Wednesday, April 30, 2008

XPLORE accepted as full IAATO member at annual conference

PUNTA DEL ESTE, URUGUAY -- XPLORE EXPEDITIONS has been inducted as a full member of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators [IAATO] at the annual meeting here 28 April - 1 May, 2008. IAATO was founded in 1991 to advocate, promote and practice safe and environmentally responsible private-sector travel to the Antarctic. There are currently 80-members of the organization, ranging from ship operators, land-based operators, ship agents, travel agents, one government office and travel companies that charter ships and airplanes from existing operators. Reports XPLORE founder and skipper Stephen Wilkins, from Uruguay: "The meeting has been interesting, and an eye opener to many issues within IAATO and the industry."
IAATO has established extensive procedures and guidelines to ensure appropriate, safe and environmentally sound private-sector travel to the Antarctic: regulations and restrictions on numbers of people ashore; staff-to-passenger ratios; site-specific and activity guidelines; wildlife watching; pre- and post-visit activity reporting; passenger, crew and staff briefings; previous Antarctic experience for tour staff; contingency and emergency medical evacuation plans; and more. The voluntary membership is resolved to set the highest possible tourism operating standards in its effort to protect Antarctica. For more information, please visit the IAATO website here.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Season Report: Austral Summer 2007 / 2008

If there were no dreams then this world would be a very dull and boring place for us all of us. However for those who joined Xplore during this season, the realisation of dreams has been a very special part of what we aimed for and have achieved during our first season in the south. The 10 month re-fit of the custom 67-foot yacht Xplore has paid off with dividends of delight as clients relaxed and enjoyed the warmth, comforts and incredible foods whilst basking in the wonders of the southern lands, amongst the amazing sounds of wildlife and untouched nature. Skipper and expedition leader Stephen Wilkins, with eight expeditions to Antarctica, quotes, “Xplore meets all of my expectations of a comfortable and very safe yacht for these regions, the combination of fast sailing capabilities, strength when under motor and the creature comforts to make even long voyages in the cold south means that she has been a winner for all who stepped onboard” Guests on our expeditions to Antarctica this season - A White Christmas in December and The French Mountaineers in February - returned with amazing stories and thousands of photos. Tierra Del Fuego, and the Beagle Channel’s glaciers thrilled a group of seven ladies from Italy who vow to return; and the German team from Lufthansa whose sights were on landing on Cape Horn and experiencing the rawness of the Southern Ocean, were also certainly not disappointed. Raphael Robillard, Project Manager Ecostream France quotes: I would like to say that the cruise we did with you to Antarctica was absolutely fantastic, for me probably the best trip I made so far, an awesome experience. The photos that I distributed around raised my status within the company quite a bit, and even resulted in some new friends ! But most importantly it was an amazing experience for me. So I cannot be grateful enough to you for having taken us there. As for me: I certainly get a large amount of pleasure by sharing this very special region with people. You can’t wake up in the mornings without a spring in your step, each day is extraordinary and unique.” If your life needs some adventure, then Xplore! Visit our website,, for next season’s programme, or contact us directly for that special project you have been dreaming of. Stephen Wilkins Skipper and Expedition Leader Nicolas Pichelin Project Manager