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Are Cruise Lines Becoming Greener?

clock 3rd September 2018 | comment0 Comments

Fans of cruising can sometimes find themselves wondering, ‘what are cruise lines doing to help and contribute towards protecting the environment?’ Well, there are in fact a number of initiatives to reduce waste and carbon emissions and become more eco-friendly in general. From solar panels to powering private islands with waste materials, cruise companies have been making great strides in becoming greener.

 

 

How Are Cruise Lines Protecting the Environment?

 

Many cruise lines have backed plans to protect the various environments on their itineraries, in several ways. For example, there's now an alliance between Carnival Cruise Lines and the International SeaKeepers Society, which monitors water quality in some of the places visited by Carnival Triumph and Carnival Spirit. Equipment is has been built into these ships to gather data wherever they are. This is then relayed via satellite to scientists at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Miami, where they can keep on top of the water quality levels.

However, this is merely one example of many systems in place for monitoring the environment's health. There are groups all around the world dedicated to tracking this kind of data, including the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research and the Southeast Atlantic Coastal Ocean Observing System.

 

What Changes Are Being Made to help the Environment?

 

One of the biggest changes we’ve seen is to the hull on cruise ships. By painting the hull with silicon-based paint, the ships glide through water more efficiently, therefore saving fuel. Royal Caribbean Cruises have taken this a step further by designing aerodynamic hulls, increasing the benefit of this fuel-saving tactic.

Fuel is a key economic and environmental issue for cruise lines. Keeping the incredible ships afloat and operating at 100% takes a huge amount of energy. Today’s cruise ships can carry more 6,000 passengers and 2,000 crew members - which is the equivalent of a small town.

 

 

Here are some examples of other positive changes:

  • The US National Park Service has taken measures to reduce the environmental impact of cruising in Alaska, and there are strict regulations for the passage through Glacier Bay. Only one ship at a time is permitted to enter the bay and the number of total visits per season is also restricted.
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  • Holland America Line has partnered with the US National Park Service and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to protect whales in the oceans. Together their programmes educate mariners about recognising when whales are in close proximity and how to avoid them.
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  • Royal Caribbean has invested $100 million into converting wastewater treatment systems into advanced purification systems, the cruise line uses 18 million gallons of biodiesel used each year.
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  • Disney Cruise Line recycle the condensation from air conditioning units and use it for things such as laundry or cleaning decks, which saves gallons of water per day. They also recycle a mix of materials onboard; some of which is processed by their partners, Keep America Beautiful - an organization which is all about preserving the environment.
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  • Celebrity Cruises, have heat transfer windows that allow more light, which then reduces the cooling needed in the cabin.
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  • Norwegian Cruise Lines donates cooking oil to farmers in port cities to be used as fuel. The cruise line uses an eco-ballast system which is a water treatment system, to ensure the ship doesn’t send toxins into the water.
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    Overall, it’s clear that a number of popular cruise lines are investing in the environment in one way or another, and as science develops, this will surely only improve. If this information has struck a chord with you, find out more about how you can do your bit for the world and the communities in it, with our five holidays that make a difference.



    Get Even Closer with Fred. Olsen’s RIB Rides

    clock 21st August 2018 | comment0 Comments

    To help cruisers get even more out of their holiday, Fred. Olsen Cruises offer some incredibly thrilling and invigorating RIB rides during cruises onboard Black Watch and Boudicca. A RIB - Rigid Inflatable Boat – can take you into the heart of the action in no time at all, enabling you to see some beautiful views and enjoy once in a lifetime experiences.


     

    At the start of one of Fred. Olsen’s RIB shore tours, those onboard will be given a brief overview of what to expect, but the details and hidden treasures will be kept quiet to ensure that the adventure is full of exciting surprises. The trip will last between 60 to 90 minutes, during which you could be transported to a tranquil scene of hills and fjords, a dolphin playground, or to see an imposing glacier, to name a few possible outcomes!

     

     

    Each individual experience is likely to differ from the next, with the driver of the RIB reacting to the surroundings. They might pause or travel slowly if approaching wildlife, or there might be chances to rev up and speed through the waters in an adrenaline-fuelled ride.

    The RIB rides allow cruisers to get up close and personal with new destinations, exploring them in such a way that no detail is missed. Imagine being taken right up to a sparkling waterfall, or to the shores of what seems like an undiscovered beach. Or you could get close enough to luscious forestry to see eagles soaring and woodpeckers chittering away on the trees.

