Criterion Wine Ltd. Wine Tours Terms & Conditions

The following booking conditions, together with the information set out on the relevant Tour page of the Criterion Wine Tours website will form the contract between you and us for your holiday with us. In this contract a reference to “you” and “your” include the lead-named person on the confirmation invoice (who must be at least 18 years old at the time of booking) and all persons on whose behalf a booking is made.

We are Criterion Wine Ltd. of 29 Cloister Road, London W3 0DE.

1.  Definition

In this agreement, the following definitions apply unless the context requires otherwise:

“Meeting Point” means the place specified by us in the Tour Pack where we will meet and start your holiday.
“Start Date” means the date on which we meet to start your holiday.
“Tour” means a holiday organised by Criterion Wine Ltd.
“Tour Pack” means whatever documents we send to you in hard or soft copy to provide information about your Tour.

2.  What is in the Holiday

2.1. The following items are included:

  • 2.1.1 transport from the Meeting Point to your return to the departure point (which is usually the same place) as stated in the itinerary;
  • 2.1.2 accommodation, excursions and meals as stated in the itinerary;
  • 2.1.3 services of one or more tour leaders;

2.2. The following items are not included

  • 2.2.1 return flights to the Tour destination;
  • 2.2.2 all other costs incurred before you board transport at the Meeting Point and after you return to the departure point;
  • 2.2.3 travel insurance or any other insurance personal to you;
  • 2.2.4 passport and visa costs;
  • 2.2.5 vaccinations and medication, before, during and after the Tour;
  • 2.2.6 food and drink over and above what we include in the Tour;
  • 2.2.7 gratuities you choose to give, in addition to any we give on your behalf where we consider appropriate.

3.  Booking your Holiday

3.1.   To book a holiday you must send us a completed booking form and also pay the deposit for that tour. We will hold a provisional booking for seven days to allow you time to send us your deposit. We follow this strictly because many holidays are booked up fast. After we have received your booking form and deposit, we will send you confirmation of your booking. The contract between us comes into existence at that time. You undertake to pay for the holiday you have booked and we undertake to provide you with the tour we describe in the draft itinerary.
3.2.   If you make a booking on behalf of others as well as yourself, we shall take it that you have the authority of each of those other people to enter into the contract on the basis of these booking conditions and that you and they have agreed to be jointly and severally liable to us.
3.3.   If we are unable to accept your booking, we will of course return your payment to you immediately. The balance of payment for all tours is due at latest 8 weeks (56 days) before departure. As a reminder we will send you a balance of payment invoice 1 – 2 weeks before the balance due date. If you are making your booking within this period, full payment will be necessary immediately.
3.4.   Where the cost to us of any part of the tour increases, we reserve the right to pass on that increase to you and to change the price of unsold holidays.
3.5.   You must give us your personal details, travel insurance policy details, special requests, and inform us of any medical conditions by completing a form we shall send to you.

For bookings made within eight weeks of the departure date you must pay the full balance at the time of booking.

4.  Payment

4.1.   All payments are to be made through the website.
4.2   A deposit payment, equal to 25% of the Tour cost, excluding an supplement your select, will be due at the point of booking a Tour with us.
4.3.   Payment of the balance of the cost of your holiday will be due to us at least eight weeks before the Tour Start Date. We will tell you that last date for payment after we have confirmed our acceptance of your booking.
4.4.   If you do not pay us the balance before the last date for payment, we reserve the right to treat your booking as cancelled. If we do that, you accept that a cancellation fee will be due to us.

5.  Surcharges and refunds

5.1.   The prices given on our website are calculated at costs current at the time we fixed them. If costs rise or adverse currency exchange rates apply, you agree that we may increase prices at any time up to a maximum of 10% of the advertised cost of the Tour. If we do this we shall tell you the costs which have risen and the percentage by which they have risen.
5.2.   No matter what the increase, we shall not increase the cost less than eight weeks before the departure date.
5.3.   If we increase the price of your Tour by more than 10%, you are free to cancel. In that circumstance we will return to you all money paid to us.
5.4.   A minimum number of participants are required in order for each Tour to be viable. In the unusual event that we cancel a Tour, we shall return the full amount of your deposit or other payment.

