Antarctica cruise

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2016: 9 Dec, 18 Dec
2017: 4 Jan, 2 Feb, 11 Feb, 15 Feb, 20 Feb, 25 Feb, 7 Mar, 17 Mar
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Antarctica cruise

Environment

Charity:
We support a number of charitable causes in the Polar Regions, including the Underwater Bait Setter project. Since 2000, over 4 million albatross have been killed as a consequence of long line fishing. As most albatross species are now threatened with extinction, we have decided that it is important for us to get involved with a protection scheme. With our support, the Underwater Bait Setter project has developed a new piece of fishing equipment which prevents seabird bycatch by setting fishing hooks underwater.

Reducing Emissions and Waste:
Our eco-conscious approach means we travel to remote and pristine destinations differently than others in the industry. Our vessel burns Marine Gas Oil (MGO) – a clean burning fuel with a low emission factor- and despite being far more expensive, it is the only fuel we consider using. We also reduce consumption and emissions by tailoring our itinerary to operate at a more leisurely pace, rather than going full steam ahead at all times. Our smaller Zodiac landing crafts are more lightweight and nimble and they are powered by low-emission engines as well. We offer a carbon offsetting option for clients and make a collective effort to minimise excess waste on board, disposing of everything on land.

On Board Efforts:
We strictly adhere to all international policies regarding disposal of waste at sea and only use recycled and acid free paper on board and in brochures. Clients are also encouraged to recycle and reduce waste by providing a re-usable water bottle for the trip. Cabins are fitted with eco-friendly amenities and even the laundry is done with green detergents.

Staff and Client Preparation:
We have developed a comprehensive staff training and accreditation program which ensures that our staff is fully aware of responsible tourism issues and that they are kept updated with refresher courses. From safety to environmental sustainability, our team of lecturers, specialists and crew are able to pass vital information on clients in briefings. We also send extensive preparatory packs out to every group including guidelines from the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO), of which our operators are a full voting member. We emphasise that the protection of this pristine yet fragile environment and its wildlife is at the forefront of what we do. This is driven by our ‘leave no trace’ policy, which includes being vigilant with litter disposal and avoiding approaching animals any closer than 5 metres.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Community

Community:
Although this tour is predominantly concerned with dramatic natural landscapes and the many species of whale, penguin, seals and seabirds which inhabit these areas, we try to benefit local people where we can as well. Before we set out in Ushuaia, clients are encouraged to explore and to use local businesses. By supporting locally owned shops and using various other services and facilities, our money goes towards an increase of employment opportunities and growth of economy.

Local Sourcing:
We plan to take advantage of local products as a means of boosting communities local to us and reducing our carbon footprint on the whole. This is evident in the meals provided, which are created with sustainability in mind. Seafood, for example, will always be fresh and purchased based on the responsible management of the fishery for each particular species and will observe guidelines similar to the MSC and Audubon Society. Our gift shop only sells items which have been thoroughly researched as to where an item has come from, whether it has been produced fairly, what it is made of and distance it has had to travel.

Reviews of Antarctica cruise

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
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 19 Dec 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Seeing Orcas in true Frozen Planet 'freeze frame'. If you can afford to go to Antarctica, do it!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Check out the ship(s), expedition team for professionalism. The operators were excellent in every respect. Ship for stability - it's very rough in the Drake Passage and having a team of experts who enthused their work showed all of the way through.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


No local people, only penguins, seals, whales and birds. Every consideration was given to impacts on the wildlife and the environment.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent. Trip of a lifetime.

Reviewed on 17 Mar 2007 by

An absolutely stunning vacation thanks, just magic!

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The most exciting part was very close encounters with whales :0)

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Fly to Buenos Aires or Ushuaia a day earlier as can take a long time!!! We were delayed 11 hours at Buenos Aires and could have missed the boat and were exhausted after 2 days solid travel. Too far to do in one leg comfortably. Also hire wet weather gear and no need to take wellies. It all gets filthy and the kit on the boat is great!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


The vacation had minimal impact on local environment and was hopefully beneficial to local poeple.

4. Any other comments?


Rate vacation 9/10, excellent!

Reviewed on 30 Dec 2005 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Antarctica was simply magical. Hard to pick one out, there were so many. I guess the first penguin just a few feet away and totally unconcerned was really special. To sit and watch them go their way was wonderful. But in the end, I have to look back at the first night, the shortest night down there, December 21st. We were just off Verdansky station anchored on the smoothest sea I have ever seen with not a cloud in the sky. The sun set and the world was gold and at peace. And pffffff 30 minutes later the sun rose again.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Don't take your climbing/hiking boots to Antarctica unless you are doing something serious. The snow is soft and wellies/gumboots are fine even for moderate hill climbs. You need the latter for getting ashore anyway. If you smoke, take a good supply of cigarettes, the Sergei Vavilov for one does not stock any. You cannot get APS film in Ushuaia nor on the Sergei Vavilov. Take loads of film or memory cards anyway.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


There were no local people except for those on the research stations and they welcomed us. We were very conscious about not impacting on the environment but who can tell what a visiting icebreaker does down there? The penguins did not seem to take much notice of us. The seals and the whales couldn't give a damn.

4. Any other comments?


No words that I can write nor pictures that I can show will ever capture the magic, the feeling and the mood of Antarctica. You simply have to go there for that. It was beyond compare utterly beautiful in every way. In conclusion, I have to say that the staff were truly excellent and the food on the Sergei Vavilov was really excellent - imaginative, varied and well cooked. The wine selection was also great.

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