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  • Town/City: Tauranga
  • Bike: BMW R100GS, Ducati Mark 3 250 narrow case
Rank: Round the World Adventure Globetrotter

Covid-19 claims international motorcycle tour company Compass Expeditions. Here’s the media release.

The end of the road for Compass Expeditions

It is with a profound depth of sadness that we announce that after millions of kilometres ridden around the world, the trail has ended “in a dead end” for Compass Expeditions. We have been forced to make the incredibly tough decision to close Compass Expeditions due to Covid 19 and subsequent collapse of forward bookings coupled with complete lack of business confidence going forward.

Currently Compass Expeditions is in a financial position to refund ALL deposits paid for ALL tours booked, however this will not always be the case if we choose to “hang on”, and all indicators point towards Australians not being permitted to travel internationally for a long time yet, it is therefore only prudent for us to refund all monies owed and close the doors, now, considering 75% of our clients are Australian.

Are we panicking? We don’t think so, pre Covid 19 had seen a distinct downturn in future bookings, then Covid 19 arrived, we offered the option to roll over deposits until 2021 / 22 or refund deposits, 95% took the refund option, which is what we would have done if we were in the same situation, however this has left us financially vulnerable. We have decided to cease operations now and still be in the position to refund all deposits owing as soon as possible.

Everyone with current deposits has been contacted personally and refunds have been organised.

When we look back at the last 13 years it is barely possible to believe what we have experienced. There is an incredible “Compass family” that we have laughed with and cried with. This family have become our friends, and we shall so sorely miss riding with everyone.

We understand that the world is full of people in a far worse situation than us and life will go on, but the overwhelming sense of disappointment, sorrow and emptiness is hard to put into words, our only hope is that you will never forget the times you rode with Compass Expeditions and that the name Compass Expeditions shall live on for a while longer before being consigned to the pages of history.

We have been overwhelmed with wonderful, appreciated, words of encouragement over these last two months but sadly it takes money to go into stasis. Closing down and dismissing our incredible staff until everything opens up again is not an option for us as they are the business as much as the owners, we do not wish to continue on without them.

We would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank our incredible tour leaders who led the way in motorcycle touring: Hugo, Juan Carlos, Juan, Sarah, Justin, Bayne, Ellis, Felix, Danny, Peter and Pieter, we were blessed to have such amazing committed crew, our office staff: Craig, Alison and Jordan, whose investment in our business was an example of the very best an employer could ever hope for. Our South American team: Sayda, Ana Maria, Simone and Eddy, who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the endless challenges of operating tours in South America didn’t affect the rides too much, our amazing service providers scattered across the globe, from the B&B operator in the remote mountains of Kyrgyzstan, the ger owners in Mongolia, our hotel booking agent in Russia to our bike supplier in Cape Town, the list is endless – but most importantly it’s our guests who made Compass who it was and what we became, our profound thanks to you all.

We think back at all the incredible people we have met along the journey, the Herero & Himba women in Namibia, whom we always visited and dropped off needed supplies, the children on the high altiplano of Bolivia whom we have been supporting since pre Compass days, over 20 years ago, Isaac the gardener at the Victoria Falls Hotel in Zimbabwe and Otgoo, the effervescent manager of the wonderful ger camp at Khovsguul Nuur, Mongolia. The list is utterly endless, we will miss these people dearly, knowing that in all likelihood we may never see them again.

In the words of the Garth Brooks song “The dance”, “I could have missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss the dance”, yes this is painful beyond words but the dance over the last 13 years was so worth it.

Goodbye my friends and thank you for the ride.

Mick, Veronica, Jerry, Ryan, Brendan and the crew of Compass Expeditions.