These Terms and Conditions apply to, and are incorporated into, any and all agreements between Alaska Photo Adventures (APA) and individuals or groups who book tours with APA. Please contact us if you have any questions about anything.
1. Activities Included in the Tour Price
– Complimentary pickup in late morning of your first day of the tour at your Anchorage hotel or the airport on Day 1 (Please notify us of your pickup hotel or lodging at least 48 hours before you arrive).
– Round trip transport from Anchorage to/from and around Kenai Peninsula.
–– Marine Mammal Boat Tour (6 hour) through Kenai Fjords National Park — Beautiful fjords, glacier calvings, whales (humpbacks, orcas, etc.), sea otters, puffins, etc. One of Alaska’s top activities and destinations.
– Helicopter flightseeing above fjords, glaciers in Kenai Fjords National Park and, if added or substituted, to dogsled activities
– Round trip bush plane, boat or helicopter flights over volcanoes, glaciers, tundra & forests to bear viewing areas / lodge
– Four to six nights’ accommodations, depending on tour itinerary
– 7-day or private tours only: Daytrip to Brooks Falls and/or other prime bear-salmon photo area
– All meals from lunch on the first day to dinner on the last day
– Group and customized individual instruction in photographic field techniques
2. Activities and Items optional and not Included in Tour Price
– Transportation to/from Alaska, and/or private rental cars or other transport from Anchorage to/from Kenai Peninsula,
– Your photography gear, clothing, toiletries and outerwear
– Dogsled riding on a glacier. Weather dependent. $250-575 add’l depending on if added to or substituted for helo or fjords tours.
– 5-day tours: Daytrip to Brooks Falls or other bear-salmon encounter area – available at extra charge, weather-dependent, pilot discretion
– Snacks and beverages at meals and away from the bear camp lodge(s)
– Any alcoholic beverages
– Gratuities for your guides/staff/pilots, etc.
– Lodge or hotel resort fees (elaborated below)
– Lodging on your last full day tour (i.e., 5th night on 5-day tours/7th night on 7-day tours)
– Payment processing fees for wire transfers, Paypal transfers, credit card fees and/or international currency conversion fees
– Sales taxes and other municipal taxes (itemized separately on Confirmation)
When traveling between mainland cities (Anchorage, Soldotna, Seward, Homer, etc.), lodging will consist of a hotel room (shared with one other person unless single supplement is selected) in a 3-4 star lodge/hotel.
At bear viewing areas, you will either be taking day trips to different hot spots, depending on bear activity, time of year, weather, safety, etc., or staying overnight in framed lodges or glamour-camping (“glamping”) huts with hard floors, twin and/or double beds, linens, heat, common shower houses, composting toilets, and solar panel or generator produced electricity. APA reserves the right to make the best bear viewing choices based on the criteria above. If you have specific activities or spots in mind, please let us know and we will try to accommodate your wishes.
Most overnight bear lodges have shared rooms with 2-3 beds. The single supplement fee option only covers hotel rooms apart from bear viewing areas, as the bear lodges are premium-priced areas with limited housing, charged to us on a per person basis rather than double occupancy. If you are a single, we will do our best to get you a single room, but cannot guarantee all requests will be approved at the bear spots, as these are out of our control. We will do what we can to secure a private room at these areas.
4. Special Arrivals, early or late departures
For those who choose to arrive in the evening, or who are not in Anchorage on the first morning of the tour/van pickup, please contact us for a late afternoon transport to the Kenai Peninsula. There will normally be an extra charge ($150-350) for one-way or RT land or air transport to/from Kenai in order to get you here and on the same schedule as the rest of your tour. The same additional cost to return to Anchorage may be required for individuals who do not wish to return at the same day/time with the rest of the group on the last day of the tour. Please be sure to contact us far in advance when you know your flight schedules so we can discuss specific options and costs for you. You would be responsible for payment for any additional night(s). If arriving or departing by cruise ship or ferry, we can pick up/drop off for an add’l fee..
Discounts are available from time to time for participants belonging to certain organizations, military, Alaska residents, returning participants, referrals for first time participants, couples and Early Bird reservations. They can range from $150–$500 off the standard tour price. See the website for an updated list of current discounts offered.
