‘Explore With Spike’ is a tour operator, offering a wide range of adventure tours in the United States of America and internationally. In registering for one of the Explore With Spike LLC (referred to herein as “EWS”, “we” or “us”) products (i.e. trips, tours, workshops, classes, adventures, or other events) you (referred to herein as “you”, “participant”, “passenger” or “client”) are agreeing to accept all of the terms and conditions provided herein. By accessing, browsing, using and/or completing a reservation through our website you acknowledge and agree to have read, understood and agreed to the terms and conditions set out below. You understand that there are inherent risks associated with your participation with our products, and your registration serves as a release of liability against EWS, including your assumption of all risks, including but not limited to injury, illness, death, loss, damage to any personal property you bring on our tours. Depending on the excursion, you may be requested to sign an additional liability release by one or more of our agents or partners regarding a specific planned activity. Before participating in the activity of any EWS Tour or Photo Adventure, you will be presented with a ‘Release of Liability” which you must sign. Clients who do not return a signed form before the trip will not travel or participate and will be refunded based on the policy set forth in Section 8.6 below.
1. The Booking Conditions detailed herein contain the entire contract between you and EWS. No representation, term, warranty or condition can be expressed or implied by reference to any other writing, advertisement or conversation outside of ExplorewithSpike.com. This contract may only be varied in writing by a duty authorized officer or director of EWS.
2. EWS is not a carrier or hotelier nor does it own aircrafts, hotels or any other transportation vehicles or vessels. All bookings with carriers, hoteliers and other service providers are subject to the terms and conditions and limitations of liability imposed by those carriers, hoteliers, and other service providers. Please note that some of these limit or exclude liability in respect of death, personal injury, delay and loss or damage to baggage. While we cannot accept any responsibility for any loss as a result of such actions or as a result of any act or omission of any such third parties, we will give every reasonable assistance in helping to resolve any reasonable dispute. Please also note that EWS cannot be held responsible for the failure of any of these parties to provide facilities or services for handicapped clients (see also section 9.5 under Trip Details and Conditions).
3. Transportation companies, airlines, etc. are not to be held responsible for any act, omission or event during the time passengers are not on board planes, transportation or conveyances. We rely on international conventions, national and international law, which may apply to the services provided by us, our suppliers or agents with respect to any clam of any nature brought by you against us as that result of the provision of those services. International conventions which apply may include: Warsaw Convention 1929, (as amended by Hague Protocol & Montreal Protocol) in relation to air travel, or Montreal Convention; the Berne Convention for rail travel; Athens Convention 1974 for carriage by sea; the Geneva Convention for carriage by road & the Paris Convention 1962 for Hotels. We are to be regarded as having all benefit of these conventions on limiting our liability in relation to any claim for death, injury, loss, damage & delay to passengers & luggage. Enrollment in & payment for a trip shall constitute agreement and acceptance by the passenger of the terms and conditions set forth in this terms and conditions agreement which cannot be varied except in writing by an officer of EWS.
4. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of any promotional material at the time it goes to print or is published on websites or social media; however, EWS cannot be held responsible for typographical errors, or errors arising from unforeseen circumstances. In the case of computer or human billing error we reserve the right to re-invoice passengers with correct billings.
5. Your contract is with EWS as the tour operating company. At any time and at our complete discretion we may nominate to you in writing any other company or person to have the benefit of some or all of those provisions of this contract, which we may then specify, as if you had agreed the provisions concerned directly with that company or person in the first place as well as agreeing them with us. We may at our complete discretion assign all or any rights and liabilities arising under or by virtue of this or any other contract with you.
6.1 Every tour and product we offer is custom built and varies from the next. All details are listed on the tour page and should be closely considered before booking.
6.2 The information in any digital, online or print materials we distribute is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of going to print but we cannot guarantee that any item or amenity mentioned will be available, especially when we have no direct control over it.
6.3 EWS will do our best, at our discretion, to select accommodations, activities and transportation to give you good value for your money. EWS constantly strives to improve trip itineraries and features. If such improvements can be made, or unforeseen circumstances beyond our control make changes necessary, we reserve the right to vary itineraries and to substitute hotels, activities, schedules and transportation. EWS is not responsible for any other travel arrangements affected due to our changes or cancellations.
