Who would have thought that in a few short weeks, the world economy – and the travel business in particular - would come to a screeching halt? None of us – of you – have experienced anything like the current situation, and in Explorer Ventures’ 33 years of offering liveaboard trips, I never imagined that all our operations would be shut down within a week, with our staff working tirelessly to reschedule those affected. We’ve heard from many of you on the front lines of this battle – health care workers, essential business owners or staff, police etc. – whose lives have an added element of uncertainty. Our thoughts, and heartfelt thanks, are with you as the world figures out the way forward from here.
In 2019, almost 3,000 divers joined our family-owned company for a week or more of diving, camaraderie and adventure aboard our fleet’s liveaboard yachts. Immersed in a school of silent hammerheads, finding coral-encrusted 300-year-old galleon anchors, snorkeling with singing humpback whales, keeping pace with a languid whale shark, spying the tiniest pygmy sea horse in its cartoonish glory, enjoying a starry night sky from the sundeck of a custom liveaboard vessel hundreds of miles from the nearest city lights – these are the experiences we’ve had with you, and the memories that we revisit again and again as we await the return to our adventures. For most of us in this small industry, there is no greater pleasure than introducing our guests to the magic and majesty of our aquatic back yard.
But for now, we’ll have to wait. Every one of us longs for the world to return to normal quickly, but most of us expect that it will be a while longer before that happens. For the time being, our and our partners’ operations worldwide are shut down, with crews passing the time cleaning, disinfecting, painting, organizing, and cleaning some more, keeping our yachts ready for the next possible group of guests. We’re eagerly anticipating the time when our office staff will get excited calls from people days away from their departure to a magical destination and asking last minute questions about water temperature or travel logistics, and when our fleet’s crews can again anticipate our incoming guests’ gazing around at the exotic surroundings that they’ve been eagerly waiting to experience for months, or even years. We’re divers and avid travelers ourselves - it’s why we do what we do!
If you are scheduled to travel with us through the end of May, we encourage you to contact us to reschedule your trip for a future date. If you’re traveling in June or July and have payments coming due, we’re waiting to collect final payment until we’re more confident that travel uncertainty will have passed by then. We continue to work with guests and agents on a rolling basis to reschedule everyone who has reserved a trip that is or most likely will be affected by travel restrictions. Our policy for more than three decades has been to treat our clients as we would our friends, in no small part because many of you indeed are.
When the currently enforced time-out ends, we’ll all come out from our corners and remember how fortunate we are to have the opportunity to travel, explore, and immerse ourselves in the wonders that so many people never have the opportunity to experience. The ability to satisfy our wanderlust is in short supply right now, but it won’t always be – and when the time is right, Explorer Ventures will be waiting and more than ready to welcome you back to an amazing journey of diving freedom, authentic exploration and the kind of relaxation we all crave in some of the most mesmerizing corners of the world’s oceans.
In the meantime, from me, the staff, partners, and crews of Explorer Ventures, we hope that you stay safe and keep in touch with us. We’ll be ready to dive when you are!
President, Explorer Ventures Fleet
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The Explorer Ventures Liveaboard Diving Fleet offers 8 vessels in 7 destinations including the Red Sea, Maldives, Northeastern Caribbean (Saba/St. Kitts), Turks & Caicos Islands, Galapagos Islands and Indonesia. The M/V Turks & Caicos Explorer II also spends 10 weeks in the winter/spring offering snorkeling with Humpback Whales on the Silver Bank, Dominican Republic, under charter to Aquatic Adventures.