We are committed to offering low impact tours that benefit both the places and communities we visit as well as our travellers. It is important for us all to be aware of the delicate balance that exists in the variety of natural wonders you will visit. National Parks and monuments, archaeological sites and other sensitive areas should and must be treated with respect.
We have created a 'Travellers' Code of Conduct' to help prepare and inform our groups of the various positive or negative effects they could have on a destination. The code includes tips on everything from handling wildlife encounters to how you can help to conserve precious natural resources. Our tour leaders will explain this code of conduct during the first night’s orientation talk and encourage you to follow it throughout the tour.
This code includes following the ‘Leave No Trace’ ethic, this is an international campaign that is designed to help us minimise the impact on the National Parks and other wilderness areas that we visit. Some key guidelines we follow include keeping to existing trails, staying in official campgrounds and disposing of all waste responsibly and recycling whatever we can.
We are proud supporters of Bay Area Wilderness Training (www.bawt.org) a charity based in Oakland California which works to connect disadvantaged children in the local urban area with the great outdoors. Their work helps to provide these young people with life changing experiences which they can
apply to everyday life. Everyone booking with Grand American Adventures has the option to donate £1/$1/€1 to support this well-deserved charity and we will match this donation.
Whenever possible, we use local accommodation and activity providers. We also shop locally for groceries, eat in small family-run restaurants and visit local shops whenever possible. This all brings economic benefit to the local communities that we visit.
In Denali National Park, travellers are encouraged to leave the trails, one of the few parks in America where this happens. We meet with the ranger guides for details on how to best react with wildlife if encountered, how to avoid encounters, and how to make minimal impact on the trails.
Given the short tourism season in Alaska, we aim to provide as much money into the hands of local people, using only smaller locally based service providers, many of which include stopping at small diners to try Reindeer Sausage and cinnamon rolls.
Being a wildlife focussed trip we have tight regulations on how to make minimal impact on animals and mammals in their natural environment so as not to upset the balance of nature. This is especially prevalent during the bear viewing activity in the wilderness where we watch from the safety of a boat with no bathroom facilities so as not to pollute the area. The whale and mammal spotting cruise uses a smaller locally owned boat and meals provided are sourced locally.
As this is a camping tour we use only government regulated and approved campsites where recycling is of the utmost importance, and all camping and cooking rubbish is disposed on in a thoughtful and responsible manner.