Tea Tours

indian-ocean-mount-laviniaThe “Pearl of the Indian Ocean” is a lush and exotic island nation off the southeastern coast of India,  boasting a rich and ancient culture in its own right and a heritage influenced by the Portuguese, Dutch, English and many others, who through the centuries have made their way onto her shores.

 This is Sri Lanka, formerly
known as Ceylon.

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ceylon-milk-teaA tea producing country since the mid-1800s, Sri Lanka manufactures Ceylon tea, touted as the finest tea in the world.   Over 400 tea plantations and gardens dot the island, and millions of tea leaves are hand-plucked every day to produce high quality Ceylon tea.

Come with us on December 4- 10, 2016, for an unforgettable journey into tea—Ceylon Tea.   We will start our tour with a relaxing afternoon tea enjoying delectable savories and sweets and a visit to a nearby turtle sanctuary.  Retire at Mount Lavinia, once the British governor’s mansion, with its gleaming white walls and breathtaking views of the ocean.

tea-temple-plantationLearn about tea with visits to plantations, tea tastings, and trying your hand at the art of plucking tea leaves.

trainTake a scenic train ride to appreciate the verdant landscape, mountainous terrain, and gorgeous waterfalls as we make our way from the highlands of  Nuwara Eliya, also known as Little England, to Hatton.  It is here in Nuwara Eliya that the British planters made their home, preferring the cooler climate; a vestige of Sri Lanka’s colonial past.

pooja-elephantSteeped in history and tradition, the ancient kingdom of Kandy awaits.  Spend a day visiting historic sites, a spice garden and wildlife.  Then relax and unwind at the lovely Mas Villa overlooking the stunning Kotmale Reservoir.

mas-villaSri Lanka is known for spices, its amazing cuisine, and gems.  Chef Naveen, of Mas Villa, will host a cooking class of Sri Lankan cuisine.   The Land of Gems, as it is sometimes called, has a 2,500-year gem industry and supplies almost half of the varieties of gems available worldwide.  From King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba to the 400-carat blue sapphire on the British crown, get a glimpse into Sri Lanka’s gem history with a private gem presentation from one of Colombo’s leading jewelers.

cupping-at-senokBack in Colombo, we will sample many teas from the different growing regions of Sri Lanka and get a fascinating look at what happens once the finished tea leaves the estates and how it makes it way to the world market.

Before returning home, spend your final day in Sri Lanka in the seaside town of Negombo where you’ll experience a catamaran ride on the Indian Ocean.

For more details on this truly memorable week, please click on the itinerary tab below.

tea-pluckers-pedro-estateThis December, discover an island paradise, exotic culture, distinctive cuisine… and the finest tea in the world.  Let’s go!

 

 

 

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Itinerary

Sunday – Day 1  (December 4)
Colombo

Arrive at Colombo airport and be greeted by English-speaking tour guide and driver.  You’ll check-in at the famous Mount Lavinia hotel, once the British governor’s mansion, with its gleaming white walls and stunning views of the Indian Ocean .  Free time to explore Colombo, or relax and unwind at the hotel.  Official welcome over afternoon tea and a visit to a nearby turtle sanctuary. Wonderful introduction to authentic and traditional Sri Lankan cuisine with Ape Kema dinner at Mount Lavinia Hotel. (D)

Monday – Day 2  (December 5)
Kandy

We’ll take in more of the sights and sounds of Sri Lanka as we depart Colombo for historic Kandy, the last capital of the ancient kings of Sri Lanka.  Enroute to Kandy, we’ll stop for refreshments, visit a spice garden and an elephant orphanage.  This evening, we will attend a Kandian cultural show and enjoy a private tea-inspired dinner at the beautiful Mahaweli Reach Hotel.

