Committed to Sustainability
While the cruise industry is united in their commitment to improving environmental practices, our Sustainable Ships team has singled out cruise companies who are the forefront of the sustainable and responsible tourism movement. Each of these cruise lines have made significant investments in green ship technology and have implemented measures to minimize their carbon footprint and protect our environment. In addition, all are good stewards of the destinations they visit and aim to make positive changes in the lives of their guests and employees.
Avalon Waterways maintains a policy of “Leave Only Footprints and Take Only Photos”. The river cruise line strives to protect and preserve each extraordinary destination they visit by finding meaningful ways to reduce their environmental footprint and supporting local communities. Avalon Waterways respects the unique cultures around the world and is proud to boost local economies through responsible tourism.
Avalon’s partnership with Landmine Design, a social enterprise committed to educate and provide jobs for women living in poverty in Cambodia, has provided dozens of women with the opportunity to work at home with their children. By hand rolling paper beads and crafting them into beautiful jewelry, they are creating hope where there once was despair.
Avalon Waterways Ships & Destinations
Avalon’s entire fleet in Europe and Southeast Asia is comprised of Suite Ships®, each featuring signature Panorama Suites with the widest-opening windows in river cruising, the industry’s only Open-Air Balcony and an inviting bed facing the ever changing scenery on two full decks of every ship. Beyond their wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows is a world waiting to be explored with Avalon’s choice of included excursions and activities. A selection of Classic, Discovery, and Active excursions offer a wide range of possibilities. .
Avalon Waterways’ fleet consists of 16 Suite Ships: 14 in Europe and two (2) in Southeast Asia. Travelers can sail the Rhine, Danube, Rhône, Seine, Saône, Main, Moselle, Amazon, Mekong, Ganges and Nile Rivers.
Learn more: Avalon Cares
Celebrity Cruises aspires to achieve the highest possible standards of environmental and community stewardship. The company is committed to making positive changes in the lives of their guests and employees, sustaining the environment, and protecting the oceans and coastal communities they visit. Through a partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Celebrity (along with sister brands Royal Caribbean International and Azamara) is introducing initiatives to reduce their impact on the environment, with a focus on ocean and marine life conservation.
What We Love
Celebrity Cruises has partnered with the Galápagos National Park to help Galápagos cruise guests participate in conservation efforts by planting trees to support the Scalesia Reforestation Project. Since the partnership began, 90% of Celebrity guests have volunteered. Together, they have planted more than 50,000 native trees and made great strides towards restoring the damaged landscape and protecting the island’s ecosystem.
Celebrity Cruises Ships & Destinations
Celebrity’s fleet of 14 premium cruise ships feature stunning design, exciting dining experiences, and are also some of the most environmentally-friendly at sea. All are equipped with solar power technology to help reduce the consumption of fossil fuel energy. Three expedition vessels include the all-suite mega-yacht Celebrity Flora, purposely built for sustainable luxury cruising in the Galápagos.
Celebrity ships sail to over 300 destinations in 79 countries. They include: Alaska, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Bahamas and Caribbean, Canada & New England, Hawaii, Panama Canal, Europe and the Mediterranean, South America and Galápagos.
Learn more: Celebrity Sustainability Efforts
Hurtigruten is the world leader in exploration travel and the largest cruise operator in polar waters. Hurtigruten is committed to setting and raising the standards for the industry to follow and was the first major travel company to remove single-use plastic from their entire fleet and hotels. With the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a framework, Hurtigruten focuses on innovation, technology and concrete measures to explore pristine destinations as responsibly as possible.They are taking the lead in preventing degradation by mass tourism, respecting indigenous communities, and protecting wildlife.
Hurtigruten is the first cruise company to build hybrid-electric powered expedition ships to reduce fuel consumption. These revolutionary ships will be the backbone of the greenest and most advanced fleet of expedition ships than the travel industry has ever seen.
Hurtigruten Ships & Destinations:
Hurtigruten’s fleet of 14 expedition ships are custom built for sustainable adventure travel. . Each expedition voyage is accompanied by a hand-picked team of specialists and modern-day explorers. The ships provide a comfortable basecamp with modern facilities carefully blended with fresh Scandinavian design. Hurtigruten’s new ships represent the next generation of expedition travel and are equipped with large battery packs to significantly cut emissions
Hurtigruten takes modern-day adventure travelers to some of the most spectacular destinations on our planet including Alaska, Antarctica, Iceland, Norway, Greenland, and the Americas.
