Did you know?
The whaleshark was not officially discovered until 1828 by Dr Andrew Smith, off the coast of South Africa
Our Terms and Conditions
These Terms and Conditions outline the agreement between us when you book onto one of our tours. Please read them carefully and pass them on to all individuals you have booked this tour for.
You, or your booking agent, or the individual who booked your tour on your behalf, have 14 days from either the date the booking was made - or if this date is less than 14 days before your tour, 24 hours after the date of making your booking - to raise any issues of concern with us. At this stage, we will either agree to amend the Term or Condition(s) or provide you with a full refund.
If you do not raise any issues within the stated time period for doing so, you agree to abide by these Terms and Conditions and to be bound by them in your dealings with Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim, its employees, agents, contractors and all parties having an ongoing relationship with the company Ningaloo Reef Dreaming Pty Ltd.
We have tried to keep these very simple and straightforward but if we can clarify what any of them means, or why it is necessary, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
We prefer payment in full to minimise the chances of any complications arising with not receiving payment in full before the start of a tour. When customers book over the phone, our office staff can arrange to take a 20% non-refundable deposit at the time of making a booking as an alternative. This deposit must be paid by credit card. Bank transfers / direct deposits for the 20% deposit are unfortunately not accepted. The balance of your tour payment will automatically be charged to this credit card 14 days prior to your tour. If this payment is declined, we will make at least two separate attempts to contact you or your representative via mobile phone and / or email address provided when making the booking to secure the balance owing. However, if we are unable to secure payment for the 80% balance owing on your tour after making these two attempts, we may then - with a great deal of regret - cancel your booking and sell your seats to other guests, with no refund of your deposit due or payable to you. (We unfortunately cannot afford to go out with empty spaces that we have not received payment for in full when we could readily have sold these tickets to other guests. We need 14 days to have a reasonable chance for us to be able to do this.)
Rescheduling and Cancellations : You Cancelling or Rescheduling
We can reschedule your tour at any time up to 72 hours before your tour departs. Changes less than 72 hours before your tour are treated as a cancellation unless we can sell the seats you are vacating when you change your tour date – see below for our policy on this.
We do not charge a cancellation fee if we can resell your tickets before your scheduled departure - even if you cancel the day before your tour.
If we can't resell your tickets before your tour departs, our cancellation fees are:
- cancellations more than 21 days before your scheduled departure no cancellation fee charged
- cancellations between 21 and 3 before the date and time of your departure, a cancellation fee of 20% is charged
- we will not pay you a refund if you cancel less than 72 hours before your scheduled tour start time and date unless we can resell your tickets.
Again, the above only apply if we cannot resell your tickets after you cancel.
Cancellations : Us Cancelling or Rescheduling
Cancelling tours is something we do everything we can NOT to do. However, occasionally we do have to cancel one or more tours due to safety concerns, weather conditions, factors beyond our control, mechanical breakdowns, minimum passenger numbers required for a tour to depart not being reached, or force majeure events including acts of God, natural disasters, government action or restrictions, labour shortages, national emergencies, pandemics or outbreaks of disease, and acts of war.
When this occurs, we commit to doing everything we can to deliver some form of enjoyable and substitutable tour experience to you, including but not limited to:
- rescheduling you onto our next available tour
- where cashflow allows, placing you on another company's whaleshark tour.
We reserve the right to do either of the above even if we haven't been able to contact you to confirm this. We do commit to always attempting to contact you before we do this.
In those instances where you have to leave town before we can get you onto an equivalent tour, or you have yet to arrive in town for your tour, we will give you a whaleshark tour voucher valid for three years from the date of your original booking for you to use when you are next in town, that is sellable or transferable to another person. Entirely at the discretion of our business, we may alternatively pay you a refund for your booking if the tour cancellation has been partly or wholly the result of our actions.
However, by booking with us you are agreeing that Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim will not be held liable for any costs incurred by you whatsoever that relating to your holiday or travel in general, and that the total amount you seek from us will be no greater than the amount you paid us for your tour booking. Costs you agree to NOT hold us liable for include, but are not limited to, any and all costs incurred by you in travelling to and from Exmouth, and any and all accommodation and meal expenses whilst in Exmouth.
