Terms and Conditions of Travel of NATUCATE GmbH effective as of 01/07/2018.
On conclusion of a legally binding package travel contract between the customer (hereinafter referred to as traveller) and the tour operator NATUCATE GmbH (hereinafter referred to as NATUCATE) the following terms and conditions of travel form part of said contract and incorporate and complement the statutory regulations to be found in sections 651a ff. of the BGB (German Civil Code) and articles 250 and 252 of the EGBGB (Introductory Act to the Civil Code). On booking a travel package, the traveller shall be deemed party to the contract along with the tour operator. Whether said traveller intends to use the services in person or is making the booking on behalf of another participant is irrelevant.
These terms and conditions shall not apply should the traveller solely book individual services offered by NATUCATE (i.e. only a hotel or hire car) and not a travel package as stipulated in sections 651a ff. of the BGB. Situations where a confirmation of insolvency protection was issued for individual travel services or if NATUCATE explicitly acted as the agent for individual or linked travel arrangements according to section 651w BGB are also exempt providing the traveller was informed hereof, expressly and unequivocally, before making the booking.
Furthermore, these terms and conditions shall not apply to any travel contracts where the traveller is a business person with whom NATUCATE has signed a framework agreement for the organisation of business trips according to section 651a para. 5 no. 3 BGB for business purposes of the traveller.
- Conclusion of package travel contract
1.1 The scope of travel services is based on any travel description published by NATUCATE, in catalogues, pamphlets, tailor-made offers or on its website, along with any additional details pertaining to the respective trip provided by NATUCATE before signing of the contract.
By submitting a registration (booking), the traveller is requesting a legally binding contract with NATUCATE for the persons listed in such booking. The traveller is liable for all contractual obligations which arise for both him/herself and any other participants s/he made the booking for, providing this was stipulated in a separate, explicit agreement.
1.2 Receipt of NATUCATE’s booking confirmation (declaration of acceptance) constitutes the conclusion of the contract. On conclusion of the contract or immediately hereafter, NATUCATE shall provide the traveller with confirmation of the booking using a durable medium. Should the traveller be physically present for the signing of the package travel contract, be it at the office or off-premises, s/he shall receive a copy of the contract printed on paper.
1.3 Should the final confirmation differ from the pre-contractual information, this confirmation is to be considered a new offer which shall be binding on NATUCATE for the duration of 10 days. If NATUCATE points out such changes and hereby complies with its duty of supplying pre-contractual information and the traveller confirms his/her acceptance within this period, either expressly or conclusively by (down) payment of the travel price, the contract shall be based on this new offer.
1.4 NATUCATE would like to point out that package travel bookings made via distance selling (i.e. telephone, email) cannot be cancelled by invoking sections 312 para. 7, 312 g para. 2 sentence 1 no. 9 BGB. If s/he is a consumer, the traveller shall be entitled to cancel any package travel contract, if the latter was entered into with NATUCATE outside of its business premises unless the verbal negotiations which preceded the conclusion of the contract were initiated at the request of the consumer.
2.1 On conclusion of the contract and providing the confirmation of insolvency protection was issued in writing according to section 651r para. 4 sentence 1 BGB and article 252 EGBGB, a down payment of 20% of the total package price shall be due.
The final payment shall be due four weeks prior to departure inasmuch as cancelling the contract in accordance with subsection 7.1 is no longer permissible and the confirmation of insolvency protection was issued in writing. As long as the cancellation of the contract in accordance with subsection 7.1 is still permissible, final payment does not have to be made until such time that NATUCATE is no longer legally entitled to cancel the contract.
2.2 For bookings made at short notice, i.e. bookings concluded shortly before travel commences, implying that full payment is due or if NATUCATE can no longer cancel the trip on account of the minimum number of participants not being reached, the traveller shall pay the full amount immediately after receiving a copy of the insolvency protection certificate in writing.
2.3 Any insurance premiums or other surcharges such as cancellation or amendment fees are due in full once invoiced.
2.4 Should the traveller fail to make the down or final payment before its due date, despite having received the confirmation of insolvency protection, NATUCATE is entitled to cancel the contract after expiry of a reminder with new deadline. Hereafter, NATUCATE shall also be entitled to impose cancellation charges on the traveller according to subsection 4.1 ff.
