This policy applies to reservations made from November 1, 2022 onwards. If you reserved your tour before this, the terms and conditions that were included on your tour confirmation apply.
A NOTE ABOUT COVID-19
We recognize that travel has changed as a result of COVID-19 and we want to assure you that we are here to help you have a safe and wonderful experience. We highly recommend you purchase travel insurance for your adventure to give you the peace of mind to travel while protecting your hard-earned vacation dollars. Learn more on our Travel Insurance page.
We are a small family-run company and appreciate your understanding that we incur many expenses in preparing for these tours. Our terms and conditions and cancellation policy reflect this. If you are unable to join your tour as planned, we will provide any paperwork needed for your insurance claim, should you wish to reclaim any retained travel or tour costs. If you have to leave the tour as a result of COVID-19, there will be no refund and you will be responsible for the costs associated with being removed from the tour and any additional expenses incurred as a result.
A 25% deposit to reserve your space on a tour is due at the time of booking. For tours that take place in Canada, the balance of your trip cost is due 60 days prior to departure.
For tours that take place outside of Canada, the balance of your trip cost is due 90 days prior to departure. If you book and pay after the final balance due date, all monies paid are non-refundable.
Payments can be made by cheque, money order, Visa, MasterCard, or Interac e-Transfer; any processing charges or fees are your responsibility. With your authorization, for final payment, we automatically charge your credit card when the balance is due unless otherwise arranged.
All tours which take place in Canada are priced and charged in Canadian dollars; tours to Chile, the Bahamas and Greenland are priced and charged in US dollars. Any foreign currency pricing is only approximate. It is your credit card company or bank that determines your exchange rate on the day your transaction takes place. If for some reason you have to cancel and funds are refunded to your card Spirit of the West Adventures is not responsible for any differences in exchange rates. Pricing is subject to change.
For all tours that take place in Canada, there is an additional 5% Goods and Services Tax (GST). Non-tour add-ons (equipment rentals, merchandise) must be charged both 5% GST and 7% PST. Tours that take place outside of Canada are not taxed. All tours are also subject to a non-taxed $20 per person sustainability fee which is donated to research and conservation groups that work in the areas where we operate.
Please understand that our trip dates and capacities are limited, and when we accept your reservation we may be turning others away from booking that trip. If you find it necessary to cancel your tour, please let us know as soon as possible. No refunds are given once tours have departed. Spirit of the West Adventures Ltd. is not responsible for any additional costs that may arise in the event of a trip alteration or delay caused by circumstances beyond our control. To avoid confusion, we require written notice of cancellation, by email or mail. The following fees will apply to cancellations and are calculated as of the date we receive your written cancellation notice, which can be sent by email or standard mail.
Tours that take place in Canada: If you must cancel your tour, your refund is as follows:
- 60 days or more prior to the trip departure date – Full amount is refunded less a $150 administration fee (per person).
- 59-30 days prior to the trip departure date – 50% of total tour price is refunded.
- Less than 30 days prior to the trip departure date – No refund will be given.
Tours that take place outside of Canada: If you must cancel your tour, your refund is as follows:
- 90 days or more prior to the trip departure date – Deposit is refunded less a $250 administration fee per person and the guest is responsible for any costs incurred for cancelling any additional tours or travel arrangements.
- 90-60 days prior to the trip departure date – 50% of total tour price is refunded.
- Less than 60 days prior to the trip departure date – No refund will be given.
Private Tour Cancellation Policy: If you have reserved a private tour and have to cancel your trip:
- 60 days or more prior to your tour departure date – $1000 cancellation fee.
- 59-30 days prior to the trip departure date – 50% of total tour price is refunded.
- Less than 30 days prior to the trip departure date – No refund will be given.
60 days or more prior to your tour departure date, your group may change your tour type from a private tour to a public tour.
Group members need to be identified no later than 30 days prior to your tour departure in order for our food team to adequately prepare for your tour. If you have a group member cancel, you can replace that individual with another friend, but if it is closer than 30 days to tour departure and complex dietary needs will need to be accommodated, please contact our office to see if we can accommodate them. Additional dietary accommodation fees may apply.
