How To Sign Up
“Commitment Issues”
Things You Should Read Before You Sign Up” include... to lock in your trip price, cancel your trip, protect your trip funds, and our “Operator's Responsibility.”

Joining a trip requires 2 things:
  1. A Trip Application.
    It may be sent by post, fax, or scanned into an e.mail.  It cannot be filled out on line, since we need your signature (insurance reasons — sorry!).  Links to information you may need to refer to as you fill out the application are offered below.

  2. A “Standard Trip Deposit.” 
    Per person:
    750€ (by credit card, or € cheque)
    $800 US or $1,000 C (by check / cheque)

    ...or half the trip cost, rounded to the nearest whole currency unit, if this results in a lower amount.

    You may pay the deposit...
    • cheque / check in €, $C, or $US. 
    €uro cheques should be sent to our Paris office,

    $ checks / cheques should be sent to our US office.
    • Visa or Mastercard, via our secure on-line payment page
    “Standard Trip Deposits’ made by credit card are 750 €uros, and the card is debited in euros.  If your statement is in $, the 750€ will be converted to $ at the exchange rate in effect on the date of your payment, and your statement is credited with the $ amount. 
    Converter here.
    • bank (a.k.a. “wire”) transfer.

    Your country of residence determines the currency of your Account Statement.  See the pros and cons of different payment methods page for details.

    Full payment is required if you are signing up within 40 days of your trip’s departure.  You may prefer to pay in full for your trip when you sign up, so that currency shifts don't wind up increasing the cost of your vacation.  See “Locking In Prices,” below.

    The balance of the trip cost is due 35 days prior to departure 
    Please send this balance in a timely manner, as you are otherwise considered to have canceled your trip (see cancellation terms, below).  Only the trip itself (plus baggage transfer and extra accommodation charges) must be paid 35 (or 60) days prior to departure.  Ancillary services / travel arrangements may be paid for at any time until departure.

Links to information you may need to refer to, in order to complete your application:

Bike Type (if using ours) Pricing Connecting Trips Cycle Insurance
Outfitting Your Cycle Other Discounts Access Packages
Accommodation Baggage Transfer

Things you should read before you sign up, discussed below:

Ready to Sign Up?

Commitment Issues:
The “Contract”

Locking In Prices
Trip prices are only guaranteed once final payment is received.
Paying a trip deposit does not lock in the final price for your trip.  Only paying the total cost of your trip locks in its price.

Our exchange rate and supplier cost assumptions are influenced by purchasing parities, political circumstance, and wishful thinking.  This combination initially keeps prices down, but they may increase as trip dates approach if our optimistic predictions are not fulfilled.  Increases are guaranteed not to exceed 10% as compared to the price in effect at the date of your sign-up.  If your full trip payment has been made at the time of a price increase (if you send a check / cheque by post, postmark determines payment date), you will not be subject to it.

Unless you tell us otherwise, payments you make are applied to your trip cost first, and then to ancillary arrangements (such as Access Packages, or other travel arrangements).  Exception:  if you are booking air or non-refundable rail tickets through us, the cost of that ticket is the first element to which any payment is applied.

Cancellations and Refunds
Special terms apply to “Trip Founders” of Guest-Initiated or Charter trips, and to our Mystery Trip.  For details, please follow these links:
Guest-Initiated Trips
Charter Trips
Mystery Trip

Cancellations of trips, extra on-trip accommodation charges, “Baggage Transfer” services, and other independent services such as cell phone rental or luggage storage, are effective only when received in writing by one of our offices, or if final payment for a trip is not received at least 35 days in advance of trip departure.

You may cancel by post, by fax, or by e.mail, but a signature corresponding to the one on the application form, or on the payment (if by check / cheque), is required.  So, if you cancel by e.mail, the e.mail must include a scanned signature.

If you cancel your trip, we generally assume you have also canceled, for example, your rental handlebar bag, even if you don’t explicitly bring it up.  We aren’t dunces.  But the more explicit you are in your cancellation, the safer for all of us....

If final payment is not received 35 days in advance, you may (at our discretion) be considered to have de facto canceled your participation at any time prior to the start of the trip.  You will be informed of the date of cancellation by e.mail, at the address you have supplied to us, and will have 24 hours from that point to make the payment.  Failure to do so will signal your confirmation of the cancellation.  If applicable, a refund of any payments made, less the cancellation costs, will be sent to you.