6. Physical and Emotional Requirements
Travelers are not required to participate in every activity, but all guests should be in moderate to good physical and mental condition. General mobility is essential, including the ability to climb into and out of small planes and boats. Participants must be able to walk for at least 15-30 minutes without assistance on wooden boardwalks, dirt paths or uneven natural terrain, which may include sections of shallow water. You must be able to carry all your own gear, including daypacks and camera equipment. Much of our time is also spent standing or sitting outside in the elements viewing bears and wildlife for hours at a time from viewing platforms, land vehicles, boats and/or guided walks.
Bear camp adventures are terrific, rare opportunities for close, immersive, thrilling encounters with one of the world’s great predators in safe, well-managed areas. While some bear camps have 24 hour electricity, others are off the grid and have periodic or no electricity.Most camps are a 30-45 minute flight from the nearest town, so guests must be willing to come with a flexible attitude in a wild and remote setting where weather conditions, itineraries and logistics can be highly changeable. At times, flights may be canceled or delayed due to poor weather, and some amenities may become unavailable until a new shipment arrives.
You will be required to give your weight (or weight range) for flightseeing charters to comply with weight-balance safety requirements, as well as shoe size for the bear camps which may supply mud boots or waders for wetlands.
As far as emotional requirements, patience, flexibility and an attitude of finding common ground with others can make all the difference in a successful and memorable experience for you and others in the group.
7. Liabilities and Assumption of Risk
APA acts as an agent for flights, lodging, bear viewing camps, dogsledding, flightseeing, and services provided by other vendors and businesses, and assumes no liability whatsoever for delays, inconveniences, accidents, expenses or mishaps of any kind whatsoever resulting entirely, or in part, from the negligence of others or from causes beyond the control of APA. Specifically, APA cannot accept responsibility for baggage fees, flight delays, lost baggage, additional overnights or cancellation fees for missed hotel reservations, flights or any other fees incurred for weather or other conditions related to the unpredictable nature of travel on this tour. We recommend travel insurance for these unfortunate but realistic possibilities.
Photography tours offered by APA are adventure tours that include walking and traveling in remote locations, flights over open water, unpredictable weather and animals, and other factors out of our control. All participants assume a risk of physical injury and/or death associated with this adventure. Tour participants promise and agree to protect, indemnify and hold harmless APA, its principals, officers, agents, representatives, employees, successors and assignees from and against all claims, demands, expenses, actions, losses, proceedings, suits, awards, judgments, attorneys fees and liability arising directly or indirectly from any willful or negligent acts or omissions during, or in connection with, an APA tour.
If you are booking before January 1st of tour year, a minimum deposit of 25% of tour total must be paid at the time of booking. The balance of your payment is due by March 1 of the tour year. If you are booking after March 1st, full payment must be received with your booking.
Payment due dates will be indicated on your deposit confirmation. There are several options to pay, including credit card (VISA, MC, Amex, Discover), Paypal, bank-drafted cashier’s check, or, for international residents only, bank wire transfer.
Credit card and Paypal payments carry a 3.5% processing fee, as that is what we are charged by the vendors for processing. If you are paying via Paypal from outside the United States, Paypal also charges a 1.5-2% “outside USA” conversion fee. Wire transfers may be subject to a wire transfer fee between $10-50, depending on whether they are from within the US or international. Payment by cashier’s check carries no fee, but will add about a week to the return of your confirmation, pending arrival and clearance into our account. All payments must be in US dollars.
Depending on your choice, we will invoice you with a Paypal link or wire transfer instructions and info for your final payment. If you pay by check or bank transfer, we must receive your final payment by the due dates indicated to finalize your space on the tour. A Confirmation will be emailed to you after your deposit and final payment.
Any Discounts you are entitled to and indicated on your reservation form will be deducted from the final Total due. City and Kenai Peninsula Borough taxes will be added to your total.
If the balance of payment is not received by the due date specified on customer’s booking receipt, the participant will be notified via phone and/or email of a provisional canceling of their tour. If complete payment is not immediately received via Paypal, over the phone with credit card, or via wire transfer, your tour space will be forfeited. If we are able to refill your space on the tour, you will be refunded your payment amount(s) in accordance will our Cancellation/Refund terms below. Please call us if you are unsure about anything and we can answer any questions.
