Terms & Conditions
The following terms and conditions have been drafted with the intention of ensuring that the relation of Distant Horizons Limited (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Company’) with the customer is clear and fair to both parties.
The term “Holiday’ or ‘Holidays’ means any type of transportation and/or accommodation and/or any excursion booked by a customer through the Company or through another travel agent selling or offering for sale any means of transportation and/or accommodation and/or excursion under an agreement with the Company. The terms and conditions come into force from the time of the payment of the deposit.
1. Your reservation
Once agreement has been reached by exchange of email and the agreed deposit has been paid, a receipt will be issued by the Company and the confirmation to proceed is deemed to have been approved. The customer/s warrants that he/she has read, fully understood and accepted these terms and conditions. The booking is also deemed to have been confirmed in respect of all parties accompanying the booking customer. At this stage, the Company shall make all the necessary arrangements for the holiday to be reserved. This deposit is non-refundable as it will be used to cover flights which are usually non-refundable (depending on the cancellation policies of the airline/s involved) as well as initial deposits on land arrangements, cruises etc. which may also be non-refundable.
Prices may vary from time to time according to availability. Both the Company and the customer/s agree and acknowledge that until the confirmation to proceed is received the actual price of the chosen holiday may have varied from the price initially quoted, in which case the price of the holiday will vary accordingly. Parts of the holiday package price can change between confirmation to proceed by the customer and actual booking of the services by the company. In this situation the changes will be discussed with the customer. If the customer does not accept the price change the Company will refund the deposit. Following this, the cost of the customer/s holiday cannot be revised except in the case of currency exchange rate fluctuations and / or variation of dues, taxes and/or levies and / or fees chargeable for services such as landing taxes or embarkation or disembarkation fees at ports and airports and / or transport cost variations, including the cost of fuel.
3. Our assurance on standards and assumption of liability
The information and descriptions of services are based on data provided by hoteliers and service providers as well as information obtained through their respective websites. Standard hotel rooms and ship cabins tend to be small. Distant Horizons Limited works with hotels having single or twin / double bedded rooms. Triple or quadruple bedded rooms may not be available. A third or fourth person wanting to share a twin / double bedded room, will most probably be either given a small extra folding ‘camp’ bed or a bunk bed or sofa bed, which can make accommodation quite cramped. In America, three or four persons wanting to share a room will invariably be given just two matrimonial beds, (separate beds for each person are not available). When two persons book a room for two, the Company reserves the right to provide either two separate beds, or a matrimonial bed. Although meal plans and itinerary inclusions such as entrance fees etc. are clearly indicated on the quote and will be adhered to as much as possible there may be occasions where changes have to be made For instance the seasonal nature of the facility, service, excursion or entertainment, bad weather, natural calamity or any other act of God, essential maintenance or cleaning, legislation or enactment of new legislation, or religious or state restrictions may affect the actual availability of particular facilities, services, excursions or entertainment.
Similarly, itineraries may have to be changed sometimes at short notice, due to weather, road or traffic conditions, mechanical breakdowns, police activity as well as any other circumstances beyond the relevant party’s control. The general standard of hygiene, public utilities, drainage, plumbing and services in some countries may not be of the same standards as applicable in Malta.
Cruise companies reserve the right to change the itinerary due to bad weather or industrial action, in which case neither the cruise company nor Distant Horizons Limited or their agents & representatives are liable to pay any form of compensation or damages for the missed ports or the change of programme or itinerary.
Even though such occurrences are unusual, the Company feels that it should act diligently towards its customers by informing them of such possibilities accordingly. Whilst the Company has taken all reasonable steps to ensure that proper arrangements have been made for the holiday according to the itinerary, the Company has no control over the provision of services to the customer/s by other supplier/s.
4. If we have to alter your holiday arrangements
(a) Prior to departure date
Changes to confirmed holiday arrangements sometimes have to be made. Most changes will be insignificant, and we have the right to make these. (e.g. flight timings may change, hotels may be overbooked etc.). Where an insignificant change is made before departure, we will notify you in writing. No compensation is payable for insignificant changes. Occasionally, before departure, we may be constrained by circumstances beyond our control to make a significant alteration to any of the main characteristics of the travel services which form part of your confirmed booking.
Significant changes are likely to include the following changes when made before departure; a change of accommodation to that of a lower official classification or standard for the whole or a major part of the time you are away or a change of accommodation area for the whole or a major part of the time you are away. Please note a change affecting a stay in a hotel during a tour where the hotel itself is not the focus of the tour, does not constitute a significant change. If we have to significantly alter any of the main characteristics of your confirmed arrangements, we will provide you in writing as soon as possible the proposed alteration(s) and any impact they have on the price.