6.  Changes and cancellations by you

6.1.   We will try to accommodate any change you are compelled to make, but we cannot promise to do so. If we do, you agree to pay an administration fee of £50 and any additional cost of a different arrangement.
6.2.   Only the person who made a booking may cancel. The cancellation takes effect from the date at which a written notification reaches our office.
6.3.   If you cancel at least 56 days before the start of the tour you will forfeit your deposit.
6.4.   We shall charge an additional sum related to the time remaining before the date of departure, as follows:

Up to 56 days: Deposit
56- 30 days: Deposit + 50% of balance of payment
29 days or less: Deposit + 100% of balance of payment

6.5.   If circumstances force you to leave the Tour early, you will have to bear any additional costs yourself.
6.6.   In any circumstances giving rise to cancellation, we will consider allowing you to transfer the money you have paid to another person. That person must meet any conditions which may apply to the booking and you must ask for the transfer not less than 29days prior to the Tour Start Date. Any such transfer will incur an administration charge of £50. Both you and the transferee will be jointly and severally liable for payment of the holiday price and any other associated expenses.

7.  Changes and cancellations by us

7.1.   We reserve the right to change travel and tour arrangements. This is necessary because many of our tours involve variables which are outside our control. These include, weather, political issues, currency problems, and accommodation issues. There is also the possibility that new information about a wine region will in our opinion benefit the Tour participants generally by providing better wine appreciation opportunities.
7.2.   We shall tell you about significant changes to the itinerary as soon as we can, and give you the opportunity to either accept the change before departure, or take an alternative holiday with Criterion Wine (paying or receiving a refund / credit in respect of any price difference), or cancel and accept a full refund.
7.3.   If we need to make changes during a tour we will make alternative arrangements so as to comply as closely as possible with the description of the tour in the Tour Pack.
7.4.   If a problem occurs which is so serious that we have to cancel a tour before the date of departure, you may choose to accept either an alternative holiday with Criterion Wine (paying or receiving a refund/credit in respect of any price difference) or a full refund of all money paid.
7.5.   In certain cases we may pay compensation too, at our discretion.
7.6.   We are not liable to you in any circumstances for loss or damage or loss of your holiday when:

  • the change is not significant, such as changes to the advertised hotel, restaurant or individual winery
  • unusual and unforeseeable circumstances arise which are beyond our control, the consequences of which we could not have avoided even with all due care. Circumstances outside our control include but are not limited to industrial or civil unrest, inclement weather, fire, terrorism, war or threat of war, natural disaster

7.7.   We reserve the right to cancel any Tour, for which there are not enough bookings, not less than eight weeks prior to departure. In the event of our cancellation, your deposit (and any other payment you may have made to us) will be refunded in full, or, if you prefer, transferred to an alternative Criterion Wine Holiday.

You agree that all these provisions are reasonable.

8.  Payment Protection

In order to comply with the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992, all payments received by us will be held in a trustee account until the completion of the Tourand administered by an independent trustee as per the terms of the Regulations. This account is known as our Client Deposit Account (CDA).

9.  Travel Insurance

9.1.   It is a condition of booking a Criterion Wine Tour that you take out appropriate travel insurance. Cover should be obtained not only against normal travel risks, but against additional risks appropriate to the destination country. You must send us proof of cover or provide us with the Policy Provider, Policy Number and 24 Hour Helpline number when you make payment of the balance due for your Tour. We cannot approve the cover you have bought and are not responsible if it is inadequate.
9.2.   You are required to have insurance cover against irrecoverable cancellation costs. You will remain responsible for the full amount of your insurance premium and this will not be refunded in the event of cancellation.
9.3.   We advise that you should also check that any valuable optical and digital equipment is covered either in your travel policy or your home contents policy.