If the travel, tour or booking agent, or Visitors Centre, or third party that you booked your tour through has not yet paid us for your booking, you will need to organise your refund through that organisation directly. This is because they still have your money and we haven't received it. However is this organisation has already paid us for your tour, you agree that we do not have to refund you the portion of your booking that this organisation has charged us for making the booking on your behalf. (This amount is generally between 10-25% of the total price you paid.)
Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim has a Responsible Refunds Policy. Whilst not contradicting any other Terms and Conditions, this basically involves us taking full responsibility for any and all actions that we have taken or failed to take that has negatively impacted on our customers. We will offer a refund that is consistent with our actions, alternative tour experiences that have been providing as a substitute to your tour, and how much of your tour and what components of your tour were completed prior to the tour cessation being necessary.
Under this policy, we also require our guests to each take full responsibility for any and all of their actions that are outside of our control or influence that resulted in them having a less than ideal outcome for their tour with us, and to not hold us responsible for events and issues arising that our beyond our control and have nothing to do with us. Tour refunds are always based on the price actually paid by the customer, not based on the usual price of our whaleshark tours.
We specifically will not provide you with a refund if you do not turn up for your tour because of:
- medical emergency
- mechanical breakdown
- death in the family
- sleeping in
- arriving at the wrong pickup location, or arriving late for your pickup after our bus / tour has left
Whilst we will do everything practical to get you out on another of our tours whilst in town standby, free of charge, or at the cost of license fee plus catering ($50), we are not able to pay you a refund or give you a repeat tour voucher in the above situations as they had absolutely nothing to do with us.
We strongly urge and recommend all guests to take out travel insurance to cover themselves for the cost of their tours should something untoward happens during your holiday. You agree that we are not a travel insurance company, and so it you will not require us to incur costs that we would not otherwise have to bear if you had chosen to take out travel insurance.
Fully informing us of any and all medical and operational conditions of relevance
All passengers are required to fully disclose and communicate to us any and all medical or physiological or psychological conditions or history that may impact on their ability to participate fully in any tour they are booked on in a normal and safe manner.
You must accurately communicate any and all significant issues associated with undertaking our tour that we reasonably need to be made aware of for us to be able to provide this tour in a safe, professional and enjoyable manner, that also does not detract from the tour experience of any other guests onboard your tour in any way.
Weather conditions and extraordinary issues
Weather conditions will make the conditions of a number of whaleshark tours each season less than ideal. Whilst this is outside of our control, we will do everything we can to ensure our passengers enjoy their tour regardless, and to minimise the impact of the weather conditions on our guests. However, we cannot be held responsible or liable for less than ideal weather conditions during one of our tours, and no refund is due or payable to guests should more than 50% of a tour be completed before it has to be cancelled due to safety reasons.
Similarly, it may become necessary to alter, reschedule, or change aspects of our tour because of weather, medical emergencies, or other extraordinary issues. Should this happen, you explicitly accept that we cannot be held responsible for such events, and will not hold us liable for the impact of such changes or events on your tour experience, including your tour having to be cut short in certain situations.
No Guarantees as to Wildlife Possible
Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim makes no attempt to guarantee that customers will swim with whalesharks or humpback whales, or see any particular marine or terrestrial life whilst on one of our tours. We do guarantee that we will do everything we realistically can to make these things happen, and to do things as well as we possibly can so you can enjoy your tour experience as much as possible.
Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim’s Liability
Except to the extent required by law, Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim and its agents, employees and associated companies take no liability in the event of damage, personal loss, injury or sea-sickness of passengers. We will however do everything we can that is reasonably possible to assist in every situation that is brought to our attention.
Passenger liability for carelessness leading to loss of equipment
Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim will require customers to pay for any lost or damaged gear, or damage to the tour vessel or vehicles, only in a situation where the customer’s own carelessness or choices caused this outcome. Should customers borrow our snorkel gear for free as part of their tour, and not return it, by so doing they agree that we may charge the cost of replacement snorkel gear to their credit card without requiring their express permission to do so.