For All Tours:
*We strongly recommend that all guests purchase travel insurance, including interruption, cancellation and medical coverage to cover costs associated with your travel in case of unforeseen circumstances (travel insurance is mandatory for all Chile and Bahamas tours). Spirit of the West Adventures Ltd. is not responsible for ensuring the appropriate level or amount of coverage is purchased. Please contact your travel insurance provider to ensure you have appropriate coverage for your entire trip. If you use a credit card for payment for your tour expenses, you may have trip interruption insurance as part of your card benefits. This coverage, however, is often a limited dollar amount, may not cover COVID-19 related issues and does not usually include cancellation or medical coverage. Please check with your specific card provider to ensure you are adequately insured. Personal equipment, baggage and valuables (cameras, electronics, jewellery, etc.) are carried entirely at the owner’s risk. Spirit of the West Adventures Ltd. is not responsible for lost, damaged or delayed property. Learn more on our Travel Insurance page.
Spirit of the West Adventures Ltd. reserves the right to cancel any trip prior to departure for any reason whatsoever, including but not limited to insufficient bookings. If we have to cancel a tour due to insufficient bookings, you may choose between an alternate trip or a full refund. We will inform participants of cancellations due to insufficient bookings at the earliest possible point and no later than 30 days prior to the tour departure. If the alternate trip chosen is of a lower value than the originally booked, then you are entitled to a refund of the difference. If the alternate tour chosen is of a higher value, then you will pay the difference in price.
If a tour has to be cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control and/or a circumstance amounting to “force majeure” such as war, threat of war, political instability, riots, civil disturbances, actual or threatened terrorist activity and its consequences, natural or nuclear disasters, fires, epidemics, health risks and pandemics, acts of God, industrial disputes, unforeseeable technical problems with transport for reasons beyond our control or that of our suppliers, closed or congested airports or ports, hurricanes and other actual or potential adverse weather condition, and any other similar events, there will be no refund from Spirit of the West Adventures Ltd. Please contact your travel insurance provider for details on how to start a claim. Spirit of the West Adventures Ltd. is not responsible for expenses incurred by trip participants in preparing for a cancelled trip (for example non-refundable advance purchase plane tickets, visa fees, inoculations, equipment etc. or for any additional arrangements for other travel plans associated with your travel).
Spirit of the West will make every reasonable effort to contact you as soon as it appears that a trip may be cancelled.
Once your tour is booked and your deposit is received by us, we’ll send you a detailed document that includes everything that you will need to prepare for your tour including an itinerary, packing list, and meeting times. For tours outside of Canada, we also include information about topics such as passports, visas, immunizations and currency exchange. Let us know if you’re planning a birthday or anniversary trip. We’ll pack a surprise!
Dietary Restrictions and Accommodations
Changes to our standard menu to accommodate dietary needs, restrictions, and/or allergies will be charged an additional fee. Exceptions at no additional cost are: vegetarian, no red meat, no fish, and no seafood. To see more detail about charges and what to expect, please refer to our Food Page.
If you have food allergies or restrictions, we will do our best to accommodate your needs. However, people with severe food allergies or complex needs may not be able to be accommodated due to the constraints of preparing food for diverse dietary needs in a wilderness setting. Please discuss any complex dietary needs with us before reserving your tour.
Please note: we are not a peanut- or nut-free facility and we can’t entirely mitigate the risk of cross-contamination or exposure for any allergens. On Chile and Bahamas tours the availability of ingredients or restaurant kitchens may limit the type of dietary accommodation we are able to offer.
Medical and Liability Release Forms
Each participant is required to fully fill out a Medical Information Form and Liability Release Form in order to join the tour. Spirit of the West Adventures Ltd. must receive the completed forms at least 30 days prior to tour departure.
You recognize and accept that Spirit of the West Adventures cannot guarantee that you will not be exposed to communicable diseases/illnesses. You will respect and abide by the procedures, recommendations and directions of your guides and Spirit of the West staff, such as masking, hand washing and physical distancing, at all times. If you are feeling or showing any signs or symptoms of illness before your tour you will not travel and will not attend the tour. If you are feeling or showing any signs or symptoms of illness including COVID-19 during your tour, you will disclose this to the guides and follow their instructions.
You will take responsibility for how you interact with others on the tour. If you choose to not distance yourself from other participants that is at your own risk and only with the consent of others. You recognize and accept that if the guide determines you may be ill, you may be put into strict isolation until such a time that you can be safely transported from the tour and to a place for continued isolation and testing. You recognize and accept that this may mean not participating in the remainder of your tour, incurring travel expenses and being responsible for any other costs associated with isolation measures after leaving the tour eg. Hotel rooms, meals, car rentals etc.
We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance that covers medical, interruption and cancellation as a minimum.
