Responsible tourism: Wrangel Island and Chukotka cruise, Russia
We work hard to protect and conserve the destinations we visit around the world and the fragile Arctic ecosystem is no exception. In protecting the Arctic and instilling a sense of environmental stewardship in our clients, we employ a range of successful methods and initiatives.
We firmly believe that by offsetting the average CO2 emissions for each trip, we can help combat the effects of global climate change in the Arctic. As a result, we are the only travel company to offset the carbon emissions generated by your polar trip at our own expense and we also automatically offset the carbon emissions of flights booked through us for polar voyages. The funds generated from this initiative go directly into Rainforest Concern’s new Rainforest4Climate programme, helping reforest tropical rainforest habitats in South America.
All of our Arctic trips operate under the policies of the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) and we endeavour to deliver ‘respectable, environmentally-friendly and safe expeditions in the Arctic’. In working with AECO, we help ensure that our trips are carried out with the utmost consideration for the vulnerable natural environment, all local cultures and the valuable cultural sites.
Our polar trips are also made under the full membership of the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO) and as such, we abide by their strict codes of conduct in both the Antarctic and the Arctic. Encounters with polar bears, walruses and whales are controlled by strict responsible codes of conduct.
Whilst on these trips, your-on board natural history expert, through guided walks and evening talks, reveals not only the wonders of the Arctic realm and its wildlife but also some of the conservation issues which this fragile habitat and its species face.
Some voyages we offer are so remote that there is no indigenous village / community, such as Spitsbergen. In Baffin in Arctic Canada we visit remote communities; the Inuit culture here is strong and the local communities very welcoming of visitors and eager to share their ancient crafts and traditions. This is also the case on this Russia trip, where we visit local settlements and their museums.
To further contribute to the areas in which we send our clients, we offset the carbon for voyages and flights for all those who travel to the Polar Regions with us. Such donations have help to fund 10,000 acres out of a total 3.3 million acres of new national park created by the Rainforest Trust in the Peruvian Amazon.
In Ecuador with Rainforest Concern, we paid for the purchase and protection of Choco-Andean cloud forest which extends the habitat of a newly discovered mammal: the Olinguito.
Our overall commitment to the environment is also reflected within our office environment. We source office supplies from local retailers, use recycled stationary where possible and recycle office waste.