Atyla Ship Foundation
How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...
A trip on ATYLA can be a life changing experience for trainees, as they live and work as equals on board a ship, while developing their self-esteem and learning skills such as communication, effective leadership and teamwork. These are universally important attributes, but programmes designed to nurture these traits are often only available to the most privileged; therefore at ATYLA we believe that our Educational Programme should be accessible to all, regardless of a personís income or social background.
It is because of this belief that we created ATYLAís Equal Opportunities Initiative, offering scholarships to those who wish to join ATYLAís Educational Programme.
ATYLAís initiative is funded with the generous support of private donors, community organisations, and corporate sponsors. Using these funds we aim to offer scholarships for at least half of our available trainee places every year. The number of scholarships we can offer depends on the donations and sponsorship we receive.
Most of our trips are with the charity Sail Training International. Outside these events we organise trips along Spains coasts. During these trips we always hire local guides at earch port and take part in onshore activities supporting local produce and businesses, especially those with minimal environmental impacts.
Where we hire guides they are local. As an example, for this years trips in Galicia we are working with a local tour company to organise our on shore activities and also, in another town we are working with the local town hall to provide our activities. We also have an onboard watchleader/guide who is volunteering with us.
Where we organise activities we use local agents who work with small, local companies
Our onshore gastro activities are all based on traditional local produce. We also do events onboard promoting local products.
On board Atyla all our waste is separated and recycled according to local facilities (In our home port this is paper, glass, packaging and organic, as well as special collections for lightbulbs, batteries, electrial items etc. .
Small changes and steps we can all take to help protect the environment is part of our on board educational programme where participants can discuss what they currently do and what more can be done in our daily lives to minimise our impact on the planet. Especially close to our heart is marine life so we are constantly looking for ways to reduce microplastics entering the sea. We are currently looking for a way to stop the washing machine leaching microplastics, next to try are filters from PlanetCare, having trialled the Coralball, which did not work for us. These go up on our FB site aswell to keep awareness up amongst our followers.
As part of Sail training International we adhere to the Blue Flag guidlines. See https://www.sailonboard.com/about-us/environment/ for more information.
We don't have an office. All our staff either live on the boat or are remote. We separate all our garbarge for recycling. We use reusable cups & plates for all our events. We use biodegrable washing detergents. We are fitting a filter to our washing machine for microplastics.
We have sessions onboard where participants discuss ways to reduce water use, recycling and other environmental practices. We encourage people to take this information home to implement in their daily lives
We only arrange onshore activities for some of our trips. On these we look for visits that contain an element of education on the local ecosystem or tours of artisan businesses. You can see the trips advertised on our website. They include a guided tour, with an official guide of the Islas Cies, a marine reserve in Galicia, information on the local fauna, flora and the importance of maintaining the delicate balance. Another trip includes a visit to with the women (primarily) that gather the clams, along with a talk about the history and importance of this industry locally.
We haven't previously done any onshore trips, they've all been sailing from A to B, but we will on our Galician series where we have our local onboard guide.