Spitsbergen sailing holiday

Responsible Travel, Travel Team

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Spitsbergen sailing holiday

Environment

MINIMAL PRINTING
Print uses masses of energy and chemicals. It also consumes large amounts of water, paper, aluminium and plastic. On top of that, printed stuff gets lost, disorganised and out of date (well, ours does anyway!) As a result, you'll see that almost everything we send you is in electronic format. We avoid the use of paper and printing wherever possible. Other than your joining manual, you'll get all your trip information, booking confirmation, terms and conditions, trip notes and feedback forms electronically. Hopefully you can help us with this by printing as little of what we send you as possible.

CLEAR RULES WITH DEALING WITH WASTE
• No metal. plastic or glass will ever be thrown overboard, no matter how far out to sea we are.
• Food waste will only be thrown overboard If we are more than 6nm offshore.
• The skipper and mate will brief the crew on when it is appropriate to use the on-board heads and when not. This will depend on how far from land we are, whether we are in tidal waters and on the sensitivity of the environment. In some locations. no human waste at all will be ejected from the boat: Instead it will be diverted Into a holding tank and removed at a suitable time.
• Local resources such as water and electricity can be in short supply, especially on remote islands and a large yacht arriving can put too much demand on these services and supplies. To counter this, where the skipper feels it is appropriate, he will inform the crew and ask them to maintain the 'at sea' approach: that is to say minimal usage and wastage.
• Except for our emergency supplies, we will not buy bottled water.

Community

"When we weigh anchor in a bay, the only trace that we have ever been there will be the mark in the sand where our anchor once was. We are totally self-sufficient, and that's part of the magic."

WHEN EXPLORING OFF SHORE WE ASK YOU TO:
• stick to roads and established paths.
• Avoid causing any damage to local flora and fauna.
• Follow the instructions of local guides
• not feed any animals and approach them sensitively.
• If possible use a camera with a long-range lens so you disturb animals as little as possible.
• Never go to attractions which use animals as entertainment for profit. These animals are often taken from the wild, mistreated and are trained to perform unnatural behaviours which can be harmful to the animal.
• Don't approach dolphins In the wild - let them approach you and be very careful with them if they do.
• Many of our expeditions sail to very special places such as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. When going ashore and exploring them you must respect any signs, take only photographs and leave no litter even if others have done so.
• Do not attempt to bring home any rocks or stones or other souvenirs from Spitsbergen and don't purchase these types of items from the locals as this can encourage the ongoing destruction of these places.
• Do not leave any rubbish behind, even if it is biodegradable.

RESPECT FOR CULTURES AND SHARING OUR OWN
On these voyages we form a very tight group which is a huge part of the experience. However, as a result it can be all too easy to make landfall and then forget that we are guests in someone else's country, with their own culture and customs.
Once ashore, you'll find it can be quite the cultural exchange. Our trips are designed so that you get to mix with the locals as much as possible. The locals are often just as fascinated about you and your journey as you are about them. It's not often a yacht the size of ours arrives in town, especially with the giant birds on the side. The locals you’ll meet on this trip will love to hear about the voyage you are on; where you've been to and where you're headed. You will find they are usually delighted that we have chosen to stop at their town and will want to tell you all about it.

SUPPORTING THE LOCAL COMMUNITY
Unlike many holidays, on these voyages you will be the ones heading out into the local towns and markets and buying all the food we need. Not only does this mean we are eating the local produce, but it also means many hundreds of pounds is put straight into the local economy and not just via trinkets and souvenirs. We often also need to buy spares for the boat and employ a local tradesmen to help us carry out repairs. This again is a really powerful source of funds to local workmen and companies. As most or this expenditure goes directly to the locals rather than to large multi-nationals, it means that it stays in the community and directly benefits them.

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