Responsible tourism: Wildlife Cruise of New Zealand Subantarctic Islands
This Southern Ocean program visits the Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand and Australia, and the Antarctic Continent. All of the islands are nature reserves, and the majority are World Heritage Sites. With our long involvement in these islands (over 35 years) we have been instrumental in developing responsible visitor guidelines.
We work closely with the Department of Conservation (DOC) to ensure that our impact on New Zealand's National Parks and reserves is minimal. We are an approved concession holder, ensuring that your visit with us to conservation areas adheres to best practice and contributes to the management of these protected areas.
All waste generated on our expeditions is disposed of in a responsible manner. The vessel complies with MARPOL where possible and allowable we practice recycling, otherwise all non-recyclable waste is brought back for disposal at approved sites. Our goal in managing our vessel is to minimise fuel consumption and emissions with regular servicing and a proactive maintenance programme. We annually clean and antifoul our vessel's hull to reduce the risk of biofouling. When selecting our specialist expedition equipment, we research this carefully to ensure that they are the most suitable and environmentally responsible. Group sizes are kept small to minimize impact and enhance visitor experience.
We work very closely with the New Zealand Department of Conservation and the Tasmanian National Parks and Wildlife Service to assist with the administration and protection of the Subantarctic Islands.
Government representatives are onboard each of our visits to the islands on this voyage. They act within an observer role and report back to the New Zealand Department of Conservation as to the standards of environmental consideration we make on our voyages. To date our standards have been impeccable as this is part of the objective of our operations. I n March 2016, we operated a conservation voyage in partnership with Forest & Bird to the Kermadec Islands where a portion of the voyage's profits go towards Forest & Bird's valuable conservation work. We have also operated a "Cruise for Conservation" to the New Zealand Subantarctic Islands and 5% of the fare is given to a specific conservation cause. The following agencies have benefited: Save the Albatross, Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust and Marine Mammal Research Trust.
We provide heavily subsidized transport for conservation workers and equipment to the Southern Ocean islands. Money is raised from the sale of photographs, books and DVD’s to support the reforestation of an area of native New Zealand forest purchased by the company. The company employs a part-time Conservation Officer.
We partner with Enderby Trust to provide Scholarships for young people, who could not otherwise afford to travel, to join their expeditions. We also have active membership in a number of conservation and travel organizations, including IAATO (International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators). We have taken a proactive role in research, funding and publishing books on these islands. To date the company has published two books, “Straight through from London” a history of the Bounty and Antipodes Islands; and the “Galapagos of the Antarctic – Wild Islands south of New Zealand”.