6.4 If meals are provided on your tour, you agree to provide us with adequate advance notice of special meal/dietary requests. EWS will work hard to fulfill requests but cannot guarantee special meal requests nor will assume any responsibility or liability if client’s special meal requests are not fulfilled.
6.5 EWS sole responsibility is to take reasonable steps to properly arrange and conduct your trip. We make every attempt to accurately communicate with you through our website, social media outlets, phone & email communication and printed guides. EWS reserves the right to change staff members, guides and instructors at our discretion, even after a participant has registered for a trip with specific advertised staff members. If staff members change, no refunds will be given as all of our staff members are thoroughly vetted to ensure each participant on each trip receives the same levels of customer service and instruction.
6.6 As a tour operator, EWS makes arrangements with carriers, hotels, transportation coaches, restaurants, private tour companies and other independent suppliers to provide you with some or all of the travel services you purchase. These parties are independent suppliers over whom EWS has no direct control. Unless caused by its own negligence, EWS is not responsible for and accepts no liability in respect of any claims, losses, damages, costs or expenses arising out of:
a) personal injury, sickness, disease, accident or death, however caused, including without limitation, where same results from your conduct on our trips;
b) loss or damage to or delay of baggage or other property unless resulting from EWS negligence in which case our liability shall be limited to the actual loss but in no event would exceed the total trip cost;
c) delays and loss as a result of government action, weather, mechanical terrorism, Acts of God or any other causes beyond our direct control. EWS cannot be responsible for interruption of air carrier service due to airline default;
d) acts or omissions, whether negligent or otherwise, of suppliers of services or their personnel (including, without limitation, transportation and accommodation services) or of any other person or body unless such a person or body is her authority. In no event is EWS liable for the acts or omissions of independent third party contractors or of its own employees or agents acting outside the scope of their duties.
e) loss of enjoyment, upset, disappointment, distress or frustration whether physical or mental, resulting from any of the following:
any matter or topic described in sub-paragraphs (a) to (d) inclusive above;
ii) your failure to obtain the necessary documentation and/or authorizations to travel;
iii) your failure to arrive on time for initial departure or for connections within the tour or to stay within or join your tour at any time after initial departure;
iv) your leaving the tour prior to its completion;
v) The need for EWS to change itineraries or substitute accommodations or services, provided that EWS makes every effort to supply the most comparable services and accommodations available;
vi) cancellation of the trip by EWS provided that a full refund of all monies paid is made to you;
vii) many of our activities are action and adventure orientated. These activities, both indoor and outdoor, inherently involve risks of injury greater than those that would be encountered if you were not participating in such, and therefore, by voluntarily taking part in any such activities, you thereby acknowledge and assume any of the risks inherent therein. In the absence of negligence on our part, neither we nor anyone acting on our behalf accept any responsibility for, and shall not be liable for, any injury, illness, damage, loss, accident, expense, delay or any other irregularity resulting from your participation in any of the activities made available to you;
viii) we take every reasonable precaution possible to assure your comfort, safety and enjoyment while you are taking part in an EWS trip or product. Our tours are generally not for those who are frail or those not generally enjoying good health. A change of climate, food, time and varied cultural habits often affects travelers differently. We therefore recommend that you advise your doctor that you are taking one of our trips and ask if he or she recommends anything for your trip, even for something as seemingly benign as an upset stomach. Since the brands of medication to which you are accustomed may be unavailable in places to which you are traveling, we recommend you bring your own supply of any medication you will require and carry such medication in your hand luggage. Prescription drugs should be carried in the original labeled bottles. Should you fall ill during your EWS trip, we will make every reasonable effort to make prompt, sanitary, safe and proper medical care available to you. However, if at anytime or anywhere treatments of any sort are suggested to you that do not meet your needs or expectations, you should not hesitate to contact your own doctor. We cannot halt a group tour to care for one participant and it is expected that you should be able to reasonably care for yourself or find a caretaker should the tour have to continue without you. Also, please note that the same sorts of activities that can expose you to certain types of diseases at home can just as easily expose you to those same diseases abroad. This information is provided only for your convenience and we are not responsible or liable for any damages resulting from your failure to confirm or ascertain health information or medical precaution, if any, for the places which you will be visiting;
ix) With you in mind, we have accepted applications from and interviewed numerous potential employees, partners and agents, and then we select only those people whom we believe in our best judgment would be responsible and congenial trip leaders and instructors. Although we firmly believe, based on personal interviews and certain disclosures made to us by our employees, that all of our employees enjoy excellent health, we, like other tour operators, are legally unable to confirm this in most, if not all, instances.
