From Ship to Shore with Celebrity Cruises
Sailing the seas and planting trees
Over the past few decades, travellers have been increasingly aware of the impact they have on the destinations they visit. The difference in both the attitude of the holidaymaker and the holiday provider is tangible. People make a conscious effort to use less water, there are more and more recycling bins provided in hotels and there is a real focus on using local products to reduce the carbon footprint on the food provided. Cruising has been no exception, with efforts to reduce the fuel consumption, and therefore the carbon emissions of ships. This has been done in a number of ways including developments in technology, changes in itineraries to take into consideration tides and prevailing winds, and reducing ship speed. Just recently, the world’s largest cruise line, Royal Caribbean, announced they have put together a new department in conjunction with sister lines Azamara Club Cruises and Celebrity Cruises to make a plan for eliminating single-use plastic on board. Targeting everything from drinking straws to plastic parts of the crew’s uniform.
Biodiversity, deforestation, plastic in the ocean, and animal welfare are also at the forefront of peoples’ minds and the demand for volunteerism is growing. In recent years we have seen the development of conscious cruising. Fathom offer cruises in partnership with Princess Cruises, which sail to the Caribbean to help those affected by natural disasters and Celebrity Cruises have been working with the Galápagos National Park on several environmental projects.
The Galápagos Islands are a volcanic archipelago off the coast of Ecuador. Made famous by Charles Darwin and his expedition on the HMS Beagle in 1835, the islands house (or housed) thousands of unique species of animals, flora and fauna. These islands are responsible for teaching us what we now know as the Theory of Evolution, developed by Darwin while he observed the islands.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Celebrity wanted to offer guests the opportunity to help preserve the islands for future generations and repair some of the damage done by human visitors and invasive species. In a combined effort between guests and crew members, Celebrity Cruises have planted 30,000 trees in the Galápagos National Park.
Over the last three years, more than 14,000 passengers and crew have sewn seeds in the hope of reforestation and restoring the natural ecosystems on the island of Santa Cruz in Los Gemlos. Trees planted include native species such as Scalesias, Cat’s Claw, Galápagos Miconia and Thin-leafed Darwin’s shrub.
Celebrity’s expedition cruises to the Galápagos are not only all-inclusive, but they offer a diverse range of itineraries for all types of adventurers. There are six itineraries available on their three state-of-the-art expedition ships, all of them a return trip from Baltra, Galápagos, with stops on 15 of the Galápagos Islands (35 different ports of call). They also offer pre- and post-cruise add-ons to destinations such as Machu Picchu in Peru and Quito in Ecuador.
A fourth ship, the Celebrity Flora, will be joining Celebrity Xpedition, Celebrity Xperience and Celebrity Xploration in the Galápagos Islands from May 2019. Celebrity’s new expedition cruise ship is designed to make your experience on the primitive Galápagos Islands quite the opposite, carrying 100 passengers over eight decks, with Michelin-Star restaurants and all guests accommodated in suites with a private butler. A feature brand-new to the Galápagos cruise scene will be Celebrity’s Infinite Veranda, available in the Ultimate Sky and Premium Sky suites.
The cruise itineraries are created and run by Celebrity’s qualified Naturalists, some of whom are locals. The aim of each of the Celebrity itineraries is to show guests the very best of the Galápagos but leave the islands untouched and in pristine condition for the next generation. Celebrity practices the very highest levels of environmental stewardship on the islands and not only works on reforestation but supports projects to increase local farming, buys local produce to use onboard and helps build infrastructure for local fishing.
Interested in making conscious cruising part of your next adventure? Contact our Cruise Holiday Experts today.
Post by Sarah Tayler
Sarah is an avid traveller. When not writing for My Cruises, she can be found gallivanting around the globe. Her favourite port of call is Barcelona because it’s close to the city and she is a sucker for Gaudi and tapas! A big fan of leisurely river cruising as well, Sarah loves nothing more than stopping off along the banks of the Loire Valley for a spot of wine tasting and visiting Bordeaux for the history and amazing French food. On her cruise holiday to-do list is the Panama Canal, an Arctic expedition cruise and a river cruise through Asia.