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Inside the dangerous world of explorer tourism for the thrill-seeking super rich

The trend of the world’s wealthiest paying above the odds for high-risk adventures is nothing new. Gabriella Le Breton investigates the elite’s age-old obsession with discovering the furthest – and most dangerous – corners of the globe

Monday 26 June 2023 09:54 BST
(Dirty Dozen Productions/PA/Nasa/OceanGate Expeditions/Getty)

As the world reels from the shocking news that Hamish Harding and his four fellow Titan travellers died beneath the deep when their craft imploded, their fate might have given other tourists, perched on mountain summits, helicopters and expedition superyachts, pause for thought. For even in the supercharged world of explorer travel for the super-rich, money can’t always prevent you paying the ultimate price for your thrills.

Britain boasts a colourful history of wealthy, often aristocratic “gentleman explorers” who have splashed their cash on intrepid travel adventures.

Take William Windham and Richard Pococke, who sought out and subsequently named Chamonix’s Mer de Glace glacier in 1741, fuelled by wine and flamboyant Oriental costumes.

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