As a global tour operator, we are committed to operating every one of our trips in a way that respects and benefits local people, their culture and economy, while minimising our impact on the natural environment.
We travel in small groups and wherever possible we use local transport, stay in locally-owned accommodation or homestays, eat at authentic local restaurants, support traditional artisans and small-scale businesses, and provide opportunities for travellers to interact with local people.
On this small group sailing adventure, we travel with a maximum of eight passengers on board a 50ft yacht, but if there are fewer passengers then we will use a smaller yacht. Bathrooms are shared and although there is hot water, we encourage passengers to use it carefully. Toilets are usually operated by hand-pumps and we have recycling arrangements on-board.
You will travel with a skipper, who also takes on the role of tour leader. We choose skippers on the basis of their sailing experience, but we also provide local employment where we can. Georgios is one such example, a local sailor who has been making a living as a skipper since he was just eighteen years-old.
Weather permitting, your skipper will use the power of the wind to sail the boat as much as possible which means that we have less impact on the environment than if travelling by other modes of transport. When on land, you will mostly hike or walk although you may choose to take an excursion by car when we are on the island of Naxos.
During the trip, we shop for local produce for our breakfasts and lunches, which the whole group will prepare and eat together on board the boat. In the evenings, we go onshore to dine at small, often family-run restaurants and bars. For example, when we are on Naxos we have an optional excursion into the countryside where we will eat at a family-run restaurant in the hills and sample the local liquor, which is known as Kitron.
As well as a Responsible Travel Code of Conduct which we adhere to as a company, we expect our staff and travellers to demonstrate the principles of responsible travel and provide a number of responsible travel tips to facilitate this, for example advice on what clothing is appropriate and respectful. If you choose to visit any religious buildings on this trip, such as the Church of Panagia Paraportiani on Mykonos, then we will request that you cover your shoulders.
After a three-year process, we were proud to become a carbon neutral company in 2010 and we operate this trip on a carbon neutral basis, by offsetting 50kg of C02 emissions for each passenger.
We also offer passengers who book their flight through us the option to offset those emissions. To date, we have offset more than 45,000 tonnes of carbon emissions by investing in a range of internationally accredited renewable energy projects in destinations where we travel.
As a tour company, our responsibilities donít stop when our tours end. In 2002, we established a charitable foundation so that our passengers and staff could support grassroots community projects around the world. To date, it has raised over £2million for over 75 projects involved with health care, education, human rights, child welfare, sustainable development, and environmental and wildlife protection. We match every donation made by passengers and pay the administration costs, so every penny that is donated goes to a good cause.