Conditions of Travel – nicko cruises Flussreisen GmbH
Dear customers and travellers,
The following conditions shall be, insofar as effectively agreed, the content 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. Please read these travel terms carefully before booking! 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. Completion of the package travel contract, customer obligations
1.1. The following applies to all booking methods:
a) The offer of nc and the customer’s booking are based on the travel description and the supplementary information from nc for the respective trip, insofar as 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 any assurances that alter the agreed content of the package travel contract, go beyond or contradict the travel description or the services contractually agreed by nc.
c) Information in hotel guides and similar directories that are not published by nc , are not binding for nc and nc’s obligation to perform, unless they have been made part of nc’s obligation to perform by express arrangement with the customer.
d) If the contents of the travel confirmation from nc differ from the contents of the booking, there will be a new offer from nc , to which nc is bound for a duration of 3 working days. The contract is concluded on the basis of this new offer, insofar as nc has referred to the change with regard to the new offer and fulfilled its pre-contractual information requirements and the customer declares acceptance to nc within the binding period via express declaration or down payment.
e) The pre-contractual information provided by nc on essential characteristics of travel services, the travel price and all additional costs, the terms of payment, the minimum number of participants and the cancellation fee (in accordance with Article 250 § 3 Number 1, 3 to 5 and 7 EGBGB (Introductory Act to the German Civil code) will then only not be included in the package travel contract if this is expressly agreed between the parties.
f) The customer is liable for all the contractual obligations of the fellow travellers for whom they make the booking, as well as their own, insofar as they have accepted a corresponding obligation by express and separate declaration.
1.2. For the booking, which is made verbally, by phone, in writing, by e-mail or by fax, the following applies:
a) By booking, nc offers the customer the binding completion of the package travel contract. The customer is bound to the booking for 3 working days.
b) The contract is concluded upon receipt of the travel confirmation (declaration of acceptance) by nc . Upon or immediately after conclusion of the contract, nc will provide the customer with a legal confirmation of the travel confirmation on a permanent data medium (which enables the customer to keep the declaration unchanged or store it for a reasonable time, e.g. on paper or via e-mail), unless the traveller is entitled to a written confirmation of travel in accordance with Art. 250 § 6 (1) sentence 2 EGBGB because the conclusion of the contract occurred in the simultaneous physical presence of both parties or outside of business premises.
1.3. For bookings in electronic commerce (e.g. internet, app, telemedia), the following apply to the conclusion of the contract:
a) The customer will be informed about the procedure for electronic booking in the corresponding application of nc .
b) The customer is able to correct their information, delete or reset the entire booking form, and the utilisation of this correction option is explained to them.
c) The contractual languages used to carry out the online booking are indicated. Only German is legally relevant.
d) If the nc contract text is stored in the online booking system, the customer will be informed about this and will be given the option to retrieve the contract text at a later date.
e) By pressing the “Book and pay” button, nc offers the customer the binding completion of the package travel contract. The customer is bound to this contract offer for three working days from the date of sending the electronic declaration.
f) The customer is immediately informed of the receipt of their booking by electronic means.
g) The submission of the booking by pressing the “Book and pay” button does not justify any claim of the customer to the conclusion of a package travel contract according to their booking details. Rather, nc is free to either accept or decline the customer’s contract offer.
h) The contract comes into effect when the customer has access to the travel confirmation sent by nc.
i) If this travel confirmation appears immediately after the customer makes the booking by pressing the “Book and pay” button via the immediate presentation of the travel confirmation on the screen (booking in real-time), the customer has access to the package travel contract and the travel confirmation is displayed on the customer’s screen. Failing this, the customer will receive an interim notification regarding receipt of their booking in accordance with f), insofar as the customer is given the option of saving the travel confirmation on a permanent data medium and printing it out. However, the binding nature of the package travel contract is not dependent on the customer actually using these options for storage or printout. nc will also provide the customer with a copy of the travel confirmation in text form.
1.4. nc points out that according to the legal regulations (§§ 312 Paragraph 7, 312g Paragraph 2 Sentence 1 no. 9 BGB (German Civil Code)) for package tour contracts pursuant to § 651a and § 651c BGB, that there is no right of cancellation for contracts concluded via distance selling (letters, catalogues, phone calls, faxes, e-mails, messages sent via mobile services (SMS), as well as by radio, telemedia and online services), but only the statutory rights of withdrawal and termination, in particular the right of withdrawal according to § 651h BGB (see also Section 5)
There is, however, a right of withdrawal if the contract for travel services pursuant to § 651a BGB (German Civil Code) was concluded outside of business premises, unless the oral negotiations on which the conclusion of the contract is based have been conducted on the prior order of the consumer: in the latter case, there is no right of withdrawal.
