How Expedition Operators of Today are Protecting the Wildlife of Tomorrow
With the issue of climate change at the forefront of polar cruising, many leading expedition operators are looking to find new ways to become more self-sufficient. Protecting not only the landscape but also the wildlife is essential, as many travellers come to see the magnificent polar bears, penguins and orcas in their natural habitats. So, here are some of the things that the expeditions operators are doing today.
Hurtigruten – War on Plastic
As one of the leading operators, Hurtigruten has waged war against single-use plastics. They have already removed all unnecessary single-use plastics back on 2nd July 2018, but are still looking into furthering their part in combatting the harsh changes that the polar regions are facing today. By working with local communities and large corporations such as IAATO (International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators), AECO (Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators) and Clean Up Svalbard, the future of these unique and fragile environments is now looking more promising.
As part of the ‘War on Plastic’, Hurtigruten is hoping to not only reduce their own impact but also to clean the areas that have been drastically affected by the change. Now they have managed to replace 28,500 pounds of plastic each year from their vessels in the form of aprons, glasses, butter packaging and straws.
Lindblad and National Geographic Expeditions
Since 2004, the alliance of Lindblad and National Geographic has sparked a resurgence in making sure that we protect these diverse ecosystems. Working closely with many different organisations, they have built a joint fund that totals around £750,000 every year.
This helps them give back to the communities in different ways, whether by sponsoring scholarships for students in the Galapagos Islands or purchasing tags for scientists studying orcas in the waters surrounding the Antarctica Peninsula.
Quark Expeditions has also found different ways to help reduce their impact on climate change. Working with organisations that include Polar Bears International, Clean Up Svalbard, Underwater Bait Setter and Penguin Lifelines, they are hoping to keep the Arctic in a pristine condition for generations to come.
They raise around £150,000 each season for charities and to help sustain the communities that they visit. They also have many sustainability initiatives that range from an Antarctic Express Fly-Cruise program that helps the conservation of 38,000 hectares of native forest in Chile to only using sustainable seafood and limiting paper use on board their ships.
As one of the founding members of LT&C (Linking Tourism and Conservation), Oceanwide helps both travellers and communities get the most out of the tourism within the area. This has mainly taken effect in Svalbard where there is a prominent example of LT&C in action and is now starting in South Georgia. With the small ships that Oceanwide has, this also helps to explore small remote regions and the world’s least-discovered corners.
Being a firm believer that tourism can help conservation of remote areas, G Adventures has banded together with many different charities from across the globe to make sure that both the traveller and the community is benefiting from the experience. Some of the projects that they are involved in include Planterra, G Local, animal welfare, child welfare, responsible travel with indigenous people, traveller conduct policy and disaster relief.
If you would like to discover more about the diverse regions that the different expedition operators navigate then call our experts today. Dial 01473 242609 to book your adventure now.