Day 3 – Tuesday   (December 6)
Kandy

After breakfast, we’ll start the day with a river boat cruise along the Mahaweli River, Sri Lanka’s longest river.  A day of cultural activities awaits with a Temple of the Tooth experience followed by a tour of a local tea factory and the Ceylon Tea Museum.  Enjoy a leisurely stroll at the famous Peradeniya Botanic Gardens, followed by free time to explore shops, museums, and other sites.  Cap off the day with dinner and drinks at the Royal Bar & Hotel – Armory Room.  (B, L, D)

Day 4 – Wednesday  (December 7)
Nuwara Eliya, Kotmale

After breakfast, we will visit St Coombs Tea Estate and the Tea Research Institute, Talawakelle, for tour and tea tasting.  We’ll will work our way up to Nuwara Eliya, called ‘Little England’, at the heart of Sri Lankan hill country, for lunch and sightseeing.  Take in the lush and panoramic views with a short and scenic train ride to Hatton for afternoon tea.  We will spend the evening at the exquisite Mas Villa with its magnificent views of the Kotmale Reservoir, tea and rice fields, and mountains. Dinner on the veranda, but first, enjoy a private cooking class on Sri Lankan cuisine with Chef Naveen . (B, L, D)

Day 5 – Thursday  (December 8)
Norwood Estate

After breakfast, we will depart for Norwood Estate near the town of Hatton.  A wonderfully full day with highlights to include a Hindu blessing, tea plucking experience, tea factory visit and tea tasting, followed by a field tour of the estate for a glimpse into the lives of the tea pluckers.  This evening, relax and enjoy cocktails and dinner at Mas Villa.  (B, L, D)

Day 6 – Friday  (December 9)
Colombo, Negombo

Today we head back to Colombo where a fabulous lunch awaits…sapphires, amethysts, rubies, citrines, moonstones….Sri Lanka, the Island of Gems, is one of the largest suppliers of gemstones in the world.  Enjoy lunch with a well-known gemologist and our own private jewelry presentation.  We’ll also visit a renowned tea broker, sample many teas from the different growing regions, and leave with a better understanding of how Ceylon teas makes it to your cup!  Rest of the day to relax at the beach or explore the coastal town of Negombo.  (B, L, D)

Day 7 – Saturday   (December 10)
Negombo 
Tour ends.

End your memorable tour with an amazing catamaran ride on the Indian Ocean.  Farewell lunch and depart hotel to return home with great memories and new friends…

Your Tea Experience Adventure tour concludes after lunch.  Scheduled drop-off at airport.  (B, L)

Travel Protection and Cancellation

Standard Cancellation Terms and Optional Travel Protection

We want to ensure that you have the best experience during your travels with us.  In the event you would need to cancel your Napoleona Tea Company: Tea Experience Adventure™ trip, or become ill or hurt while traveling, we highly recommend purchasing optional travel insurance which provides a number of benefits to include coverage for trip cancellation or interruption and medical emergencies.

We recommend the following travel insurance providers who can fit the plans to your specific needs:

Trip Mate, www.tripmate.com

Travel-Ex, www.travelexinsurance.com

Cancellation by Napoleona Tea Company: Tea Experience Adventure™

Napoleona Tea Company: Tea Experience Adventure™  (hereafter referred to as “NTTEA”), reserves the right to cancel any trip at any time for any reason if there are too few participants, or if the quality of the trip or the safety of the travelers is evaluated to be compromised.  In such a case, refund of payments received by NTTEA shall constitute full settlement.  NTTEA cannot assume responsibility for any loss incurred on account of nonrefundable air tickets or other travel arrangements.

Terms & Conditions for Participation

Reservations and Payments

Price of tour $2950, per person based on double occupancy

Single supplement: $325.00

Prompt reservations are essential due to our private group size.  Deposits and payments can be made by the following methods:

  • Wire transfer to our US bank account
  • Check deposit

To confirm a reservation, each attendee must complete and submit the following:

  • Completed contact information sheet/registration form
  • Deposit of 25% of total trip cost

The balance of the total trip is due 30 days before commencement of the tour.  If the balance of the trip is not paid when due, unless previously advised in writing or email, Napoleona Tea Company: Tea Experience Adventure™ (hereafter referred to as “NTTEA”) reserves the right to regard the reservation as cancelled.

