Arctic holiday for explorers

Travel Team

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2021: 9 Jul, 21 Jul

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

On this remarkable Expedition, our passengers have the chance to observe wildlife native to Svalbard and Franz Josef Land. The unique presence and vulnerability of such wildlife means it is important to ensure our trips have only a positive impact on the area’s population and wider environment. Our expedition ships travelling to remote locations all carry less than 150 passengers and are therefore smaller, can manage landings fluidly and are less imposing on the Arctic landscape. Our trips offer passengers a comfortable on land experience with a small leader to passenger ratio.

We are 100% committed to ensuring wildlife not be disturbed by our visit and therefore set guidelines and offer first-hand advice on how to behave around these types of animals. We don’t want to do anything that might cost them harm or put them in danger. Strong restrictions are in place and we ask all passengers to adhere to them, however, leaders also provide more information on the ongoing conservation efforts in the Arctic. Some guidelines are as follows:

- Some Wildlife may be inquisitive. Stay quiet and let the animals approach you and not vice versa.
- Some animals live near settlements, cabins and camps and might grow accustomed to humans, and if fed, gradually lose their natural fear. Never feed or attempt to touch Arctic animals.
- When out in the wild we encourage you to keep erosion to a minimum, keep to designated footpaths and avoid picking, or stepping on native flora.
- We encourage our clients to use re-fillable water bottles and aim to provide reusable water bottles onboard all our ships. The water provided is pure and free for all.
- We prohibit any food to leave the ship during daily excursions. This practise eliminates waste on shore and prevents the wildlife from growing dependent on scraps.
- We minimize pollution on our cruises and carry all litter throughout the journey.

It’s noted that our clients often return home with greater environmental awareness and a better understanding of the importance of preserving the Arctic regions, some become advocates of environmental and wildlife issues globally. We only work with member operators of AECO, 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.

In their environmental promise the operator states: “Our company pledges its commitment to the further development of Arctic and Antarctic conservation and support of related scientific research. We actively encourage participation in our expeditions by naturalists and scientists engaged in such research, offering a platform from which they can pursue their important work as well as a forum where they can voice their unique understanding of these fragile and remote ecosystems. Preservation of the Arctic and Antarctic habitats and the Polar Ice Cap are environmental imperatives and the responsibility of all, including tourism operators and their guests. We are honoured to be a part of this, and to help our passengers understand the importance of preserving Polar Regions for future generations.”

The Impacts of this Trip

With some exceptions, the Arctic is characterised by huge wilderness areas and small remote towns and settlements. During this expedition however, the only interaction with the local community will most likely be during the stopover in Longyearbyen, Svalbard. Since all our staff have travelled extensively in these regions, we are able to provide the most relevant information in our pre-departure documents, this includes information and advice on how to engage with the local communities and cultural etiquette. We also suggest local areas to visit, such as museums and advise on where to buy souvenirs to ensure the proceeds go directly to the vendor. We aim to use family-run bed and breakfasts or hotels and other local businesses as accommodation providers both pre and post tour. We also advise travellers to use locally owned restaurants and bars.

We encourage all our clients to respect local cultures and ensure all adhere to the following rules set by AECO:

• Work against prejudiced attitudes.
• Respect privacy; keep a good distance from private houses and never glance or photograph through private windows.
• Talk to and not about people you meet.
• Do not visit graveyards or other areas of religious or cultural significance without permission.
• Ask before you photograph – a hesitation means NO.
• Cairns may be signposts – do not alter them.
• Never barter or import banned substances to a community.
• You are encouraged to buy local souvenirs and products but be aware of the legalities of importing/transporting purchases into other countries.

Tourism is a great way of learning about each other, promoting and creating tolerance between people of different backgrounds and cultures.


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