Responsible tourism: Antarctic Peninsula cruise and flight back
Reducing Emissions and Waste: Our eco-conscious approach means we travel to remote and pristine destinations differently than others in the industry. Our vessel burns Marine Gas Oil (MGO) – a clean burning fuel with a low emission factor- and despite being far more expensive, it is the only fuel we consider using. We also reduce consumption and emissions by tailoring our itinerary to operate at a more leisurely pace, rather than going full steam ahead at all times. Our smaller Zodiac landing crafts are more lightweight and nimble and they are powered by low-emission engines as well. We offer a carbon offsetting option for clients and make a collective effort to minimise excess waste on board, disposing of everything on land.
On Board Efforts: We strictly adhere to all international policies regarding disposal of waste at sea and only use recycled and acid free paper on board and in brochures. Clients are also encouraged to recycle and reduce waste by providing a re-usable water bottle for the trip. Cabins are fitted with eco-friendly amenities and even the laundry is done with green detergents.
Staff and Client Preparation: We have developed a comprehensive staff training and accreditation program which ensures that our staff is fully aware of responsible tourism issues and that they are kept updated with refresher courses. From safety to environmental sustainability, our team of lecturers, specialists and crew are able to pass vital information on clients in briefings. We also send extensive preparatory packs out to every group including guidelines from the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) and our own material. We emphasise that the protection of this pristine yet fragile environment and its wildlife is at the forefront of what we do.
UK Office: It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
Community: Although this tour is predominantly concerned with dramatic natural landscapes and the many species of whale, penguin, seals and seabirds which inhabit these areas, we try to benefit local people where we can as well. Before we set out from Ushuaia, we encourage clients to explore the range of jewellery shops, cafes and restaurants or to arrange a trip by train or car to Tierra del Fuego National Park. By spending time and money in local businesses, or even in simply using the hotel facilities at the beginning and end of the trip, we are supporting the economy.
Local Sourcing: We plan to take advantage of local products as a means of boosting communities local to us and reducing our carbon footprint on the whole. This is evident in the meals provided, which are created with sustainability in mind. Seafood, for example, will always be fresh and purchased based on the responsible management of the fishery for each particular species and will observe guidelines similar to the MSC and Audubon Society. Our gift shop only sells items which have been thoroughly researched as to where an item has come from, whether it has been produced fairly, what it is made of and distance it has had to travel.
Charity: We support a number of charitable causes in the Polar Regions, including the Underwater Bait Setter project. Since 2000, over 4 million albatross have been killed as a consequence of long line fishing. As most albatross species are now threatened with extinction, we have decided that it is important for us to get involved with a protection scheme. With our support, the Underwater Bait Setter project has developed a new piece of fishing equipment which prevents seabird bycatch by setting fishing hooks underwater.