Heritage Expeditions

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Heritage Expeditions is an award winning expedition travel company. We specialise in worldwide natural history small group expeditions for the discerning traveller. Our knowledge and experience of the Subantarctic Islands, the Ross Sea and East Antarctica is unsurpassed. It enables us to make landings that other vessels would miss. We own permits to visit areas that no other operator has; an important consideration when planning your voyage. Our vessel, the Spirit of Enderby, is in a class of its own.
Member since: 25 Jun 2008

How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...

Economic responsibility

  • With Heritage Expeditions emphasis on natural history, we work principally in unpopulated areas. We visit a number of Nature Reserves where we work very closely with the government agencies responsible for managing the reserves. We make significant annual donations to the New Zealand Department of Conservation, the Tasmanian National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Russian State Reserve Agency.
  • Heritage Expeditions operates an annual “Cruise for Conservation” in which 5% of the advertised fare is given to a specific conservation cause. To date the following agencies have benefited: Save the Albatross, Yellow Eyed Penguin Trust, and Marine Mammal Research Trust.
  • When a group does visit a populated area a lot of care and attention is given to ensure that the interaction is meaningful and appropriate for both parties. Group sizes are kept small, local customs and traditions are respected and observed, and reasonable time is allocated to each visit. Passengers are encouraged to purchase local goods (always mindful of CITIES Agreements).

    Environmental responsibility

  • We prepare clients/passengers in advance of their expedition by providing extensive pre-departure information on the region they will be visiting, highlighting conservation issues and providing background information on the history and, where applicable, customs, religion and politics of the region they will be visiting.
  • All waste generated on our expeditions is disposed of in a responsible manner. On our vessel it is treated as prescribed by MARPOL, and on land expeditions recycling is encouraged. Non-recyclable waste is brought back for disposal at approved sites.
  • Heritage Expeditions owns an area of native forest in New Zealand and employs a part-time Conservation Officer for predator control and a replanting project. The forest is covenanted to protect it.

    Social responsibility

  • Clients are encouraged to buy local (but are made aware of CITIES and other international conventions) so money comes back to the local community.
  • Heritage Expeditions partners with the Enderby Trust to provide scholarships for young people, who could not otherwise afford to travel, to join their expeditions.
  • Heritage Expeditions has active membership in a number of conservation and travel organisations including the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO) which promotes responsible travel to Antarctica. It is a member of Friends of Galapagos, which provides funding and support for conservation work on the Galapagos Islands.

    Rodney Russ was a biologist researching endangered species in NZ when he realised travelling to wild places allowed people to become 'ambassadors' for conservation. He founded this company in 1985 to do just that, sailing to remote regions on an expedition vessel.
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