Photo Tours Terms and Conditions

Terms and conditions
 

General information:
Name: Artica Studios Inc.
Mailing Address: 1216 Landsdown Dr. Oakville, ON, Canada
Tel: +1-416-882-4474
Email: hello@artica-studios.com
 
The purpose:
Artica Studios Inc. offers photography tours and workshops, mainly in Canada, Greenland, Iceland and Svalbard and Northern Norway but we travel domestically and internationally for local photography, videography and media production.
 
The legal stuff:
Governing Law / Jurisdiction:
Artica Studios Inc. operates in accordance with Local law of operations and laws of Ontario provincial government
Extractions from our Service Agreement (Located Below)

COVID-19 / Pandemic Terms

If there are any complications with travelling or uncertainties arising that may impact us near our tour then we may have an Automatic Postponement of the photo tours and therefore your deposits or full payments carry over until the next year. You will not have to pay any additional fees of a potential 1 to 3 year deferral of the trip. If COVID-19 restrictions impact our ability to carry out the tour to 100% of our abilities then we reserve the right to make the executive decision on the collective safety of our group participants/clients.

Postponement

For example, if there are flight restrictions, quarantines in place for our arrival location, this may cause a 1- 3 year postponement of the photography expedition and the decision is made by Artica Studios Inc.

 

For example: if there is political pressure to stop airline travel or our domestic countries our group to fly home, then the trip may be postponed

 

Artica Studios Inc. reserves the right to postpone any photo tour for health or safety reasons with travel or operations.

 

If we are operating the photo tour and you choose to not participate, you forfeit your deposit or any payment and you must go through your travel insurance and not Artica Studios Inc. for partial refunds.

If you contract COVID-19, before your departure and are unable to travel you will have to go through your travel insurance company to be covered for any refunds, Artica Studios has a strict policy to customer cancellations as noted by previous statements

Full-on cancellations (without postponement option) of a tour, have never happened prior with Artica Studios Inc., but if they do, you will receive 100% of your payment back minus any processing fees for a credit card or wire transfer.

 

This includes your non-refundable 50% deposit back and any other payments for the trip minus a potential processing fee. If there were any other specific tour issues you would be notified well in advance and deposits would be returned - for any abnormalities.

Travel Insurance Requirement: to get travel insurance for the trip so your flight, your hotel and your deposit are covered under insurance for any issues related to travel.

Cancellation & Payment Policy extractions:
  • If you cancel, anytime, the 50% deposit is non-refundable OR any initial payment deposit towards the trip that was used to reserve your spot. If you can find someone else to fill your spot and have them pay the deposit we can refund you and that is the only way.

  • The second and final payment is due 90 days after the initial deposit.

  • If full payment has been made: 91 days prior to tour 50% of the total payment is refundable, 46-90 days prior to tour 30% of the total payment is refundable and 0-45 days prior no refunds. Artica Studios is not held responsible for your inability to join the tour whether that is due to sickness, personal /family circumstances, airline troubles, etc. 50% deposits are non-refundable.

Photography Tours
  • Should Artica Studios Inc. need to cancel the tour, it is fully refundable, this includes your non-refundable deposit minus 3%, however, if Artica Studios Inc. is postponing the trip due to unforeseen circumstances and/ or pandemic COVID-19 related then your deposit is automatically booking your spot for the following year for no extra cost.  For example flights, hotels before and after, food before and after, visas for trips that do not happen are the clients/purchaser's responsibility through their own travel insurance.
  • Should the customer need to cancel their participation in the tour, the deposit will be always be retained by Artica Studios Inc. as it is non-refundable. If the cancellation notice is less than 45 days from the start of the tour, there is no refund. If the cancellation is between 46-90 days from the tour start date then up to 30% will be refunded. Greater than 91 days is 50% refundable. For the remaining 50%, you may go through your own travel insurance for your own personal cancellation or inability to join
  • In case of flood, tsunami, earthquakes, volcano action, closed roads or storm warning by the local weather reports, we will discuss this with the customer and may agree upon a mutual cancellation if the situation demands it, and / or set another date. Because we might need to cancel for the reasons above, we strongly advise our customers to have complete and well-covered travel insurance for trip cancellation, postponement, health coverage and more. Please note you are welcome to transfer your tour payment amount towards another tour, but only if it is equal to or less than the alternative.
  • We will never risk the safety of our customers/clients/guests by going out in adverse conditions that are unpredictable, deemed unsafe by our captains/guides regardless if the tour webpage and tentative itinerary suggest otherwise for the daily schedule. We will amend it as needed and disruptions in the schedule may occur. For example for boat charters if it is mentioned 5 days on the boat, and 1 of our days is cancelled due to weather we will try our best to maximize the remaining time and days. 
  • If there are major weather disruptions then we may issue a discount for a future tour but never refunds on tours that were in operation. We do operate in the Arctic, and things such as fuel availability, inconsistent scheduling, and weather problems do arise. Some boating charter days may be cancelled and that is for safety reasons and we reserve the right to do so with no refunds for example 1 full day cancellation of a boat day out of 4 days.
 
