Close your eyes for a second (and then open them, because you need them to read). Imagine a cruise ship. What’s it look like? How big is it? Is there an always-open buffet? Two, maybe three pools? Is it eco-friendly?
I suspect when you think of cruising, it doesn't even occur to you to think, "eco-friendly". How could—what is essentially—a floating town be good for the environment?
Maybe you’ve always wanted to go on a cruise but couldn’t justify the extravagance. Maybe cruising has never appealed to you because you imagine it’s nothing but retirees playing bridge and eating at buffets.
Well, I’m here to tell you that you can cruise, and you can do it in an eco-friendly way!
When I think of eco-cruising, three companies pop to mind: Hurtigruten, Lindblad Expeditions, and Un-Cruise Adventures. What makes these three cruise lines eco-friendly? Well, first, their ships are radically smaller! Smaller ships do not mean smaller experiences though! The quality of food does not diminish (it can even improve, since smaller ships usually buy local), the shore excursions are more unique, and you get to know your fellow passengers much better!
Let’s start with Hurtigruten, who specializes in the Norwegian fjords (since it’s a Norwegian company). Hurtigruten isn’t your typical eco-cruise line. Hurtigruten was (and still is) a freight and mail company. Instead of creating new ships and having twice the amount of traffic up and down the coast of Norway (thereby increasing pollution), Hurtigruten simply reimagined some of their ships to accommodate travelers. If that doesn’t sound appealing, visit their website to see how beautiful their ships actually are. They’ve also got expedition cruises to places like Spitsbergen and Antarctica (two places definitely on my bucket list)!
Lindblad Expeditions is best known for its partnership with National Geographic, so you know they value conservation. Lindblad sources its food locally and serves only sustainably harvested seafood. Lindblad also allows guests to donate to their LEX-NG Fund which aims to “protect the last wild places in the ocean, support innovative local projects, and facilitate conservation, research, educational, and community development projects in the places we explore.” Check out more of their conservation projects here.
Un-Cruise Adventures was founded to provide an alternative to typical cruising. This includes smaller ships (no more than 90 passengers per cruise), more fuel-efficient engines, and recycling programs at every port. Un-Cruise Adventures also has several more eco-friendly initiatives, but two of my favorite are purchasing local food and supplies and being the first cruise line to partner with the Monterey Bay Aquarium to serve seafood only sustainably caught. Check out other ways they travel responsibly here.
Whether you want to cruise through the Norwegian fjords, visit Antarctica, or have a stunning experience at the Galapagos Islands, there is an eco-friendly cruise alternative for you! Contact me today to start planning your eco-friendly cruise adventure!
Now get out there and go!