Intrepid Group takes stake in Chimu Adventures to expand Artic travel options

Intrepid Group takes stake in Chimu Adventures to expand Artic travel options

The Intrepid Group has announced a strategic partnership with Polar and Latin American specialist, Chimu Adventures.

Intrepid has taken a 50 per cent stake in the Australian-owned company to meet a growing demand for sustainable travel experiences from increasingly adventurous travellers.

The investment from the Intrepid Group will fuel further growth for both companies, enabling Chimu Adventures to quickly scale globally and the Intrepid
Group’s to further expand its tailor-made product offering across the multi-brand business. 

Motivated by potential growth opportunities and shared business values, together, the two companies will be one of the largest sellers of travel to Antarctica globally.

James Thornton, the Intrepid Group chief executive explains that a priority for the new joint venture partnership is to launch a range of charter cruises to the Arctic and Antarctica.

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“This year we launched our first Adventure Cruise range and had a phenomenal response.

“We know there is a huge appetite for a more sustainable and experiential style of cruise so it is our intention to expand in to polar charters as part of this cooperation.”

This is the Intrepid group’s first investment since the company returned to independent ownership two years ago when the original founders of Intrepid Travel bought back the company after a shareholder split, in order to grow the market for sustainable experience-rich travel.

The Intrepid Group has seen record sales since the split from TUI, with sales up by 19 per cent across the group this year.

The deal includes a 50 per cent stake in Chimu Adventures, Get About Asia, and three sales offices in the United Kingdom, Sydney and the Sunshine Coast.

In addition, the agreement will also include 50 per cent investment in Chimu’s three South American destination management companies, which will enable both companies to expand their global network of local destination management companies.

The addition of Chimu’s $30million business will add close to ten per cent of revenue to the Intrepid Group, which is already in excess of $300 million.

The Melbourne-based Intrepid Group, which employs 1,600 staff in 27 offices, is now one of the world’s largest provider of adventure travel experiences.

Chimu Adventures will remain independent of the multi-brand Intrepid Group under the new agreement, with co-founders Greg Carter and Chad Carey continuing to have complete autonomy to run the company where it will be business as usual.

“I am thrilled be partnering with the fantastic team at Intrepid Group, in order to grow the business that we started 13 years ago in a London apartment with a second hand laptop to a global level.

“We share many common ideas on sustainable travel and we believe it’s a perfect fit for both businesses,” said Greg Carter, Chimu Adventures co-founder

While the partnership is motivated by the potential growth opportunities for both Intrepid and Chimu and that the companies have many similarities including a network of local destination management companies, Thornton says it was shared values and culture that sealed the deal.