Northern Lights Tours
  • The northern lights are a natural phenomenon and we monitor the aurora KP forecast and base our decision to go on them in conjunction with the proper weather conditions.
  • We do not go search for northern lights unless we think there is a very probable chance of seeing the northern lights / auroras if we go and the lights do not appear there are no refunds.
  • Light pollution is everywhere and can be seen from hundreds of KM's away and it is very difficult to avoid in places like Skjervoy and Northern Norway so please note it may be present while shooting. If the auroras are very strong it will not matter and we can do our best to edit the lights out.
  • In the Yukon, we may have cloud cover or weak KP ratings and that is not in our control. This is a potential phenomenon that may happen and you understand that they are not guaranteed. 
Wildlife Focus Tours
  • We never will host a baited wildlife workshop as we deem them to be unethical therefore please understand that wildlife is unpredictable and never guaranteed. We do our very best working with local sources and guides to have intel to where to find and locate wildlife.
  • Wildlife sightings quality and quantity are not guaranteed and you may not request a partial nor full refund depending on the lack of wildlife opportunities.
  • With the "Orca related" photography tours, when swimming with the Orcas and Humpbacks it is the full risk of the client to do so upon guidance from the boat captain and boat operator as well as from the guides. We will not drop on top of the whales if they are in transit, or if their behaviour is unfamiliar to us. Swimming sessions may be 5 seconds to approximately 20 minutes each time that we have a good opportunity. We will not drop in near fishing nets or fishing vessels or if there are many boat operators around as it is dangerous and against the law.
  • If we have bad weather that is deemed unsafe
  • Churchill Polar Bears and Svalbard Polar Bears come and go as they please - at times we have seen multiple bears and other times there has been none spotted during a departure. This is an understood risk when booking this tour. We will venture out whenever possible to locate them and work closely with our guides to spot them.
 
Workshops/Expeditions/Photo Tours are all synonymous 
Unless otherwise stated in the description of the workshop, the following cancellation policy applies for our workshops:
  • A 50% non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your space in the workshop, or you may pay in full.
  • The remaining balance is due 90 days after your intial deposit. If you book within 92 days of the start date, the full price is due to reserve
  • If the remaining balance is not paid in full, your space will be forfeited without any refund - you will not be allowed to participate: use of the accommodations, the boat charters or have any meals if you haven't paid in full.
 
Refunds: If we do not meet the minimum number of participants and need to cancel, you will of course be fully refunded including your non-refundable deposit.

All guest cancellations are subject to a minimum of a 3% service charge and subject to the terms below for payment schedule.

 
For your information
  • Accommodation and food are not included in the price unless it says so in the description. Most of our tours food and accommodation are included but not before or after a tour ends.
  • Travel insurance is not included in the price, so customers are advised to have personal travel insurance.
  • Before you start the tour, be sure to have email contact with us and whatsapp communication 
  • Alcohol is not included and guests cannot participate if they are under the influence or hungover.
  • Our mobile number is at the bottom of the confirmation email or in our email signature
  • In case of a hotel pickup, please be sure to leave us the information regarding the hotel you are staying at
  • If you have any complaints or comment, please let us know as soon as possible via email. We value all comments and will make an effort to better ourselves where needed.
 
Privacy Policy:
  • We respect your privacy and do not tolerate spam. We will never sell, rent, lease or give away your information (name, address, email, etc.) to any third party. When you sign up for our tours, website, or communicate with us you are opted in to our newsletter and communication. If you would like to unsubscribe please do so on the bottom of an email with the click of a button
Terms of payment:
  • We accept payments via Visa / Mastercard - all taxes and credit card fees are included unless otherwise noted and wire transfers but clients must cover the exchange rates and transfer fees.
Other:
  • Artica Studios Inc. and their respective guides/photographers reserve(s) the right to take photographs or videos during the operation of any expedition or part thereof and to use the resulting photography for promotional purposes. By making a reservation with Artica Studios Inc. and Artica Adventures and Natural World Safaris, Churchill Wild and West Coast Expeditions, participants agree to allow their images to be used in such photography; participants who prefer that their image not be used are asked to identify themselves to their guide at the commencement of their trip.
Full Service Agreement Document
Our Service Agreement must be read, agreed to and signed with a witness to participate in our tours.

