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The sailing world's crème de la crème gathered in London on 6 September for the official launch of The Shackleton Epic - a journey to recreate Sir Ernest Shackleton's famous journey of loyalty and survival.
As the presenting partner, Intrepid Travel was present to be shocked, awed and humbled by both Shackleton and Tim Jarvis, the modern-day adventurer leading the expedition.
Our co-founder and Managing Director, Geoff Manchester said a few words a explained why Intrepid is partnering with The Shackleton Epic team to make this remarkable feat happen. Here’s what Geoff had to say:
Intrepid Travel is deeply honoured and really excited to be the presenting partner of the Shackleton Epic. We are a company of travellers, explorers who are constantly seeking the next adventure and this epic has certainly sparked our curiosity.
When we heard about this remarkable feat that Tim is taking on, we were immediately struck by it bringing together the two things we firmly believe in: a spirit of fearless exploration and a commitment to protecting our natural environment.
Intrepid Travel started 23 years ago following my best friend and I converting an old council truck in Australia, putting it on a boat to the UK and driving it from the UK, down through Europe and across Africa. It turned out to be the beginning of a great business adventure that has now grown into a company that takes over 100,000 people to more than 130 countries each and every year.
The spirit of exploration is absolutely alive and well at Intrepid, so naturally we were drawn to this partnership, to the inspiration Sir Ernest Shackleton has given to so many of us, to the concept and challenge of the journey and to Tim’s fearless nature.
We were also drawn to Tim’s absolute commitment to the environment. We were drawn to his belief that the Shackleton Epic provides us with a unique opportunity to highlight climate change and to inspire a generation of individuals and businesses to show courage as we seek answers and solutions to a potentially devastating problem.
Intrepid has had a long commitment to the environment. In fact our very style of travel is environmentally conscious in that on our trips we utilise as much as possible existing public transport. We educate our travellers about local environmental issues and we encourage them to live appropriately in the environments in which they travel. Our Intrepid Foundation is celebrating 10 years and has supported more than 75 good causes in over 25 countries, ranging from education of children in Tanzania to nutritional programmes in Peru and promotion of women's rights in Timor-Leste.
A few years ago we set ourselves a target of becoming a carbon neutral company. For us, this didn’t mean merely offsetting our office emissions. It meant delving deep into our operations to identify opportunities to reduce our impact. With more than 800 trips around the world this seemed like an insurmountable task but we persevered and in late 2010 we achieved our goal of carbon neutral trips. We are really proud that in the process of measuring, reducing and offsetting, we became the first travel company of our size to include carbon offsetting in the price of our trips. Two years on our sales are continuing to grow and we are enjoying being recognised for our stance and for taking action, most recently receiving a prestigious Conde Nast Traveler magazine World Saver Award.
As an adventure travel company we often face the question, ‘what is adventure?’ For some people an adventure might be leaving London to visit another large city in the UK, for some it might be exploring Italy, while for others it could be climbing Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. For Intrepid adventure is not necessarily a physical challenge. For us and for our travellers the adventure is often where you go and the way you travel. It is the people you travel with and the people you meet along the way. The differences in culture. The physical environment, the way people behave, the religion, the food, the living conditions. All these factors impact us as individuals in a different way, so that each of us has their own definition of what is an adventure to them.
This Shackleton Epic is without doubt an adventure. It has the obvious physical challenge, it has elements of danger, it has emotional challenges and social challenges. For each participant it is doing something totally new that perhaps they never considered they would have the opportunity to do or be able to do.
This adventure gives a fortunate group of people the opportunity to witness a remarkable journey and to contribute to raising awareness about climate change by helping to gather environmental data whilst on board. It’s definitely a once in a lifetime experience. We’re committed to giving people memories to last a lifetime at Intrepid so it is with pleasure that we provide this unique opportunity to adventurous people around the world.
Thank you to Arup, Mackinglays and Flora and Fauna International for joining Intrepid Travel to make this remarkable journey a possibility.
A big thank you to Alexandra Shackleton too. We are honoured to be connected to
We wish Tim Jarvis and his crew every success as they endeavour to recreate this epic journey. You haven’t set sail and already you are an inspiration. We thank you for having the courage to endure, shall we say difficult conditions, in a bid to inspire greater action on climate change.
Safe and happy travels!