Our assessment of the situation has not changed since the January update. In a nutshell:
- Because of the time it will take to roll out vaccines, we expect it will still take some significant time until expeditions are up and running again, let alone back to something approaching normal.
- In fact, we do not expect operations to approach anything near normal until early 2022, perhaps even later.
- With all this in mind, our strategy is now to take things (and expeditions) as they come and assess the feasibility of each expedition six to eight weeks before it is due to start. This, by the way, also meshes with scientific data on when it is best to purchase flights (70 days before departure).
- If we decide an expedition can happen – and if there is enough interest – then we will announce under what measures and circumstances the expedition will take place (for example social distancing rules, vaccination requirement, negative test result, etc.) .
- Anything else, we believe, would be unrealistic and unprofessional at this point.
We know that this makes forward planning very difficult, but we hope you can understand our reasoning behind this. If you would like to sign up to an expedition now and support us this way, then rest assured that deferment to another expedition or the same expedition in 2022 will be handled very flexibly (see our explanation on this topic here).
The Azores expedition, which was planned for March/April 2021, has been deferred to March/April 2022, because of the pandemic.
Costa Rica, has been deferred from May 2021 to May 2022, because our local partners are struggling financially and will only run their research station with a skeleton crew in 2021.
Finally, and if you can, please help us get through this very challenging time by contributing to our survival appeal.