Conditions of Travel – nicko cruises Flussreisen GmbH
Dear customers and travellers,
The following conditions shall be, insofar as effectively agreed, the contents of the contract between the customer and nicko cruises Schiffsreisen GmbH, hereinafter “nc”, for the package travel contract drawn up during the conclusion of the contract. They supplement the statutory regulations of §§ 651a - y BGB (German Civil Code) and Articles 250 and 252 of the EGBGB (Introductory Act to the German Civil Code) and complete them. Although the utmost care was exercised in translating these Conditions of Travel into English, attention is expressly drawn to the fact that only and exclusively the German version entitled “Reisebedingungen nicko cruises Schiffsreisen GmbH” is legally binding.
1. Conclusion of package tour agreement, customer obligations
1.1. The following applies to all booking methods:
a) The basis of the provision of nc and the customer booking are the tour description and the supplementary information from nc for the respective tour, provided that these are available to the customer at the time of booking.
b) Travel agents and booking offices are not authorised by nc to make agreements, provide information or make assurances which modify the agreed contents of the package tour agreement, or go beyond or contradict the tour description or the services which have been contractually agreed by nc.
c) Information in hotel guides and similar lists which are not published by nc are not binding for nc or the service obligation of nc, unless they have been been made contents of the service obligation of nc by means of direct agreement with the customer.
d) If the contents of the travel confirmation from nc differ from the contents of the booking, this constitutes a new provision from nc, to which nc is bound for the duration of 3 days. The agreement arises on the basis of this new provision, provided that nc has pointed out the change with regard to the new provision and has fulfilled its pre-contractual information obligations, and the customer has declared his agreement within the binding period by means of explicit declaration or payment of a deposit.
e) The pre-contractual information provided by nc concerning the essential characteristics of the tour services, the tour price and all additional costs, the payment methods, the minimum number of participants and the cancellation fees (as per article 250 section 3 numbers 1, 3 to 5 and 7 of the EGBGB) shall become incorporated in the package tour agreement unless otherwise explicitly agreed between the parties.
f) The customer is liable for all contractual obligations of fellow travellers for whom he makes the booking, he is also liable for his own obligations if he has accepted an appropriate obligation by means of an explicit and separate declaration.
1.2. The following applies to the booking, which has been made verbally, by telephone, in writing, by e-mail, by text message or by fax:
a) Offers made by the customer through these means is will be seen as a binding agreement. The customer is bound to the booking for 3 working days.
b) The agreement comes into being when the travel confirmation (acceptance declaration) is received by nc. When the agreement is concluded, or immediately thereafter, nc will send the customer a travel confirmation with contents that are in accordance with the legal regulations on a permanent data carrier (which allows the customer to keep or save the declaration unchanged so that it is accessible to him for an appropriate period of time, e.g. on paper or by e-mail), provided that the traveller is not entitled to travel confirmation on paper in accordance with art. 250 section 6 para. (1) clause 2 of the EGBGB, because the agreement was concluded in the physical presence of both parties or outside of business premises.
1.3. The following applies to the conclusion of the agreement for bookings which are made using e-commerce (e.g. Internet, App, tele-media):
a) The electronic booking procedure in the relevant application shall be explained to the customer by nc.
b) An appropriate correction facility shall be available to the customer for correcting his entries, deleting or resetting the entire booking form, the use of which shall be explained.
c) The agreement languages which are available for carrying out the online booking are specified. Only the German language is legally decisive.
d) If the text of the agreement is stored on the online booking system by nc, the customer shall be notified thereof and notified about subsequent retrieval of the agreement text.
e) By pressing the “Book with obligation to pay” button, the customer is bindingly offering the conclusion of the package tour agreement to nc. The customer is bound to this agreement offer for three days of sending the electronic declaration.
f) Receipt of the customer booking shall be confirmed immediately electronically.
g) The transmission of the booking by pressing the “Book with obligation to pay” button does not mean that customer has the right to a package tour agreement in accordance with his booking details; on the contrary nc is entitled to decide whether or not to accept the customer’s agreement offer.
h) The agreement comes about when the customer receives the travel confirmation from nc.
i) If the travel confirmation is received immediately after receipt of the customer booking by pressing the “Book with obligation to pay” button by appropriate immediate display of the travel confirmation on screen (real-time booking), the package tour agreement shall come about when this travel confirmation has arrived and been displayed to the customer on screen, without requiring intermediate notification of the receipt of his booking in accordance with f), provide that the customer is offered the possibility of storing on a permanent data carrier or a printout of the travel confirmation. However, the binding nature of the package tour agreement does not depend on the customer actually making use of this facility for storing or printing out. nc shall also send the customer a copy of the travel confirmation in text form.