10.  Passport, Visa and Health Requirements

Please note carefully:
10.1.   To be absolutely safe, your passport should be valid for at least six months after the date of return of your Tour;
10.2.   Remember to apply for any necessary visa in good time;
10.3.   Check with your GP what vaccinations and medication you may require and allow time to obtain them. Details are also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre www.nathnac.org.
10.4.   If you are a national of an EC country and are taking a European tour, you should take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) available from main Post Offices or online. It is your responsibility to ensure that you obtain all necessary inoculations, take all necessary medication and follow all medical advice in relation to your holiday. Remember to bring certificates and confirmations with you in your hand luggage.
10.5.   If you need professional medical care whilst on a tour, we will try to obtain it and inform your travel insurers as quickly as practically possible. Please ensure that you provide us with your next of kin details so that we can make arrangements for them to be contacted in an emergency.

You agree to repay to us all costs we incur in providing this assistance, including payment for any transport and telephone calls which must be reimbursed to the company. We will give you a receipt on your return, for you to pass to your travel insurers.

11.  Tour Information

Approximately 2-3 weeks before the Start Date, we shall send you a pack of information relating to your Tour. This information will include:
11.1.       a daily itinerary for the tour
11.2.       location of Meeting Point, time of meeting;
11.3.       climate and clothing recommendations;
11.4.       any important details relevant to the itinerary

12.  Accommodation

We will arrange accommodation as detailed in the itinerary. Accommodation will be in good quality hotels or lodges, but occasionally it may be necessary to use bed and breakfast accommodation. En-suite facilities will be provided wherever possible. If you have any particular accommodation requirements (for example you would like a room with a bath rather than just a shower) please let us know when you make the booking, and we will do our best to help. Please note:
12.1.   we reserve the right to change accommodation to that stated in our itineraries
12.2.   single rooms are normally available at an extra cost. However, if you so wish, it may be possible for you to share a twin room with someone else of the same sex
12.3   accommodation in some countries will be of a lower standard than comparable accommodation in the UK.

13.  Limitations on our liability

We want you to enjoy a perfect holiday with Criterion Wine Ltd. We shall do our best to make your holiday special for you. Nonetheless, we must make clear the limitations in law. We are not liable to you for:
13.1.   any event which happens before you board our transport at the Meeting Point or after you leave our transport at departure;
13.2.   any problem arising from your failure to reach the Meeting Point on time, for whatever reason; (though we would do our best to help you in any way we reasonably could)
13.3.   any aspect of goods or services you buy or accept other than those arranged by us;
13.4.   medical problems or physical difficulties, even if you have told us about them in advance;
13.5.   medical emergencies;
13.6.   your own carelessness or negligence in any aspect of your behaviour whilst with us;
13.7.   changes we reasonably make to an itinerary or to accommodation or any other aspect of the management of a Tour;
13.8.   problems or issues which we could have resolved whilst on a Tour but which you raise only after your return.
13.9.   injury, illness, death, loss (including loss of enjoyment or possessions), damage, expense, cost or other sum or claim of any description whatsoever which results from either:

  • 13.9.1    the act or omission of you or anyone in your party;
  • 13.9.2   the act or omission of a third party not connected with the provision of your holiday.

13.10.   services we have not provided. The services and features included in your Tour are those specified in the Tour Pack. If you choose to buy other goods or services during your holiday, those are not part of the package we provide, even if arranged at your request through our Tour leader. Accordingly we are not liable to you for any happening in connection with that service or those goods.

If any international convention applies to, or governs, any of the services or facilities included in your trip arranged or provided by us, or our suppliers, and you make a claim against us of any nature arising out of death, injury, loss or damage suffered during or as a result of the provision of those services or facilities, our liability to pay you compensation and/or the amount (if any) of compensation payable to you by us will be limited in accordance with and/or in an identical manner to that provided for by the international convention concerned.

