1. The Booking Form and Deposit

1.1 To make a booking for an escorted group tour with the Company the Client must send a completed booking form with a deposit of 300 Euros per person.

1.2 The above-mentioned deposit is non-refundable both in case of a cancellation of the tour by the Client and in case of a cancellation of the tour by the Company (force majeure). 

1.3 In some circumstances we will contact you for Interim payments where certain services such as flights have to be secured in advance.

1.4 The Contract between the Company and the Client will be final and binding on both parties with effect from the date that notification of the acceptance of the deposit has been sent by the Company to the Client.

1.5 We reserve the right for whatsoever reason to return the deposit to the client and refuse acceptance of the Client’s application. The Contract is subject to the following terms and conditions.

2. Balance of Payment

2.1 The client will pay the balance of the tour price no less than 50 days before the departure date. If this booking is made less than 50 days before the relevant departure date the Client must pay the tour price in full on booking.

2.2 In the case of International payments the Client will ensure that the full amount is received by the Company after all bank charges have been levied.

3. Failure to pay the Balance of Payment when due   

3.1 If the balance of the monies due from the Client to the Company is not paid 50 days prior to departure, we will treat the Contract as cancelled by the Client and retain the deposit.

3.2 Only if expressly agreed between the Company and the Client, the balance of the monies due from the Client to the Company may be divided in two instalments: a) a down payment amounting to 40% of the balance to be made at least 60 days prior to departure and b) a final payment amounting to 60% of the total balance to be made at least 30 days prior to departure.  

3.3 If the monies due from the Client of the Company has been only partially paid by the Client (down payment) but the balance of the monies due from the Client to the Company (final payment) is not paid 30 days prior to departure, we will treat the Contract as cancelled by the Client and retain the deposit as well as 50% of the down payment. 

4. Passports, Visas and Health Matters

4.1 Medical vaccinations, passports, visas and insurance policies are entirely your responsibility and must be arranged prior to departure.

4.2 We can take no responsibility for cancellation of your trip in the event that you are not allowed to fly, or continue your tour.

4.3 If you are unable to travel due to not being able to obtain (or not having) the appropriate visa we reserve the right to retain the cost of the trip.

4.4 If you are unable to travel due to not being admitted by the relevant immigration authorities we reserve the right to retain the cost of the trip.

5. Cancellation by the Client

5.1 The Client acknowledges that payment for the tour is an intrinsic part of the tour’s income and contributes to the overall cost of equipment, running costs, staffing and administration, and that the Company will have incurred the largest part of its costs before the actual date of departure. Cancellation by the Client must be in writing.

5.2 Deposits are non–refundable. If you cancel your booking, cancellation charges will be imposed as shown below:
a) 50 days or more prior to departure – loss of deposit only
b) 49-30 days before departure – 25% of tour cost
b) 29-15 days before departure – 75% of tour cost
c) Less than 15 days – 100% of tour cost

All cancellations must be in writing and be made by the person who signed the booking form.

5.3 After the departure date, no refund for any unused portion or part of the tour or services to be provided will be given.

5.4 If the client of their own volition makes any alterations to or departs from, any portion of part of the tour, such alteration or departure will be entirely at the Client’s expense and liability and the Client will forthwith communicate in writing the reason for leaving the tour guide.

6. Cancellation by the Company

6.1 We reserve the right to cancel your tour. However we will normally not do so unless we are forced to do so by virtue of unforeseen circumstances such as flight cancellations, civil or political unrest or “force majeure” or on group tours where minimum numbers have not been reached.

6.2 In the event of cancellation, we will offer you an alternative tour of an equivalent or lesser price; If this is not acceptable, the payments made to the Company in respect of the tour (with the exception of non-refundable deposits and airfares) will be reimbursed. We do not however accept liability from any incidental expenses you may incur as a result of cancellation or for any other loss or damage howsoever caused out of cancellation.