10. Cancellation/Refund Policy
The myriad logistics involved in planning photography tours necessitates the refund/cancellation policies and deadlines listed below. These are in place because we are bound by the rules and contracts of the vendors and transport companies that are providing your excellent lodging and services. These policies help ensure a smooth tour experience at a great price for you and other participants, especially during the high-demand peak summer season.
We want you to be happy with your decision to join us, so we give you a little time to sleep on it. Consequently, we have a relatively generous refund/cancellation policy:
If you book your tour before January 1 of the tour year:
Deposits are fully refundable up to 4 weeks after you book, less any Paypal, credit card or bank fees for currency conversions from international payments. After the 4-week grace period, and before the balance of your payment is due, if you cancel, we will refund 75% of your deposit back immediately. The balance of your deposit will be refunded if we are able to fill your space on the tour, less 10% cancellation fee.
If you book between January 1 – March 1 of tour year:
Deposits are fully refundable up to 2 weeks after you book, less any Paypal, credit card or bank fees for currency conversions from international payments.. After the 2-week grace period, and before the balance of your payment is due, if you cancel, you will receive 50% of your deposit back immediately. The balance of your deposit will be refunded only if we are able to fill your space on the tour, less 10% cancellation fee.
If you book your tour after March 1 of the tour year, full payment is required with booking. If you later wish to cancel, your payment will only refunded if we are able to fill your space on the tour, less $100 cancellation fee and any non-refundable fees that may have been charged by Paypal, credit card, bank, lodging or transportation vendors, or currency conversion fees from international payments.
Regardless of when you book and pay for your tour, if you are unable or do not want to attend for any reason, you may substitute another participant in your place, provided they fill out and sign any registration and other form(s) required to participate, and pay any balances due.
APA reserves the right to cancel any photo tour for lack of minimal registrants (3) up to 60 days prior to the tour date. If we (regrettably) have to exercise this option, 100% of your deposit and payments will be refunded to you.
No refunds will be given for services, activities or accommodations voluntarily not participated in, or if you decide to leave the tour early.
Any cancellation requests must be received in writing prior to the tour date. They may be emailed, but they must include a written signature (scanned into the letter).
Despite unforeseen delays that may cause changes in the order of activities on the tour, or unavoidable cancellation of activities after the tour begins, APA may, solely at its discretion, refund a portion of any monies paid by the Participant that covered the actual cost to APA of those activities only. The amount of liability for any claims or refunds related to this paragraph is limited to the specific activity or activities involved, and under no circumstances can exceed the amount of costs incurred by APA.
Travel delays can be a factor in any Alaska wilderness travel, and we plan for unpredictable weather! We highly recommend that you give yourself extra days in your Anchorage connecting flights to account for weather-related delays, acts of God, and possible schedule changes on this tour. Overnight bear viewing camps especially can be affected by travel delays, so expect them, leave yourself breathing room, and don’t be caught unprepared.
We often do not receive definitive weather information until the last minute, and thus decisions must be made quickly. Your safety is our #1 concern, regardless of the importance of your other scheduled activities or what other tours or pilots are doing.
Itineraries described on our website are general guidelines only. They may change due to unforeseen circumstances and our built-in redundancies to provide a seamless shift(s) in activities. Trips may also deviate from the itinerary based on pilots’ decisions or other situations beyond our control.
APA will do its best to continue this tour and work around any bumps in weather or other circumstances. However, APA is not responsible for any incidental or other costs incurred by participants due to unforeseen or unavoidable delays of the tour, or cancellation due to lack of minimum participants. APA will not give refunds for delays or cancellations of specific locations or wildlife viewing because of weather, flights, or other unforeseen reasons before arriving, during or after the photo tour. APA has redundancies in place for alternate transportation, locations and dates during your tour period that will give you the highest probability for spectacular viewing and photo opportunities.
We will be diligent about updating you with possible changes as they arise, but we still strictly reserve the right to alter any itinerary for the purposes of safety, weather or the smooth, professional operation of the tour. Especially with overnight bear camps, guests can be weathered in for extra days that are not scheduled, and may be charged a minimum fee of 150.00 per person/per day by the bear camp vendors.