BACKGROUND

  1. The Client is of the opinion that the Contractor has the necessary qualifications, experience and abilities to provide services to the Client.

  2. The Contractor is agreeable to providing such services to the Client on the terms and conditions set out in this Agreement.

 

IN CONSIDERATION OF the matters described above and of the mutual benefits and obligations set forth in this Agreement, the receipt and sufficiency of which consideration is hereby acknowledged, the Client and the Contractor (individually the "Party" and collectively the "Parties" to this Agreement) agree as follows:

SERVICES PROVIDED

 

1. The Client hereby agrees to engage the Contractor to provide the Client with the following services (the "Services"):

• Photography Tour & Expedition guiding in Northern Norway Orcas snorkelling trip.

 

2. The Services will also include any other tasks which the Parties may agree on. The Contractor hereby agrees to provide such Services to the Client.

TERM OF AGREEMENT

 

3. The term of this Agreement (the "Term") will begin on the date of this Agreement and will remain in full force and effect until the completion of the Services, subject to earlier termination as provided in this Agreement. The Term may be extended with the written consent of the Parties.

PERFORMANCE

 

4. The Parties agree to do everything necessary to ensure that the terms of this Agreement take effect.

 

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Service Agreement Page 2 of 8

 

CURRENCY

 

5. Except as otherwise provided in this Agreement, all monetary amounts referred to in this Agreement are in USD (US Dollars).

COMPENSATION

 

6. The Contractor will charge the Client for the Services as follows (the "Compensation"):
• 'x' USD per participant plus +$'x' USD if single supplement has been requested.

  1. Invoices submitted by the Contractor to the Client are due upon receipt.

  2. In the event that this Agreement is terminated by the Client prior to completion of the Services but where the Services have been partially performed, the Contractor will be entitled to pro rata payment of the Compensation to the date of termination provided that there has been no breach of contract on the part of the Contractor.

  3. The Contractor will not be reimbursed for any expenses incurred in connection with providing the Services of this Agreement.

 

INTEREST ON LATE PAYMENTS

 

10. Interest payable on any overdue amounts under this Agreement is charged at a rate of 15.00% per annum or at the maximum rate enforceable under applicable legislation, whichever is lower.

 

TRADE SECRETS

  1. Trade secrets (the "Trade Secrets") include but are not limited to any data or information, technique or process, tool or mechanism, formula or compound, pattern or test results relating to the business of the Client, which are secret and proprietary to the Client, and which give the business a competitive advantage where the release of that Trade Secret could be reasonably expected to cause harm to the Client. Contractors, volunteers, guests cannot compete with the photography tour for a minimum of 2 years, or they will be prosecuted in Canadian court at their own cost.

  2. The Contractor agrees that they will not disclose, divulge, reveal, report or use, for any purpose, any Trade Secrets which the Contractor has obtained, except as authorized by the Client or as required by law. The obligations of confidentiality will apply during the Term and will survive indefinitely upon termination of this Agreement.

 

OWNERSHIP OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

  1. All intellectual property and related material (the "Intellectual Property") that is developed or produced under this Agreement, will be the property of the Contractor. The Client is granted a non-exclusive limited-use licence of this Intellectual Property.

  2. Title, copyright, intellectual property rights and distribution rights of the Intellectual Property remain exclusively with the Contractor.

 

RETURN OF PROPERTY

 

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15. Upon the expiry or termination of this Agreement, the Contractor will return to the Client any property, documentation, records, or confidential information which is the property of the Client.

 

CAPACITY/INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR

 

16. In providing the Services under this Agreement it is expressly agreed that the Contractor is acting as an independent contractor and not as an employee. The Contractor and the Client acknowledge that this Agreement does not create a partnership or joint venture between them, and is exclusively a contract for service.

 

RIGHT OF SUBSTITUTION

  1. Except as otherwise provided in this Agreement, the Contractor may, at the Contractor's absolute discretion, engage a third party sub-contractor to perform some or all of the obligations of the Contractor under this Agreement and the Client will not hire or engage any third parties to assist with the provision of the Services.

  2. In the event that the Contractor hires a sub-contractor:

    • the Contractor will pay the sub-contractor for its services and the Compensation will remain

      payable by the Client to the Contractor.

    • for the purposes of the indemnification clause of this Agreement, the sub-contractor is an agent of the Contractor.

