Total Antarctic highlights cruise via Buenos Aires

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2022: 21 Jan
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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.

Environment
Places - How this trip helps protect and conserve local landscapes and nature:

All of our Antarctic expeditions are designed to operate in line with International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) which has guidelines in place to protect the fragile environment of this Polar region.

We emphasise that the protection of this pristine yet fragile environment and its wildlife is at the forefront of what we do. This is driven by our ‘leave no trace’ policy, which includes being vigilant with litter disposal and avoiding approaching animals any closer than 5 metres.

We strictly adhere to all international policies regarding disposal of waste at sea and only use recycled and acid free paper on board. Clients are also encouraged to recycle and reduce waste throughout and are provided with a re-usable water bottle for the trip. Cabins are fitted with eco-friendly amenities and the laundry is done with green detergents.

The South Georgia Heritage Trust do conservation work for important historic sites such as the Grytviken church in South Georgia and they run a habitat restoration project for the area. A particular problem for the wildlife, and particularly birdlife, in the area is the threat of foreign species such as rats, which were introduced by whalers over the last two centuries. On each voyage, we conduct passenger auctions and a portion of the money goes towards keeping these threats at bay.

Planet - How we seek to keep the carbon footprint of this trip low:

We do our best to take advantage of local products as a means of boosting the local economy and reducing our carbon footprint as a whole. This is evident in the meals provided, which are created with sustainability in mind. Seafood, for example, will always be fresh and purchased based on the responsible management of the fishery for each particular species and will observe guidelines similar to the MSC and Audubon Society.

We make a collective effort to minimise excess waste on board and offer a carbon offsetting option for clients.

Our small Zodiac landing crafts are more lightweight and nimble and they are powered by low-emission engines as well.

Some departures of this itinerary will travel on a new Polar expedition vessel called the Ultramarine, which features a pioneering mix of advanced sustainability features that reduce its environmental impact to an extent previously unseen for a polar vessel of comparable size. Energy efficiency begins with drag reduction. Ultramarine’s hull design combined the latest computational fluid dynamic techniques and state-of-the-art production faring to ensure the lowest possible resistance. In addition, detailed analyses were conducted on the propeller and hull interaction to reduce losses and determine the optimal propeller size, hull clearance and speed.

Ultramarine has been designed and built with energy efficiency in mind, including LED lighting and lighting controls and an energy recovery wheel that collects energy from exhaust air, reducing the energy required to maintain a comfortable environment for guests and staff. She is outfitted with four diesel-electric engines of two sizes that can be run in any combination according to combined power and propulsion needs, providing very flexible and efficient fuel consumption.

By minimizing waste brought on board, gasifying combustible waste to generate useful heat with a Micro Auto Gasification System (MAGS), and compacting other retained waste, Ultramarine can operate for 40 days and discharge no solid waste. Black and grey water generated onboard are thoroughly treated to dischargeable conditions anywhere in the world.

Ultramarine has been issued CLEAN certification by DNV GL, the world’s largest resource of independent energy experts, and TIER III status by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the organization responsible for developing the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

People - How this trip helps improve life for local communities:

Although this tour is predominantly concerned with dramatic natural landscapes and the many species of whale, penguin, seals and seabirds which inhabit these areas, we try to benefit local people where we can as well. Before we set out in Ushuaia, clients are encouraged to explore and to use local businesses. We also stop at Port Stanley in the Falklands, where have some time to visit churches, museums other local sights. By supporting these small cultural sites and businesses, we are giving necessary income and employment alternatives to some very remote communities.

We have developed a comprehensive staff training and accreditation program which ensures that our staff is fully aware of responsible tourism issues and that they are kept updated with refresher courses. From safety to environmental sustainability, our team of lecturers, specialists and crew are able to pass vital information on to clients in briefings. We also send extensive preparatory packs out to every group including guidelines from the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO), of which our operator is a full voting member.

Our on board gift shop only sells items which have been thoroughly researched as to where an item has come from, whether it has been produced fairly, what it is made of and distance it has had to travel.

Climate

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