- Services and amendments
3.1 NATUCATE’s duty to perform is based solely on information, notes and definitions contained in the booking confirmation together with advertised travel descriptions, offers published on NATUCATE’s website (www.natucate.de) or tailored individually as well as the pre-contractual information for the respective travel package, according to article 250 para. 3 EGBGB.
3.2 Employees of service providers (i.e. airlines, hotels) or of travel agents are not authorised by NATUCATE to make any arrangements, provide information or make assurances which go beyond or are contrary to the scope of NATUCATE’s advertised travel itinerary, booking confirmation or the pre-contractual agreements according to article 250 para. 3 EGBGB or alter the confirmed travel package.
3.3 Changes or modifications to individual travel services which form part of the agreed package travel contract, which may become necessary after the signing of the latter and have not been the result of NATUCATE acting in bad faith, are only permissible if the changes or modifications are not major and do not adversely affect the nature of the trip booked as a whole. NATUCATE must inform the traveller about any proposed changes before travel commences. This information shall be communicated in a clear, comprehensible and prominent manner using a durable medium.
3.4 In the event of a significant change to a key feature of the trip, according to section 250 para. 3 no. 1 EGBGB, or to a specific request made by the traveller which forms part of the final package travel contract, NATUCATE shall set a reasonable deadline by which the traveller shall decide whether s/he
a) agrees to the proposed changes to the travel services or special arrangements
b) terminates the contract without paying a cancellation fee
c) accepts any substitute travel package offered by NATUCATE where appropriate.
Should the traveller fail to respond within the period set, the proposed change or modification shall be deemed to have been accepted. NATUCATE shall notify the traveller immediately on gaining knowledge of circumstances warranting a significant change to the contract or any specific request made by the traveller. The notification shall be set out in a clear, comprehensible and prominent way using a durable medium and shall inform the traveller of the reason for the change, explain the traveller’s rights and set the deadline by which s/he must make his/her decision.
3.5 The traveller’s right to claim damages remains unaffected should the alternative services give rise to complaint. In the event that the substitute or amended travel package is not of the same value as the originally agreed travel package, the total cost shall be reduced according to section 651m para. 1 BGB. Inasmuch as the costs incurred by NATUCATE for a travel package of similar nature are lower, the difference shall be refunded to the traveller in accordance with section 651m para. 2 BGB.
- Withdrawal by the traveller before commencement of travel, transfer of contract (substitute person)
4.1 The traveller may withdraw from the package travel contract at any given time before the commencement of travel. The notice of termination of the contract must be sent to the contact details set out at the end of these terms and conditions. Should the booking have been made through an authorised travel agent it suffices to notify the same. It is highly recommended that the termination be submitted using a durable medium.
4.2 Should the traveller withdraw from the contract before travel commences or in the event of no-show, NATUCATE shall no longer be entitled to the full travel price. In its stead, NATUCATE can claim reasonable compensation from the traveller. This shall not apply if NATUCATE caused the traveller to rescind or if unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances occur at the place of destination or its immediate vicinity which significantly affect the performance of the package or the passenger transfer to the destination. Unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances are such circumstances which are beyond the control of the party who invokes them and the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken.
4.3 Details of NATUCATE‘s right to compensation are to be found in the list of cancellation charges below. These take into account how long before commencement of the trip the traveller declared his/her withdrawal, the expected cost savings and income from alternative deployment of the travel services.
Cancellation charges are calculated from the day the cancellation notice was received by NATUCATE or its authorised travel agent:
a) standard cancellation charges:
• up until 30 days prior to commencement of travel 20% of the total cost
• up until 15 days prior to commencement of travel 30% of the total cost
• up until 7 days prior to commencement of travel 50% of the total cost
• up until 2 days prior to commencement of travel 70% of the total cost
• up until previous day of commencement of travel or no-show on the day 95% of the total cost
b) exceptional cancellation charges:
• special offers/sales and tailor-made group tours may be subject to exceptional cancellation charges. In accordance with article 250 paras. 3, 6 EGBGB this shall be stipulated expressly in the scope of service or travel description and in the booking confirmation.
