XWORLD by Hansa-Flex (Toyota Land Cruiser)

It started punctually at 10.30 on 9th March 2008. Five Toyota Land Cruisers with striking styling and the Toyota Hilux vehicle accompanying the XWORLD tour left the HANSA-FLEX Group's head office in Bremen. Many members of staff, friends and partners of the company gathered in mild early spring weather to wave the teams off on their adventure. Together, they created a great atmosphere to launch the tour, their enthusiasm a symbol of the motivation behind XWORLD. It's been so much fun. For the last year-and-a-half, XWORLD has been travelling through Europe and Asia. Participants have encountered everything: Camping under the stars and luxury hotels, the Mongolian steppe and teeming metropolises, Chinese bureaucracy and overwhelming generosity. In a word: Taking part in XWORLD was a real adventure, and for HANSA-FLEX it was an enormous, satisfying challenge to oversee the project. But despite all the taste for adventure and its immense success, we will be skipping the last three stages and on September 20, 2009, we will drive from Helsinki directly to Bremen. This difficult decision has been prompted by a number of good reasons: The planned route of the tour would take the participants on the 41st stage from Helsinki back to St. Petersburg. Our experiences in recent months have taught us how fraught with obstacles it can be for the entire convoy to go back into Russia (vehicles, supplies, guides, etc.). Of course, this consideration on alone is not a reason for ending the tour early. We have reluctantly been forced to take this step by the wretched spectre of swine flu. Because of the time of year -- autumn is approaching, the weather is worsening, flu season is lying in wait -- and the undeniable hype in the media, many participants have cancelled their bookings for the last few stages. And of course HANSA-FLEX has no wish to expose the travelers to possible health risks for no good reason. Besides which, the spirit of cameraderie is a fundamental element of the tour, and this could hardly survive the many cancellations. More info on: www.xworld.cc