6.3 The Company will determine a minimum number required for the tour to take place and shall notify the client not less than 30 days prior to departure that the minimum numbers have not enrolled and the tour is cancelled. In which event all monies paid to the company will be reimbursed.

6.4 In the event of an airline canceling a flight, forcing the Company to cancel a tour, The Company will only reimburse monies it can retrieve. It is up to The Client to have suitable insurance to cover any additional losses.

6.5 To make a booking for an escorted group tour with the Company the Client must send a completed booking form with a deposit of 300 Euros per person; this deposit is non-refundable both in case of a cancellation of the tour by the Client and in case of a cancellation of the tour by the Company (force majeure). 

7. Acceptance of Risk

7.1 Clients are only accepted on the understanding that they fully accept, appreciate and understand the possible risks of a tour and that they agree to take these risks of their own free will. The Client acknowledges that there is a significant element of personal risk in participating on a tour. The Client accepts and consents to the personal risks inherent in the implementation of this contract, and accepts the limitations of the Company’s liability set out herein as being reasonable. In particular the extra risks involved in travelling in the countries/regions of Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Donbass, Central African Republic, Somalia and other countries against which the German Government Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt / Reisewarnungen) advises against all travels to these countries in regard to the possible dangers in these countries. Further that it is to be understood that in many places in which The Company operates as per the brochure standards of hygiene, accommodation facilities, safety and law enforcement may be very poor or less than in the Client’s own country.

7.2 The Company will do all that is reasonably possible in the uninsured and uninsurable countries to look after the welfare of each client, to assist in the event of the need for emergency evacuation of any client within the bounds of what is reasonable in the particular circumstances. These circumstances will mostly be dictated by terrain, access to transport and possible problems caused by banditry, war and/or terrorism and also the circumstances of the other group members. 

7.3 It is expected, and a commonsense and a reasonable requirement that Clients will carry emergency funds with them to cover any such emergency. The tour leader will also be carrying emergency funds on behalf of the Company.

7.4 For the aforementioned countries/regions, as long as they are under the German Government Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt / Reisewarnungen) advice ‘Reisewarnung / Teilreisewarnung’ and therefore not covered for Insurance purposes against War and Terrorism, the Company will not be held liable for any effects resulting from these causes. Clients will be deemed to have reasonably informed themselves of current situations in the countries, to have read the Company literature, and to have made up their own minds. These situations are expected to change in the future.

7.5 If any potential client is not prepared to accept these conditions and the often inability of the Company to change circumstances, for reasons beyond its control, then please do not book with us.

7.6 Today most of our clients posses some form of electronic device for contact purposes and also often their own website. The Company must insist that in the interests of their fellow clients, The Company and their staff and any local staff temporarily employed that the day to day schedule is not published daily on the Internet as we travel. That in particular local drivers photos are not displayed on the Internet. This applies particularly to Libya, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and he Central African Republic where you could be putting their lives at risk for associating with Foreigners. Common sense needs to be applied in the interests of the security of us all. Obviously this does not apply to communications between yourself and your friends and family. 

7.7 The Client acknowledges that they are responsible to make themselves aware through the German Government Foreign Office warnings (Auswärtiges Amt / Reisewarnungen)  and any other sources available to them in regard to the safety of the countries and areas in which they will be traveling and to make their decisions accordingly.

7.8 Whilst we will do our best to inform clients of relevant changes to the official German Travel Advice service (www.auswaertiges-amt.de), it is up to the Client, and not the Company, to know what the German Government Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt / Reisewarnungen)  recommends in relation to a certain country, or region of a country and to be adequately insured to travel there.

7.9 The Company accepts no liability if the Client a) chooses to cancel a booking because the German Government Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt / Reisewarnungen)  advises against it or b) is not adequately insured to travel.

7.10 The Company will not normally cancel a trip simply because the German Government Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt / Reisewarnungen) advises against travel.

7.11 For clients outside Germany the advice above stands and we only use the German Government Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt / Reisewarnungen) as a reference point in case of cancellations. This is unless the travel advice from your own government's state department offers advice which states that your nationality specifically is at danger if travelling to the region.