     

     

    From 2019 RIB rides will be offered wherever and whenever possible onboard the two Fred. Olsen cruise ships, but the excursions will be subject to local weather conditions and port restrictions. It’s possible to book the tours at an additional cost, simply speak to your sales advisor when you have secured a cruise booking. Take a look at our range of Fred. Olsen 2019 cruises to find out where in the world you could discover next.



    The Royal Wedding and the Couple’s Infatuation with Africa

    clock 16th May 2018 | comment0 Comments

    Once again the country is buzzing with excitement and curiosity, not only about the Royal Wedding, but also the Royal Honeymoon. As more details are released about the big day itself, so far there is only speculation about the honeymoon destination, but a few African countries sit at the top of the bookie’s favourites. Read on to find out how you can celebrate the Royal Wedding on your cruise, and why you should follow in the couple’s footsteps to Africa.

     

     

    Celebrating the Royal Wedding on a Cruise

    A number of cruise lines are embracing the merriment and thrills of the big day, and will be screening the event onboard. Some will also be celebrating with a few fabulous extras;

    Princess Cruises – 17 of the fleet will be showing the wedding on poolside screens, as well as bars and lounges. There will also be some Royal-themed parties, menus, and quizzes to take part in.

    Cruise & Maritime – 3 ships will screen the wedding proceedings, and there will also be quintessential British afternoon tea parties, quizzes, a 60s British music dance party, and more.

     

     

    Cunard - the wedding will be screened across the fleet, and guests can partake in a Royal Wedding afternoon tea, bespoke celebration cocktails and champagne, a themed dinner and keepsake menu, and a slice of cake which has been modelled on Harry and Meghan’s.

    P&O Cruises – in addition to screenings of the wedding, all ships will be decorated with flags and official bunting, and guests will have a glass of champagne to toast, as well as extra American and English foods with afternoon tea, and a Meghan Sparkle cocktail.

     

    From the Wedding to the Honeymoon

     

    It is thought that the newlyweds won’t embark on their honeymoon straight after the big day, however as clues come out about where they intend to go, we can’t help but feel inspired. Due to the love that both Harry and Meghan are known to have for Africa, there are several destinations in the continent that are thought to be in the running for the honeymoon, with Namibia taking the top spot.

     

     

    Why visit Namibia?

    The country gets its name from the vast Namib dessert, which is one of the oldest on earth. It stretches inland from the Atlantic coastline along the entire length of the country, and provides some truly incredible scenery. As well as this awe-inspiring attraction, Namibia offers some great wildlife-watching opportunities in the north. Etosha National Park, Damaraland, and the Caprivi Strip are all fantastic regions where visitors can see lions, elephants, and rhinos to name a few. As well as scenery and wildlife, in Namibia you’ll find friendly and welcoming locals, and some incredible new cuisine to try. Take a look at this fantastic chance to see Namibia on a cruise with Voyages to Antiquity.

    Where else in Africa could the Royal Couple be honeymooning?

    While Namibia is a firm favourite, both Harry and Meghan are known to have a fondness for many African nations. They’re both passionate about charity work, which has taken Meghan to Rwanda in the past, while supporting a clean water campaign, and has taken Harry to countries including Botswana, which is thought to be his home away from home. Here he’s worked with animal protection charities, as well as HIV/Aids projects.

     

     

    Africa is an incredibly rich continent with so much to offer. See the exciting wildlife on safari in Kruger or the Serengeti, try some delicious bottles in the wine regions of South Africa, and relax in the gorgeous tropical atmosphere of Madagascar. Explore this stunning part of the world on a cruise to Africa with MSC Cruises, or be transported on an African adventure with Princess Cruises.



    5 National Parks to See on a Cruise

    clock 14th May 2018 | comment0 Comments

    The fantastic range of options out there when it comes to cruising means that there is something perfect to suit just about everyone. Whether you’re after sea days with plenty of chances to relax, port-heavy itineraries on which you can explore new cultures, or the best cruises for wildlife, your ideal cruise holiday is waiting to be discovered. With this in mind, we wanted to explore another aspect which draws people on holiday – national parks. Here are our top 5 national parks to see on a cruise.

     

    1 – Banff National Park, Canada

     

     

    Situated in southeast Canada, Banff National Park is often included on Rocky Mountaineer adventures – a popular holiday experience combining the land and sea of Canada and Alaska. The train route transports you through some amazing scenery, and can include this stunning national park which is part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain World Heritage Site. See the sparkling waters of Moraine Lake, wildlife such as deer, chipmunks, wolves, and even bears, and not forgetting the commanding Rocky Mountains.

