TERMS & CONDITIONS – Shetland Seabird Tours Ltd. (SST Ltd.) 2019/2020
These are the terms & conditions of booking a Noss Boat tour with Shetland Seabird Tours Ltd. By making a booking with us you agree to these terms & conditions. Please note any film, commercial diving or survey work will be arranged separately to these terms & will have there own versions of our T&C’s. These are for general public & tour company excursions only.
SST Ltd. gives notice that all excursions, trips, tours or arrangements made by us are on condition that we shall not be liable for any death, injury, damage, loss delay or irregularity by persons or conditions outwith our control. We accept no responsibility for any losses or additional expense due to delays in air, road, rail, or other transport services, strikes, war, weather or other causes. We do not accept any liability for any loss, damage, injury or death arising from or connected with the excursion/s no matter how that loss, damage, injury or death is caused, including but not limited to any condition by any customer’s pre-existing medical, physical or psychological condition.
SST Ltd. will not consider the charter, tour, training or contract to be booked until FULL payment has been received. Any person who makes a booking for or on behalf of others persons/club/s/group or business/s confirms they he/she has authority to do so and their booking is accepted on these terms and conditions. Payments can be made via our online booking system on our website www.shetlandseabirdtours.com or through the Lerwick Tourist Information Centre. We also accept BACS bank transfer or cash. A PayPal & credit card payment option within the online booking system allows payment from overseas customers. We ask for full names and contact details when taking bookings, due to the weather dependency of our trips, having a contact number for you is essential up to the day of your booked trip with us. We do not store credit card details nor do we share financial details with any 3rd parties.
3 Cancellation & Charges
Cancellation by SST Ltd.
SST Ltd. reserves the right to amend, change, modify or cancel any boat tour at any time. SST Ltd. will endeavour to notify customers with as much notice as is reasonably possible. The weather on Shetland is notoriously changeable, there may well be cases where weather means a planned and booked boat tour excursion may have be to cancelled and this can only be made by the Skipper and may well be last minute due to the nature of weather forecasting and sea state changes. We endeavour to only take our tours out in reasonable weather conditions and sea state to maximise enjoyment to our customers. In the event of cancellation the customer will be offered a future date and time or a full refund will be made. SST Ltd. reserves the right to cancel an excursion if insufficient customers have booked to make the required minimum number, currently this is 2 full paying adult customers (2019/2020). Further details of minimum numbers can be found on the website. A different date or full refund will be made in this circumstance with no further liability for SST Ltd.
Cancellation by customer.
In the event of a customer cancellation, SST Ltd. a refund will be issued if the cancellation was within 24 hours notice prior to tour departure. Any customer who is either not present at the specified meeting place, date or time or significantly late for a trip will forfeit their trip & be liable for the full cost. SST Ltd. advises customers that independent travel insurance should be sought to cover any travel issues that they may be effected by. SST Ltd.
4 Unlawful Substance & Behaviour
Customers must not bring any unlawful substance on any excursion and must not consume alcohol whilst on board the vessel. Customers must ensure they behave in a responsible manner and not endanger themselves, other customers, skipper, crew, vessel or equipment. SST Ltd. will not be held responsible for any liability, costs, charges or losses as a result of damage, distress, injury or death caused by any individual customer or group behaviour.
5 Customer Fitness
Our standard daily tours do not require high levels of fitness but individuals should make their own health assessment in advance of booking as to whether they are able to board and disembark our vessel with ease and independently as well as be able to sit on our vessel for between 2-2.5 hours, from the start to finish of our excursion. A reasonable level of fitness and wellbeing is expected with all SST Ltd. customers. There is an emergency toilet facilities on board our vessel and there are toilet facilities opposite our mooring point at Victoria Pier, Lerwick harbour. It is advised that customers make full use of these public facilities before embarking on any trip with SST Ltd. Customers should also evaluate their sea-faring abilities with regard to possible sea-sickness. If customers are prone to sea-sickness they should consider whether our trips are suitable for them. Sick bags & bottled water will be made available to anyone who feels sick or is sick on board (a rare event!). Please note that personalised charters and excursions such as bespoke photographic, diving, fishing or survey trips may involve different SST Ltd. terms and conditions relating to customer fitness and customers are reminded to acquaint themselves with our specific T&C’s for their specific trips booked with SST Ltd.
6 Emergency Equipment
Our vessel will carry a full MCA license and safety equipment including VHF radio, life raft and fire fighting equipment which meets all safety standards. First aid will be kept on-board along with skipper and crew being trained in first aid procedures. SST Ltd. will not be held liable for any first aid provisions and/or lifesaving provided. Customers should make any medical issues known to the SST Ltd. staff prior to the excursion. Passengers must not tamper or interfere with any safety equipment on the vessel, any wilful damage to equipment or the vessel will be charged to the customer.
No unaccompanied children under the age of 16 can be taken on the excursions. Children under 16 who are supervised by their parent and/or guardian can be taken on SST Ltd. trips. SST Ltd. Limit the number of under 16’s to two per trip.
8 Personal Possessions
SST Ltd. does not accept responsibility for customers’ personal property, effects or valuables during the excursions. We recommend that you hold your own insurance policy for your own effects such as binoculars and camera equipment that may well be valuable and are certainly taken on-board by many of our customers given the nature of our wildlife tours.
9 Safety & Trip Amendments
Any decision regarding safety of the vessel, skipper, crew, customers and cargo will remain with the skipper. Any decision to land and the ability to re-board from island landings will be at the discretion of the skipper. The final weather decision which effects any activities organised by SST Ltd. will remain with the skipper. Following advisement from the skipper, SST Ltd. reserves the right to alter, amend or cancel the excursion if it is believed that conditions would adversely effect the trip.
10 Insurance & Legal
SST Ltd. holds public liability insurance for £3,000,000. Any legal action in connection with these trips will be governed by the laws of Scotland. In the unlikely event of a complaint please report it as soon as possible so it may be dealt with promptly.
11 Supply of Equipment
Any person borrowing equipment on these excursions from SST Ltd. such as binoculars, shall be responsible for such equipment during the tour period. They shall be fully liable for any loss or damage to that equipment whilst on board and throughout the excursion/trip. SST Ltd. will ensure that all equipment is in good working order prior to issuing/lending to a customer.
12 Sighting Guarantee
Although the focus of the tours are seabirds, we will also be on the look out for marine mammals such as Seals, Otters & Cetaceans. There are no guarantees given by SST Ltd. that any bird or animal will be seen during an excursion. Although the area of operation is known as a hotspot for sightings, no such guarantees are given. No liability is accepted by SST Ltd. for no sightings of any wildlife species made during an excursion and no refund will be applicable in this circumstance.
13: Boat Access
Unfortunately the access onto and off our vessel is not suitable for persons using wheelchairs, passengers with limited mobility may also not find our vessel suitable. Please contact us in advance with your specific requirements and we will endeavour to help wherever possible though no access guarantees are given and suitability & access remains with the Skipper and his decision is final.
SST’s has a strict no smoking policy on our vessel at all times.
Please be aware that we are currently not VAT registered.
We at SST’s hold strong wildlife conservation values and all our trips are taken with the utmost care, consideration and respect for all wildlife we encounter. We advocate environmentally responsible eco-tourism. We expect all our customers to adhere to our wildlife values and respect this as we do whilst with us on our vessel and hopefully beyond. SST supports several local and national conservation groups.