7.12 The Company reserves the right at any time to require the Client to produce a doctor’s certificate certifying that the Client is fit to participate in the tour.

8. Intermediation

8.1 For the countries and regions under the German Government Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt / Reisewarnungen) advice ‘Reisewarnung / Teilreisewarnung’ the Company will act solely and exclusively as intermediary travel agent and/or vacation reseller and/or travel broker (German: 'Reisevermittler' in compliance with § 651a BGB), hence not performing as a tour operator (German: 'Reiseveranstalter' in compliance with § 651a BGB). 

8.2 The Client will be explicitly informed about the actual role of the Company before proceeding with the payment of the deposit and/or confirming and/or finalising the booking of a tour. 

8.3 Furthermore the Client will be timely and appropriately informed about the details of the local tour agency operating the tour in case the Company will solely act as travel agent, hence not performing as tour operator. 

8.4 In compliance with § 651a BGB partial or total exclusion of liability applies in case of intermediation. 

9. Surcharges

9.1 The price of your holiday is subject to surcharges on the following items: government action, currency, fuel for road vehicles and increase in scheduled airfares and hotel charges. 

9.2 Prices quoted by the Company are subject to change if booking less than 6 weeks prior to departure; if the flight price has increased at the time of booking we reserve the right to pass this surcharge to the client.

10. Transfer of Booking by the Client

10.1 If prior to 50 days before departure, the client wishes to transfer from the tour they have booked to another available one, a transfer fee of 60 euros is payable and any additional costs incurred by the Company in respect of that charge. The Company will consider discretionary waiving of the transfer fee if the transfer is to a tour departing no later than the original tour booked.

10.2 Any transfer made by the client late than 50 days prior to departure will be subject to the Company’s discretion and subject to a 60 euros administration fee and any additional costs incurred by the Company in respect of that change. If for any reason the Company deems that transfer unfeasible then conditions relating to cancellation by the Client apply. (see paragraph 5)

10.3 Where the client is prevented from proceeding with the tour, the Client may transfer the booking to a person who satisfies all the conditions applicable to the tour, having first given the Company notice as soon as possible of their intention. The Transferee will sign a new booking form, and pay the transfer fee as defined in this clause.

10.4 The Client and the Transferee shall then be jointly and severally liable to the Company for payment of the balance under Clause 2 above and for any additional costs arising from such a transfer.

11. Changes by the Company

11.1 It is unlikely that the Company will have to make any changes to our published itineraries, but the arrangements are planned many months in advance. Occasionally changes may occur without prior notice, which the Company reserves the right to do at any time. A published itinerary constitutes only an indication of what the tour is planned to accomplish and is not to constitute a contractual obligation on the part of the Company.

11.2 The client agrees that the nature of the tours offered by the Company requires a degree of flexibility and that the contents and timings of the tour (including the arrival time at the tour’s destination, changes in route or method of transport) may be materially and consequently affected as a result of Force Majeure, weather, local political conditions, natural disasters (including landslides , quakes, and severe flooding), strikes, entry or border difficulties, mechanical breakdowns, flight cancellations, sickness or other unforeseen circumstances. You must be prepared to accept this flexibility and to accept that we cannot be held responsible for delays and alterations in the schedule, or for expenses incurred as a result of any delay or alterations arising from any such circumstances.

11.3 When a major change becomes necessary before the tour departure notification of such alterations will be sent to the clients last known address (e-mail or post) as soon as the Company becomes aware.

11.4 If a major change to an itinerary is necessary prior to commencement of the tour – including a date change – the Client will have the choice of either accepting the change of arrangements, taking another available tour from the Company, or canceling the tour and receiving a full refund provide that the major change is not due to flight cancellations, civil or political unrest or “Force Majeure” or any other reason beyond the control of the Company, and provided they do so within 14 days of notification.

