Cruising Icelands Wild West Coast

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2018: 7 Jul, 21 Jul
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Cruising Icelands Wild West Coast

Environment

Responsible travel is one of the pillars our company is built upon. All of our travellers are provided with information regarding Responsible Travel at all stages of the booking process and while travelling with us. Our leaders are also trained extensively in Responsible Travel and will advocate for this throughout our trips.
Travelling by small ship has a much lower impact on the environment and specifically, on the towns and rural areas that we visit. Iceland is experiencing a tourism boom and for such a small country with small roads connecting rural areas, by staying off these roads (except for a few excursions which involve some travel by coach), we are not impacting the local communities and countryside in the same way that large scale coach touring may.
Rubbish is segregated on board in food waste, paper, plastic, aluminium and glass. After, they are given to shore facilities where available. There is also a sewage treatment plant on board. Every passenger receives a water bottle to reduce plastic cups. In addition to water bottles the ships are equipped with FW evaporators (reverse osmosis systems) that produce fresh-potable water that is triple filtered.
Bio-degradable soaps are being used on our ships. We also follow the eco-friendly system for towels due to the amount of water used to wash towels that have only been used once is overwhelming. If passengers are happy to reuse their towel for another night they hang it up, if they would like to replace it stays on the floor.

Community

Compared to large ship, all-inclusive touring, small ship cruising gives many more opportunities for our clientsí money to be spent in local communities. We donít include all meals so there will be opportunities on most days for passengers to experience local cuisine and dine in local establishments. Our leaders are local so will be able to make recommendations spreading the business around in any town we visit at meal times.
In Iceland, as we are embarking and disembarking for shore activities in small coastal communities who are not necessarily on the more common tourist trail, we have the opportunity to spread those tourist krona around. On this trip in Iceland, we will visit a couple of cultural attractions in places outside of Reykjavik that may not always see a large number of visitors. We will visit the Viking Centre at Pyngeyri to better understand the origins of the Icelandic people and the Herring Centre in Siglufjordu to learn how the herring industry shaped the economy of Iceland during the mid 20th century.
We have recently started a Destination Management Company in Iceland to manage our touring operations in the country. The DMC will employ local people and will allow us to ensure that our responsible tourism standards and philosophy is upheld in Iceland. The company is following the International Labour Organisation (ILO) guidelines and fully Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) compliant whereas the rights of the seafarers are safeguarded. There is no discrimination on the gender of the seafarers and best candidate is being employed in each position.

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