1.4. nc would like to point out that in accordance with the legal regulations (sections 312 para. 7, 312g para. 2 clause 1 no. 9 of the BGB) for package tour agreements in accordance with sections 651a and 651c of the BGB which have been concluded by means of distance sales (letters, catalogues, telephone calls, fax messages, e-mails or messages sent via a mobile radio service (text messages) and radio, tele-media and online services), no right to cancellation exists, only the legal withdrawal and cancellation rights, particularly the right to withdrawal in accordance with section 651h of the BGB (see also number 5 with regard to this). However, the right to cancellation does exist if the agreement for travel services has been concluded outside business premises in accordance with section 651a of the BGB, unless the verbal negotiations upon which the conclusion of the agreement is based have been carried out as a result of a preceding consumer order. In the latter case there is also no right to cancellation.
1.5. If an expedition trip is booked in collaboration with Quark Expeditions®, each participant expressly agrees to the Travel Terms & Conditions of nc and the “Supplementary special contractual conditions for expedition trips with Quark Expeditions®”. These special conditions shall be brought to the tour participant’s attention in writing before the booking is concluded.
2.1. nc and travel agents may only request and accept payments of the tour price before the end of the package tour if an effective insolvency agreement exists and the customer has been given a security certificate stating the name and contact data of the insurer in a clear, comprehensible and highlighted way. After the conclusion of the agreement, a deposit of 20% of the tour price is due for payment against handover of the security certificate. The remaining payment is due 30 days before the start of the tour, provided that the security certificate has been handed over and the tour can no longer be cancelled for the reason mentioned in number 8. The full price of the tour is payable immediately for bookings made less than 30 days before the start of the tour.
2.2. If the customer does not pay the deposit and/or the remaining payment in accordance with the agreed due dates, even though nc is prepared and in a position to provide the contractually agreed services, has fulfilled its legal information obligations and the customer does not have any legal or contractual right to retention, nc is entitled to withdraw from the package tour agreement after sending a reminder with a deadline, and charge withdrawal costs to the customer in accordance with number 5.
3. Changes to the contents of the contract before the start of the tour which do not affect the price.
3.1. nc is entitled to make changes to significant characteristics of travel services from the agreed contents of the package tour agreement which become necessary after the conclusion of the agreement and have not been caused by nc in breach of good faith, provided that the differences are not considerable and do not adversely affect the overall character of the tour.
3.2. nc is obliged to notify the customer of changes to the services (and the reason) immediately after they become known on a permanent data carrier (e.g. by e-mail, text message or voice message) in a clear, comprehensible and highlighted way.
3.3. In the event of a major modification to an important characteristic of a travel service or deviation from special customer specifications which have become the contents of the package tour agreement, the customer is entitled to either accept the modification or withdraw from the package tour agreement free of charge within an appropriate deadline set by nc at the same time as notification of the modification. If the customer does not expressly declare that he is withdrawing from the package tour agreement within the deadline set by nc, the change shall be regarded as accepted.
3.4. Any claims for compensation shall not be affected, provided that the modified services are deficient. If the cost of carrying out the modified tour or replacement tour of the same quality at the same price which may have been offered is lower for nc, the customer shall be refunded the difference in accordance with section 651m para. 2 of the BGB.
4. Price increase; Price reduction
4.1. In accordance with section 651f, 651g of the BGB and the following regulations, nc reserves the right to increase the tour price agreed in the package tour agreement, if:
a) an increase in the price for transporting persons due to higher costs for fuel or other energy sources,
b) an increase in tax and other fees for agreed travel services such as tourist tax, port fees or airport tax or
c) a change to the exchange rates applicable to the package tour concerned has a direct effect on the price of the tour.
4.2. Increasing the price of the tour is only permissible if nc notifies the traveller in text form in a clear and comprehensible way about the price increase and the reasons for it, and also provides information on how the price increase was calculated.
4.3. The price increase shall be calculated as follows:
a) If the price for transporting persons increases in accordance with 4.1 a), nc can increase the price of the tour in accordance with the following calculation:
• In the case of an increase relating to or based on individual seats, nc is entitled to claim the amount of the increase from the customer.
