Thursday, May 19, 2011

High Scores for Hurtigruten on Environmental Awareness

Environmental awareness on expedition cruises to Spitsbergen and the Svalbard Archipelago is extremely high according to a recent study commissioned by The International Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO). Hurtigruten’s MS Fram was one of four ships followed by research teams during the study.

The study, carried out by an independent Norwegian company, found that crew, expedition team and guests on MS Fram and the three other ships in the study displayed high environmental awareness. It found that ship’s officers were up to date on the latest legislation and regulations pertaining to the environmental protection of the Svalbard Archipelago and that this was a constant focus. According to the study, emissions from the expedition ships would have a relatively minor impact on the Arctic marine environment, provided that all international and national legislation was complied with.

MS Fram has an ice classed hull which reduces risk of grounding and runs on distillate only Marine Gasoil (MGO) - these two combined factors ensure it gives as little emission as possible.

Hurtigruten operates its voyages with the philosophy – "Take nothing but pictures – leave nothing but footprints." The study found that passengers were given the appropriate instruction on how to conduct themselves when in these precious environments from well-trained expedition teams.

To ensure we do our part to protect the environment in every way possible in Svalbard, Hurtigruten guests take part in a program called 'Clean up Svalbard' which helps to keep the coasts clean. Unfortunately, there are beaches that are littered with plastic, empty oil drums, fishnets and other waste that washes up on the coast. Hurtigruten guests, under the guidance of the ships expedition team, are invited to volunteer in helping collect the rubbish that is then disposed of in refuse sacks provided by the ship, so they can experience the wilderness of Svalbard as they wish to see it – pure and untouched.

Click here to learn more about Hurtigruten's voyages to Spitsbergen, Svalbard, contact your travel agent or call 800-323-7436.

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