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Incident won’t deter Kiwis Heading to Ice

Incident won’t deter Kiwis Heading to Ice

House of Travel’s Adventure Travel company says despite the incident over night involving GAP’s ship the MS Explorer, it is extremely safe to travel to Antarctica. Ian Collier, Adventure Travel Christchurch owner operator says he has no hesitation recommending Antarctica as a safe destination to travel to.

“Any travel has risk, it is totally unavoidable but when you consider the vast numbers of people who cruise to the Antarctic and the number of incidents, you have to concur the risk is low.”

Approximately forty different operators using around 60 ships allow 37,000 people to cruise to the winter playground of the world annually.

“The standards in place are rigorous for any company wanting to be in the tourism business in the Antarctic. Strict risk management plans must be in place and are tested regularly to ensure the safety of the passengers and crew.”

Mr Collier remarked one of the strict requirements is the staff to passenger ratio.

“On the MS Explorer there was one staff member for every two passengers, which would have assisted in the smooth evacuation of the ship.”

While there were no New Zealanders on this particular ship, Adventure Travel Christchurch had three customers scheduled to cruise to Antarctica in the next three weeks.

“Through House of Travel we follow a very strict procedure when an incident happens such as this. We have spoken to all our forward booking customers. Their reaction was very pragmatic and realistic. We are doing everything possible to relocate them onto other operators’ ships so they can fulfill their life time dream of a trip to the ice. However given people book years in advance this could prove difficult and they may have to wait 12 months.”

Mr Collier said that while a more expensive holiday option, cruising to the Antarctic had become increasingly popular over the past five years with Kiwis.

“Perhaps it’s our inquisitive nature and that bit of explorer in us. Having been there several times, every time I’m still equally blown away by its uniqueness and pristine beauty.”


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