(b) Throughout duration of holiday
Occasionally, due to unforeseen circumstances a hotel or some other holiday arrangement/s may have to be changed throughout the duration of the customer’s holiday, in which eventuality the Company will use its best endeavours to maintain the overall standard of the Holiday arrangements.
5. Cancellation of holiday arrangements
The Company may have to cancel the customer’s holiday arrangements for various reasons. The Company reserves the right to cancel the customer’s holiday under any circumstance, in which eventuality, the Company will refund all the money paid by the customer/s to the Company.
We may also cancel a trip at any time prior to departure due to unavoidable and extraordinary external events beyond our control. Unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances mean a situation which is beyond our control, the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken. In circumstances where the cancellation is due to unavoidable and extraordinary external events outside our control refunds will be less any unrecoverable costs. Unavoidable and extraordinary external events include (but are not limited to) actual or threatened war, insurrection, riots, strikes, civil action, decisions by governments or governing authority, technical or maintenance problems with transport, changes of schedules or operational decisions of air carriers, terrorist activity, industrial action, natural disasters, natural or nuclear activity, epidemics/pandemics, adverse weather conditions and fire.
We are not responsible for any incidental expenses that you may have incurred as a result of your booking including but not limited to visas, vaccinations, travel insurance excess or non-refundable flights.
6. Your flight & vouchers
Details of the routing the Company anticipates utilizing are set out in the quotation/detailed itinerary. The Company reserves the right to make arrangements and substitute for alternative airlines and/or aircraft if the need arises in the best interest of the client.
Flight timings are subject to alteration at any time. The Company will do its utmost to inform its clients of any changes which have been communicated to it by the airlines . Certain flights may be subject to intermediate stops en route and as the circumstances giving rise to such intermediate stops are not always notified to the Company prior to the departure date, the Company is not always in a position to inform the customer/s in advance. All flights are non-smoking. Flights are subject to the necessary authorizations, permits and licenses being granted by the relevant authorities in Malta and overseas. Should the customer’s flight arrangements be changed or cancelled, the Company shall not be held liable for any damages, additional costs or consequential loss arising, directly or indirectly, from any independent contract arrangements between the customer and any third party.
The customer is also requested to check his/her hotel vouchers, excursion vouchers and/or any other vouchers relating in any manner to the Holiday upon receipt.
7. Terms and conditions of carriage
Transport of any kind is subject to the terms and conditions of carriage of the company providing that trip or journey. Such terms and conditions are likely to particularly include or make reference to the provisions of the law of the country of the carrier (airline, coach, ship etc.) and/or be the subject of international conventions with government/s, any of which may exclude or limit the liability of the carrier.
8. Health and vaccinations
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risk vary worldwide. The customer should take health advice about his/her specific needs as early as possible and ensure that vaccinations and preventive measures, such as malaria prophylaxis, are taken early enough prior to departure in order to be fully effective by departure date. We strongly advise customers to consult the relevant medical authorities as early as possible.
9. Booking and deposits
Upon confirmation by the customer of acceptance of the quotation by email passport copies must be supplied and the specified deposit paid. The person sending the confirmation email confirms that he/she has the authority of all other persons specified in the email to effect the booking on their behalf and that such persons grant their authority to the said booking customer to accept and agree to this Agreement on their behalf. The person effecting the booking is also accepting this Agreement on his/her own behalf.
The deposit is part payment of the holiday cost. The deposit required will be shown on the quotation page of your itinerary. In addition to the deposit, full or part payment of certain elements of your holiday will be required at some point between booking and balance due date (“Interim Payments”) which may also be non-refundable depending on the cancellation policies of the suppliers.
10. Balance of payment
A payment schedule is agreed upon with each client. If the customer fails to pay the Company the amount due on the customer’s holiday in full by the due date, the Company shall be under no legal obligation to supply the customer with his/her holiday, so it is up to the customer to ensure that he/she pays the Company on time. If for any reason the balance on the customer’s Holiday is not received by the Company by the due date, the Company reserves the right to cancel the booking and levy a cancellation charge, as though there had been a cancellation on the part of the customer/s.
Payments by credit card are not accepted (with certain exceptions). No payments by cheque shall be accepted less than 14 days before the scheduled departure date.
11. If you change your holiday
Should the customer wish to change his/her Holiday arrangements in any manner, the Company shall attempt to accommodate the customer’s wishes. however we cannot guarantee that such changes can be made. Where a change can be made, we will charge for any additional costs incurred including any costs imposed or incurred by any of our suppliers and including for example cancellation charges that may be incurred for sectors cancelled. You should note, for example, that a change of name on or other alteration to an airline ticket will usually incur a 100% cancellation charge and full rebooking fee.