 

AUTONOMY

 

19. Except as otherwise provided in this Agreement, the Contractor will have full control over working time, methods, and decision making in relation to the provision of the Services in accordance with the Agreement. The Contractor will work autonomously and not at the direction of the Client. However, the Contractor will be responsive to the reasonable needs and concerns of the Client.

 

EQUIPMENT

 

20. Except as otherwise provided in this Agreement, the Contractor will provide at the Contractor’s own expense, any and all tools, machinery, equipment, raw materials, supplies, workwear and any other items or parts necessary to deliver the Services in accordance with the Agreement.

 

NO EXCLUSIVITY

21. The Parties acknowledge that this Agreement is non-exclusive and that either Party will be free, during and after the Term, to engage or contract with third parties for the provision of services similar to the Services.

NOTICE

 

22. All notices, requests, demands or other communications required or permitted by the terms of this Agreement will be given in writing and delivered to the Parties at the following addresses:

Service Agreement

 

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a. ______________________ ______________________________

b. Artica Studios Inc.
1216 Lansdown Dr. Oakville, Ontario, Canada L6J-7N6

or to such other address as either Party may from time to time notify the other.

 

INDEMNIFICATION

 

23. Except to the extent paid in settlement from any applicable insurance policies, and to the extent permitted by applicable law, each Party agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the other Party, and its respective directors, shareholders, affiliates, officers, agents, employees, and permitted successors and assigns against any and all claims, losses, damages, liabilities, penalties, punitive damages, expenses, reasonable legal fees and costs of any kind or amount whatsoever, which result from or arise out of any act or omission of the indemnifying party, its respective directors, shareholders, affiliates, officers, agents, employees, and permitted successors and assigns that occurs in connection with this Agreement. This indemnification will survive the termination of this Agreement.

 

ADDITIONAL CLAUSES

 

24. COVID-19 / Pandemic Terms

If there are any complications with travelling or uncertainties arising that may impact us near our tour then we may have an automatic Postponement of any photo tours and the deposits or full payments will be carried over. Clients will not have to pay any additional fees. The postponement may be for a 1 to 1.5-year deferral of the trip if COVID-19 restrictions impact our ability to carry out the tour to 100% of our abilities. We reserve the right to make the executive decision on the collective safety of our group participants/clients.

Postponement

For example, if there are flight restrictions for some or all group members, quarantines in place for our arrival location, this may cause a 1-1.5 year postponement of the photography expedition and the decision is made by Artica Studios Inc.

 

For example: if there is political pressure to stop airline travel or our domestic countries our group to fly home, then the trip may be postponed

 

Artica Studios Inc. reserves the right to postpone any photo tour for health or safety reasons with travel or operations.

 

If we are operating the photo tour and you choose to not participate, you forfeit your deposit or any payment and you must go through your travel insurance and not Artica Studios Inc. for partial refunds.

If you contract COVID-19, before your departure and are unable to travel you will have to go through your travel insurance company to be covered for any refunds, Artica Studios has a strict policy to customer cancellations as noted by previous statements

 

Service Agreement Page 5 of 8

 

 

Full-on cancellations (without postponement option) of a tour, have never happened prior with Artica Studios Inc., but if they do, you will receive 100% of your payment back minus any processing fees for a credit card or wire transfer.

 

This includes your non-refundable 50% deposit back and any other payments for the trip minus a potential processing fee. If there were any other specific tour issues you would be notified well in advance and deposits would be returned - for any abnormalities.

Travel Insurance Requirement: to get travel insurance for the trip so your flight, your hotel and your deposit are covered under insurance for any issues related to travel.

  1. Payment Terms & Cancellations / Postponements

  2. 50% non-refundable deposit for reservation, remaining 50% is due 90 days after the initial payment. An

    email notification will be sent from Artica Studios with an invoice and link for your remaining payment. If within 3 months (92 calendar days) of departure, 100% is due upon reservation

     

  3. Payments are accepted via Credit Card, PayPal, E-Transfer (Canadian only) or Wire Transfer (International) and they must be in full.

  4. Any exchange rate or transfer fees are the responsibility of the customer.
    Failing to make the full payment before the trip, forfeits your ability to participate.

    Simple terms: If you cancel, anytime, then your 50% deposit is non-refundable. The second and final payment is due 90 days after your initial deposit. If full payment has been made: 46-90 days prior to tour 30% of your total payment is refundable and 0-45 days prior is no refund. Artica Studios is not held responsible for your inability to join the tour.