12. Ethics & Behavior
As listed on our Ethics webpage,we are committed to sustainable, minimal impact activities and to promoting an awareness of direct and indirect impacts from recreation, photographic or wildlife viewing activities. We attempt to educate all participants to be aware of how any of their actions and behavior can change or impact the animals and landscapes that we visit.
Participant has read, understood and agrees to abide by the ethical Codes of Conduct listed herein. Participant also agrees to pack out all trash and/or put it in designated receptacles, to refrain from intentional destruction or alteration of the habitats and habits of animals living in them, and to abide by the rules of any and all guides. APA maintains the right to refuse service to any Participant who does not follow these rules, and/or endangers the safety or enjoyment of any other Participant on the Tour at any time. This may involve a participant being excluded from portions of the tour where APA determines the participant may present a threat or danger or to other participants, animals, vendors or other personnel associated with the tour. Our primary priority and duty to you is the safety and relaxed enjoyment throughout our tours.
13. Special Needs
If you have any special needs, dietary restrictions or preferences, health issues or medical concerns, or any other possible hindrances, please discuss with us ahead of time, list these concerns on the reservation form, and confirm that we can accommodate you before reserving. Notwithstanding our ability to accommodate special needs, APA is not responsible for injuries, accidents or death associated with medical issues or special needs for which the participant has not notified us and taken proper precautions to avoid or prevent injury to themselves. Note that most of the boat, air and ground transportation on these tours will not have wheelchair lifts available.
14. Taxes, Tips & Additional Charges
Taxes shown on your Confirmation(s) include charges imposed on us from air charters, lodges, bear camp providers, etc. for fuel surcharges, boat pickup services, transfers from lodge to airport, use of lodge/charter gear, canoes/kayaks at the lodges, or other provider services. These are out of the control of APA, and are passed along to Participant(s). We cannot anticipate the exact amounts sometimes (e.g. fuel surcharges) but we include known charges on the Confirmation under Taxes.
There may be extra charges imposed directly to Participants from lodges, bear camps, etc. for transportation fees, resort fees, fuel surcharges or taxes from air charters and other providers. These are out of the control of APA, and should be minimal ($5-10/day or activity). These fees cover things like transfers from the lodge to the airport for fly-outs, happy hour drinks, use of fishing gear, canoe or kayaks at the lodges, etc.
Tips for guides, meals or extra services that you feel were above and beyond basic job requirements are up to you. Tips for guides have traditionally been anywhere from $20-50/day, depending on length of stay and any special or extenuating circumstances that you may feel your guide made extra effort(s) to accommodate you.
Required sales and lodging taxes will be added to the total cost of the Tour. Payments by Paypal will include a 3.5% process fee if paid by credit card, and a 1.5-2% “cross-border fee” if paid from outside the US. Wire transfers are also accepted with minimal bank fees depending on whether they are from within the US or international (usually $10-25). There may be a bank-incurred fee for wire transfers (25-$50 per transfer). Contact us for more info and we can help you decide on the best form of payment for you.
15. Copyright of images and tour materials
Participant has full copyright to any images they shoot during the tour, and may use them in any manner they wish, except if there are restrictions imposed by vendors or property owners for images taken of their property or employees. Similarly, participant understands that photographs of the group and individual participants will be taken during the tour and gives APA permission to use such photos or videos for promotional purposes without remuneration. Participant releases APA from any claims and liability when used for these purposes. If you are uncomfortable being photographed, or do not wish to have your face shown, please let us know ahead of time and we will respect your wishes.
Participant also understands and agrees that any and all educational materials written and provided by APA on the Tour also fall under copyright laws, and may not be shared, distributed, sold, or published without written permission. Failure to respect this copyright is an infringement.
If any paragraph does not apply to your particular situation, or is ruled invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction in any legal action, other clauses and terms in this document are not automatically invalidated, and remain in full force.
17. Entire Agreement
These terms and conditions, together with the terms listed on our Confirmation(s) and website, constitute the entire agreement involving the goods and services provided by APA to Participants on the tour(s). No other verbal or written statements by any person, agent, representative, or company exist or will be honored by us as a variation, addition or replacement of these terms, unless we specifically agree in writing. Any disputes arising from the terms herein shall be adjudicated in Alaska District Court, Third Judicial District, Kenai, Alaska.