7.1 Reservation: On receipt of your deposit, subject to availability and at our discretion, EWS will reserve your place on your selected trip. A contract is only made between you and us upon your booking & payment being confirmed and accepted by us, and our communication thereof to either you or your booking representative.
7.2 Price Guarantee: You agree to pay the current listed price for a tour/product at booking. The price of a tour/product may increase or decrease over time based on costs, tariffs, taxes, charges, levies, exchange rates, demand and sales. We guarantee that you will not be charged additional costs if the price rises after your confirmed booking. No refund will be made if the cost factors described above are reduced.
7.3 Special offers such as promotional codes or coupons cannot be applied afterwards in the form of a refund. When offered, promotional codes and/or other special offers, must be entered into the relevant field located on the payment page upon check out at the time of booking to be valid and applied.
7.4 Cancellation: EWS reserves the right to change or cancel any trip departure in accordance with operating requirements or circumstances beyond its control. This includes any change or cancellation due to force majeure (i.e. circumstances like political unrest, war or threat of war, riots, civil strife, closure of airports or ports, industrial dispute, terrorist activity, natural and nuclear disasters, fire, epidemic or health risk, Acts of God, airline/hotel strikes, adverse weather conditions or other similar events beyond our control) as well as staffing or operational difficulties within our control. If EWS needs to cancel or change your trip at any time prior to the tour departure, our only liability will be to refund to you the full amount it has received for the booking. If requested by you, EWS will attempt to re-book you for the same or a similar trip when possible. EWS is not liable for any changes, amendment or cancellation penalties incurred on any other travel arrangements purchased separately by you due to our cancellations or rescheduling of any tour departure by us.
7.5 Refusal: EWS may, in its sole discretion, decline the booking of any passenger or remove any passenger who cannot comply or refuses to comply with our terms and conditions. EWS is not responsible for any costs incurred in the event a passenger is removed from a tour. Client agrees not to hold EWS or any of its related entities liable for any actions taken under these terms and conditions.
8.1 Booking: In order to reserve your tour, a deposit or the full amount payable must be submitted to EWS by you in respect of that trip as described on the tour page. Payments or deposits may vary between different trip types or itineraries. This payment is in addition to any deposit required by any booking agent, airline or accommodations you utilize. A deposit, if allowed for your tour, is accepted as a first installment of the tour price by EWS only once the booking has been confirmed in writing by us. EWS does not accept reservations for tours or hold your place for a trip, even if you received a booking confirmation, if your payment fails to go through. You will be notified within reasonable time if your payment failed and given another chance to pay in most cases before your booking is canceled. Your trip reservation will be confirmed on receipt of a non-transferrable, non-refundable payment that may vary based on tour type or itinerary. In the event that a booking contains more than one passenger, a registration, payment and confirmation will be required for each passenger on the booking.
8.2 EWS can not be responsible for currency fluctuations and or additional fees outside its control that may be applied such as bank transfer fees, credit card fees, etc.
8.3 Client is responsible for all travel arrangements and costs to/from the point of commencement/conclusion of the tour.
8.4 Paying The Balance: If a tour allows a deposit to be made according the the tour page, the balance of the trip price must be paid by no later than 60 or 90 days before your scheduled trip departure date, which shall be by the due date stated on the confirmation issued to you by EWS. If payments aren’t made by the due dates, EWS may assume that you have cancelled and you may lose payment and reservation on the tour. EWS reserves the right to cancel the booking and apply cancellation charges should payments not be received within the periods specified on your tour’s web page and/or confirmation emails.
8.5 Documents & Late Payments: Tickets and other documents for your trip won’t be forwarded until full payment has been received by EWS. In the case of late bookings made, client may have to pay a service fee for expedited shipping costs of physical documents needed for tour.
