Wine Scholar Travels Inc Terms & Conditions

Wine Scholar Travels - Terms & Conditions For Wine Scholar Guild Immersion Study Trips

Parties:  Wine Scholar Travels, Inc. (“Operator”) provides certain trips in the countries of France, Italy and Spain (each a “Trip”).  These Terms and Conditions apply to each Trip provided by Operator. The program for a given Trip is the “Itinerary.”  In these Terms and Conditions, each attendee of the Trip is referred to as a “Guest.”

Trip Services and Provisions:  Operator is responsible solely for coordinating the provision of the services and goods specifically described in the Itinerary (the “Services and Goods”).

Reservations, Deposits and Trip Fees: A non-refundable deposit of US$1000 per Guest per Trip (except when a different amount is otherwise noted in writing by Operator) and a completed Guest Reservation Form (“Reservation Form”), which includes electronic acceptance of these Terms and Conditions, is required to reserve space for a Guest on each Trip.  The balance of the Trip payment price (together with the deposit previously paid, the “Trip Fees”) is due one hundred and twenty (120) days before the Trip start date as listed on the Itinerary.  If Operator does not receive full payment of the Trip Fees at least one hundred and twenty (120) days prior to the Trip Start Date, as defined below, Operator may cancel Guest’s reservation and withhold the non-refundable deposit. Guests will be invoiced for payment of the final balance. Operator reserves the right to assess a US$250 per person late fee for payment of Trip Fees received less than one hundred and twenty (120) days before the Trip start date if the reservation was made more than one hundred and twenty (120) days before the Trip start date. All Trip Fees are in U.S. Dollars and are based on double occupancy. Due to US Dollar/Euro exchange rate fluctuation and other factors, Operator can only guarantee the amount of the total Trip Fees upon Operator’s receipt of Guest’s completed Reservation Form and payment of the Trip Fees. Otherwise, at any time prior to payment of the Trip Fees, the total advertised Trip Fees due are subject to change without notice. If Guest makes his or her reservation within one hundred and twenty (120) days of the Trip Start Date, the Reservation Form must be accompanied by the full amount of the Trip Fees.

Final balance payment invoices are to be paid via wire transfer or ACH following the instructions on the invoice and with transaction costs covered by the Guest. In case the guest wishes to pay via credit card or Paypal, a three percent (3%) payment processing fee will be added to the final invoice.

Wine Scholar Guild Course Fee: included in the Trip Fees is a non-refundable payment for the corresponding study manual and access to the online program and online examination for the Trip you have chosen (the “Course Fee”), except when no course corresponding to that Trip exists. If Guest has already taken this course, upon confirmation by the Wine Scholar Guild, the Course Fee will be deducted from the balance payment for the Trip. 

Services and Goods Included in Trip Fees: All Services and Goods set forth in the Itinerary are included in the Trip Fees. Except as expressly stated in the Itinerary, Guest is solely responsible for any Trip-related costs that Guest incurs.

Not included in Trip Fees: Goods and services not included in the Trip Fees include but are not limited to: roundtrip airfare/train fare to and from France and Trip start and conclusion city or group meeting location, telephone calls, personal items, laundry, individual purchases, pre-dinner beverages or cocktails consumed separately from the group or during leisure time, wines or other beverages not included by Operator during the Trip, extra meals or snacks, room service, cocktails, or personally ordered wines, even if consumed in place of those provided by Operator during the Trip, gratuities to Trip Guide(s)/Leader(s) and professional driver(s) of the Trip, any other costs not specified in the finalized Itinerary or elsewhere in writing. Guest is responsible for all of the above and the cost of any changes Guest makes to the Trip and Services and Goods provided for the Trip. Guest is responsible for his/her transportation costs incurred to and from the Trip hotels set forth in the Itinerary in the event that Guest is unable to participate in any group pick-up and/or group drop-off included in the Trip.