Learn more: Hurtigruten Sustainability
For more than 30 years, PONANT has been taking passengers to the world’s most secret places where nature reigns supreme. This means they have responsibilities towards the ecosystems and communities that live there. By stopping the use of heavy fuel oil, removing single-use plastics, and carrying out environmental impact studies, PONANT has implemented measures to decrease the environmental footprint in the regions that they visit.
What We Love
PONANT created the Ponant Foundation to increase sustainable tourism. The foundation is focused on three key areas: supporting innovative ocean conservation initiatives, helping to develop scientific knowledge about the polar regions, and encouraging exchanges with indigenous populations.
PONANT Ships and Destinations
PONANT promises travelers unforgettable moments aboard their sleek and intimately sized cruise yachts, all of which sail under the French flag. PONANT has the newest fleet in the industry, with 10 technologically advanced ships. Their small capacity (160 staterooms or less) limits propulsive power and reduces fuel and emissions. When Le Commandant-Charcot is delivered in 2021, she will be the first hybrid electric-LNG (liquefied natural gas) polar exploration cruise vessel in the world.
PONANT’s fleet consists of one sailing ship, 7 sister ships, 12 explorers, and Le Paul Gauguin sailing in French Polynesia. Other exceptional destinations include Asia, Alaska & North America, the Seychelles, Antarctic, Caribbean, Europe and the Mediterranean, Africa and the Indian Ocean.
Learn more: Ponant Sustainable Tourism Commitments
Royal Caribbean Group
Royal Caribbean Group (RCG) is leading the way in change in the cruise industry with three brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Azamara. Royal Caribbean ships are cleaner than ever and improving with each new ship class; the next class of ships are being designed to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LGN). From energy consumption reduction and emissions purification to waste management and plastics reduction, Royal Caribbean Group is committed to a continuous pursuit of progress. As good stewards of the destinations they visit, RCG now offers 1,500 tours certified to the Global Sustainable Tourism (GSTC) standard.
What We Love
Royal Caribbean has a strong sense of responsibility to their employees and communities affected by natural disasters – from immediate humanitarian action like carrying relief supplies and evacuating those impacted, to long-term projects such as rebuilding. After Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas in 2019, Royal Caribbean Cruises was the first on the ground, providing warm meals and life-saving supplies.
Royal Caribbean International Ships & Destinations
The 27 ships in the Royal Caribbean International fleet reflect the cruise line’s legacy of unprecedented innovation and industry “firsts” never before seen at sea. Each successive class of ships is an architectural marvel featuring the latest technology and guest experiences. All feature an expansive array of features and amenities. Through eco-friendly ship design and investment in Advanced Emissions Purification systems, Royal Caribbean is significantly lowering their carbon footprint per berth.
Royal Caribbean ships sail to more than 270 destinations in 72 countries on six continents, including Royal Caribbean’s private island destination in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay. Other destinations include: Caribbean & Bermuda, Alaska & North America, Europe & Mediterranean, Asia, South Pacific.
Learn more: Royal Caribbean Group – Sustainability
Virgin Voyages’ commitment is to not just sail responsibly, but to leave the ocean and its communities better off. Their goal is to minimize environmental impacts, establish responsible supply chains, promote thriving local economies, and play a leading role in protecting and restoring the ocean’s health. Virgin Voyages is one of the first cruise lines to use Climeon technology that utilizes heat generated from the ship’s engines to generate electricity to decrease the demand for fuel. They are also the first cruise line to achieve carbon neutrality in its direct emissions footprint, starting from its very first day in commercial operation.
The line has banned unnecessary single-use plastics, eliminated food buffets, and sources materials and products with sustainability in mind.
Virgin Voyages is moving toward full supply chain transparency. They aim to procure products that prevent deforestation, protect our ocean,and promote business practices that ensure the fair and ethical treatment of farm workers and animals, such as: cage-free eggs, sustainable fish and seafood, direct trade coffee, responsibly sourced palm oil, and locally sourced ingredients.
Virgin Voyages Ships & Destinations
Virgin Voyages is redefining contemporary cruising with a focus on health and sustainability on its four sister ships. The brand is committed to having one of the cleanest fleets at sea. Virgin Voyages’ first ship, Scarlet Lady, features spaces designed by some of the top names in contemporary design, boasts 20+ complimentary eateries, immersive entertainment, and “Vitamin Sea” wellness spaces. Complimentary still and sparkling water is available throughout their ships, along with water bottle refill stations.
Virgin Voyages sails to Bahamas & The Caribbean, as well as the Mediterraean. All itineraries offer overnight and late night stops and include visits to the brand’s private beach club experience.
Learn more: Virgin Voyages Sustainability