4.4 The traveller’s right to prove that NATUCATE can only reasonably claim significantly less compensation remains unaffected.
4.5 NATUCATE retains the right to claim more, specifically calculated compensation beyond the aforementioned cancellation charges, if NATUCATE can prove that much higher expenses than would be covered by the cancellation charge have been incurred. In this case, NATUCATE is obliged to justify its compensation claim taking into account the expected cost savings and any income from alternative deployment of the travel services and provide exact details if the traveller so requests.
4.6 NATUCATE highly recommends travellers take out travel cancellation insurance.
4.7 If NATUCATE is required to refund travel costs as a result of a cancellation of a package travel contract, NATUCATE shall reimburse the traveller without undue delay and in any event not later than 14 days after termination.
4.8 The aforementioned does not affect the traveller’s right to transfer the contract to another person according to section 651e BGB, providing s/he informs NATUCATE hereof using a durable medium no later than 7 days prior to commencement of travel.
- Alterations by the traveller before commencement of travel
5.1 The traveller is not legally entitled to make changes regarding the travel date, starting point and destination of the trip, accommodation and means of transport (rebooking). In the event that such changes are necessary, due to inadequate or erroneous information having been supplied by NATUCATE during the pre-contractual negotiations as per article 250 para. 3 EGBGB, they shall be executed without cost to the traveller.
5.2 In the event that NATUCATE accepts the traveller’s request to make a change according to subsection 5.1 sentence 1, up until the 30th day before departure an administration fee of €30.00 shall be charged for every item requiring rebooking. This administration fee is payable over and above any increase in total cost that the new booking may incur. NATUCATE shall inform the traveller about any price increases resulting from booking alterations prior to finalisation.
5.3 Should the traveller request changes to his/her booking within 29 days prior to departure, inasmuch as this is at all possible, s/he shall have to withdraw from the current contract, taking into account the conditions set out under subsection 4.3., and submit a new registration at the same time. This shall not apply to requests for changes which only incur minimal costs.
- Services not used
The traveller shall not be entitled to a partial refund of the travel price for any services which are not used, despite having been offered by NATUCATE in due form, if this is for reasons of the traveller’s own making. NATUCATE will endeavour to obtain a refund from service providers. This obligation shall not apply if the services in question are totally insignificant or if a refund contradicts any statutory or official regulations. NATUCATE recommends travellers take out travel interruption insurance.
- Rescission due to lack of numbers and cancellation by NATUCATE
7.1 NATUCATE shall be permitted to rescind the package travel contract if the minimum number of participants is not reached, providing NATUCATE
a) specified the required minimum number of participants in the pre-contractual information, together with the deadline for notifying the traveller of such a cancellation before travel commences and
b) specified the required minimum number of participants and the latest date allowing rescission due to lack of participant numbers in the booking confirmation.
The traveller shall be notified by NATUCATE of its rescission of the contract no later than the date specified in the pre-contractual information and booking confirmation. NATUCATE must make use of its right to rescind immediately, should it be apparent at an earlier stage that the minimum number shall not be reached.
If the trip is cancelled for the aforementioned reason, NATUCATE shall refund all payments made by the traveller immediately or, at the latest, 14 days after the notice of rescission.
7.2 NATUCATE reserves the right to terminate the package travel contract without notice, should the traveller persist in causing a disruption to the travel process despite having received a warning. Should the traveller act in stark violation of the contract this shall also warrant immediate termination of the contract, unless the traveller’s behaviour is the result of a breach in the pre-contractual information obligation. In the event that NATUCATE is forced to terminate the contract it retains its entitlement to the tour price. NATUCATE must, however, deduct any cost savings and income from alternative deployment of the travel services not used by the traveller including any refunds received from partner organisations.
- The traveller’s duty to cooperate
8.1 Travel documents
The traveller must inform NATUCATE or the respective authorised travel agent with whom s/he booked the travel package if s/he has not received essential travel documents (i.e. e-tickets, hotel vouchers) within the period advised by NATUCATE.