Guest Cancellation & Refund Policy: If Guest chooses to cancel his or her reservation, Operator must receive written notice of said cancellation via e-mail sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (with confirmation of receipt thereof from Operator) and Guest shall be subject to the following cancellation fee schedule: If Operator receives written notice one hundred and twenty one (121) or more days prior to the first day of the Trip (the “Trip Start Date”), Operator shall withhold the non-refundable deposit of US $1000. If Operator receives written notice between sixty (60) and one hundred and twenty (120) days prior to the Trip Start Date, Operator shall withhold the non-refundable deposit and Guest shall incur a cancellation fee equal to fifty percent (50%) of the remaining balance of the Trip Fees. If Operator receives written notice less than sixty (60) days prior to the Trip Start Date or receives no notice and Guest does not attend the Tour, Guest shall incur a cancellation fee equal to one hundred percent (100%) of the Trip Fees. If at the time of his or her cancellation Guest has already received from the Wine Scholar Guild the study manual and access to the online program that are included in the Trip Fees, Operator shall withhold the Course Fee for the Trip.

Operator Cancellation or Substitution: Operator may cancel any Trip at any time before departure for any reason, including without limitation if Operator deems the number of passengers signed up for a given Trip to be insufficient to operate such Trip.  Operator will make commercially reasonable efforts to keep the Itinerary as it has been published; however, the final Itinerary may vary due to wine producer schedules, availability and factors beyond Operator’s control. Operator may in its sole discretion substitute a Service or Good of similar or greater quality for any Service or Good stated in the Itinerary.  Operator shall attempt to notify Guest of the cancellation of a Trip for which Guest has paid a deposit or Trip Fees as soon as possible after Operator’s final decision to cancel such Trip. If a trip is cancelled Operator will not be liable for any costs, damages, or refunds of any kind for any loss, delay, inconvenience, disappointment, or expense whatsoever in such circumstances.

If by force majeure, a Trip, whether in planning, scheduled, or in progress, must be interrupted or cancelled, Operator may in its sole discretion refund that portion of the Trip Fees paid by the Guest, less any costs incurred at the time of cancelation, including the costs of deposits for travel, hotels, or other expenses. Operator may refund to Guest as much of such Trip expenditures as Operator can recover on the Guests behalf from third parties, but shall have no obligation to do so, or liability for the same.

The term "force majeure," as here employed, shall mean an act of God, strike, lockout, or other industrial disturbance, act of the public enemy, war, blockade, public riot, lightning, fire, storm, flood, explosion, governmental action, governmental delay, governmental restraint or inaction, unavailability of equipment, travel prohibition, pandemics, and any other cause, whether of the kind specifically enumerated above or otherwise, which is not reasonably within the control of the Operator.

The Guest acknowledges that they are aware of the risks associated with contracting the condition or illness commonly known as COVID-19 or its variants, and acknowledges that they are solely responsible for their own safety and actions. The Guest hereby releases, waives, and discharges the Operator from any liability, claim, or demand arising from COVID-19 and the operation of the Trip.

The Guest further acknowledges that during any Trip they must comply with all health and safety requirements of the Operator and any vendor, facility, local government, or other third party such as trip hosts (hotels, restaurants, wine producers, etc.…), related to COVID-19, including, but not limited to, social distancing, capacity, mask-wearing, vaccination, and government-accepted proof of vaccination (translated if needed) or requirements. Failure to comply with any such COVID-19 related health and safety requirements may, in the sole discretion of the Operator, lead to the cancellation of this Agreement, and the termination of the Guests participation in the Tour. Furthermore, without regard to the health and safety requirements of any third party, Operator reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to require guests to be, and provide proof of, vaccination against COVID-19 and/or its variants.