1.5. On booking an expedition trip in the Antarctic or Arctic, which we run together with Quark Expeditions®, each traveller expressly agrees to the travel terms of nc and the “Additional special contract terms for expedition trips with Quark Expeditions®”. Travellers are made aware of these special conditions in writing before completing the booking.
2.1. nc and travel agents may only claim or accept payments for the travel price prior to the completion of the package tour if there is an effective customer money protection contract and the customer has been provided with the risk coverage documents with the name and contact details of the credit institute in a clear, understandable and emphasised manner. Upon conclusion of the contract, a down payment of 20% of the travel price will be due for payment upon delivery of the risk coverage documents. The final payment is due 30 days prior to departure, provided that the risk coverage document has been handed over and the trip can no longer be cancelled for the reason stated in Section 8. For bookings with less than 30 days to go before departure, the entire travel price is due immediately.
2.2. If the customer does not make the down payment and/or the final payment in accordance with the agreed payment due date, although nc is willing and able to provide the contractual services properly, has fulfilled its statutory information obligation and the customer has no legal or contractual offset right or right of retention and the customer is responsible for delayed payment, then nc is entitled, after sending a reminder with a deadline after the deadline has expired, to withdraw from the package travel contract and to charge the customer cancellation costs in accordance with Section 5.
3. Changes to the content of the contract prior to departure, which do not affect the travel price
3.1. Discrepancies in key features of the travel services from those outlined in the contents of the package travel contract which became necessary after the conclusion of the contract and were carried out by nc in good faith are permitted to nc before departure, insofar as the discrepancies are insignificant and do not affect the overall arrangement of the booked trip.
3.2. nc is obligated to inform the customer of service changes as soon as the reason for the change is known via a permanent data medium (e.g. via e-mail, SMS or voice message) in a clear, understandable and emphasised manner.
3.3. In the event of any material change to any essential feature of a travel service or deviation from the customer‘s specific requirements that have become part of the package travel contract, the customer shall be entitled within a reasonable time limit set by nc upon notification of the change to either accept the amendment or to withdraw from the package travel contract free of charge. If the customer does not expressly declare to nc their withdrawal from the package travel contract within the deadline set by nc , the change shall be deemed accepted.
3.4. Any warranty claims remain unaffected to the extent that the changed services are flawed. If nc incurred lower costs when carrying out the modified journey or any replacement tour of equivalent quality, the difference should be reimbursed to the customer in accordance with § 651m (2) BGB (German Civil Code).
4. Price increase; Price cut
4.1. nc reserves the right, in accordance with § 651f, 651g BGB (German Civil Code) and the following regulations, to increase the travel price agreed in the package travel contract if this change occurred after the contract was concluded
a) Increase in the price of transporting passengers due to higher fuel or other energy costs,
b) Increase in taxes and other charges for agreed travel services, such as tourist taxes, port or airport charges, or
c) A change in the exchange rates applicable to the package tour concerned directly affects the travel price.
4.2. An increase in the travel price is only permitted if nc clearly and comprehensibly informs the traveller about the price increase and its reasons in text form and informs them of the calculation of the price increase.
4.3. The price increase is calculated as follows:
a) If the price for the transport of persons according to 4.1a) is increased, nc may increase the travel price in accordance with the following calculation:
• In the event of a seat-based increase, nc may charge the customer for the increase.
• Otherwise, the increased costs for fuel or other energy costs required by the transport company for each means of transport of nc will be divided by the number of persons carried. nc can claim payment from the customer for each person carried for the resulting increase.
b) In the event of an increase in taxes and other charges according to 4.1b), the travel price may be increased by the corresponding pro rata amount.
c) In the event of an increase in exchange rates according to 4.1c), the travel price can be increased to the extent that the journey has become more expensive for nc
4.4. nc is obliged to provide the customer/traveller with a reduction of the travel price at his request, if and to the extent that the prices, charges or exchange rates specified in 4.1 a)-c) have changed after the conclusion of the contract and this leads to lower costs for nc before departure. If the customer/traveller has paid more than the amount owed hereafter, the surplus shall be reimbursed to them by nc. However, nc may deduct the administrative expenditure that has been incurred by nc from the amount to be reimbursed. nc must prove to the customer/traveller, at their request, the cost of administrative expenditure that has been incurred.
