Responsible tourism: Arctic wildlife cruise vacation, heart of the Arctic
One of our biggest concerns in the Arctic is its wildlife, which is as unique and varied as the landscape, itself. Our company feels strongly about sustaining and protecting the environment. Beginning in the office and continuing with our guides and naturalists abroad, we practice a “Leave No Trace” mindset. Each of our guides is committed to protecting and preserving the wildlife by maintaining a respectful distance from the animals, while still giving our travelers ample opportunity to observe them.
Extra precautions are taken to sanitize landing gear and equipment, preventing the spread of microorganisms from port to port. Another part of Leaving No Trace comes in the form of the ship itself: all forms of waste are safely stored during sailing and gently disposed of when the ship reaches its final port.
Another way in which we help to protect the environment is through the use of re-usable water bottles. In order to cut back on waste all over the world but especially in wild areas as pristine as the Arctic, we provide water bottles to our travelers for them to bring on their journeys. We work with ships that provide water bottles on board if our travelers have accidentally left theirs at home, eliminating the effects of plastic waste. The water on board is pure and readily available, but travelers are encouraged to conserve it as much as possible. Additionally, food is not allowed to leave the ship during daily excursions. This practice both eliminates waste on shore and prevents the wildlife from growing dependent on scraps.
In addition to protecting the environment, our company is largely invested in the communities which the environment supports. While each of the ports of call are largely chosen for their immense beauty and cultural significance, they are also selected to help support the people who live there. We work closely with the communities we visit, and depend on our local connections to help enhance the experience.
Part of your fare is the Discovery Fee, which supports worthy causes and individuals throughout the Arctic region. Colorful and locally made arts and crafts, such as the famed “Pang” hats and crocheted toques, are favorite pieces to bring home, providing local residents with income and our travelers with a piece of the culture and history that they can take home to treasure.
In order to help our travelers gain the most from their experiences with the locals, we provide reading materials and helpful tips about the culture they are journeying into. Information about traditional customs, history, and instructions on how to speak the local language are just some of many important and useful items that we highlight. Each of these equips our travelers with the means to travel respectfully, courteously, and well.