In the event a Guest’s participation in the Tour is canceled or terminated due to failure to comply with COVID-19 related health and safety requirements, no portion of the Trip Fees will be refunded to the Guest. As guidelines and regulations continue to evolve in the country of destination, we will communicate to you the policies and procedures which are relevant to your trip before you travel with us and throughout your trip should the regulations change. Participants are responsible for staying informed of the travel and sanitary requirements of their country of departure and any country in which guests may transit.   

Trip Cancellation Insurance: Operator strongly recommends Guests to purchase a private trip cancellation (“cancel for any reason” plan) and interruption insurance and additional health insurance to protect against financial loss from unforeseen accidents, illness, quarantine, hospitalization, incidents, and/or loss of baggage.

Accommodations: Standard Guest accommodations during a Trip are double occupancy (one double bed for two persons) or twin occupancy (two twin-sized beds for two persons), and will include a fully equipped, in-suite bathroom. Operator shall charge an additional fee for any single room accommodations during a Trip (the “Single Supplement”). Rooms in French hotels may not all be identical, and room assignments are made at Operator’s discretion.

Meals, Wine and Beverages:  Meals included in the Tour have fixed menus and will include a fixed number of wines to be chosen by Operator. Guest must inform Operator in writing at least 30 days prior to the Trip Start Date if Guest has any dietary restrictions, food allergies or strong food dislikes. Operator will make a commercially reasonable effort to accommodate such special requests, but Operator cannot be held responsible if Operator is unable to accommodate them. If Guest chooses to order food or drinks other than the ones chosen by Operator and included in the Trip, Guest must pay for those items at the end of the meal.

Certification of Guest’s Health; Responsibility to Inform Operator of Disabilities or Pregnancy: By accepting these Terms and Conditions and/or tendering any portion of the Trip Fee to Operator, Guest certifies that he or she does not have any condition, illness, contagious diseases such as COVID 19 or disability that would create a hazard for Guest or other guests participating in the Trip, and that Guest understands that health care standards, facilities, and services abroad may be different or even inadequate for treating certain health conditions. Guest will inform Operator via e-mail sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (with confirmation of receipt thereof from Operator) at the time Guest tenders his or her first payment of the Trip Fee of any existing physical or mental illness, disability, or any other condition for which Guest may require medical attention or special accommodation during the Trip (and Operator makes no guarantee of being able to accommodate Guest for such condition during the Trip).  If such condition arises after Guest has booked the Trip, Guest must inform Operator via e-mail sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (with confirmation of receipt thereof from Operator) as soon as Guest becomes aware of such condition. Operator makes no representations or warranties and disclaims any made regarding special accommodations or handicap accessibility on the Trip. Guest should be aware that there might be periods of time with extended standing, 10 to 15 minute walks as well as weather conditions such as heat waves that may require a sound physical state.