11.5 However the Company reserves the right to alter itineraries after departure, without refund if it is in the interest of the Client to do so. No refund or compensation will be payable in respect of any unused hotel accommodation, air tickets or any other unused services on a tour.

12. Company and Client Responsibility

12.1 The Client’s booking is accepted on the understanding that they realize the potential risks and hazards that can be involved in tours of this kind including injury, loss or damage to property, discomfort and inconvenience.

12.2 Mode of transport: for each tour, the Company will use locally arranged transport including jeeps, coaches, buses, trains, river craft or helicopters as shown in the specific tour itinerary.
a) The Client agrees that the obligation of the Company to the Client is to select competent, Independent sub-contractors to provide reasonable transport given local conditions and any other services related to the Tour and to exercise reasonable care in selecting such suppliers.
b) The Client's booking is accepted only on the understanding that safety standards in the developing world are not the same as in the West and that things like safety belts are often unavailable.

12.3 Accommodation: We do our best to provide interesting and safe accommodation, however the Clients booking is again only accepted on the understanding that safety standards in the developing world are not the same as in the West and things like fire escapes are often not available.

12.4 Where the Client does not suffer personal injury, and is not as a result of “Force Majeure”, the Company accepts liability should any part of the tour arrangements booked with the Company not be supplied as described in the itinerary. In addition we do not accept liability for compensation should there be no fault on the part of the Company or its suppliers and the reason for the failure in the tour arrangements was the client's fault, the actions of someone unconnected with the tour arrangements or could not have been foreseen or avoided by the Company or its suppliers even if all due care had been exercised. Where the client does suffer personal injury or death as a result of an activity forming part of the tour arrangements booked with the Company, the same rules apply.

12.5 Our responsibility does not start until you meet the group at the designated start point overseas; usually the airport in the city at the start of the trip. We are not responsible for any additional expenses incurred by you in getting to the meeting point.

13. Travel Insurance

13.1 The Client will effect and maintain sufficient and appropriate cancellation, curtailment, medical expenses and third party liability insurance in respect of the Client and dependent relatives, and insurance to cover loss of, damage to or theft of the Client's baggage, no later than the date on which the balance payment is due. The tour is a journey of a hazardous nature and the Client must be satisfied that such insurance fully covers all personal requirements including medical expenses, repatriation, helicopter rescue and air ambulance in the event of accident or illness.

13.2 The Company expressly disclaims any and all liability for customer’s damages for emotional distress, mental suffering, or psychological injury of any kind, under any circumstances.

13.3 We have no responsibility in whole or part and customer agrees we are not liable for any and all liability or claims for any occurrences including but not limited to any delay, loss, accidents, personal injury, political unrest, sickness, medical expenses or property damage occurring on tour.

13.4 We therefore strongly advise customer to obtain sufficient insurance that, in the event of any possible risk, will provide sufficient cover for customer and if applicable, any dependents he or she is traveling with. It is your responsibility to ensure that the insurance coverage includes, but is not limited to, medical and health cover for an injury or sudden illness while on a tour, 24 hour emergency service and assistance (including repatriation if you become too ill to continue the tour), cancellation and curtailment, lost and stolen possessions cover, and personal liability cover. Any claims must be directed towards your insurers.

13.5 The insurance policy and the receipt of premiums paid there will be produced to the Company prior to departure and to the tour guide on day one of the tour. If you join the holiday without adequate insurance you may not be allowed to continue on the holiday, with no right to refund. If circumstances give rise to a claim the client will forthwith pursue his remedies under such policy(ies).

13.6 The Client will also produce to the Company prior to departure the details of the name, address and telephone numbers of their next of kin or persons to be notified in the event of an emergency.

13.7 The insurance cover should extend for the planned duration of the tour and at least an additional day.

13.8 Some of the countries and regions we travel to are considered war zones or crisis areas. A standard travel insurance usually does not cover this kind of places and the Client might be required to take out a special insurance for high risk destinations. 