8.6 Refunds & Travel Insurance: Each EWS tour requires massive amounts of work and expense – much of which occurs long before the beginning date. In addition, it’s often impossible to fill your vacated spot in a limited time window. For popular trips where demand is high, we can sometimes make an exception and find a replacement for you on the tour in which case we will offer a full refund or credit towards another tour minus your registration deposit or a processing fee ($100 or 10% of total cost in most cases depending on tour). For some tours, EWS may offer a cancellation policy as a courtesy which is linked to from the tour page. But this optional offer does not supersede the Terms & Conditions contract in this document. The general rule is that no refunds are made for cancellations once you book a tour with us. For this reason, it is highly recommended, and expressly stated on several pages of our website, that you take out comprehensive third-party travel insurance to cover for cancellation, medical expenses, personal accident, personal baggage, money & public liability before embarking on any EWS trip. (Travel Insurance Recommendations Here) Please check that the insurance you purchase covers all of the activities that you are participating in. Some policies exclude certain adventure activities or locations. This should be arranged at the time of registration/payment for your tour and will, in certain circumstances, cover you against loss of deposit or cancellation fees from the date of confirmation of your booking, as shown in the insurance policy. You also agree to indemnify us against all third-party claims actions, damages & remedies which may be brought against us in respect of your participation in the trip. No refunds will be made by us for any absence from the tour.
9.1 Please read our website carefully for those items included and not included in the price. No allowance or refund can be made for meals, accommodations, activities, transportation, etc. that you elect not to take, or when certain locations are closed for any reason. Hotel facilities may vary from place to place. Meals may vary in style and value.
9.2 Some EWS trips are specifically planned for those interested in engaging in photographic activities during the duration of the trip or other activities or themes described on the individual tour page. Consequently, the facilities, activities, schedules on a EWS trip are not designed for those not engaging in these planned activities. If you have questions regarding the planned element of our trips, please discuss with a EWS representative prior to booking.
9.3 Friends, family or travel partners who have not registered for the EWS tour are not permitted to join our planned activities, enter workshop locations or follow our itinerary unless you have received express written permission prior to the tour. EWS is required to officially submit a total person count to most governing officials and partnering agents who also set limits for the number of persons allowed in a group.
9.4 By registering for a trip, you understand and acknowledge that group travel involves compromises to accommodate the diversity of the group. EWS will not be responsible for any claims of dissatisfaction by participants due to individual needs not being met in a group environment. You understand that in registering for a trip that you are subjecting yourself to interaction with people who may be different to you in personality, gender, race, religion, political affiliation & ideology, and that you in no way will be entitled to any refunds if you do not get along with guides, instructors or other members of the group. EWS does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability (subject to the requirements of the paragraph below), color, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin or any other perceived difference. Likewise, we will not tolerate discrimination by any clients on our tours.
9.5 EWS strives to provide a safe, enjoyable and memorable travel experience for all passengers. We welcome passengers with special needs or disabilities. However, please note the following:
a) passengers are required to advise EWS, in advance, of any physical, medical or other special needs that require accommodation. EWS will notify you if a tour’s activities may restrict or limit your participation due to planned itinerary.
b) all guests must ensure they are medically and physically fit for travel. EWS may impose safety requirements necessary for the safe operation of the trip. EWS may also exclude an individual from participating in a trip or activity if that individual’s participation poses a direct threat to health or safety of him/herself or others.
c) clients should be aware some trips include rough terrain, extensive walking over uneven surfaces, uneven pavement, steps and locations which may not be easily accessible, or accessible by wheelchair. During the trip, EWS may make arrangements with carriers, hotels and other independent entities over which we have no control. Accommodations on international tours may differ from those in the United States. For these reasons, EWS cannot guarantee disability access or accommodations for passengers traveling on our trips.
d) EWS does not provide personal devices (such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, or prescription eye glasses) or services of a personal nature (such as pushing a wheelchair, or assistance in eating, toileting, or dressing). A companion capable of providing such assistance must register & pay to accompany any passenger who requires services of a personal nature.
e) EWS does not employ medical personnel. Any necessary medical attention will be provided by a local facility at the passenger’s expense. EWS is not responsible or liable for any losses or costs incurred as a result of medical services obtained while on tour, or for the quality of the care or services received.
