Explore has seen a four-fold rise in numbers booking its Discover Chernobyl holiday since the first episode of TV series Chernobyl was broadcast on May 7.
The adventure operator began offering trips to Chernobyl in 2016 and launched its Discover Chernobyl five-day break in 2017.
The holiday has become Explore’s fastest selling trip and the operator increased the number of departures for 2018 by 50% and then again by a further 23% for 2019.
Joe Ponte, Explore’s manging director, said: “The [Sky and HBO] programme has become the highest-rated TV series of all time and has inspired many people to discover more about the historical disaster and to want to visit the Exclusion Zone.
“The safest way to do so is with an expert guide on one of our small-group tours.
“Across our entire programme of 500 trips across the world, Chernobyl has been our highest enquired and booked over the last three days.”
The short break includes two days inside the exclusion zone, visiting the town of Pripyat, the Red Forest, Chernobyl Docks and the New Safe Confinement structure shell around Reactor 4.
Clients can meet a self-settler – one of the few people who chose to return to their home after the accident and has been living within the outer exclusion zone ever since.
The trip is included in Explore’s Flash Sale which ends on June 17.
The trip currently costs from £730 – a saving of £105 – based on the September 12-16 departure.
It includes flights, transfers and four nights’ accommodation and some meals.
Clare Stockman, Explore’s product manager for Europe, advised agents that the trip is safe for clients.
“You only receive a dose of radiation that is the equivalent of a transatlantic flight,” she said.
“Your guide will have two Geiger counters with them and will be advising on where it is safe for you to go.
“People should visit as soon as they can. The buildings are now over 30 years old and in disrepair, so they are crumbling away.”
Clients will need to wear closed-toed shoes, long trousers and long sleeves while in the exclusion zone, which is out of bounds to under-18s.
Pictured: fairground at abandoned Pripyat.
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