Responsibilities of Trip Participants

All trip participants are expected to be in good health.  Moderate exertion including walks and climbing stairs is sometimes part of your itinerary.  Cultural immersion is fundamental in the NTTEA experience and all participants must be ready to enjoy travel and experience cultural difference with grace and sensitivity.  Smoking is prohibited during meals, on vans, during site visits and activities.  There will be smoking and phone breaks as needed.  Participants who are disruptive or endanger the group, or break local laws may be removed from the itinerary with no refund due at their own expense.

Cancellation Policy

Our cancellation policy is applicable to all portions of your trip you have contracted with us to include: land, single supplements, any tour extensions.  All cancellations must be via written notice and received by mail, fax, or email.  If you purchase an optional travel insurance plan, 100% of cancellation fees are covered by the plan, provided the premium has been paid and the reason for cancellation is insurable.  Please review your plan carefully for details.  Otherwise, our cancellation fees are as follows:

Days before departure:

More than and up to 90 days                   Full refund of monies paid *

89-61 days                                               30% of the trip cost *

60-45 days                                               50% of the trip cost *

44-16 days                                               75% of the trip cost *

15-0 days                                                 no refund *

*Credit card fees are not refundable

Note:  No refunds are made for changes made en route at the discretion of the traveler

NTTEA is not responsible for additional expenses that may occur as a result of the cancellation such as no refunds for not purchasing travel insurance; airline cancellation fees; vaccinations (if required); purchase of clothing or equipment or such items for the program, or other expenses.

If unforeseen circumstances require us to change the trip itinerary, NTTEA will make every effort to select alternates (hotels, tea plantations, restaurants, activities) of the same quality or better.  NTTEA reserves the right to cancel a tour for any reason, and in such an instance will refund all payments received that we are contracted for the tour, constituting full settlement.

Optional Traveler Insurance

We encourage trip cancellation insurance that can be purchased from insurance providers for a reasonable fee, to include cancellation/interruption, delay, and baggage insurance in order to protect your vacation investment.

NTTEA is not responsible or liable for loss, damage or theft of personal luggage and belongings, or personal injury, accident or illness, or cancellations resulting from airline delays, strikes, or natural disasters.  In most foreign countries, insurance coverage of personal injury, accident or illness is not available on the basis of U.S. standards.  NTTEA will not be responsible for any refunds not covered by or denied by the travel insurance provider.

Cost of the trip includes:

Hotels:  Price is based on double occupancy.  Single rooms will be arranged, if available, for an additional supplement.  NTTEA uses rooms with private bath in deluxe and boutique hotels.  The client will select single supplement or double occupancy at time of booking.  Air conditioning is normally standard and will be noted if otherwise.  NTTEA reserves the right to substitute hotels of equal or greater value for those named on our website, brochure and other materials when necessary.  Specific bed types must be requested at time of registration or otherwise cannot be guaranteed.

Meals:  Review your itinerary carefully for meal inclusions as they may vary during the tour.  Bottled water, coffee, tea and select beverages are included with the meals.  Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner is included in the tour unless designated otherwise.

Local Guide, Driver, Entrance Fees:  English-speaking guide and driver services are included as well as entrance fees for sites visited as outlined in the itinerary.  Air conditioned vehicles are utilized and bottled water is included on all excursions.

Luggage:  All transportation and transfer of one regular sized checked suitcase per person and carry-on is included.  It is the traveler’s responsibility to check with their airline for luggage restrictions, transfers, and applicable overweight charges.

Transfers:  Airport transfers in Sri Lanka at the beginning and end of tour are included.  Participant is responsible for meeting with our driver and/or guide at the designated meeting point (information to be provided by NTTEA prior to departure).  If your flight is delayed, you are responsible to advise us in a timely manner.

Gratuities:  Gratuities for all meals as indicated on the itinerary is included and covered by NTTEA.  Gratuities for local guide and driver is included.  Gratuities for hotel staff, transport and services during free time or for personal services is not included and is at your discretion.

Cost of trip does not include:

Air transportation; airport taxes, any customs and security fees; passport and visa expenses; laundry, alcoholic and other beverages not specified in the itinerary, all items of a personal nature; expenses of additional guides, transportation or cars for personal sightseeing, etc., that is not included in the itinerary; excessive baggage charges; optional travel insurance, health, accident, baggage, and trip cancellation insurance; gratuity for personal services, hotel staff, transport services during free time; other items not mentioned as being included.

