Russian High Arctic Cruise

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2021: 28 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.

During our voyage to the Russian Arctic we discover the heavily glaciated Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef land and the isolated islands of the Kara Sea. We work hard to protect these destinations and their fragile ecosystems.

We use highly regulated, licensed vessels, well equipped to operate in remote ecosystems and only work with expedition vessels that carry less than 200 Passengers to ensure minimal impact on shore landings. Smaller ships, such as ours can navigate narrow water ways, and by carrying less passengers, we have far less waste. Additionally, group landings are more easily managed and due to our low leaders to passenger ratio, we can provide a much more personalised experience. We see our voyages to the Artic Peninsula as an educational expedition and not a sightseeing tour. Our highly skilled expedition staff are experts in fields such as natural history, glaciology or marine biology (to name a few), therefore offering our passengers an introduction to the wonders of Artic, through learnings on local and global conservation issues facing the polar habitat.

Some of these guidelines are as followed:
- Wildlife may be inquisitive. Stay quiet and let animal approach - minimise unnatural human interaction.
- Some animals live near settlements, cabins and camps and might grow accustomed to humans. If fed, the animals gradually lose a natural fear - never feed or attempt to touch Arctic animals.
- When out in the wild, keep erosion to a minimum and stay to designated footpaths.
- Do not pick or remove native flora and avoid stepping in such areas.
- We encourage our passengers to use re-fillable water bottles and work with several ships to provide water bottles on board to minimise single-use plastic. The water onboard is pure and free to all.
- We do not allow food to leave the ship during daily excursions. This eliminates waste on shore and prevents wildlife from growing dependent on scraps.
- We minimise pollution on our cruises and carry all litter for the duration of our trips.

We work only with members of the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO), meaning these partners must adhere to strict guidelines designed to ensure the Polar Regions remain almost untouched for generations to come. Encounters with polar bears, walruses and whales are controlled by a strict code of conduct.

The Impacts of this Trip

Many of the countries and regions in the North Atlantic and High Arctic are characterised by vast wilderness areas and diverse population of cultures and societies. Communities feature a wide variety of lifestyles, from urban towns to remote villages.

Our Passengers see indigenous people, often in traditional dress, who follow centuries-old ways of life. Activities such as hunting, trapping or fishing are all part of daily life in the North. On our voyage we ensure our clients respect these local customs and traditions. We certify that care and attention is taken to guarantee interaction is meaningful and appropriate on both sides. We therefore adhere to the following regulations set by AECO:

• Engage with people and culture with respect; an open mind leads to the best experiences.
• Talk to, and not about, native people.
• Think as a national ambassador for country and culture, as locals are for their communities - politeness and good manners are imperative.
• Do not litter. In remote areas, consider the community’s ability to handle waste. Bring waste back onboard to be disposed of on return to Ushuaia.
• It is encouraged to buy local souvenirs and products, to support and sustain the community economy.
• In most settlements, supplies are regularly delivered - feel free to buy what is offered in stores and markets. However, in remote settlements new supplies do not arrive often, and so there may be limited access to some items, e.g. fresh food. In these places, it is recommended to ask advice from leaders and expedition staff or locals before buying products such as fresh fruit and vegetables.
• It is not customary to bargain in these parts of the world, not even in markets.
• Always respect privacy, private property and places of religious or cultural significance:
- Never enter a private house without invitation
- Do not glance or photograph through windows
- Ask before taking photographs of people – a hesitation means no
- Never photograph or give presents to children without their guardian’s permission
- Do not disturb religious or cultural ceremonies and do not photograph such occasions without permission
- Do not walk on graves
• A large group of visitors can easily impact everyday life in small communities - be aware of surroundings. Consider how to contribute to the best possible interaction between visitors and locals - for example, avoid blocking roads, entrances and exits.
• Loudspeaker announcements are suspended on deck if there is a risk of disturbing local communities – this excludes mandatory or necessary safety announcements.


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