• Otherwise the additional transportation costs demanded by the transport company per means of transport shall be divided between the number of seats of the agreed means of transport. nc can then demand the resulting increase amount for the individual seat from the customer.
b) If taxes and other fees are increased in accordance with 4.1 b), the price of the tour can be increased by the relevant proportional amount.
c) If the exchange rates increase in accordance with 4.1 c), the price of the tour can be increased by the amount that the tour has become more expensive for nc.
4.4. If requested to do so, nc is obliged to grant the customer/traveller a reduction in the price of the tour if the prices, fees or exchange rates mentioned in 4.1 a) -c) have changed and this leads to lower costs for nc. If the customer/traveller has paid more than the amount owed according to this, the additional amount must be reimbursed by nc, but nc is entitled to deduct the actually incurred administration costs from the additional amount to be reimbursed. nc must provide the customer/traveller with proof of how much the administration costs were if requested to do so.
4.5. Price increases are only permissible if the customer is notified at least 20 days before the start date of a cruise.
4.6. In the event of price increases of more than 8 %, the customer is entitled to either accept the change or withdraw from the package tour agreement within an appropriate deadline set by nc at the same time as the notification of the price increase. If the customer does not expressly declare that he is withdrawing from the package tour agreement within the deadline set by nc, the change shall be regarded as accepted.
5. Customer withdrawal before start of tour/cancellation costs
5.1. The customer can withdraw from the package tour agreement at any time before the start of the tour. The withdrawal must be explained to nc at the address specified above/in the following, and if the tour was booked with a travel agent, the explanation for withdrawal can also be explained to the travel agent. Customers are strongly advised to submit their withdrawal in text form.
5.2. If a customer withdraws before the start of the tour or does not take part in the tour (no-show), nc loses its entitlement to the price of the tour. Instead, nc can demand appropriate compensation, provided that nc was not responsible for the withdrawal or unavoidable, extraordinary circumstances occur at the destination or in the immediate vicinity thereof which have a considerable detrimental effect on carrying out the package tour or transporting persons. Circumstances are unavoidable and extraordinary if they are out of the control of nc and the consequences thereof could not have been avoided, even if all reasonable precautions had been taken.
5.3. nc has defined the following compensation flat rates taking the period between the declaration of withdrawal and the start of the tour into consideration, and also taking the expected reduction in expenditure and the anticipated earnings by using of the travel services in another way. The compensation shall be calculated according to the point in time of receipt of the withdrawal notice as follows with the respective cancellation table:
a) Tours from the main catalogue, tours without special identification and tours which do not come under the following numbers b) to d)
up to 120 days 10 %;
from 119 days to 60 days 20 %;
from 59 days to 30 days 40 %;
from 29 days to 15 days 60 %;
from 14 days to 1 day 80 %;
on day of travel or no-show 90 %;
b) Action tours at special prices (special identification: “Promotion trip”)
up to 120 days 20 %;
from 119 days to 60 days 30 %;
from 59 days to 30 days 50 %;
from 29 days to 15 days 70 %;
from 14 days to 1 day 85 %;
on day of travel or no-show 90 %;
c) Cancellation of single beds (individual travellers) in double or multiple bed cabins (tours from main catalogue)
up to 120 days 40 %;
from 119 days to 15 days 60 %;
from 14 days to 1 day 80 %;
on day of travel or no-show 90 %;
d) Cancellation of single beds (individual travellers) in double or multiple bed cabins (promotion trips)
up to 120 days 50 %;
from 119 days to 15 days 70 %;
from 14 days to 1 day 85 %;
on day of travel or no-show 90 %;
5.4. In all cases, it is the customer’s responsibility to prove to nc that nc has not suffered any damage or much less damage than the lump sum compensation being demanded by nc.
5.5. nc reserves the right to demand a greater, specific amount of compensation rather than the above-mentioned lump sums if it can prove that it has incurred costs that are considerably higher than the respective applicable lump sum. In this case, nc is under obligation to precisely specify and provide evidence for the amount of compensation claimed, taking into account expenditure saved and any possible alternative assignment of the travel services.
5.6. If nc is obliged to reimburse the price of the tour as a result of a withdrawal, nc must pay the amount immediately, or within 14 days of receipt of the withdrawal declaration in any case.
5.7. The customer’s legal right to demand from nc that a third party shall take over the rights and obligations from the package tour agreement instead of himself in accordance with section 651 e of the BGB by providing notification on a permanent data medium remains unaffected by the above-mentioned conditions. Such a declaration cannot be provided within 7 days before the start of a tour.
5.8. We urgently recommend taking out insurance to cover withdrawal costs and insurance to cover repatriation in the event of accidents or illness.