We aren’t mean, and try to give you a couple of days to sort this out if it comes up.  But we have been known to apply the term strictly when a trip has a wait list, and we cannot immediately reach you (are you sure your spam filter is set to let us through?).  You can lose a lot of money in this case, which will make you mad.  And, though we are compensated for our time and effort by your payment, we are nonetheless the source of that anger, which makes us sad.  Please settle the balance of your trip cost on time, even if details concerning the organization or price of ancillary services are still outstanding.  In other words, the fact that you have not yet decided whether or not you want to rent a handlebar bag is not a reason to hold off sending that 1,000€ due, on the premise that another 20€ might be added down the line, and you are hoping to “just make a single payment.” 

For riders on our regularly-scheduled trips, costs will be refunded less the following amounts (converted to the currency of your account, if your statement is in $):

  • 8 weeks prior to trip departure:  an administrative charge equal to 250€ or 30% of the cost of the trip / service(s) being refunded, whichever is less.
  • 35 - 55 days prior to departure:  375€, or 30% of the cost of the trip / service(s) being refunded, whichever is less.
  • 22 - 34 days:  500€, or 35% of the cost of the trip / service(s) being refunded, whichever is less.
  • 15 - 21 days:  50% of the cost of the trip / service(s) being refunded.
  • 8 - 14 days:  65% of the cost of the trip / service(s) being refunded.
  • 1 - 7 days:  80% of the cost of the trip / service(s) being refunded.

No refunds can be made on or after the start date of the trip.


  • Percentages are of base trip costs, cycle rental and shipping charges, extra accommodation charges, and Baggage Transfer charges (Daily, Half, Lite, or One-Way Luggage Shipping).
  • Individual travel arrangements not part of Blue Marble’s trips, including “Access Packages,” are subject to cancellation terms of the supplier(s), plus an administrative fee of 20€ (or the equivalent in your statement’s currency) per transaction.  All European rail tickets carry at least a 15% cancellation fee, and 20% is more common, with a minimum of 20€ withheld from any refund.  Seat reservation charges, and tickets costing 20€ or less, are not refundable.  Use special caution in reserving pre- and post-trip hotel nights in high-demand cities in Italy:  some hotels may require up to 4 weeks’ notice (!!) for penalty-free cancellation.  See our note on Italian city hotels.
  • Refunds are made in the currency of the payment.
  • Guests subscribing to two or more connecting trips are considered to travel on a single, unified trip, whose start date is the start date of the first of those trips.
  • Cycle insurance cancellation is subject to a fee in the amount of half the cost of the first week's insurance.
  • Allow 4 - 6 weeks for the processing and refund of all cancellations.  In cases where outside suppliers are involved, refunds can take longer:  airlines routinely take 3 - 6 months (!!) to process refunds.  If this stuff gets out of hand (beyond 6 weeks), we go ahead and refund our charges, and send a second refund when we get the rest of the funds back from the suppliers.

Trip Protection (Cancellation Waivers)

Three different cancellation waivers are available.  All three...

  • ...cover Blue Marble’s “base” trip costs, accommodation upgrades while on the trip (single rooms, private bath supplements...), cycle rental and shipping when these are priced separately (€ prices), and intra-trip “Baggage Transfer” services. 
  • Their cost is a percentage of the cost of whichever services are subscribed.
  • Waivers for our regularly-scheduled trips may be subscribed until 35 days prior to trip start (or at time of sign-up if you join within this period, and send full payment with your application).
  • Waivers for “Trip Founders” of charter or guest-initiated trips must be subscribed at the time of trip registration.  Waivers for the Mystery Trip (when one is operating) must be subscribed at least 90 days in advance.
  • Waivers are not refundable within 8 weeks of trip start.
    Prior to that, they are refundable less a 20€ (or the equivalent in your currency) administrative charge.  Exception:  waivers subscribed by “Trip Founders” of charter and guest-initiated trips are not refundable under any circumstances.
  • Should you cancel your trip at the latest on the day prior to its departure, for a reason covered by your waiver, protected payments are refunded less a 100€ deductible (or the equivalent in your currency).
    This deductible is doubled if the waiver is subscribed within 60 days of trip departure.
  • If you leave a trip in progress for a covered reason, a pro-rated refund will be made, less the deductible.
    You are considered to have travelled with your trip on the day on which you leave it, or on the first day of your trip should you not join your trip without having canceled.  For the purposes of calculation, trip days are defined as the overnight stay, and the day which follows it.
  • Should you decide to leave a trip of 20 or more nights for any reason (such as “I feel like it”), and provide 5 days’ notice of departure, all waivers are valid for a refund of the difference in price between the trip to which you subscribed, and the shortest trip or combination of trips proposed on our web site which include all days effectively travelled.
    This term is intended to protect you should you risk a long trip and then not like it.  This has never happened.  Ever.
  • These waivers do not cover (nor apply to) air or rail tickets or pre- or post-trip hotel reservations not included in our trips.  They do not cover fees for consulting services, airline ticket brokers, or Access Packages (but which are sometimes at least partially refundable until shortly before travel).   More generally, they do not cover any other travel arrangements or services not part of Blue Marble’s package trips, whether or not we assist you in making such arrangements.  Nor do they apply to cycle insurance, but which is refundable less a fee.

