Antarctica cruise, with diving & climbing options

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2016: 25 Dec
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Antarctica cruise, with diving & climbing options

Environment

Antarctica is the largest wilderness region on earth and deserves special protection. We are proud to be an Associate Member of the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO) and abide strictly by their code of conduct. All of our polar guests on our Antarctica cruise are briefed not only on the guidelines set by IAATO but also on the scientific reasons for these guidelines. Everyone on our Antarctica cruise will learn how to enjoy the wildlife encounters without being intrusive and thus will get the most out of their visit without compromising the pristine environment.

From our pre-departure Responsible Travel Guidebook to our on-board comprehensive educational programme, passengers are well informed on all aspects of the environmental issues affecting Antarctica.

Our belief in small group adventure travel extends to Antarctica as we cruise in 52 passenger vessels, among the smallest in the business allowing for minimum impact landings and maximum enjoyment.

The natural landscapes we explore are some of the richest, often most challenging, yet at the same time some of the most fragile environments on earth. With education, experienced leadership and appropriate equipment and techniques, it is possible to travel responsibly through these regions. For us, it is critically important that such wilderness travel experiences do not diminish the natural values of the environment.

Our environmental sustainable principles: True sustainability is a guiding aspect in all aspects of our business planning and operations. Specifically our tour operations should be managed in a way where the natural and cultural values of the host region are undiminished in the long-term.

Where possible, we engage in partnerships with local environmental groups and/or land managers to actively campaign for conservation or promote environmental protection and/or rehabilitation.

Our Responsible Travel Guidebook: Our philosophy since 1975 has been to leave only footprints and take only photographs. To reiterate this, every customer who travels with us receives a copy of our award-winning Responsible Travel guidebook. This detailed book outlines our environmentally sustainable principles, and outlines how each customer can minimize their impact while traveling.

Global Warming and Carbon Balancing: The root cause of Global Warming is society's dependence on emission creating fossil fuel. Planting trees is not going to reverse this trend or cancel our carbon emissions very quickly or effectively. We believe the way to reduce these dependencies is to create clean energy production. Therefore, we support renewable energy projects like wind and solar power, and we are aligned with Climate Friendly, the gold standard setter in effective, meaningful action addressing climate change. So, while we believe that tree planting can play a small role in greenhouse gas abatement, we have gone the extra mile in promoting a longer term solution. Is this cheap? No. Is it responsible? Absolutely!

Community

Our responsible travel principles: Our company aims to maximise the positive benefits of tourism for host communities. This includes training and employment of local staff, using local suppliers and assisting in the development of sustainable local businesses.

We actively minimise the negative effects that tourism can have by ensuring that tourism does not divert resources away from local communities or drive up prices on local resources.

We provide opportunities for real cultural exchange, where locals and visitors alike can share and learn from each other in an environment of mutual respect.

We contribute to the welfare of the host community. This is epitomised in our Community Project Travel program where we organise for our travelers to spend time in disadvantaged villages upgrading basic facilities such as health, education and water access.

We strive to educate our travelers about the destination and its local cultures as well as providing guidelines on appropriate behaviour to minimise impact.

No local payments policy: Local cash payments are becoming increasingly popular with many operators in the adventure travel industry. This policy seems to benefit the tour operators more than the local economies or the travelers, as it avoids local taxes and transfers the costs and risks of cash handling onto the travelers. In accordance with our Responsible Travel practices, we have chosen a policy of not asking for such payments.

Reviews of Antarctica cruise, with diving & climbing options

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 03 Dec 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Everything: ice climbing, sea kayaking, ...

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?




3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?




4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


GREAT!!!!!!! :-)

Reviewed on 14 Jan 2008 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The very first Antarctic landing was a photographer's feast that was totally mindblowing at such an early stage of the trip. Seeing whales breaching was also breath-taking mainly due to the sheer size of them. The zodiac tour through the icebergs gave an extraordinary perspective of the weird ice shapes and this was a totally unexpected part of the itinerary.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Take enough memory cards - definitely use digital camera rather than SLR - otherwise you will be paying for the photo printing for the next 30 years. Put handwarmers in your boots for the zodiac tour - cold temperature of the water transfers through the aluminium bottom of the zodiac. Do not go on a ship with more than 80 passengers since you will only end up getting half the holiday.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Local people not relevant and apart from a few people on our ship most seemed to respect the environment and wildlife. There was certainly a clear emphasis on minimising the impacts, which I totally agree with.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Absolutely amazing.

Reviewed on 17 Apr 2008 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The most memorable part of visiting Antarctica has to be (as part of the diving contingent) diving with Leopard Seals on two occasions.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Certainly take time out to see some of the places en-route, whether it is Buenos Aries, Ushuaia and the surrounding areas. It takes a long time to get there so make the most of it. Also, domestic Argentinean airlines do not cater for vegetarians so either eat well just before the flight or bring a packed lunch or picnic. It also helps if you have some knowledge of the language.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Certainly the local people benefited if in the tourist industry (catering, souvenirs, accommodation etc). Small groups do keep impact to a minimum on the environment.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


I found that it is difficult to describe Antarctica to someone who has not been there, and the usual adjectives (and additional ones) fail to create the impression invoked. It is one thing to walk on a remote, desolate place and have an idea of what early explorers felt and then to dive with leopard seals is something else - there is no other frame of reference that can be compared. The journey to Antarctica is not easily conveyed to someone who has not done it with the usual prejudices of it being too cold, too, isolated, lacklustre etc - It is a journey that can only be appreciated by being experienced. It is going to be hard to excel on this one.

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