13.9 On paper internationally unrecognised countries are regarded by any insurer as integral part of the country they broke away from; in practice, however, a standard travel insurance might lose its validity once you enter contested regions and disputed territories.

14. Company Tour Leader

14.1 The Company will appoint the Tour Leader(s) who will represent the Company, and the Client agrees to accept the decisions of the Tour Leader who shall have absolute discretion and authority to secure implementation of the Company’s obligations under the Contract.

14.2 If your physical condition or behavior is such as to affect the wellbeing of yourself or other members of the group, you may be asked to leave the tour without recourse to refund or other compensation.

15. Compliance with Legislation

15.1 The client will comply at their expense and their liability with all legislation, visa requirements, and immigration, customs and foreign exchange regulations of the countries visited. Should there be any failure to comply or any contravention by the Client of such laws, requirement or regulations, subject to the provisions of this contract, the Company shall have the right to require the Client to leave the tour without recourse to refund or other compensation.

15.2 The client is required to follow local laws and regulations at all times. In the result of a breach of local law, we will not be held in any way responsible and the customer will take responsibility for any consequences, financial or otherwise, that arise from their actions.

15.3 Customers are required to follow the guidance and company rules of Gianluca Pardelli Einzelunternehmen (Geschäftsbezeichnung: Soviet Tours) at all times.

15.4 We reserve the right to expel without refund, those customers who refuse to abide by company policies.

16. Complaints

16.1 We will always endeavour to resolve a complaint as it arises. In order to do this we need to be made aware of the complaint. The client agrees to the following procedure:
a) The Client will ensure at the earliest opportunity any perceived failure in the performance, or improper performance in the Contract, whether by the Company or its suppliers, is communicated to the Company’s Team Leader or the Company's Berlin Office as soon as possible. The Company and the Client will then make prompt efforts to resolve the complaint.
b) The client agrees to give written details of any unresolved serious complaint to the Team Leader.
c) In the event that the complaint remains unresolved then the Client agrees to set out their complaint in writing to the Company within 7 days of completion of the tour.

16.2 The client agrees that these provisions are reasonable and that any failure by the Client to comply with them will, at the Company's discretion, exclude any rights arising out of this contract.

17. General Conditions

17.1 No persons, save with the express permission in writing of a Company Director of Gianluca Pardelli Einzelunternehmen (Geschäftsbezeichnung: Soviet Tours) has the authority or is empowered to waive or vary any of these conditions.

17.2 The Client acknowledges that prior to Contract they have been given general information on passport and visa requirements for the tour and of the health formalities required, and knows of no reason that would cause the client to be unable to comply with these requirements.

17.3 This Contract shall be construed in accordance with German law and the parties irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the German Courts to settle any disputes, which may arise out of or in connection with this contract.

18. Validity

18.1 The Client subscribes to the present Contract and accepts and commits to these Terms of Service upon booking a tour with the Company and paying to the Company the deposit for the said tour.

18.2 These Terms of Service become effective from the moment the deposit required to finalise the booking has been paid by the Client (as specified above in 18.1) and remain valid until the completion of the tour.

18.3 The invalidity and ineffectiveness of one or more of the clauses in the present Terms of Service and its attachments (Financial Protection and Privacy Policy), also deriving from amendments to the current laws and regulations, shall not affect the validity of these Terms of Service as a whole.

18.4 In such event, the present Terms of Service shall be interpreted and integrated as if they contained all the clauses that allow the essential purpose of the agreement between the Client and the Company to be achieved in compliance with the law.

18.5 In case the Company fails to exercise its contractually attributed rights and powers on a specific occasion, this event shall in no way be interpreted as a waiver of such rights or powers, nor prevent the Company from demanding and defending them in the future.

18.6 In case the Client fails to exercise his/her contractually attributed rights and powers on a specific occasion, this event shall in no way be interpreted as a waiver of such rights or powers, nor prevent the Client from demanding and defending them in the future.