6. Rebooking / booking changes
6.1. The customer is not entitled to make changes with regard to the travel date, the destination, the starting location, the accommodation, the type of catering, the type of transportation or other services (rebooking). This does not apply if rebooking is required because nc has not provided the traveller with information, insufficient information or erroneous pre-contractual information in accordance with art. 250 section 3 of the EGBGB; In this case, rebooking can take place free of charge. If rebooking takes place in other cases by request of the customer, nc is entitled to charge a rebooking fee from the customer per traveller affected by the rebooking provided that the following deadlines are adhered to. Unless otherwise agreed in isolated cases before acceptance of the rebooking, the rebooking fee for:
a) Tours from the main catalogue, tours without special identification
Fee in Euros p.p.
Up to 90 days: 50 €
From 89 to 60 days: 100 €
from 59 days before start of tour: 150 €
b) Promotion trips at special prices (special identification: “Promotion trip”)
Fee in Euros p.p.
Up to 90 days: 100 €
from 89 up to 60 days: 200 €
from 59 days before start of tour: 300 €
This shall not apply to rebooking requests from which only minor costs arise. Cabin numbers allocated earlier cannot be taken into account when rebooking.
7. Unused services
If the traveller does not make use of individual travel services which nc was prepared and in a position to provide in accordance with the agreement, for reasons for which the traveller is responsible, he shall not be entitled to proportional reimbursement of the cost of the tour, unless these reasons would have entitled him to free withdrawal or cancellation of the travel agreement in accordance with legal regulations. nc will attempt to have the reduced expenditure reimbursed by the service providers. This obligation does not apply to completely unrelated services.
8. Withdrawal due to failure to achieve the minimum number of participants
8.1. nc can withdraw if a certain number of participants is not reached in accordance with the following regulations:
a) The minimum number of participants and the latest arrival time of the declaration of withdrawal from nc to the customer must be specified in the respective pre-contractual briefing.
b) nc must specify the minimum number of participants and the latest withdrawal deadline in the travel confirmation.
c) nc is obliged to declare the cancellation of the tour to the customer without delay when it has been established that the tour is not going to take place because the minimum number of participants has not been reached.
d) Withdrawal by nc less than 30 days before the start of the tour is not permissible.
8.2. If the tour does not take place for this reason, payments that have been made for the tour shall be reimbursed to the customer immediately, number 5.6. applies accordingly.
9. Customer/traveller obligations
9.1. Travel documents
The customer must notify nc or its travel agent via whom he has booked the package tour if he does not receive the necessary travel documents (e.g. air ticket, hotel voucher) within the deadline notified by nc.
9.2. Notice of defects/demand for redress
a) If the tour is not provided free of deficiencies, the traveller can demand redress.
b) Unless nc was unable to provide redress as a result of a culpable omission of the notice of defect, the traveller cannot assert any price reduction claims in accordance with section 651m of the BGB or compensation claims in accordance with section 651n of the BGB.
c) The traveller is obliged to notify nc of his notice of defect immediately to the nc representative on site. If no nc representative is present on site and not contractually culpable, nc must be notified of any tour deficiencies at the notified contact point; information will be provided in the travel conformation about the accessibility of the representative of nc or its contact point. However, the traveller can also notify his travel agent with whom he booked the package tour of the notice of defects.
d) The nc representative is charged with providing redress, provided that this is possible. However, he is not authorised to recognise claims.
9.3. Cancellation deadline
If the customer / traveller wishes to cancel the package tour agreement in accordance with section 651l of the BGB because of a travel defect of the kind described in section 651i para. (2) of the BGB, provided that it is relevant, he must give nc an appropriate deadline for providing redress beforehand. This only fails to apply if the redress is refused by nc or if immediate redress is necessary.
9.4. Damage to luggage and luggage arriving late when travelling by air; special rules and deadlines for demanding redress
a) It is pointed out to the traveller that loss of luggage, damage to luggage and luggage delays in connection with air travel must be reported to the responsible airline immediately on site in accordance with the legal air Travel Terms & Conditions by the traveller using a damage report (“P.I.R.”). Airlines and nc can refuse reimbursements on the basis of international conventions if the damage report has not been filled in. The notice of damage must be submitted within 7 days of being handed out for luggage damage, and within 21 days for delays.
b) The loss, damage or misrouting of luggage must also be reported immediately to nc, its representative or its contact office or the travel agent. This does not release the traveller from sending the notice of damage to the airline in accordance with a) within the above-mentioned deadlines.
