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UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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In February 2014 I booked a holiday with Viking River Cruises

Customer Question

In February 2014 I booked a holiday with Viking River Cruises to China on 1st September 2015 for which I paid 25% deposit (£1197.50) plus £218 for a visa which I have not received. While on Holiday in May 2014 in Alaska followed by a cruise to Vancouver my wife took ill near the end of the cruise and was admitted to Richmond General hospital in Vancouver for 3 nights suffering from blood loss, After flying home she was admitted to Sunderland Hospital for 1 night then transferred to the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle Upon Tyne where she was found to be suffering from acquired haemophilia and was there for 4 weeks and is now an out patient. My wife does not want to go abroad anymore, also it will be hard to get insured so I contacted Viking River Cruises to cancel the holiday, they said that I could not have any refund I do not think this is fare after paying the amount I paid I think I should be due to some sort of refund minus an administration cost, can you help or advise, My e mail address is *****@******.*** or phone ***********
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 3 years ago.

What do the booking terms and conditions say about cancellation?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

C2.1 If you wish to cancel all or part of your booking, you or your Travel Agent must write to us. If some or all of your party cancel their booking or we are entitled to treat your booking as cancelled in accordance with these Booking Conditions, we will levy a cancellation charge on the scale shown in the table set out in clause D1. These charges are based on the estimated cost of cancelling your arrangements and the expenses and losses we are likely to suffer if we cannot resell the package.
C2.2 If you are travelling on a scheduled service flight, in the unlikely event that we are able to cancel the arrangements, we will not be able to do so until any air tickets issued are returned to us by you or your Travel Agent.
C2.3 If the reason for your cancellation falls within your insurance cover, you may be able to claim a refund of your cancellation charges from the insurance company less any applicable excess.
C2.4 If you or anyone included within your booking is unable to go for any reason or decides that he/she does not want to travel, you may be able to transfer the whole booking or the place on the booking of the person(s) concerned to someone else/other people suggested by you and acceptable to us subject to the following:
C2.4.1 You must write to us with full details of who cannot or does not want to travel and who you would like to go instead. We must receive this information at least 14 days before departure.
C2.4.2 If the change can be made, you will have to pay an amendment fee of £100 per person named on the booking together with any extra costs we incur or are asked to pay in order to make the change.
C2.4.3 Anyone who travels in place of anyone who was originally due to travel must agree to these Booking Conditions and any other requirements which apply to the booking before the change can be finalised. If the full cost of the travel arrangements should have been paid when the change is requested but has not been, this must also be paid before the change can be finalised.
C2.4.4 Scheduled airlines often do not allow any name changes within a certain period prior to departure and generally not at all after flight tickets have been issued. If you want or need to make a name change when an airline will not allow it, you will have to cancel the original flight (which means you will lose all the money you have paid for that flight) and pay the full cost of another flight (which may not be the original flight or at the same cost as the original flight as the airline is entitled to offer the cancelled flight to anyone on a waiting list for it). This is the airline’s decision and we have no control over it.
C2.4.5 It will not normally be possible to transfer bookings or places on bookings within the period of 70 days immediately prior to departure without cancelling the original booking (and thereby incurring cancellation charges pursuant to clause D1) and rebooking.
C2.5 The cost of your travel arrangements (provided that it includes a flight) includes an amount (currently £2.50 per person) which we are required to pay to the Air Travel Trust Fund as part of the ATOL Protection Contribution ("the APC Sum"). If you cancel your travel arrangements the APC Sum is not refundable in any circumstances.
C2.6 If any person on the booking cancels and you cannot fill that person’s place, you may have to pay additional supplements for your accommodation. For example, you may have to pay single or under-occupancy supplements.
C2.7 If you do cancel, you must still pay any amendment charges, which arose before the cancellation, and any deposits paid for any pre-booked items or services.

D1. CHANGES AND CANCELLATION CHARGES The following table sets out the sums payable to us or you in the event of Significant Changes or cancellation. These sums are not payable where we have to make a Significant Change or cancel your travel arrangements as a result of:
(a) matters outside of our control when clauses E1 and H1 shall apply or
(b) where your booking was accepted "subject to availability" or similar and the travel arrangements are not available.
In addition they do not apply where compensation is available under the provisions of clause D2.

Period before departure in which notice of cancellation or Significant Change is received

Amount you will receive from us if we make a Significant Change

Amount you will receive from us if we cancel

Cancellation Charge if you cancel

More than 70 days

£10 per person

Return of deposit only.

Deposit only

69-30 days

£20 per person

Return of all monies paid plus £20.

50% of Total

Less than 30 days

£30 per person

Price Return of all monies paid plus £30.

100% of Total Price

NOTE "Total Price" means the total price payable by you for the travel arrangements excluding insurance premiums, flight upgrade charges and any fees payable for any changes made by you to your booking ("Additional Charges"). If you cancel (otherwise than pursuant to clause B) you will continue to be liable for the Additional Charges in addition to the Cancellation Charges set out above. Visa application charges are not refundable.

Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 3 years ago.
Thank you.

You may try and get someone else to travel instead of you as the terms and conditions allow transfer of the booking to someone else, subject to a fee of 100 pounds per person plus any direct costs incurred by Viking.

Otherwise I am afraid the booking terms and conditions state that if you cancel, they are entitled to the Deposit (as Cancellation Charge) and the terms also state that visa application fees are not refundable.

I am sorry, but the above is in their terms and conditions and they are quite right to say that you are not entitled to any refund. You may try and speak to a senior manager/director to see if they are willing to give you anything back due to the reasons for you having to cancel the trip on compassionate grounds.

May I help further?