Responsibility/Liabilities:  Guest is solely responsible for complying with the requirements of all immigration, health, customs, and police authorities, and all other laws and regulations, including current COVID 19 regulations of each country and state from or to which Guest will travel.  Guest agrees to indemnify Operator for any expenses or fines which Operator may incur as a result of Guest’s noncompliance with the preceding sentence.  Guest is also responsible for respecting the authority and following the directions of Operator and Trip Guide/Leader during a Trip. Except as expressly stated in these Terms and Conditions, Operator is not liable for (i) death, personal injury, illness, damage, delay, or any other loss to person or property of any kind arising from the Trip or the Services and Goods, or (ii) for any acts of God, war, terrorism, civil commotions, labor trouble, governmental interference, fire, theft, acts of third parties, or any other event beyond Operator’s reasonable control.  Operator’s liability shall be strictly limited to that resulting from Operator’s willful misconduct.  In no event shall the liability of Operator exceed the amounts paid by the Guest to Operator under the terms of this Agreement. Operator always strives, to the best of its ability, to provide the highest quality Services and Goods to Guests.  However, Operator makes no representations or warranties, whether express, implied, or statutory, regarding the Services or Goods and disclaims any and all of the following: (i) implied warranties of availability of the Services and Goods, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose, and (ii) duties of reasonable care, workmanlike effort, or lack of negligence.  Only Operator may finalize a reservation and make it a binding contract to provide Operator’s Services and Goods to Guest.  Operator may refuse or revoke passage, Services or Goods, and/or otherwise exclude Guest from participating in the Trip if, in Operator’s sole discretion, it deems any Guest in a condition, and/or deems any Guest’s behavior, unfit for the Trip or unfit for continuation once the Trip has begun. Unfitness may include, without limitation, any behavior that, regardless of its cause, is inappropriate or offensive or interferes with the delivery of Trip Services and Goods, or may constitute a hazard, an offense or an embarrassment to any Guest, the Operator, and or any local host or other provider of Services or Goods, including illness or other physical or mental condition that interferes with the ability of other Guests to enjoy the Trip.  In such cases, Operator shall have no liability to Guest. Should Guest decide not to participate in certain Services during a Trip or use certain Goods included in a Trip, no refunds will be made for those unused Services or Goods.  Guest must be over the age of eighteen (18) to participate in a Trip.  By signing these Terms and Conditions and/or tendering any portion of the Trip Fee, Guest indemnifies and holds Operator harmless from and against any costs, damages, losses, or liabilities arising out of Guest’s actions or omissions or, if applicable, those of Guest’s companions.

General: Any dispute relating to the Trip, the Services, the Itinerary, and/or these Terms and Conditions, shall be governed by Virginia law as such laws apply to contracts performed within Virginia by its residents.  Any dispute arising under, in connection with, or incident to the Trip, the Services and Goods, and/or these Terms and Conditions will be resolved exclusively in the state or federal courts located in and for Fairfax County, Virginia and Guest irrevocably consents to the exercise of jurisdiction by said courts over Guest. Guest must bring any claims against Operator within one year of the incident. Guest acknowledges this expressly limits the applicable statute of limitations to one year.  By signing these Terms and Conditions and/or tendering any portion of the Trip Fee, Guest grants Operator (and third parties with whom Operator may engage in joint marketing) a worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free, fully paid up license to use his or her photographic, video, or digital likeness and written comments or feedback about the Trip solely for Operator’s promotional and/or commercial purposes. Any Guest who does not wish to have his or her photograph, video footage or comments/feedback used by Operator must advise Operator in writing no later than the Trip Start Date via e-mail sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (with confirmation of receipt thereof from Operator). Guest also grants Operator his or her permission to share his or her email address with other Guests taking the same Trip, so that Guests may communicate before and after the Trip. Any Guest who does not wish to have his or her email address shared by Operator with other Guests must advise Operator in writing at the time that Guest makes his or her reservation for the Trip, via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (with confirmation of receipt thereof from Operator). At Operator’s request, Guest shall promptly provide an original document as well. If there are any conflicts between these Terms and Conditions, the Reservation Form, and the Itinerary, these Terms and Conditions shall apply.

Operator acts solely as agents for the client with respect to all transportation, hotel and other trip arrangements. In that capacity, Operator exercises all reasonable care possible to ensure the traveler's safety and satisfaction, but, Operator neither assumes nor bears any responsibility or liability for any injury, death, damage, loss, accident, delay, or irregularity arising in connection with the services of any airplane, train, ship, automobile, motor coach, carriage, or other conveyance, or the actions of any third-party involved in carrying the traveler or in affecting these trips. Operator is not responsible for damages, additional expenses, or any other losses due to cancellation, delay or other changes in air or other services, sickness, weather, strike, war, civil disturbances, acts or threats of terrorism, travel warnings or bans, termination or suspension of war risks or other carrier insurance, quarantine, acts of God or other causes beyond its control. All such losses must be borne by the traveler. Operator is not responsible for delays, changes or cancellation costs due to incorrect, incomplete or expired traveler documents. 

 Last modified: May 6th, 2022

Sign up to receive our latest updates