Sustainable Tourism & Cruising

Cruising is a booming market, which has weathered the recession and the stream of new ships very well. As the industry grows worries will develop about the islands and destinations the ship visit, and if they are being overwhelmed by a huge influx sometimes significantly bigger than the local population.

According to Wikipedia; Sustainable tourism is about making a low impact on the environment and local culture, but providing jobs for local people. Sustainable tourism is about providing a positive experience for all stakeholders, tour operators, locals, tourists and so on…

We at think this is only going to be coming increasingly important over the next few years, as people don’t want to go to destinations ruined by the commercialisation but experience truly different locations with interesting cultures and wonderful environments.

Cruise Lines have taken strong steps to improving their green credentials, and are making steps towards promoting sustainable tourism. Crystal Cruises ‘You Care, We Care’ Voluntourism series of excursions allow passengers to help local communities, such as in Antigua passengers can feed, walk and look after stray donkeys. Others include preparing winter items for low-income & homeless children as well as working in a kitchen to feed the homeless & less fortunate.

Windstar Cruises provided us with their Commitment to Environmental Protection document, this outlines what Windstar does to improve their procedures and practices to be an environmentally friendly business. A quick outline of the initiatives are:
– Each cruise has a senior crew member dedicated as Environmental Officer, whose job it is to preserve and protect the marine environment.
– Windstar recycles cooking oil from galleys and printer and photo cartridges
– Unlike any other cruise line Windstar can use the vessels sails to reduce fuel consumption, and will revise itineraries to reduce the use of fuel.
– Working with suppliers to reduce waste packaging.

Windstar isn’t alone in this as many cruise lines have similar policies to environmental protection. However during our research for this article we found that Uniworld River Cruises has invested a significant amount of time, money and effort to be a sustainable cruise operator.

Uniworld works with charities in the destinations it visits to support sustainable tourism, through protection of environments, and local community engagement, to the promotion of sustainable tourism as a tool for economic growth. See More Here:

The river cruise lines to appear to be ahead of the ocean cruise lines in sustainable tourism and environmental practices, Viking River Cruises hybrid Viking Legend is a perfect example (seen here)

Our next article, tomorrow, will look at the effect of Cruise Lines on the islands & destinations they visit. Check out our previous articles on Green Cruising & Vikings Hybrid Cruise Ship The EOSEAS Concept.

Do you think cruise lines can do more to promote sustainable tourism and environmental practices? Let us know, comment, email, facebook & twitter.

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Windstar Cruises –
Uniworld Cruises –