    For example: If you cancel (due to personal/family health issues, unforeseen events, schedule conflicts, personal/family emergencies or any reason) which is why travel insurance is needed for your own financial protection - proof of insurance is needed for the expedition dates.

    Refunds: There are no refunds for the photography tour for limited wildlife sightings, zero to limited swimming encounters. We may offer you a future discount if the tour has limited swimming opportunities as an example but this is at the discretion of Artica Studios Inc. out of goodwill to do so. An example discount for a future Artica Studios Inc branded tour would be 20%.

  5. Participant Liability Specifics - Medical

 

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Swimming with wild Orcas, wild Humpbacks in the Norwegian Sea / Arctic Sea requires participants to be in good to great health. If you have existing conditions, like heart problems, circulatory problems or you take medication or you have health challenges in cold conditions. You must provide us with a doctor's note allowing you to participate. If I "The Participant / Client" need medical treatment as a result of my participation in this Activity, travel to and from the Activity (including air travel), or any events incidental to this Activity, I agree to be financially responsible for any costs incurred as a result of such treatment. I am aware that the District, Artica Studios Inc, does not provide health insurance for me and that I should carry my own health insurance.

In consideration for being allowed to participate in this Activity (swimming with wild Orcas and Humpbacks in the Norwegian Sea), I release from liability and waive my right to sue Artica Studios Inc., their employees, contractors, officers, volunteers and agents (collectively “District”) from any and all claims, including claims of the District’s negligence, resulting in any physical injury, illness (including death) or economic loss I may suffer or which may result from my participation in this Activity, travel to and from the Activity (including air travel), or any events incidental to this Activity.

 

27. Release of Liability

 

By signing this form, I am voluntarily participating in this Activity. I understand that there are risks associated with my participation in this Activity (defined: as boating next to and swimming with Orcas), such as physical and/or psychological injury, pain, suffering, illness, disfigurement, temporary or permanent disability, death or economic loss. These injuries or outcomes may arise from my own or other’s actions, inactions, or negligence, or the condition of the Activity location (s) or facility (ies). Nonetheless, I assume all risks of my participation in this Activity, whether known or unknown to me, including travel to and from the Activity (including air travel) or any events incidental to this Activity.

I agree to hold the Artica Studios Inc. harmless from any and all claims, loss or damage to my personal property, liabilities and costs, including attorney’s fees, as a result of my participation in this Activity, including travel to and from the Activity (including air travel) or any events incidental to this Activity. If the Client incurs any of these types of expenses, I agree to use personal travel insurance or personal funds.

Act of God - As a tour operator we are providing the opportunity to swim with Orcas, but you make the decision each and every time on your own accord to leave the boating vessel. You take full responsibility for the dangers, variables associated. By signing this agreement you do not hold Artica Studios Inc. and their owners, operators, employees liable for injury, death, financial loss, equipment loss or damage.

 

MODIFICATION OF AGREEMENT

 

28. Any amendment or modification of this Agreement or additional obligation assumed by either Party in connection with this Agreement will only be binding if evidenced in writing signed by each Party or an authorized representative of each Party.

 

TIME OF THE ESSENCE

 

29. Time is of the essence in this Agreement. No extension or variation of this Agreement will operate as a

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waiver of this provision.

 

ASSIGNMENT

 

30. The Contractor will not voluntarily, or by operation of law, assign or otherwise transfer its obligations under this Agreement without the prior written communication to the client

 

ENTIRE AGREEMENT

 

31. It is agreed that there is no representation, warranty, collateral agreement or condition affecting this Agreement except as expressly provided in this Agreement.

 

ENUREMENT

 

32. This Agreement will enure to the benefit of and be binding on the Parties and their respective heirs, executors, administrators and permitted successors and assigns.

 

TITLES/HEADINGS

 

33. Headings are inserted for the convenience of the Parties only and are not to be considered when interpreting this Agreement.

 

GENDER

 

34. Words in the singular mean and include the plural and vice versa. Words in the masculine mean and include the feminine and vice versa.

 

GOVERNING LAW

 

35. This Agreement will be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the Province of British Columbia.

 

SEVERABILITY

 

36. In the event that any of the provisions of this Agreement are held to be invalid or unenforceable in whole or in part, all other provisions will nevertheless continue to be valid and enforceable with the invalid or unenforceable parts severed from the remainder of this Agreement.

 

WAIVER

 

37. The waiver by either Party of a breach, default, delay or omission of any of the provisions of this Agreement by the other Party will not be construed as a waiver of any subsequent breach of the same or other provisions.

 

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IN WITNESS WHEREOF the Parties have duly affixed their signatures under hand