Guaranteed Departures:  Once NTTEA has accepted deposits for a Tea Experience Adventure™ tour, the departure is guaranteed, except in case of force majeure, which includes any major events that adversely affect international travel patterns, events that endanger travelers or circumstances beyond NTTEA’s control among others.

Pricing and Changes:  Tour prices include planning, handling, and operations charges that are based on current rates of exchange at the time of the itinerary quote and subsequent booking.  NTTEA reserves the right to increase tour prices without notice for unbooked/unpaid itineraries.  In the event of any major currency devaluation of more than 10%, NTTEA reserves the right to re-price itineraries.

Health:  The pace of NTTEA tours vary, but in general requires participants to be in good physical and mental health.  NTTEA will make reasonable efforts to accommodate the special needs of its travelers; however, such travelers should be aware that acommodations and facilities outside the United States for disabled individual may be limited and beyond the control of NTTEA.  When you reserve your tour, please inform NTTEA of any physical disabilities or limitations so that we can help you determine the appropriateness of the itinerary.   NTTEA reserves the right to decline or accept or retain any person as a participant should such person’s health or mental condition or physical infirmity or general deportment will cause undue demands upon staff or inhibit the rights or enjoyment of the group.  It is the guest’s responsibility to judge the appropriateness of these travel activities to their physical capabilities.

Passports, Visas, Reciprocity Fees:  NTTEA will do its best to advise participants of a country’s travel documentation requirements, but it is the participant’s responsibility for obtaining any travel documents and/or verifying entry requirements for each country of travel and/or transit on the selected itinerary.  Passports should be valid for 6 months after the end of the tour and/or return date.  NTTEA cannot obtain personal travel documents for customers or assume responsibilities for notice of a country’s current requirements.  The participant is responsible for any expenses incurred as a result of the delays or itinerary changes related to his/her lack of appropriate travel documents.

Deviations:  Participants choosing to deviate from the standard itinerary may incur additional transfer fees.  Requests for deviations must be received in writing by mail, email or fax at least 7 days before commencement of the tour.

Limits on Napoleona Tea Company: Tea Experience Adventure™ Responsibilities

NTTEA and its affiliates acts only as agent for the relevant supplier in securing transportation, hotel accommodations, restaurant services and other services from various independent suppliers that are not subject to its control.  NTTEA cannot, therefore, be liable for any personal injury or property damage, or any other special or consequential damages that may occur due to a) intentional, wrongful, negligent or arbitrary acts or omissions on the part of the supplier, its employees and others not under the direct control of NTTEA, or b) defects or failures of any aircraft, vessel, automotive vehicle or other equipment or instrumentality under the direct control of independent suppliers.  In addition, NTTEA cannot be liable for delays in departure or interruption of a participant’s travel arrangements caused by weather conditions, natural disasters or Acts of God, technical problems of any aircraft, vessel, automotive vehicle or other equipment or instrumentality, strikes, war, terrorist activity, civil commotion, or any causes beyond the control of NTTEA.  In no event will NTTEA be responsible for incidental, consequential or special damage or loss suffered by any person or resulting in their inability to travel.  NTTEA’s maximum liability, for any reason whatsoever, will be limited to the amount paid to NTTEA for its services.

Media

NTTEA reserves the right to take photographs and /or videos during the operation of any program and to use the photography for promotional purposes.  Participants who prefer that their image not be used are asked to inform NTTEA in writing during the booking process.

Unused Services

Changes made by participants to any portion of their vacation after the end of the tour will be completely at their own expense.  Refunds are not available for services provided in the program prices not utilized by the participant.

Disputes

Any controversy or claim arising from/or relating to a NTTEA trip shall be resolved by binding arbitration in accordance with the Arbitration Rules of the United States of America, to be carried out in Lake County, Illinois, where Napoleona Tea Company is incorporated.  Acceptance of the initial services to be provided on the trip shall constitute an acceptance by the trip member of these terms and conditions.  By paying the deposit to NTTEA, the depositor agrees to be bound by the above Terms & Conditions

 

 

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