12. Transfer of booking
You may transfer your place on your booking to another person (introduced by you) provided the person to whom the place is to be transferred satisfies all conditions which form part of your agreement with us. Where the transfer can be made, all reasonable costs and charges incurred by us and/or incurred or imposed by any of our suppliers as a result must be paid before the transfer can be effected. For flight inclusive bookings, you must pay the charges levied by the airline concerned. As most airlines do not permit name changes after tickets have been issued for any reason, these charges are likely to be the full cost of the flight for the person concerned.
13. If you cancel your holiday
You may cancel your confirmed booking at any time prior to departure. Where you wish to do so, written notification of your cancellation must be sent to us by email. As proof of receipt you must ensure you receive and retain written acknowledgement from Distant Horizons.
A cancellation must be received from each person(s) travelling in the group. The cancellation shall be effective from the date all confirmations of cancellation are received at the Company’s office.
If you wish to cancel your booking, you will be charged a cancellation fee calculated as a percentage of the total holiday cost. The percentage payable depends on the date your written notification(s) is/are received and acknowledged by Distant Horizons (see table below). In the event of cancellation, please note that any deposits made as set out in section 9 and 10 above are non-refundable, unless such amounts are recoverable from suppliers as we shall endeavour to mitigate these to the extent we can reasonably do so.
In respect of cancellation of part of your booking, the cancellation charge payable by you will comprise any direct cancellation costs and charges we incur as a result of such cancellation, our reasonable administration costs of dealing with the cancellation arrangements, plus any Advance Payments in connection with the cancelled part of the holiday to the extent not already paid, although we shall endeavour to mitigate these to the extent we can reasonably do so.
With respect to alterations or cancellations by you after commencement of travel and unused services, we will do our best to implement any changes to your arrangements you request once they have commenced, but we cannot guarantee this will be possible. In the event of such amendments being made you will be liable for any direct cancellation charges that may be levied for the services originally booked, and for the cost of booking the revised arrangements and the arrangements themselves. We cannot guarantee refunds will be paid to clients who do not complete a tour. However, where we ourselves are able to obtain a refund from hotels or principals for services not used, we will pass this on to you, less any reasonable administration charges.
If the reason for your cancellation falls within the terms of your insurance cover, you may be able to claim a refund of your cancellation charges from the insurance company.
In calculating cancellation fees, we have taken account of the costs incurred by us in arranging and booking the holiday and our reasonable administration costs of dealing with the cancellation arrangements.
The cancellation charges are calculated as follows:
Cancellation Notification Date Cancellation Fee
(no of days prior to departure) (% of total holiday cost)
31 - 90 30%
22 - 30 50%
15 - 21 90%
0 - 14 100%
plus, any advance payments (the deposit and interim payments) made as set out in sections 9 and 10 above unless such amounts are recovered from suppliers as we shall endeavour to mitigate these to the extent we can reasonably do so. To the extent we can mitigate these losses, they will be deducted from the above total. The cancellation fee will be capped at the total cost of the holiday and will never exceed this amount.
Note in the case of a Cancellation Notification Date which is 0-14 days prior to the departure date, this will be a flat 100% fee given the close proximity to travel, and very high likelihood that we cannot mitigate any costs at this point.
In case of actual or potential epidemics/pandemics, natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, floods, etc., or political turmoil, riots, civil and industrial action, technical or maintenance problems with transport, changes of schedules or operational decisions of air carriers, terrorist activities, actual or threatened war in a neighbouring country, nuclear activity, etc., clients will not have a right to cancel their holiday without incurring full cancellation fees as specified in these General Conditions unless either the country that is at risk or actually affected issues an official state of emergency for the area to which the Client is travelling, or the Maltese Foreign Office issues instructions that disallow Maltese citizens to travel to a particular country or area of a country. In case that a trip (or part of a trip) has to be cancelled for the above reasons, the Company will try its very best to recuperate all the funds possible on behalf of its Clients, but the Clients cannot hold the Company responsible for parts of the funds or of the holiday lost as a consequence of the above events.
It is strongly recommended that all customers take out a travel insurance policy at the time of booking. Depending on the detail of your policy, you may be able to recover the cancellation charges less any excess on your travel insurance policy. Never travel without insurance, the unexpected can always happen. It is your responsibility to ensure you are adequately covered by insurance for all elements of your trip. Please read your policy and take it on holiday with you. We cannot be held responsible for any injuries you may suffer during any activities.
