Albatros Expeditions President and CEO Hans Lagerweij has urged explorers preparing to travel to Antarctica this season to remain vigilant in the weeks preceding their voyage to avoid contracting the coronavirus.
Having successfully operated three voyages to the White Continent from Ushuaia aboard Ocean Victory so far this season, the departing Lagerweij encouraged future guests to refrain from “risky social behaviour” which could put their upcoming Antarctic voyage at peril.
He warned the COVID situation in Antarctica is “changing day by day”.
“We have changed testing locations several times, and with the rising infections, we started daily testing on board in the current voyage.”
“For all guests, I have one big tip. In the last two weeks before departure, why put the trip of a lifetime at risk by getting involved in “risky social behavior”. You can go to a bar the rest of your life; why take the risk and do it now? Same for Argentina; I love the bars, tango shows, etc., as much as our guests do, but at this moment, I would avoid them,” Lagerweij said.
He stressed that with infections “again on the rise, fueled by Omicron, we strongly recommend our guests to self-isolate as much as realistically possible two weeks before departure and certainly avoid big social gatherings. That includes local establishments in Ushuaia.”
Lagerweij said it was crucial for guests to have a “flexible mindset ” towards safety measures onboard, which in Albatros Expeditions case, involves avoiding social contact crossing the Drake Passage and keeping public rooms closed as much as possible.
And, due to a shortage of accommodation in Ushuaia as rooms increasingly become occupied by coronavirus cases, Albatros Expeditions is recommending all travellers carry out an additional test at Buenos Aires airport, before flying to Ushuaia, to prevent accommodation issues on arrival if positive.
Lagerweij also wound up his final update as President and CEO confirming the recent appointment of Greg Carter as Albatros Expeditions’ new Chief Commercial Officer.
“We are very proud to bring in an industry veteran like Greg, who knows many partners, who know ship operations and has the same passion and love for Polar travel as we all do,” Lagerweij said in his departing email.
Additionally, Albatros has re-recruited a new Chief Operating Officer, Sebastian Arnoldus, based in Copenhagen, and promoted Troels Kristensen to General Manager Greenland.