Photos and videos may be used for marketing purposes
Customers agree that all photos and videos taken by Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim's onboard photographer and videographer may be used for marketing purposes by the business without the need for approval from the customer for a period of up to five years after their tour. Should a guest have an issue with us using their photo, we commit to immediately cease using this photo or video for marketing purposes for all marketing initiatives undertaken from the date of so being informed by the guest.
Customer reviews and feedback and our Social Media Terms and Conditions
Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim encourages all guests to provide feedback on how it can improve on what it does. (We love compliments too!) Our team is committed to doing the right thing at all times, which includes making good on any mistakes it makes or negative impacts on any of our customers, or other important stakeholders, to the very best of our abilities.
However, because of the significant risks to Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim's brand and reputation, and the potential for competitors creating negative reviews, either directly or indirectly, seeking to harm our brand, Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim requires each and every guest to agree to the following Social Media Terms and Conditions when booking with the company.
- Both parties agree that the act of a guest boarding one of our vehicles or vessels represents each guest's voluntary agreement to fully honour Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim's Social Media Terms and Conditions.
- Each guest agrees to first raise any and all complaints or issues about any negative aspect of Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim's operations whatsoever with the company's management directly, prior to posting any reviews or negative comments online, and provide the company's representatives with a fair and reasonable opportunity to make good and address any issues raised to the satisfaction of the customer.
- Guests failing to raise issues about Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim's operations with the company prior to placing negative comments or reviews on social media sites, or into the public domain, expressly grant Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim the right and express authority to work with all websites and apps hosting such comments made by the cusotmer and have them removed, without any need whatsoever for the guest to approve this beforehand.
- Subsequent to the removal of such comments, Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim commits to doing everything we reasonably can to contact the guest involved to work through the issues raised, and addressing any and all issues of concern within, to the satisfaction of the guest if we possibly can. The guest then has the option and right to repost their comments on all such social media sites and in the public domain should they then so choose.
- Should a guest choose to place any form of negative review or comments about Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim on any form of social media or within the public domain, they expressly agree to quote their Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim unique booking code as a key part of their review or comments. Should a guest fail to provide their unique Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim booking code as part of their review or comments, they expressly grant Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim and its representatives and agents the right to contact the website or app such comments or reviews and have these immediately removed, without the need for any approval from the guest whatsoever. Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim then commits to doing everything it reasonably can to notify the guest of this outcome so that the guest then has the option of editing their original post to include their booking code and then reposting this.
Dives and Try Dives and Photos and Hire Cameras and Hire Gear and Free Giveaways not guaranteed
Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim reserves the right to cancel any and all Extras purchased by a guest when making a tour booking, or that were given away as a free extra when guests book a tour. All moneys paid for such items or experiences will be refunded in full, however, you explicitly accept that no form of compensation will be paid for any cancelled items or experiences that were offered for free as part of a booking.
Customers acknowledge and agree to Ningaloo Whaleshark Swim adding a booking fee and or a credit card fee for the full amount of the costs incurred by the company, and no more, when taking a tour booking or sale. Directions to nearby ATM machines are available that save the guest this fee if they so choose to pay by cash.
Providing the credit card used to pay for this booking on request
Should this booking have been paid for by credit card, customers must agree to presenting the credit card used to make the payment to the company immediately on request. Should the customer choose not to, or be unable to, present this credit card on request, the company reserves the right to cancel the booking immediately should it have any concerns whatsoever that the original booking was paid for by fraudulent use of a credit card. (The company in no way whatsoever suggests a guest has anything to do with either the theft or the illegal use of this credit card so used, and the customer explicitly acknowledges this.)
If so requested, a customer must provide an alternative credit card for the company to use to guarantee a tour booking, where it has any concerns about the validity or nature of a booking being made.
The company reserves the right to amend its Terms and Conditions from time to time, as required by the company's operation and environment, and commits to ensuring such changes do not decrease the value of the customer's purchase should such changes be necessary.
In the event of the company having to cancel its tours because of reasons beyond its control, guests that have been rebooked onto another tour, or have been issued a voucher, do not have the option of receiving a full refund if this was not available when their original tour was cancelled.
Please note gift cards and gift vouchers are not refundable for cash. Bookings on any of our tours using a voucher are viewed to be "bookings made by voucher". No cash refunds will be paid on these tour bookings should they subsequently be cancelled by either the customer or the company.