4.5. Price increases are only permitted up to 20 days before departure.
4.6. In the event of price increases of more than 8%, the customer is entitled within a reasonable time limit set by nc upon notification of the price increase to either accept the change or to withdraw from the package travel contract free of charge. If the customer does not expressly declare to nc their withdrawal from the package travel contract within the deadline, the change shall be deemed accepted.
5. Cancellation by the customer before departure/cancellation fees
5.1. The customer may withdraw from the package travel contract at any time before departure. Their withdrawal should be declared to nc at the below address, or, if booked through a travel agent, the withdrawal declaration can also be sent to them. We recommend the customer withdraw from the contract in text form.
5.2. If the customer withdraws before departure or if the customer does not start the journey, nc is not entitled to receive the travel price. Instead, nc can demand reasonable compensation, insofar as withdrawal is not the responsibility of nc . nc cannot claim compensation for unavoidable, extraordinary circumstances at the destination or in its immediate vicinity which significantly affect the operation of the package tour or the transport of persons to the destination; circumstances are unavoidable and extraordinary if they are not under the control of the party invoking them and their consequences could not have been avoided even if all reasonable arrangements had been made.
5.3. nc has determined the following compensation charges taking into consideration the period between the notice of withdrawal and departure, as well as the expected expenditure savings and the expected purchase through other uses of the travel services. Compensation will be calculated after the time of receipt of the notice of withdrawal using the following scale:
a) Trips from the main catalogue, trips without any special labels
up to 150 days before departure 10%
up to 90 days before departure 20%
up to 45 days before departure 30%
up to 30 days before departure 50%
up to 10 days before departure 75%
up to one day before departure 90%
and on the day of arrival or in the event of non-occurrence 95%
of the agreed travel price
b) Special offers at special prices (labelled as: “special offers”)
up to 90 days before departure 30%
up to 45 days before departure 40%
up to 30 days before departure 60%
up to 10 days before departure 85%
up to one day before departure 90%
and on the day of arrival or in the event of non-occurrence 95%
of the agreed travel price
c) Cancellation of single beds (individual travellers) in double or multi-bed cabins (trips from the main catalogue)
up to 90 days 50%;
from 89 to 45 days 75%;
from 44 days to 10 days 90%;
from 9 days until the day of arrival
or in the event of non-occurrence 95%
of the agreed travel price.
c) Cancellation of single beds (individual travellers) in double or multi-bed cabins (special offers)
up to 90 days 60%;
from 89 to 45 days 90%;
from 44 days until the day of arrival
or in the event of non-arrival 95% of the agreed travel price.
5.4. The customer is free to prove to nc that nc did not incur any losses or a far lower loss than the cancellation compensation demanded by nc.
5.5. Cancellation compensation according to Section 5.3. is deemed not to have been determined and agreed if nc proves that nc incurred significantly greater expenditure than the calculated lump sum amount that would have been applied in the event of an agreement. In this case, nc is obliged to quantify and substantiate the required compensation, taking into consideration saved expenditure and acquisition and any other use of travel services.
5.6. If nc is obliged to refund the travel price due to a cancellation, Section 651 h (5) German Civil Code remains unaffected.
5.7. According to § 651 e BGB (German Civil Code), when notifying nc on a permanent data medium requesting a third party to enter into the rights and obligations under the package travel contract in their stead, the customer’s legal rights remain unaffected by the above conditions. Such a declaration is considered timely if nc is informed 7 days before departure.
5.8. Taking out travel cancellation insurance and insurance to cover repatriation costs in case of accident or illness is strongly recommended.
6.1. After the conclusion of the contract, the customer may not make a claim for rebooking (changes regarding the travel date, travel destination, place of travel, accommodation, type of catering, type of transport or other services). This does not apply if the rebooking is necessary because nc has not provided any information or has provided insufficient or false pre-contractual information to the traveller pursuant to Art. 250 § 3 EGBGB (Introductory Act to the German Civil Code); in this case, the rebooking is free.
