Spitsbergen luxury cruises
Description of Spitsbergen luxury cruises
2024: 11 Jun, 16 Jun, 9 Jul, 16 Jul, 23 Jul
Vegetarian/vegan options on all included meals available on request.
As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetOne of the major benefits to travelling aboard one of these luxury expedition ships is the intimate size of the ships, allowing not only for a more authentic experience, but also to significantly limit the effects on the environment that can be caused by larger more imposing expedition ships. What’s more, the operators of your expedition have in place one of the most impressive corporate social responsibility (CSR) models of any of our Polar cruise operators. As part of our commitment to protecting both the wildlife and pristine landscapes of the areas our tours visit, we only work with partners who are members of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) and the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO), meaning that they adhere to stringent guidelines designed to ensure the Polar Regions remain pristine for generations to come. This also ensures that our valued customers can rely on us to only provide itineraries that will substantially limit the carbon footprint and negative environmental impact of the adventure they choose to embark on.
The operators of this tour in particular have countless practices in place for reducing the impact of their expeditions on the precious Arctic landscapes and habitats that are visited. Their environmental statements state that the operator “recognises its corporate social responsibility (CSR) and strives to become a global benchmark with regard to sustainable development in its cruise activities.” Elements of these practices include state-of-the-art technologies aboard their ships to limit environmental impact, improved waste and wastewater treatment, a commitment to educating guests on reducing their impact and continuously striving to improve their efficiency in terms of sustainable development. With a commitment to operating an increasingly cleaner fleet, the operators go above and beyond environmental regulations by studying in-depth their impact on the places they visit and their obligations towards the environments and the people who live there. This has resulted in all of the operator’s ships being awarded the international “Clean Ship” label, which certifies reduced environmental impact.
Ways that this has been achieved includes the high-tech technology that has been implemented aboard the ships, including the use of low energy and low heat emitting lighting systems, sonar systems for the detection of shoals to avoid contact with icebergs and reefs, the use of refrigerant gas (R407C) (which has no impact on the ozone layer and a very low impact on the greenhouse gas effect) for all air-conditioning and refrigeration, dynamic positioning systems that limit the use of anchors in sensitive marine environments and the use of tin-free antifouling paint aiming to protect marine ecosystems as much as possible. The operators also use real-time energy-consumption calculation tools to reduce energy consumption and have vigorous policies in place for drastically reducing the use of fuel oil in all ship operations. Their objective, which they are on course for, is to be solely using 100% LSMGO (Low Sulfur Marine Gas Oil) and LNG (liquified natural gas) by the year 2021. As part of their ongoing commitment to the environment they are also in the process of completing the world’s first electric hybrid polar ship powered by LNG.
The waste and sewage treatment operations onboard all of the operator’s current ships are already ahead of their game, with all types of “water” generated aboard the ships being treated to prevent the potential risk of polluting aquatic environments. Water consumption onboard has been reduced five-fold, 100% of waste and rubbish is separated onboard and a full recycling practice is in place. The operators are also committed to and have stringent practices in place for reducing noise and light pollution, minimising waves and providing zero impact landings that fully respect the unique wildlife and landscapes visited. The operators also state that “An environmental impact study is carried out before the conception of each new itinerary to ensure that the impact of every landing is only temporary and transitory. We make a biodiversity inventory (fauna, flora, geology) of the places where we plan to disembark. We also prepare access routes that do not impinge on the areas to be preserved.”
As providers of this itinerary we make it our responsibility to educate our customers on ways to reduce the impact of their voyage and how to travel in an environmentally responsible way, including appropriate recycling and waste disposal. The ultimate necessity is to leave the Arctic as untouched as it was before you set foot on it and, likewise, this is the ultimate aim of your operators. Your team of nature guides will enforce the “Code of Good Conduct” and on every landing you will be invited to partake in the “cleaning beaches” initiative which sees guests and crew collecting rubbish from the shores to be sorted and transported to a suitable port where it can be responsibly dealt with.
Both ourselves and the ship operators of your Arctic cruise take their commitment to the people and wildlife of the environments visited very seriously, and this commitment is enhanced even further by the support of numerous wildlife and environmental charities across the world. As a company we support Birdfair, Save the Albatross, Wader Quest and the South Georgia Habitat Restoration Project to name just a few. Throughout your tour your expert crew will provide lectures and presentations to raise awareness of the plights facing some of the Arctic wildlife you will see. You will be given strict guidelines on how to interact with any wildlife you encounter, ensuring that no actions taken will affect negatively on them, and we often find that many of our guests return from their tours with a new-found passion for conservation.
PeopleAs a company we are proud of our principle based values which our community can always depend on. We support several home and overseas charities, organisations and campaigns including AfriCat, Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT), Save the Albatross, South Georgia Habitat Restoration Project, Wader Trust, Wildlife SOS India and sponsorship of individual and underprivileged children in many countries. We are committed to ethically working with overseas partners who employ and support local communities and local guides who know and love their region like no other, delighted to share knowledge and are dedicated to looking after our valued passengers.
Likewise, our partners for this tour place a huge emphasis on protecting and supporting the communities that their tours visit, with an aim to creating only positive impacts on their lives and livelihoods. This includes working alongside specialised Ethnologists when creating any itinerary that may visit remote communities who practice traditional ways of lives and have their own cultures and traditions that must be respected at all times. This means that they engage with the local populations to decide which elements of their cultures and environments that they want to share, meaning local populations are no longer considered passive players in tourism. Given that the operators view the cultures and traditions of local communities as precious treasures, it is committed to local populations and associations. They financially and personally support the ‘FabLab’ association in Upernavik (Greenland) where the goal is to train the craftsmen of the Inuit community to reproduce iconic items that can then be sold in museums in Europe.
They are also committed to respecting the local resources and have strict codes of conduct for sourcing local food items and resources. When appropriate, food will be bought directly from port, bringing an appreciated income source to some of the world’s lesser-visited areas. However, where provisions are limited, the resources will be left for the local populations.
Your conscientious tour operators will ensure that the utmost respect is given to all local cultures and the valuable cultural sites that you may visit on your trip. Strict guidelines will be in place when visiting any cultural sites and your expert tour guides will offer information along the way. For a vast portion of your tour the only interaction with anyone other than your shipmates will be during your embarkation and disembarkation in Longyearbyen, Svalbard’s most populated town. There may be time here to visit some of the local cafes and shops. With first-hand experience of the areas we visit we have up to date local information and can therefore provide the most relevant information in our pre-departure literature. This includes information on on-going initiatives and community efforts that we actively encourage our customers to become involved in, cultural etiquette and advice on how to engage with and help the local communities. We can suggest local areas and communities to visit gaining cultural insights along the way, along with advice on where to buy souvenirs (to ensure the proceeds are going directly to the vendors) & locally owned restaurants & bars.
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