The safety of our passengers, leaders and operators is a major priority of Intrepid.
With this in mind, we monitor world events very closely. Intrepid makes operations decisions based on informed advice from a number of sources.
1. The Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT)
For any Intrepid-operated trip, if DFAT’s advisory is at ‘Do Not Travel’ then Intrepid will either cancel the trip or reroute the itinerary to avoid the areas concerned.
2. Staff on the ground
With over 400 leaders on the ground in operational destinations and subsidiary companies in our main hub cities, Intrepid has access to an up-to-the-minute flow of information regarding the mood and feeling within the countries we work in. We are also in regular contact with the various operators we use. Their in-depth knowledge and understanding of their various areas is vital.
3. Other government travel advisories
Most countries’ governments provide their own travel advice. See below for links to some of the larger ones:
There has been ongoing civil unrest in Bolivia for approximately 3 weeks following the Presedential Election.
This has led to disruption to travel across the country. The situation has escalated in the past few days and remains unpredictable. Travelers can expect to see an increased security presence on the ground as well as experience longer travel times and travel delays. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT) has not increased their level of travel advice and continues to advise avoiding demonstrations and paying close attention to your personal security when travelling.
Based on this advice, along with updates from our local ground team in Bolivia, our trips in Bolivia will continue to run at this stage.
At the time of writing, here is how the current situation may affect upcoming travel with us:
• The highway from La Paz Airport to the city is clear and operative at present. Our groups and staff have been travelling on this road for the past few days, however, there is currently a 15-20 minute walk between the airport and where transfer drivers are able to park due to nearby access roads being blocked. Drivers are still able to meet passengers in the arrivals area and walk them to the vehicle. Passengers making their own way to the joining point hotel will need to follow advice of airport staff to locate taxis.
• The political tensions have resulted in riots and violence in some parts of the country, including certain areas of La Paz. We stay in an area of La Paz that has not been affected by the riots and have rerouted our activities, including walking tours, to ensure that we are away from any conflict areas.
• Recent tours have not been able to travel to Potosi as this area has been inaccessible due to roadblocks and protests. Should this continue to be the case for our tours, we will spend additional time in other destinations instead of travelling to Potosi. Tour leaders will update passengers at the welcome meeting on any necessary itinerary changes.
• If arriving in La Paz before the welcome meeting,please follow the advice of hotel reception as to areas to avoid when exploring the city. Our joining point hotel in La Paz is situated in an area that has been unaffected by the events.
The safety of our travellers and staff remains our highest priority and we will continue to monitor the advice of local authorities and foreign travel advice for any further developments.
If you have any concerns or questions prior to travel, please reach out to your booking agent. If you experience any issues once in Bolivia, please call our local emergency contact on +51 996 055 559.
***UPDATE 11th November 2019****
Protests and civil unrest have broken out in Chile over the past month. This began over the Government increasing the cost of public transport, but has since escalated to be a general protest over rising inequality. There have been violent clashes between protestors and the Military, however it appears to be confined to certain areas of the city and other areas have remained mostly unaffected.
If you have any concerns or questions, please reach out to your booking agent. If there are issues once you land in Chile, please call our local emergency contact +56 9 7964 8594 (Situated in Santiago, Chile).
We at Intrepid have been monitoring this situation closely through our ground team and local suppliers. Based on the most up to date advice from local authorities, we have determined most trips will continue to run as normal at this stage.
Our ground operations teams have advised the following:
- All airports, including Santiago ́s Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport (SCL) are working normally There have been only a few delays reported, but the situation is mostly controlled.
- The highway from the airport to the city is clear and passengers are able to connect to the city.
- The roads between Chile and Argentina are working normally after some intial border crossings closing in the early days of the unrest.
Trips are still running, with only minor changes to the hotels in Santiago as we have moved to a quieter and safer area of the city as we are avoiding the Downtown area presently. We have contacted all effected passengers to advise of this change.
If you have any concerns or questions, please reach out to your booking agent. If there are issues once you land in Chile, please call our local emergency contact +56 9 7964 8594 (Situated in Santiago, Chile ).
****UPDATE 11th November 2019*********
Due to nationwide protests in Ecuador in early October, tensions remain high, despite most services returning to normal, there are still pockets of tensions which are resulting in strikes and protests.
We at Intrepid have been monitoring this situation closely through our ground team and local suppliers. Based on the most up to date advice from local authorities, we have determined that all trips will continue to run as normal at this stage. If applicable, upon arrival in Quito, and before you are able to connect with your tour leader, we suggest you follow advice of the hotel reception and local authorities. There are no foreseeable concerns if you have planned travel in the Galapagos Islands.
If you have any concerns or questions, please reach out to your booking agent. If there are issues once you land in Ecuador, please call our local emergency contact +593 9 94014877 (Situated in Quito, Ecuador).
A 5.7-magnitude earthquake hit Xiahe County in Gansu, China at local time 1:56 am on 28 Oct. Strong tremors were felt in the county and many people rushed out to the streets after the earthquake. Only one group of Explore China (CBKS191020) was in Xiahe at the time and all clients are safe. The group has left the county for Lanzhou Airport and will travel to Beijing today.
A 5.7 magnitude earthquake shook Istanbul on Thursday 26 of September 2019 at 2.00pm. There were some evacuations, of schools, hospitals and public building as a precautionary measure. All travellers are safe and no itineraries are affected. We are continuing to monitor local conditions. There is no impact to upcoming trips at this time.
There were large non-violent gatherings, authorised and unauthorised, over the weekend Hong Kong. The situation around protests and public gatherings could change quickly, with the potential for significant violence, especially during unauthorised protests. Traffic congestions and public transport delays and suspensions can be expected. Hong Kong airport has resumed normal operation with enforcement of access control. Passengers are only allowed into the airport with boarding pass/ticket and it is advised to be at the airport about 5 hours before the flight time. We advise to keep yourself updated by checking your flight status on the airport website. We will continue our trips as per planned itinerary with close monitor of the situation in Hong Kong.
Following the arrest of former President Atambayev there have been a number of demonstrations and some civil unrest, including some violent incidents in and around Bishkek. Political tensions remain, and further demonstrations and disturbances may occur. There has been no impact on our trips to Kyrgzystan and all itineraries are continuing as planned. We will continue to follow advice of local authorities to avoid any affected areas of the city.