What is your cancellation policy?
The only way a tour can be cancelled is due to extreme weather. If you cancel voluntarily beforehand, any deposit you have paid so far can be used anytime for a future tour (minus any costs incurred to the boatman for preparations or reserving his boat), or a portion returned. If the cancelation is too close to your tour, there will have to be an additional penalty to cover the costs for the boatman, who has reserved his time and may have already purchased some supplies for your tour.
If the cancellation is due to the weather, generally we recommend booking your tour so that it ends a few days before your flight departure. Even the local planes can be grounded during such storms. In this case it would be wise to arrange flight insurance, for such rare circumstances (you can check out our weather forecasts page to determine the times of year which are more risky, which is generally from June to December).
Generally, the storms pass through the country within one or two days and the boats can continue along their journey. If your tour is forced to pause along the way, you will not be charged extra. The coastguards are very vigilant about not allowing boats onto the seas during such times, nor do the boatmen want to risk their boats, which are their livelihood.
For tours booked during the rainy season (generally June to November), your initial deposit can be smaller and the remainder paid about one week before the tour, to give you a chance to gauge the weather forecast. You can reschedule but your initial deposit is never refunded but can be used for a rescheduled tour.
The above generally reflects Tao's cancellation policy, as Tao is the industry leader and which started these tours. Following is an excerpt (although we are not so strict and you can reschedule for a future tour):
REBOOKING AND RESERVATION POLICY
Rebooking or changes can be made up to 30 days before your scheduled departure but this is subject to availability and a rebooking fee of 40 USD per person will apply. Your reservation is transferable to another traveler but a 40 USD per person will be charged.
For reservation that will be affected by COVID-19, you can rebook/reschedule your trip free of charge. Send an email to confirm rebooking along with supporting documents.
CANCELLATION AND REFUND POLICY
The ONLY time we cancel our expeditions is when a severe weather warning has been announced and when the Coast Guard did not grant us clearance to travel. When our expeditions get cancelled, we automatically reschedule within the next two days. If you cancel within this period, no refund shall be made. Please make sure that when this occurs, your travel insurance will shoulder it. We will only issue a full refund if we, Tao Philippines, cancel the full trip.
If you wish to cancel your trip, then you will be charged a cancellation fee of 50 USD per person. 50% of your full payment will be forfeited if notice to cancel, is less than 30 days before your scheduled trip. We will not refund any amount if you cancel 3 days prior to your expedition date. This also applies to cancellation or reducing the number of traveler.
No refunds will be made if you do not show up for your scheduled departure.
For reservation that will be affected by COVID-19, you can ask for a refund of the total payment received less bank fees. Send an email to process your refund along with supporting documents
FORCE MAJEURE POLICY
Tao Philippines shall not be held liable to its guests for any loss or damage, of whatever kind or nature, which may be suffered by the guests including but not limited to delays, cancellation of flights, missed flights, unused room reservations, other itineraries and prohibition of boat navigation as mandated by the government authorities due to weather disturbance as a direct or indirect result of the failure on the part of the company to fulfill and/or comply with its obligations under its Booking Policy with the said guests. If said fulfillment and/or compliance were prevented, hindered, delayed or rendered impossible by reason of circumstances or events beyond the reasonable control of the company., including but not limited to acts of God, acts of any governmental authority, war, rebellion, epidemic, riots, strikes and/or other labor disputes or disturbance, accident, fire, flood, storm, or other related
circumstances or events affecting the capability of the company to fulfill and/or comply with its aforesaid obligations.