10. In the event of an emergency, prompt medical treatment may be necessary. By participating in an EWS tour, you agree and hereby authorize representatives and agents of EWS to obtain medical treatment on your behalf, whereas you assume the risk and financial responsibility for such emergency treatment and release EWS from liability for such treatment. Upon finding you the perceived necessary treatment or medical attention, agents of EWS are not required to stay with you. We will do our absolute best to find you care to be sure you are in a safe, monitored place as well as notify your family as then our tour must continue with our staff.
11. There may be times when an EWS trip leader, instructor or representative has to make a decision in your best interest or the best interest of the group. You agree to comply with the authority and decisions of the appointed EWS trip leaders, instructors or representatives and the laws of the country in which you are traveling. If you do not so comply or if, in the EWS trip leader’s, instructor’s or representative’s opinion, you are not compatible with the general enjoyment and well-being of other members on the trip or the smooth operation of the trip itself, we reserve the right to refuse to let you continue with the trip. EWS does not tolerate the possession or carriage of firearms, weapons, illegal drugs or other restricted substances. Our guides reserve the right to refuse participation to clients we believe are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, in such circumstances, no refund shall be given.
12. Furthermore, you agree that your fellow travelers and any EWS representatives have the right to travel/work in a safe environment. Any threats to their safety, well-being or inappropriate behavior by you, whether verbal or physical will be taken extremely seriously and may result in the immediate termination of your trip. In either event, you will be responsible for your own repatriation and related costs and have no claims against us. All tours are undertaken on the responsibility of its participants. EWS does not assume any responsibility for accidents that are caused by its customers or can be traced to their own actions.
13. You are responsible for any costs incurred as a result of damage or excess cleaning fees related to your accommodations or carriage/transportation. You are advised to immediately report any pre-existing damage in your room to hotel staff and/or an EWS representative as soon as it is discovered.
14. Where the passenger occupies a vehicle fitted with a safety belt, neither the operator or service providers, agents or co-operating organizations shall be liable for any illness, injury or death or any loss or damages or claims whatsoever arising from any accident or incident, if the safety belt is not being worn at the time of the accident or incident.
15. It is your responsibility to have a valid passport and all visas, permits and certificates required for your selected trip before your departure as well as any necessary vaccinations and to comply with all applicable laws. EWS is not responsible for any costs incurred as a result of obtaining such necessary items or any costs incurred as a result of failing to obtain such necessary items. Any costs whatsoever regarding obtaining, replacing or changing visas while on a trip (including accommodations, meals, flight and transfers incurred due to associated delays) are at your own expense.
16. You agree that our EWS trip leaders, instructors or representatives may take photographs and video of you while you are on a tour and that these may be used in any of our brochures or on our website or social media accounts or any advertising or publicity material without obtaining any further consent or payment in respect of such photographs and/or films.
17. What’s Not Included In The Trip Price: Airfares, air-related taxes and fees, passport and visa fees, insurance, laundry, phone calls, beverages, meals not detailed in the itinerary, tips to local guides, most drivers or activity providers, photography equipment or any items related to the activity of photography, items of a personal nature, excess baggage, and any available optional excursions. Items included and excluded in each tour are expressly listed on our website’s individual tour page as well as subsequent correspondence and included items are subject to be altered or changed even on the day of the tour as conditions may arise.
18. You as the traveler are responsible for arriving to the meeting point for your tour. This includes being ready at the correct time at the correct location in time for your adventure tour. EWS will provide you with information about the meeting point for your tour. If you do not arrive to the correct meeting point at the correct time for your adventure tour then you are not entitled to a refund of the price paid for the services, even if the tour group leaves without you and you do not get an opportunity to participate.
19.1 Under no circumstances can EWS be held responsible for weather conditions, nor can any trip be cancelled or amended by you at any time on the basis any other weather conditions.
19.2 Photographic activities as part of the trip may cause you to encounter a wide variety of weather conditions. Some trips are planned to purposely encounter extreme weather conditions. It is the responsibility of the passenger to be prepared to deal with a wide variety of weather conditions throughout the trip. Appropriate footwear and suitable outdoor clothing must be worn. We reserve the right to refuse participation to customers who are dressed inappropriately or with inappropriate footwear since this will put the client’s well-being and safety at risk. EWS provides suggestions for wardrobe and gear to clients for each tour and we are available for any questions you may have regarding items to pack.