14.  Local standards

14.1.   Laws, standards, culture and attitudes are different in many countries from what you reasonable expect at home. We are not responsible for standards of service, safety, hygiene and behaviour which may be lower than you are used to or which you expected.
14.2.   We do not make any representation or commitment that all services will comply with applicable local laws and regulations and failure to comply does not automatically mean we or the service supplier has not exercised reasonable skill and care.
14.3.   Please also note that we will only be responsible for what our employees, agents and suppliers do or do not do if they were at the time acting within the course of their employment (for employees) or carrying out work we had asked them to do (for agents and suppliers).

15.  Help we need from you

15.1.   Most Criterion Wine holidays require reasonable physical fitness and appropriate footwear. You should be prepared to walk up to a couple of miles a day, sometimes on uneven or slippery surfaces.
15.2.   To satisfy the majority of our clients, we apply “no smoking” rules in the same way that they are applied by law in the UK. Please note however, that smoking is permitted in some countries we may visit so we cannot prevent third parties from smoking in a bar or restaurant.
15.3.   If we provide medical help to you, whether or not you specifically ask for it, we will provide receipts for all costs (for your insurer) and you now agree to repay us that cost on your return from the Tour.
15.4.   If at any time, it is our opinion (given by any of our staff or Tour leaders) that you are acting in a way which may cause accident, injury, discomfort or extreme displeasure to any other Tour member, we may exclude you from the programme for the remainder of the Tour. You will understand that this extreme action will not be taken lightly but may be necessary to protect the health, safety or enjoyment of other clients.

16.  Complaints

We shall try our utmost to provide a happy and fulfilling holiday, but if we fail in any way, do please raise any issue with your Tour leader immediately. If your complaint cannot be satisfied or if it is not dealt with to your satisfaction at the time of reporting it to the leader(s), then you should give us full details in writing, immediately on your return. We cannot respond to verbal complaints.

17.  Miscellaneous

17.1. In this agreement unless the context otherwise requires:

  • 17.1.1 a reference to a person includes a human individual, a corporate entity and any organisation which is managed or controlled as a unit;
  • 17.1.2 any agreement by any party not to do or omit to do something includes an obligation not to allow some other person to do or omit to do that same thing;
  • 17.1.3 except where stated otherwise any obligation of any person arising from this agreement may be performed by any other person.

17.2. If any term or provision of this agreement is at any time held by any jurisdiction to be void, invalid or unenforceable, then it shall be treated as changed or reduced, only to the extent minimally necessary to bring it within the laws of that jurisdiction and to prevent it from being void and it shall be binding in that changed or reduced form. Subject to that, each provision shall be interpreted as severable and shall not in any way affect any other of these terms.
17.3.   For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998 you consent to the processing of your personal data (in manual, electronic or any other form) relevant to this agreement, by us and/or any agent or third party whom we nominate. Processing includes but is not limited to obtaining, recording, using and holding data and includes the transfer of data to any country either inside or outside the EEA.
17.4.   The parties agree that electronic communications satisfy any legal requirement that such communications be in writing.
17.5.   In the event of a dispute between us, you undertake to attempt to settle the dispute by engaging in good faith with us in a process of mediation before commencing arbitration or litigation.
17.6.   This agreement does not give any right to any third party under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 or otherwise, except that any provision in this agreement which excludes or restricts the liability of our directors, officers, employees, subcontractors, agents and affiliated companies, may be enforced under that act.
17.7.   We are not liable for any failure or delay in performance of this agreement which is caused by circumstances beyond our reasonable control.
17.8.   The validity, construction and performance of this agreement shall be governed by the laws of England and Wales and both parties agree that any dispute arising from it shall be litigated only in England and Wales.