You will be sharing your experiences with a maximum of 13 like minded travelers and you'll have a group leader with you. Whether you are traveling alone or with friends its good value, and a great way to meet new people! While itineraries are pre-planned there is some flexibility and you'll have plenty of privacy. This trip will appeal to travelers of all ages who enjoy meeting new people as well as seeing new places.
Responsible tourism: National Parks vacations in America
Activity: This itinerary focuses on exploration of the pristine East Greenlandic wilderness. The expedition will be highlighted by encounters with colonies of rare seabirds, Arctic foexes, calving icebergs, Musk oxen, whales (if we are lucky) and the Northern Lights . Often just seeing such extraordinary wildlife can be a very moving experience and clients either donate to related charities or develop a lifelong interest in their conservation. We maintain a ‘leave no trace’ policy when exploring on land and expect clients to follow the same set of guidelines. By visiting Greenland National Park, we are also supporting conservation research and local employment here by paying our entrance fees.
Conservation: We are acutely aware of the fragile nature of Polar environments and the species which inhabit them. Therefore we are dedicated to supporting charities which deal with conservation of these areas in particular. This year, for example, we will continue to raise funds for Polar Bears International – an organisation protecting this critically threatened species through research, education, action programs and stewardship. We have also been involved in the development of the ‘Underwater Bait Setter’ – a new piece of fishing equipment which prevents seabird bycatch by setting 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. We are committed to providing delicious but sustainably sourced meals during the trip, so rest assured that any seafood you encounter at a meal on board has been reasonably caught.
Staff and Client Preparation: We have developed comprehensive staff training and accreditation program which ensures that our employees are fully aware of responsible tourism issues and that they are kept updated with refresher courses. From safety to environmental sustainability, our staff should be experts and able to pass vital information on clients in briefings. We also send extensive preparatory packs out to every group including guidelines from the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators and our own material. We emphasise that the protection of this pristine yet fragile environment and its wildlife is at the forefront of what we do.
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: Despite our route taking us to some rather remote locations, we integrate community interaction as much as possible. For example, at Itoqqortoormitt, East Greenland’s most northerly community, we will be able to stop and learn something about Inuit culture. This is one of the world’s last remaining examples of a living hunter society, so for the locals our visits are a very valuable generator of alternative employment opportunities. We often support local artisans that produce unique and traditional handicrafts like jewellery and carvings.
Reviews of National Parks vacations in America
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 20 Aug 2011 by Ian Roberts
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?
There were so many highlights! Perhaps the most memorable was the sunset in Monument Valley, the light made the rock glow. The tour leader was also excellent - knowledgeable, enthusiastic, but reactive to the views and wishes of the travelers, anticipating our preferences.
2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?
Be prepared for extremes of temperature - cool and cloudy in San Francisco, extremely hot and dry in Vegas.
3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?
Clearly using local accommodation, often not owned by big chains, benefits local people, as do visits to First Nation sites. I'm not sure that traveling in a fossil fuelled minibus with a big engine is environmentally sensitive but at least there were several of us in it! I would prefer to see the tour leader paid appropriately for his professionalism rather than rely on tips - with only a few on this trip, he clearly lost out.
4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?