19.3 Representatives of EWS will make all final decisions on whether photographic activities will commence if the weather is in question. EWS is not responsible and is not liable for any loss of photographic activity time due to unsafe weather circumstances, with the safety of those circumstances being decided solely by the discretion of our representatives.
19.4 Tours are often altered and amended in advance and also last-minute with consideration to your safety and enjoyment. EWS reserves the right to alter routes, itineraries, departure times and or cancel your trip without prior notice with your safety in mind, should the necessity arise. In most cases, alternate activities are planned but refunds and reimbursements due to loss of planned activity will not be issued, for reasons related to weather or other circumstances.
20.1 Whereas all participants acknowledge an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. EWS may require proof of vaccination and/or negative PCR COVID tests. Please refer to the individual tour’s website for current requirements and we will notify you if any situation or requirements change for our destination. Additionally, COVID-19 regulations and requirements vary from region to region and could change before or during your booked tour. Airlines and other transport providers may also have separate requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure that you comply at all times with these requirements. You further certify that you are prepared to meet any COVID-19 testing requirements for your destination and transportation. (If you previously had COVID-19, it is recommended that you travel with proof of infection and recovery in case you cannot provide a negative test result. No refunds will be given if you are unable to undertake some or all of your tour due to your failure to comply with these requirements. You will be responsible for any resulting additional costs including travel and accommodation
20.2 While most general travel no longer requires masks or proof of vaccination, it can be assumed that some personal protective equipment may be required for particular destinations and attractions in the future as variant waves come and go. When notified of such policies, you agree that you will wear a mask when required on your tour and “socially distance” where asked. We are constantly monitoring industry best practice guidelines and government regulations. To ensure the safety and comfort of all our guests, failure to comply with EWS health policies and government regulations could result in your removal from your tour.
20.3 If applicable for your destination/tour, you certify that you will sign a health screening form on the first day of your tour (form will be provided by trip leaders at orientation).
20.4 Participant agrees that you will let us know as soon as you start to feel unwell on your tour, regardless of symptoms, so we can focus on your wellbeing and the wellbeing of all participants. Please be aware that it may be standard policy for hospitals and medical providers abroad to require cash payment upfront for services. Check with your insurance provider regarding claims for reimbursement. By offering travel to any domestic or foreign destination, we do not represent or warrant that travel to such areas is advisable or without risk, and are not liable for damages or losses that may result from travel to such destinations. No destination is 100% safe. By embarking upon your travel, you voluntarily assume all risks involved in such travel, whether expected or unexpected. Further expectations in regard to tour participant behavior in a post-pandemic world can be found on the 2023 Covid-19 Policy Page (which does not supersede the Terms & Conditions contract in this document / on this page.
21. EWS welcomes all feedback, both positive as well as negative as it helps us improve our overall services and performance. We would greatly appreciate it if you could share your tour experience with us. Should you have a complaint in respect to the trip, you should inform the EWS representative during the course of the trip and if the matter cannot be resolved after the representative’s best endeavors to do so during the trip, your complaint should be made in writing to EWS as soon as is reasonably possible after the trip, but within 14 days thereof so your complaint can be investigated. Please see our website for contact information or write to Explore With Spike, PO Box 930525, Wixom, MI 48393-0525 USA.
22. The agreement arising between the participant and EWS under this set of terms and conditions and the booking made by the participant shall be governed by the law of the State of Michigan. Should a dispute or controversy arise concerning the terms and conditions of this contract or involving a claim for loss, injury or other damage arising out of or relating to your trip, the Michigan Court of Common Pleas of Oakland County shall have exclusive jurisdiction in the case of any legal dispute between the parties. If you are unsuccessful in any legal action instituted against us, you agree to pay all of our costs, including but not limited to, attorney fees and court costs. If any term or provision of this Contract is determined by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or otherwise unenforceable, that provision shall be deemed to be re-written to give effect to the same purpose within the permitted limits of the law. Such holding will not affect the validity or enforceability of the remaining terms and provisions. We each agree that any dispute resolution proceedings will be conducted only on an individual basis and not in a class, consolidated or representative action.