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Responsible tourism: Antarctica cruises
We work with experienced and licensed vessels to assure that all of our travelers are safe and sound. They follow international regulations of passenger vessels including, ISM, IMO and SOLAS. A variety of the vessels go beyond the requirements and are also members of responsible travel organizations such as IAATO, IGTOA, and AECO. These organizations recognize the close relationship between delicate environments and the travel industry. Founded in 1991 to advocate, promote and practice safe and environmentally responsible private-sector travel to the Antarctic, we are longstanding members of IAATO (International Antarctica Association of Tour Operators). IAATO’s bylaws include but are not limited to: ·To represent Antarctic tour operators and others organizing and conducting travel to the Antarctic to the Antarctic Treaty Parties, the international conservation community and the public at large. ·To advocate, promote and practice safe and environmentally responsible travel to the Antarctic. ·To circulate, promote and follow the Guidance for Visitors to the Antarctic and Guidance for Those Organizing and Conducting Tourism and Non-governmental Activities in the Antarctic, as adopted by the Antarctic Treaty System (Recommendation XVIII-1). ·Members subscribe to the principle that their planned activities will have no more than a minor or transitory impact on the Antarctic environment. ·To foster continued cooperation among its members and to monitor IAATO programs, including the pattern and frequency of visits to specific sites within the Antarctic. And to coordinate itineraries so that no more than 100 visitors from vessels are ashore at any one time in any one place. ·To ensure that the best qualified staff and field personnel are employed by IAATO members through continued training and education. And to encourage and develop international acceptance of evaluation, certification and accreditation programs for Antarctic personnel.
To further support and give back to the communities where we send our travelers, we have developed a grant program. Our ongoing grant program provides funding for small, grassroots projects in the countries we visit. This past year, we were able to offer $10,000 in funding to several different groups including a reforestation and home restoration project in the Andes; a Christmas fiesta at an orphanage in Costa Rica; building supplies for a school in Guatemala made out of recycled materials; funds to dig a new well for proper plumbing and irrigation at a historic Bolivia hacienda; and first-aid and hospitality training for the community-owned Secoya lodge in the Ecuadorian Amazon. By traveling with us, you help support these projects.
Because we care about our community, we are very conscious of the effects an office – even a small office – can have on the environment. Conservation at home is as important to us as conservation in the field. Our office promotes cycling and car pooling to work - winning our city-wide commuter challenge two years running. Those in big cities might be surprised to learn that only a few items like aluminum cans are recycled by the local sanitation company. Since that's not good enough for us, we pay for a private recycling service that collects all of our paper, plastic, cardboard, and cans. All of our paper is made from 100% post-consumer material and our brochures use soy-ink - an expensive but earth friendly alternative to traditional inks. Finally, we consider a healthy workplace as important as a healthy environment. This is why our new moms bring their babies to work, everyone is invited to mid-day yoga, and healthy snacks are always on hand.
Reviews of Antarctica cruises
You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.
I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
It was OK
A bit disappointing really
Reviewed on 18 Jan 2014 by Stephen Kohn
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?
Seeing the interplay between the animals, icebergs, glaciers, sea and sky.
2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?
First: TAKE THE TRIP TO ANTARCTICA. It is unforgettable. If Miami is not on a direct route to Buenos Aires, fly there directly.Be sure to bring the right clothing. Being out on the water or a hill is COLD with the wrong clothes. Spend as much time on the bridge of the ship as possible. Go to all of the lectures. Meet new people
3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
No people to benefit in Antarctica. However, seeing a place free of pollution, garbage, and hunters was fantastic and helped shape my opinions on environmentalism.
4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?
Memorable. Intriguing. And a great travel consultant-- Jodi.