Hurtigruten Launches New Responsible Tourism Initiative

Hurtigruten, the operator that has sailed along the Norwegian coast for nearly 175 years and that has since branched out to offer both Antarctic and Arctic cruises, has recently announced a new initiative aimed at preserving the regions that they visit. The goal of The Hurtigruten Foundation is to educate its passengers on the impacts of climate change and hopefully get them involved in some of the action against it.

This comes just months after Carnival Corporation & Plc released details about a new project in the Dominican Republic that will be along the same lines, showing that this type of tourism is on the rise. It makes sense that the people giving up their hard-earned money to travel to some of the most beautiful and pristine destinations on the planet would also want to help look after them, and that is exactly what Hurtigruten is banking on.

Valuable Volunteers

Hurtigruten VolunteersHurtigruten Volunteers

One of the main things that this new initiative will bring to the fore is the option to partake in voluntary shore excursions that will help reduce the impact of man in the Polar Regions. Starting in Svalbard, beach clean-up operations will be organised and passengers will be able to partake in removing the man-made rubbish that washes up on the archipelago’s shores. Hurtigruten’s chief executive, Daniel Skjeldam, said “We have an initiative called ‘Clean up Svalbard’. There is so much litter that washes up – it’s heart-breaking to watch polar bears having to pick their way through plastic bags and bottles. We’ve seen that guests like to help out in changing this.”

As well as getting them actively involved, Lewis Pugh, first ambassador for Hurtigruten, wants to educate them about climate change during their cruise. He plans to ask some world-renowned scientists, experts in the fields of environmental change and pollution, to host onboard lectures that help to deepen the understanding we all have of our impact in the farther reaches of the Earth. Pugh also plans to bring business leaders and policymakers along on some of the cruises. His hope is that once they see these fascinating regions, and what’s happening to them, for themselves they may rethink any decisions that will impact the environment.

Clouding Judgements

Noctilucent Clouds

In other climate change news, blueish clouds have been spotted a lot further south than usual and could be another sign that the atmosphere is heating up. Known as noctilucent clouds (or NLCs), these are formed in the highest layer of the atmosphere, the mesosphere, and appear at night. Their blue colour is down to the ice crystals that form within them reflecting back the sun’s rays from the other side of the Earth.

Some scientists believe that, as the lower layers of the atmosphere heat up, the higher layers actually react to climate change by cooling down. They, therefore, deduce that the appearance of the NLCs at lower latitudes than usual means that global warming is cooling the mesosphere to the type of temperatures normally experienced above the Polar Regions. Before now, the noctilucent clouds have been spotted only as far south as the UK but have recently been seen over North America.

If you would like to take part in this new initiative from The Hurtigruten Foundation, we have plenty of Hurtigruten cruises available for you to choose from. Call us today or submit your enquiry online.

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