NATUCATE is liable for the flawless performance of all travel services included in the package travel contract. The traveller must inform NATUCATE without undue delay of any lack of conformity during the performance of a travel service. To this end, the traveller is obliged to raise any complaint directly with the partner organisation on the ground. In the absence of a local NATUCATE representative, where this is not legally required, the traveller must notify NATUCATE directly of the shortcomings. Contact details and availability of the local NATUCATE representative and the details about where to address any complaint to NATUCATE directly can be found in the booking confirmation. The traveller may also advise the authorized travel agent with whom s/he booked the trip of the complaint.
NATUCATE‘s representative shall remedy the situation, where possible, but is not authorized to accept any liability on behalf of NATUCATE.
In the event that NATUCATE is prevented from remedying a complaint due to the traveller’s failure to declare it formally, the latter shall forfeit his/her right for compensation according to section 651n BGB as well as the right to a price reduction according to section 651m BGB.
8.3 Setting of a time limit for remedial action prior to cancellation
Should a traveller wish to terminate a package travel contract according to section 651l BGB due to a significant lack of conformity as per section 651i BGB s/he must first allow NATUCATE a reasonable period of time to remedy the situation. This shall not apply in the event that NATUCATE refuses remedial action or such action needs to be taken immediately.
8.4 Damaged or delayed luggage
a) According to civil aviation regulations the traveller must notify the respective airline immediately upon landing of any damage to his/her luggage or the loss or delay of the same by filing a PIR (Property Irregularity Report) and should request a written copy as proof of his/her claim. Generally speaking and in accordance with international conventions, neither NATUCATE nor airline companies will make compensation if a PIR has not been filled out. Claims for delayed luggage must be lodged within 21 days of receipt, claims for damaged luggage within 7 days.
b) NATUCATE must be notified immediately about any damage to or loss or delay of luggage in accordance with subsection 8.2. This notification does not exonerate the traveller from also having to file a claim with the airline in due time and according to lit. a).
- Limitation of liability
9.1 The contractual liability of NATUCATE for damages other than loss of life, bodily harm or impairment of health shall be limited to a total of three times the travel cost unless the injury was caused by culpable conduct on the part of NATUCATE. Claims for damages against the service provider shall be limited or excluded if and to the extent that, under international agreements (or statutory provisions based thereon) they can only be asserted under certain circumstances or limitations and NATUCATE shall be entitled to invoke such provisions.
9.2 NATUCATE shall not be held liable for disruptions to services, personal injury or damage to property resulting from services rendered by third parties, such as e.g. excursions, sporting events, visits to musicals or exhibitions, where NATUCATE merely acted as an agent. This shall apply as long as said third party services were expressly identified as such in a clear and unequivocal manner, including the identity and address of the service provider, in both the advertisement and booking confirmation so that it was readily apparent to the traveller that they did not form part of the travel package agreed on with NATUCATE. However, NATUCATE shall be liable for losses suffered by the traveller if and to the extent that said losses were caused by a breach of the duties of organisation or the provision of information and explanations on the part of NATUCATE.
9.3 NATUCATE is not liable for any services used during the package travel trip which were not arranged or organised by NATUCATE or its local representatives but by a third party e.g. the hotel, other persons or companies on their own responsibility.
- Claims processing and customer dispute resolutions
10.1 The traveller must raise any claims pertaining to section 651i para. 3 no. 2, 4-7 BGB with NATUCATE. Claims shall also be valid if they have been raised with the authorised travel agent with whom the package travel contract was concluded. It is recommended that claims should be filed using a durable medium.
10.2 Travellers may not assign claims against NATUCATE to a third party who is not participating in the tour.
10.3 In accordance with section 36 VSBG (Customer Dispute Resolution Law) NATUCATE would like to point out that it (NATUCATE) does not participate in the voluntary procedure for alternative dispute resolution for customer disputes nor is it legally obliged to do so. Should NATUCATE voluntarily choose to partake in such proceedings or should this become a legal requirement after these terms and conditions have gone to print, NATUCATE will inform the traveller thereof using a durable medium.
- Passport, visa and health requirements
11.1 NATUCATE shall inform travellers as to the relevant passport, visa and health requirements for the travel destination prior to conclusion of the travel contract, including approximate processing times for the necessary visas, and shall keep them informed of any changes to the same that may occur prior to the start of the travel.