6.2. Upon request of the customer, nc may review rebooking options. If nc makes a rebooking, nc may charge a rebooking fee from the customer for each traveller affected by the rebooking, subject to the following time limit. Unless otherwise agreed on a case-by-case basis prior to the rebooking being agreed, rebooking fees amount to €200 per person up to 150 days before the journey. Customer rebooking requests that take place after expiration of the time limit as well as rebooking requests that concern special offers at special prices, can, if their execution is possible at all, only be carried out after withdrawal from the travel contract according to Section 5 in line with the conditions and the making of a new registration. This does not apply to rebooking requests that only incur minor costs. Previously promised cabin numbers cannot be taken into account with rebookings.
7. Unused services
If the traveller accepts individual travel services, for whose contractual provision nc was prepared and able to provide, and does not make use of these services for their own reasons, the traveller has no entitlement to the partial reimbursement of the travel price, insofar as such reasons would not have entitled them to free withdrawal or termination of the travel contract in accordance with the legal conditions. nc will seek reimbursement for the expenditure saved from the tour operators. This obligation is waived if the services are completely insignificant.
8. Withdrawal due to the minimum number of participants not being met
8.1. nc may withdraw the travel offer if the minimum number of participants is not achieved in accordance with the following stipulations:
a) The minimum number of participants and the latest date of receipt of the declaration of withdrawal from nc by the customer must be stated in the respective pre-contractual briefing
b) nc must indicate the minimum number of participants and the latest withdrawal period in the travel confirmation
c) nc is obligated to immediately notify the customer of the cancellation of the trip if it is established that the journey will not be carried out due to the minimum number of participants not being reached.
d) Cancellation by nc later than 30 days before departure is not permitted.
8.2. If the trip is not carried out for this reason, the customer will immediately receive reimbursement of the travel price they have paid, Section 5.6. applies accordingly.
9. Obligations of the customer/traveller
9.1. Travel documents
The customer has to inform nc or the travel agent, through which the customer booked the package tour, if they do not have the necessary travel documents (e.g. plane ticket, hotel voucher) within the deadline communicated by nc.
9.2. Notice of defects/Request for remediation
a) If the trip is not provided free of defects, the traveller may request remediation.
b) Insofar as nc could not remedy the situation as a result of a culpable neglect of the notice of defects, the traveller cannot assert any compensation claims according to § 651m BGB (German Civil Code) or claims for damages according to § 651n BGB.
c) The traveller is obligated to promptly provide the nc representative on-site with their notice of defects. If there is no local nc representative, any travel defects shall be reported to nc through the contact point provided by nc; accessibility of the nc representative or its contact on-site will be mentioned in the travel confirmation. The traveller can, however, also take the notice of defects to the travel agent through which the package tour was booked.
d) The nc representative is instructed to remedy the issue, if this is possible. They are not, however, authorised to recognise any claims.
9.3. Termination deadline
If the customer/traveller wants to terminate the package travel contract due to a travel deficiency of the kind specified in § 651i (2) BGB (German Civil Code), insofar as the defect is substantial, according to § 651l BGB, nc must be set a reasonable deadline for remedial action by the customer. This does not apply if the remedial actions of nc are refused or if immediate remediation is required.
9.4. Luggage damage and luggage delay during air travel; special rules and deadlines for requests for remediation
a) The traveller is advised that luggage loss, damage and delay related to air travel in accordance with the aviation regulations must be reported on-site immediately through a notice of loss (“P.I.R.”) filed with the responsible airline. Airlines and nc may refuse reimbursement under international conventions if the notice of loss has not been completed. The notice of loss must be refunded within 7 days in case of luggage damage and within 21 days after delivery in case of delay.
b) In addition, the loss, damage or misdirection of luggage shall be reported immediately to their representative or contact point or the travel agent. This does not release the traveller from their obligation to file a loss report with the airline in accordance with a) within the deadlines stated above.
10. Limitation of liability
10.1. The contractual liability of nc for damages that are not the result of injury to life, body or health and were not culpably caused is limited to the triple the travel price. Any further claims under the Montreal Convention or the Aviation Act remain unaffected by this limitation of liability.
10.2. nc is not liable for service interruptions, personal injury and material damages in connection with third-party services only (e.g. contracted excursions, sporting events, theatre visits, exhibitions), if these services were explicitly stated as being provided by third parties and the identity and address of the contracting party was clearly indicated in the travel description and travel confirmation so that the traveller could clearly see they were not part of the nc package tour and were selected separately. Sections 651b, 651c, 651w and 651y BGB (German Civil Code) remain unaffected.
