15 September PM 2023 - Earthquake in Morocco
We have been working very closely with our partners in Morocco over the last week, initially focussing on those people in country, and now looking at upcoming departures. There are currently groups travelling in Morocco and there is a now a much clearer picture of the situation, and has allowed us to review the timelines previously set.
The main area affected by the earthquake is the mountainous region south west of Marrakech, a popular trekking region which isn’t yet ready to receive tourists, therefore we have cancelled trekking trips to Morocco until the end of 2023.
For non-trekking departures arriving in Morocco up until 23 September we have adjusted itineraries where necessary. After this date we expect the majority of trips to be able to operate as per original itinerary. It is possible that sightseeing in Marrakech is slightly amended, as currently a small number of monuments, including the Bahia Palace, remain closed; until it re-opens any trips due to visit here will include a visit to Ben Yousesef Medrassa. In Marrakech Djemma el-Fna Square has now reopened as have sections of the old Medina. We will be contacting all customers due to travel up until 31 October with details of how this may affect their trips.
The Best of Morocco itinerary (tour code MR) will be amended for departures up until 31 December as this trip was due to travel to Ouirgane. Instead it will overnight in the Berber village of Bou Tharar, before continuing to Ait Ben Haddou. From Ait Ben Haddou it will drive to Essaouira where the trip will continue as per itinerary. We are currently contacting those affected by this change.
11 September PM 2023 - Earthquake in Morocco
The main area affected by the earthquake is the mountainous region south west of Marrakech, a popular trekking region which isn’t yet ready to receive tourists, therefore we have cancelled trekking trips to Morocco until the end of 2023. We are in the process of contacting those affected by these cancellations, in departure date order. In addition, our FMA trip (Family Marrakech, Atlas and Essaouira Adventure) spends time in the affected area and so will be cancelled.
We intend to operate all other trips to Morocco from 16 September. For departures up until 13 October we intend to adjust some itineraries where necessary – including minimising time spent in Marrakech, re-routing trips to avoid the affected areas and reviewing the Marrakech city tour to avoid the damaged areas. We will be in touch with all customers due to travel to Morocco in order of departure to discuss these changes and their options.
We expect the majority of trips to operate as per original itinerary from 14 October.
The Explore Foundation is pleased to be supporting the Red Cross, who are already working on the ground to get resources to those who need it most.
If you would like to help, all donations to our Morocco Earthquake Appeal will be going to the Red Cross to support immediate aid efforts. And to make your donation go further, Explore will match-fund all donations up to £20,000.
9 September PM 2023 - Earthquake in Morocco
We have cancelled departures to Morocco up to 16 September, and are in the process of contacting all passengers booked on those trips. We are in contact with our team in country and will make decisions on trips departing from 16 September once we have had the opportunity to further assess the situation. We plan to call customers booked on trips starting 16 September - 23 September from Monday (11th) afternoon in date order. We really appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding in waiting to be contacted, so that the team dealing with this situation can manage it effectively.
Our sales and usual customer care lines remain open during normal hours.
9 September AM 2023 - Earthquake in Morocco
Morocco earthquake: Following the recent news, we have been in touch with our groups on the ground and all customers and staff are safe. We are cancelling some immediate departures. Our team will contact you if you're affected. To keep lines clear, please don't contact us unless it's an emergency. Our thoughts are with all those affected and the people of Morocco.
18 July 2023 - Severe heat in Europe
Parts of Europe are currently grappling with the issue of severe heat. Our local staff are working to make necessary adjustments to itineraries in the areas most severely impacted by the heatwave. These modifications primarily involve scheduling visits to sites either earlier or later in the day, in order to avoid the intense midday heat. Additionally, our team is ensuring that all tour participants stay properly hydrated throughout their journey.
In situations where it is not feasible to continue with planned trips due to the extreme conditions, we have proactively reached out to our customers and provided alternative options. We understand the importance of ensuring the safety and comfort of our travellers, and we are committed to making every effort to minimize any inconvenience caused by these unforeseen circumstances.
3 October 2022 - USA update
Everyone travelling to the USA, or flying via the USA must be in possession of either an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) or a visa. If you have visited Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen since 2011 or are dual nationals of these countries, you cannot travel with an ESTA and instead you will need to apply for a visa from the nearest US Embassy or Consulate.
Cuba has now been added to this list of designated countries however only if you have travelled there since 2021.
If you travelled to Cuba prior to January 12, 2021, you remain eligible to apply for ESTA. If you have travelled to Cuba since that date, please contact a U.S. embassy or consulate to apply for a visa if you still wish to travel to or via the United States.
Flight schedule changes
There are currently a high number of schedule changes being made across our trips by airlines. You may be contacted directly by the airline however rest assured that we will also have been made aware and will be in touch to discuss any revisions to your trip.