11.2 The acquisition and possession of visas and any other documents required for admission to the respective country, necessary vaccinations and compliance with foreign exchange and customs regulations are the sole responsibility of the traveller. Any negative consequences arising from the traveller‘s non-compliance with these provisions, for example payment of cancellation fees, shall be borne exclusively by the traveller. This shall not apply if NATUCATE supplied no, insufficient or wrong information.
11.3 In the event that NATUCATE has been asked to obtain any necessary visas on behalf of the traveller, NATUCATE shall not be responsible for these documents being granted and dispatched on time by the respective consulate, unless NATUCATE is culpable of a breach of its duties.
- Information on the identity of airlines
In accordance with EU regulations, NATUCATE is obliged to inform passengers about the identity of all airlines providing transportation services within the framework of the travel when the booking is made. If the identity of the airline(s) is not yet known at the time of booking, NATUCATE must advise the traveller of the airline(s) most likely to be operating all flights. On gaining knowledge of which airline shall be operating the flights, NATUCATE must pass on these details to the traveller. NATUCATE must inform the traveller if the airline originally named as operating airline is replaced by another. NATUCATE must immediately take all reasonable steps to ensure a timely update is given to the traveller.
A list of airlines which have been banned from operating within the EU (a so-called ‘black list’) can be viewed on the following website: https://ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/air/safety/air-ban_en
- Applicable law, place of jurisdiction
13.1 German law shall govern all aspects of the contractual relationship between NATUCATE and the traveller.
13.2 The traveller may only file for action against NATUCATE at the place where the latter has its registered office. Should NATUCATE wish to institute proceedings against the traveller, the latter’s place of residence shall determine where this shall take place. For legal action against a traveller who is a business person or a legal person under public or private law, the place of jurisdiction is where NATUCATE has its registered office inasmuch as these terms and conditions apply, in the absence of a contractual framework governing all business trips of the traveller’s company. The same shall apply for travellers whose place of residence or usual place of abode is either outside the EU or unknown at the time when the suit is filed.
13.3 The aforementioned provisions shall not apply if and to the extent that
a) mandatory provisions of international agreements can be applied to the package travel contract between NATUCATE and the traveller and this would result in a different and more favourable outcome for the traveller or
b) mandatory provisions of the EU member state, of which the traveller is a citizen, can be applied to the package travel contract and this would be more favourable for the traveller than the application of these terms and conditions or the respective German law.
Issued: 01.07.2018 / ©JD
Tel: +49 241 - 91 99 43 57
Fax: +49 241 - 961 066 86
Directors: Daniel Kaul, Theda Gräfin zu Innhausen und Knyphausen
Any personal data supplied by travellers in conjunction with the booking of a travel package shall be processed electronically and used by NATUCATE and its service providers (transport companies, hotels, inbound tour operators, database suppliers for immigration and health requirements). All data relevant for the conclusion of a contract shall be entered and saved into the global distribution software AMADEUS/SABRE, a computer reservation system. In line with US federal law aiding the detection of terrorists, airlines must supply every passenger’s travel and booking information to the US TSA (Transportation Security Administration) before entering the country. Without this data having been forwarded, travellers shall not be permitted entry into the USA – this also applies to passengers in transit or with a stopover. These details are also required for passengers on flights using US airspace but destined for other countries.
The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) applies. For a more specific data protection notice including travellers‘ rights click here https://www.natucate.com/datenschutz/ or request it by contacting NATUCATE. This notice will in any case be made available when the information is collected, i.e. on making an enquiry/booking.
Distance selling contracts:
NATUCATE would like to point out that package travel bookings made via distance selling (i.e. telephone, email) cannot be cancelled invoking sections 312 para. 7, 312 g para. 2 sentence 1 no. 9 BGB. If s/he is a consumer, the traveller shall be entitled to cancel any package travel contract, if the latter was entered into with NATUCATE outside of its business premises unless the verbal negotiations which preceded the conclusion of the contract were initiated at the request of the consumer.
NATUCATE highly recommends travellers take out travel insurance for international travel including medical cover as well as cover for travel cancellation and repatriation in case of accident or sickness.