10. Limitation of liability
10.1. The contractual liability of nc for damage that does not result from injury to life, body or health and were not brought about in a culpable way is limited to three times the cost of the tour. Possible further-reaching claims pursuant to the Montreal Convention and/or the Civil Aviation Act remain unaffected by this limitation of liability.
10.2. nc is not liable for defective performance, injuries or damage to property in connection with services which are merely mediated as external services (e.g. mediated excursions, sports events, theatre visits, exhibitions), if these services have been expressly so clearly marked in the travel brochure and the travel confirmation and specifying the identity and address of the mediated contract partner as external services, that they are recognisable by the traveller as not being a constituent of the nc package tour and have been selected separately. Sections 651b, 651c, 651w and 651y of the BGB are unaffected by this.
10.3. However, nc is liable if and insofar as damage to the traveller was caused by the violation of an obligation to provide information, clarification or organisation by nc.
11. Assertion of claims, addressee
Claims in accordance with section 651i para. (3) no. 2, 4-7 of the BGB must be asserted against nc by the customer/traveller. The assertion can also be made via the travel agent if the package tour was booked via this travel agent. Assertion in text form is recommended.
12. Obligation to provide information on the identity of the airline
12.1. nc shall notify the customer when booking takes place in accordance with the EU legislation concerning the notifying of air passengers about the identity of the airline before or no later than when booking takes place about the identity of airline(s) with regard to all air transportation services to be provided within the scope of the booked tour.
12.2. If the airline(s) is/are unknown at the time of booking, nc is obliged to tell the customer which airline(s) will probably be providing the flight. As soon as nc knows which airline will be providing the flight, nc will inform the customer.
12.3. If there is a change to the airline which has been named to the customer as the carrier, nc shall inform the customer of the change immediately and as quickly as is possible with appropriate means.
12.4. The "Black List” drawn up by the EU legislation (airlines who are not permitted to use airspace above the EU)can be examined on the nc web site or directly via ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/air/safety/air-ban/index_de.htm and on the business premises of nc.
13. Passport, visa and health regulations
13.1. nc will notify the customer/traveller about the general passport and visa requirements and health policy formalities of the destination country, including the approximate deadlines for obtaining any visa that is required before the agreement is concluded and about possible changes before the start of the tour.
13.2. The customer shall be responsible for securing and carrying the officially required travel documents, for such inoculations as may be needed, and for compliance with customs and foreign currency regulations. Disadvantages which arise from failure to observe these regulations such as the payment of withdrawal costs shall be charged to the customer/traveller. This shall not apply if and when nc has failed to give information or has given inadequate or false information.
13.3. nc is not liable for timely issue of a visa that is needed for entry by the respective diplomatic representation if the customer has commissioned nc to obtain the visa, unless nc has culpably violated its own obligations.
14. Alternative dispute settlement Choice of law and place of jurisdiction
14.1. nc points out with regard to the law concerning consumer dispute settlement that nc does not participate in voluntary consumer dispute settlement. If a consumer dispute settlement would be obligatory for nc after the printing of these Travel Terms & Conditions, nc shall inform the consumer about this in a suitable form, For all travel agreements that have been concluded in electronic legal dealings, nc refers to the European dispute settlement platform http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr/.
14.2. For customer/travellers who are not residents of a member state of the European Union or Swiss citizens, the exclusive application of German law is agreed between the customer/traveller and nc. These customers/travellers can only institute proceedings against nc at the place of residence of nc.
14.3. For legal proceedings of nc against customers or contract partners of the package tour agreement who are merchants, legal entities of public or private law or persons whose residence or usual place of residence is abroad or whose residence or usual place of residence is unknown at the point in time when legal proceedings were initiated, the place of residence of nc shall be agreed as the place of jurisdiction.
© Protected by copyright:
Noll & Hütten Rechtsanwälte,
Stuttgart | Munich, 2017–2018
nicko cruises Schiffsreisen GmbH
Mittlerer Pfad 2
D-70499 Stuttgart - Germany
Tel. +49 (0) 711 24 89 80 44
Fax +49 (0) 711 24 89 80 77
Amtsgericht Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt
Company Register No.: HRB 744018
Chief Commercial Officer: Guido Laukamp
Chief Financial Officer: Carsten Keil
These Travel Terms & Conditions supersede all previous conditions for river cruises with nicko cruises Flussreisen GmbH.
Last revised: June 2018.
Separate conditions apply for our ocean cruises.