10.3. nc shall be liable, however, if and to the extent that violation of the information, explanation or organisational duties of nc was the cause of damage to the traveller.
11. Assertion of claims, recipients
Claims according to § 651i (3) no. 2, 4-7 BGB (German Civil Code) are to be asserted to nc by the customer/traveller. The assertion may also be made through the travel agent if the package tour was booked through this travel agent. The contractual claims listed in § 651 i (3) BGB (German Civil Code) become time-barred after two years. The limitation period starts on the day on which the journey ends according to the contract. We recommend making an assertion in text form.
12. Information obligation for the identity of the air carriers
12.1. In accordance with the EU regulation on informing air transport passengers of the identity of the operating air carrier, nc will inform the customer of the identity of the operating airline(s) prior to booking, or at the latest at the time of booking, for all of the air transportation services to be rendered as part of the booked trip.
12.2. If the operating airline(s) have not yet been determined at the time of booking, nc is obliged to provide the customer with the name of the airline or airlines that are likely to operate the flight. As soon as nc knows which airline will be operating the flight, nc will inform the customer.
12.3. If the operating airline stated to the customer changes, nc will immediately inform the customer of the change and provide them with suitable information regarding this change.
12.4. The “Black List” established in accordance with the EC regulations (airlines prohibited from using the airspace over the member states) is available on the nc internet site or directly via ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/air/safety/air-ban/index_de.htm and at the offices of nc.
13. Passport, visa and health regulations
13.1. nc will inform the customer/traveller of general passport and visa requirements, as well as the health formalities of the country of destination, including the approximate deadlines for obtaining any necessary visas prior to conclusion of the contract and any changes to these prior to the journey.
13.2. The customer is responsible for procuring and carrying the officially required travel documents, getting any necessary vaccinations and compliance with customs and foreign exchange regulations. Disadvantages resulting from nonobservance of these regulations, e.g. the payment of cancellation costs, are at the expense of the customer/traveller. This does not apply if nc has not provided information or has provided insufficient or incorrect information.
13.3. nc shall not be liable for the timely issuance and receipt of necessary visas from the respective diplomatic representation if the customer has entrusted nc with the provision, unless nc has culpably neglected its own duties.
14. Special regulations in relation to pandemics (in particular coronavirus)
14.1. The parties agree that nc will always render the agreed travel services in conjunction with the service providers in compliance with and subject to the official regulations and requirements applicable at the time of travel.
14.2. The traveller agrees to observe appropriate usage regulations or limitations of the service provider when using the travel services and to notify the tour guide and tour operator immediately if the characteristic symptoms of illness appear.
15. Data processing; alternative dispute resolution; choice of law and place of jurisdiction
15.2. nc points out that in view of the law on consumer dispute settlement, nc does not participate in voluntary consumer dispute settlement. If a consumer dispute settlement becomes mandatory for nc after these travel terms have been printed, nc will inform the consumer accordingly in a suitable manner. nc refers to the European online dispute resolution platform ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr/ for all travel contracts concluded in electronic commerce.
15.3. For customers/travellers who are not nationals of a member state of the European Union or who are Swiss citizens, the exclusive validity of German law is agreed for the entire legal and contractual agreement between the customer/traveller and nc. Such customers/travellers can only file suits against nc at the nc headquarters.
15.4. For nc, claims against customers or contracting parties in the package travel contract who are businessmen, legal entities of the public law or private law, who are domiciled abroad, are ordinarily resident abroad or whose habitual residence at the time the claim is raised is unknown will be filed in the place of jurisdiction of the nc headquarters.
© Protected by copyright:
Noll | Hütten | Dukic Rechtanwälte,
Munich | Stuttgart, 2021-2022
Tour operator is:
nicko cruises Schiffsreisen GmbH
Mittlerer Pfad 2 • D-70499 Stuttgart
Tel. +49 (0) 711 24 89 80 0
Fax +49 (0) 711 24 89 80 77
District court Stuttgart
Guido Laukamp, Carsten Keil
These travel terms apply to sea and expedition trips with nicko cruises Schiffsreisen GmbH and replace all previous travel terms.
Valid as of September 2020
Separate conditions apply to our river cruises.