How Cruising the Ocean Blue is Going Green
More and more cruise lines are using technology to clean up their act, building new ships with solar panels and exhaust ‘scrubber’ systems to minimize emissions, retro-fitting existing vessels; introducing recycling and energy efficient devices on-board, purchasing food from sustainable sources and training crew in waste management.
Not content with simply reducing their environmental impact, cruises these days offer dedicated voluntourism eco-voyages where cruisers (and crew) are offered the chance to participate in activities which have a positive impact on the natural world.
Wet ‘n’ wild
Swim with humpback whales on research sailings in the Caribbean; track cetaceans in the Ligurian Sea; and help to research giant whale sharks off Mexico on small boat cruises with the likes of Responsible Travel, Steppes Travel and Aqua-Firma.
Spick and span
Get down and dirty on beach clean-ups with Norwegian line Hurtigruten where passengers pick up rubbish and pollutants littering the Arctic as part of the annual Clean Up Svalbard initiative, in-between spotting polar bears. Alternatively, spruce up the Mexican shores of Puerto Vallarta with Crystal Cruises
Take part in a task full of ahhh factor – releasing newly-hatched turtles into the wild along the shores of the Amazon River offered by Aqua Expeditions; or help the little fellas into the sea along the beaches of Cozumel with Royal Caribbean International and Carnival Cruise Lines. Walk dogs and pet cats at animal shelters as arranged by Crystal Cruises or help researchers to count penguins on Antarctica cruises with Lindblad Expeditions.
Dig deep to plant gum trees in an Australian koala sanctuary with Holland America Line; get planting as part of an afforestation programme in Iceland with Disney Cruise Line; and sink some saplings in the Galapagos Islands with Celebrity Cruises.
Another way to make your next cruise a little greener whilst celebrating the golden age of sail is to opt for an eco-friendly tall ships cruise. Star Clippers’ ships rely exclusively on sail power around 30% of the time and often more.
Words: Sara Macefield