They differ as follows:

  • Medical Cancellation Waiver.
    Valid in the case where there is a medical impediment to the subscriber's joining or completing the trip.  Waiver is valid if the incapacitated traveller is self, immediate family, or cohabitant (example:  provided both have subscribed, this policy extension allows both members of a couple to cancel if one of the two cannot travel).  Proof of a medical obstacle to making or completing the trip is necessary to claim a refund.  Cost is 4%.  General conditions, applying to all waivers, are above.

  • Job Crisis / Medical Cancellation Waiver.
    Additionally valid if professional obligations prevent you from making or completing your trip.  Available to full-time employees only.  A (very brief) form must be jointly completed by subscriber and by job supervisor prior to trip departure.  Cost is 10%.  General conditions, applying to all waivers, are above.

  • “No Questions Asked” Waiver.
    Valid for any reason at all, including, but not limited to, ill relatives or pets, misalignment of planets (shouldn’t you really have checked that one before you signed up?), residual Y2k worries, volcanic eruptions, or whatever terror alert the Scare-of-the-Month Club has come up with.  Cost is 18%.

    This “No Questions Asked” waiver is the only protection we offer against climatic disorder, or what we will prudishly refer to as “global unrest.”  Believe us, it was not easy to find.  We have neither the financial stature to assume responsibility for environmental or geopoliticial phenomena vastly larger than we, nor a lobbying group to win government assistance when they arise.  But we understand that you may wish to protect yourself, and this is the best option we have found to assist you with that objective....  General conditions, applying to all waivers, are above.

Operator’s Responsibility

Blue Marble Travel, the operator, as well as our agents (including, but not limited to, marketing representatives in the U.S., Canada, Great Britain and Australia), act only as agent for the traveller.  We accept no responsibility for the service of any hotel or transportation company used in connection with these trips.  Nor for any delay, loss, or accident to travellers or baggage occasioned by such services from whatsoever cause.

Passengers assume all risks associated with these trips, and accept and understand dangers inherent in cycling and in travel more generally.  Risks include traffic accidents, which can result in injury or death.  In subscribing to our trips, passengers certify that they are proficient in the use of the type of cycle they have requested (in all types, if no type is requested).

Passengers who choose to bring their own cycles assume all risks associated with their shipment before, during or after our trips.  These risks include late delivery of, loss of, and / or damage to the cycle.

Should it become necessary for the comfort or well-being of passengers to alter the itinerary or arrangements, changes may be made without penalty to the Operator.  Conversely, refunds will be made if savings are effected thereby.  We reserve the right to cancel any tour, and to decline to accept any person as a member of a tour, for any reason.  Also to suspend anyone from a tour at any time if we deem that the group’s interest is thus served, for whatever reason.  A pro-rated refund of trip cost will be made in this case.

We do not generally cancel tours:  in the unusual event that a trip should have 3 or fewer participants 3 weeks prior to departure, we offer any of an alternate trip, a full refund, or to operate the trip as an independent (self-guided) voyage, with support from our staff (a Blue Marble person checks in on the trip by phone or e.mail, and is available to travel to the trip as needed).  We understand that you are organizing your holiday around us, and your commitment to travel with us is balanced by ours to provide you with the trip to which you have subscribed.

About Blue Marble

Blue Marble Travel is a “E.U.R.L.,” a French Corporation.  Our siège sociale (headquarters) is in Paris, at number 4, rue Dussoubs, postal code 75002 (postal address:  2, rue Dussoubs).  We are members of the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry, registered under number R.C. PARIS B 349 150 755.  Any contract or other disputes arising from the provision of our services will be arbitrated in the judicial jurisdiction of our headquarters.  After coffee, most of us are nice people, though eccentric.  We are honest and hard-working.  If you have a daughter, we would love to meet her.

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