Why Does This DXpedition Cost So Much?

Over $400,000 dollars!  That’s a lot of money!   It’s far more than the 14 individuals going on this trip can possibly afford by themselves.  Why so much, and where do these expenses come from?

Most of our cost comes from transportation.  We are using the MV Braveheart, a proven vessel with an able crew and an outstanding safety record.  The Braveheart runs on diesel fuel and it will take approximately 70,000 liters of diesel fuel to get us to Amsterdam Island and back.  Have you checked the price of diesel at the pumps lately?  The able crew we spoke of deserves a living wage and they’ll be living and working with us for up to 36 days.  And, the vessel has to be insured, inspected, and maintained on a regular basis.  Customs officials, dock workers, crane operators, longshoremen, and truck drivers will all be involved in our plans need to earn a living too.  There are pilot fees, mooring fees, permit fees, waste transfer fees, and anchorage fees.  And, the 14 of us need to be fed while we are at sea.  All these entities add up to approximately $311,000.  And, that’s not counting the airfare of getting the individual team members to Fremantle, Australia; our departure point.

Our hosts at Amsterdam Island will charge us for anchoring offshore, using their landing facilities, and for moving our equipment from the landing zone to our shelters.  Because we cannot depend on the seas allowing us to return to the Braveheart for meals, we have to commit to obtaining meals at the base on Amsterdam.  This adds an additional $25,000 to $30,000 to the landing and anchorage fees.

The remainder of our cost comes from shipping our equipment to our staging area in the U.S.A. and then shipping this equipment to New Zealand to be loaded aboard the Braveheart.  If we cannot find sponsors, there are things we must purchase like laptops, interfaces, power supplies, wire, electrical supplies, and generators.

When we add all this up, we end up at a cost of just over $400,000 excluding the travel expenses team members will incur flying to Australia.  We are also impacted by the fluctuation of the U.S. dollar relative to the New Zealand dollar and the Euro.

Could we do this trip for less money?  If safety and reliability are important to us, I don’t think so.  We only have one life and probably only one chance to complete this project.  When I put this project together, I ran numbers for Heard Island, Crozet, and Amsterdam.  Heard was the least expensive and Crozet the most expensive.  But those trips are for another time.  If you can help us with this one, and we are very dependent on that help, rest assured that all of us do the best we possibly can to make this DXpedition meet your expectations.

Ralph – K0IR

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