15.The customer’s responsibilities
It is the responsibility of the customer who effected the booking to verify and ensure that they and the person/s on whose behalf they are booking are:
(a) in possession of valid passports (some countries and cruise lines require passports to be valid for at least 6 months beyond intended stay) and any appropriate visas. Additionally, it is the customers responsibility to check that all names and surnames printed on ANY travel document be it airline / hotel / cruise / transfer etc... matches perfectly the name and surname as documented on the respective passport. The company shall NOT be responsible for any denied boarding / missed connection which the client may experience as a direct result of discrepancies between the name and surname as listed on the passport and the name and surname as listed on ANY travel document issued by the company be it airline / hotel / cruise / transfer etc.
(b) to make sure that they check passport and visa requirements as well as health formalities with the competent authorities well in advance of their scheduled departure.
(c) responsible for any charges, fines, damages and any other claims and liability that may be levied or put forward by any Maltese or foreign authority or entity for non-compliance with the laws and/or regulations in the relevant area and any such amounts will be recharged to the customer.
Additionally, it is the customer’s responsibility to check all itinerary routing prior to travel especially in the case of routing restrictions which are a direct result of international geopolitical realities and / or sanctions.
It is the customer’s responsibility to verify with the relevant medical authorities as to what vaccinations and inoculations are advisable for the chosen destination.
Airline regulations state that women twenty-eight weeks or more into pregnancy at the time of return travel must have a medical certificate revealing fitness to travel.
The booking customer shall ensure and be responsible for a reasonable standard of behaviour by himself/herself and by those persons for whom he/she has booked. The Company reserves the right to decline to accept or retain any person/s as a customer/s if his/her behaviour is, in the Company’s opinion or in the opinion of the airline pilot, hotelier or accommodation proprietor or manager or other person in authority, likely to cause distress, danger, damage or annoyance to other customers, employees, other people or to property. The customer fully and unconditionally understands and agrees that the Company in such circumstances shall not be held liable in any manner, including but not limited to liability to pay any refund, costs, compensation or damages, alternative travel arrangements, incurred by any person whose behaviour is accordingly deemed to be unacceptable.
Although there are some exceptions, usually any and all children travelling on a reduced price Holiday must be less than 12 years of age at the date of travel. The Company does not normally check passports to verify the dates of birth of a customer, including children. Should a customer booked as a child result to be twelve years or older on the date of travel, he/she will not be permitted to board the plane/ship/catamaran.
16. Special customers & circumstances
Customers are kindly advised to inform the Company before booking if they have any disability or pre-existing medical condition and the Company will do its best to accommodate accordingly. In addition, we will not be responsible where you do not enjoy your holiday or suffer any problems because of a reason you did not tell us about when you booked your holiday.
Should you have any complaints about any aspect of your holiday arrangements while abroad, you must inform our local representative or tour leader immediately and the supplier of the arrangements concerned. Problems can most easily be dealt with on the spot. Please note, if you do not report a problem or complaint which, if it had been reported at the time it occurred could have been resolved there and then we cannot accept any liability in respect of that problem or complaint.
The Company will do its utmost to ensure that its customers have an enjoyable holiday. However, should the customer have any difficulty or complaint relating to the their holiday while abroad, the customer must inform our local representative or tour leader immediately and the supplier of the arrangements concerned as well as the Company in order for the matter to be investigated and seen to as soon as possible. Problems can most easily be dealt with on the spot. Please note, if you do not report a problem or complaint which, if it had been reported at the time it occurred could have been resolved there and then we cannot accept any liability in respect of that problem or complaint.
In the unlikely event that an acceptable solution cannot be found, you should then write to us within 7 days of your return with full details of your complaint. The Company shall not accept any liability in respect of claims received by it in writing after the aforementioned 7 day period and/or which have not been reported as bove-mentioned.
All disputes arising from this package will be subject to Maltese law and adjudicated by the Maltese Courts.
18. Schedules, attachments, applicable law and jurisdiction
Any schedules and attachments to this Agreement shall form an integral part thereof and shall be read, construed, understood and applicable as one document. This Agreement shall be interpreted and construed in accordance with Maltese Law and the Maltese Courts/Tribunals shall have exclusive jurisdiction over any claim or dispute under this Agreement.
Apart from the customer making the booking, any and all persons in respect of whom and on whose behalf the customer making the booking has effected a booking in respect of a Holiday, shall also be considered to be customers and all the clauses in this Agreement, including any schedules and attachments thereto shall be applicable in the same manner and to the same extent in respect thereof as they are applicable in respect of the customer who effected the booking.
20. Insolvency fund
Distant Horizons Ltd is a participant in the Insolvency Fund. This fund protects you when purchasing a package holiday. You are to ensure that a certificate is issued as this is the only legal document that will provide you with the necessary protection.