Although no previous kayaking experience is required on the majority of our tours, with any adventure there is always an element of risk. While most of our trips are not considered to be overly strenuous or physically demanding, we do require a moderate level of fitness and good general physical and mental condition. If you have any physical limitations or other concerns, please let us know. As we are not qualified to evaluate your level of fitness we ask that you (possibly along with your doctor) determine whether or not you are able to join one of our adventures. If you have any special medical conditions, we encourage you to check with your doctor before you reserve your trip. Please also note that all of our tours take place in remote areas and evacuations can take a great deal of time and can be expensive. Persons with physical limitations and/or disabilities are welcome on Spirit of the West tours, pending a discussion of any special needs and requirements.
wilderness & Group travel
Wilderness travel requires a degree of flexibility, patience and understanding. We cannot control the weather or the wildlife. Please ensure your travel plans allow time for the unexpected, such as delays due to weather or mechanical issues. You must also acknowledge that the trip’s route, itinerary, accommodation and modes of transport are subject to change without prior notice due to local circumstances, unsafe working conditions, the needs of the group, etc.
While traveling with Spirit of the West Adventures Ltd. you agree to accept the authority of the leader at all times. Please be aware that group travel may involve compromise to accommodate the diverse desires and abilities of group members. This includes distances covered, pace of travel, campsites chosen, etc. We ask that you approach your adventure with an open mind and be able to laugh and have fun when encountering the unexpected. Spirit of the West is dedicated to providing safe, environmentally sensitive, well-organized, fun-filled adventures
wildLIFE & WEATHER
We adhere to the Marine Mammal Viewing Regulations and do our very best to view these magnificent creatures in the wild. That said, we do NOT guarantee sightings and if a particular species or the weather does not cooperate there will not be any refunds issued. We encourage everyone to make the most of their time in this beautiful area and to enjoy the rich environment while understanding that wildlife and sometimes the weather is just that – ‘wild’ – and therefore uncontrollable.
Spirit of the West Adventures will try to accommodate special requests, but will not guarantee such things as kayak type (singles or doubles or a particular style or model of kayak), tent location, special meals, particular guides, etc. Please ensure all special requests are conveyed to our office team at the time of reservation.
Passports and Visas
Guests travelling from outside of Canada or joining us on a tour abroad must carry a valid passport and/or necessary documentation and have obtained the appropriate visas when travelling with Spirit of the West Adventures Ltd. Please ensure your passport is valid for 6 months beyond the duration of your trip. It is your responsibility to ensure that you meet the entry requirements for your travel. Spirit of the West Adventures Ltd. does not accept responsibility if you are refused entry to a country because you lack the correct documentation, or the authorities deem you unsuitable for entry.
Accommodations on Tour
Spirit of the West Adventures Ltd. will do our best to make you comfortable and feel at home on your tour.
Tours within Canada: Keep in mind that our sea kayaking tours are a true wilderness experience that can involve camping in established and non-established sites. Our expedition-style tours involve camping at sites with minimal facilities and rustic surroundings. Basecamp-style tours afford more facilities and comforts. This is all part of what we call an adventure! Tenting and lodging are generally based on double occupancy, however, if you are traveling solo we do our best to provide you with your own tent, please confirm this is possible when making your reservation.
Tours outside of Canada: Hotel portions of tours are based on double occupancy. If you prefer a single room there is an additional single supplement charge. The availability of single rooms may be limited. Single accommodation on the mothership in Chile is not possible. All tenting is also based on double occupancy, however, if you are travelling solo we do our best to provide you with your own tent.
Gratuities are not included in your tour costs. Gratuities are always appreciated. If you feel the guides and crew have done an exceptional job, tipping is a great way to show your appreciation. 10% of your tour cost is the industry standard – an amount which is then shared between the guide team and any crew behind the scenes.
STORAGE OF PERSONAL AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION
Due to the nature of our services, it is necessary to collect and store a certain amount of personal and financial information. By providing us with your address, personal and financial information, you consent to the storage of this information for a period of time deemed appropriate by Spirit of the West Adventures Ltd. Personal information includes, but is not limited to, your first name, last name, phone number, email address and billing address and date of birth. Financial information includes, but is not limited to, your card account number, card expiration date and cardholder name. Spirit of the West Adventures Ltd. is PCI compliant and is committed to ensuring the safety of your information.
Spirit of the West Adventures Ltd. reserves the right to take photographic or film records of any of its tours. Trip members should be aware that Spirit of the West Adventures Ltd. may use these photos or film for promotional and or commercial purposes without remuneration to the trip participants.