     

    2 - Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

     

     

    Found in the southwest corner of New Zealand’s South Island, Fiordland National Park is a popular stop on Australasia cruises. This diverse area of the country comprises mountains, valleys, lakes, fiords, and rainforest environments, all of which have helped to enable a fantastic range of species to thrive. At the heart of the park is Milford Sound; a vast and beautiful fiord which is surrounded by mountains including Mitre Peak, which is more than a mile in height.

     

    3 – Chobe National Park, Botswana

     

     

    On a river cruise on Africa’s Chobe River, you’ll be transported through the impressive and extensive Chobe National Park and its surrounding areas. Here resides Africa’s largest population of elephants, along with all sorts of other exciting wildlife. As well as the majestic elephants, you might see zebras, buffalo, warthogs, cheetahs, and lions to name a few. River cruise lines operating here offer some truly stunning river ships, including the African Dream by CroisiEurope, which has been designed with destination immersion thoroughly in mind.

     

    4 – Denali National Park, Alaska

     

     

    Towards the south of Alaska is the incredible Denali National Park, which stretches over approximately 6 million acres of land. This vast wilderness can be explored on a cruise to Alaska, and in fact Princess Cruises now boast a fantastic treehouse at their Mount McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, where cruisers can relax and look out over the park. From here it’s possible to spot creatures like the magnificent brown bear, moose, caribou, wolves, and all kinds of bird life.

    5 – Patagonia, Argentina & Chile

     

     

    The awe-inspiring scenery in this part of the world is almost otherworldly. Few holidaymakers make the trip here but with cruising the journey can be simple and comfortable, and very rewarding. Travel in luxury with the likes of Silversea and Seabourn and be transported to a world of glassy ice fields, huge glaciers, and inspiring fjords. There are actually several protected national parks in this location, including the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares where you’ll find the staggering Glaciar Perito Moreno.



    Hot vs Cold Cruising

    clock 2nd May 2018 | comment0 Comments

    With more and more choices of cruising styles and destinations becoming available, it can seem overwhelming when it comes to making a decision about where and when to go. Well, one of the first things that should be considered is what kind of holiday you’re looking for – a hot and sunny one with plenty of opportunities to swim and sunbathe, or a cold one with chances to explore new surroundings. Read on for our helpful overview of hot versus cold cruising.

    Cruising in a Hot Destination

     

    Where to go

    There are plenty of sunny spots to choose from for your next cruise holiday. From popular cruise destinations in the Caribbean and Mediterranean, to more unusual places in South America, Africa, or Asia, there are places to suit everyone. When deciding, consider who you’re travelling with and what you’re looking for in a holiday. The Mediterranean can be great for families who only want short flights - or even no flights at all - whereas the Caribbean is wonderful for couples looking to relax and recharge. On the other hand, if you’re after a bit of adventure you could opt for an enriching itinerary in Peru which includes Macchu Picchu, or an exciting experience on the Mekong River taking in Cambodia and Vietnam.

     

    What to pack

    No matter where you decide to go on your hot weather cruise holiday, there are some must-pack items that it’s important not to forget;

  • Sun cream
  • Sun glasses
  • Sun hat
  • Water bottle – ideally foldable
  • Scarf/shawl – for covering up from the sun and at attractions if required
  • Flip Flops or slider shoes for by the pool
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    Cruising in a Cold Destination

     

    Where to go

    While hot destinations are often the more popular choice, cruise lines are now travelling to an abundance of cooler places all over the world. Adventurous cruisers have the chance to take on the elements on an expedition cruise in the Arctic and Antarctic, or those wanting to stay a little closer to home could enjoy a European river cruise wandering through the magical Christmas markets. Scandinavia also offers some wonderful cruising opportunities in the winter, for instance traversing the Norwegian fjords is on many a bucket list. Canada and Alaska cruises are also becoming more popular as more cruise ships are being designed to tackle the environment.

     

    What to pack

    When travelling in cold destinations it’s important to be prepared. When it comes to exploring the various ports or taking part in excursions – or even if you’ll be spending time on the deck – you’ll need the proper clothing. Consider packing the following;

     

  • Thermal layers – vests and leggings are helpful and take up little room in your suitcase
  • Winter boots – well-insulated boots are a must
  • Winter coat – ideally to the knee in length, and with a hood
  • Extra socks – both thin and thick; layering is key
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    Armed with this information, the next step is to take a look at your own cruising wish list and determine exactly what you’re looking for. Both hot and cold cruises can deliver a fantastic range of experiences, so if you’re still none the wiser why not call our team for some great advice and to discuss your options. It might even be possible to create your own tailor-made cruise holiday, which offers both hot and cold destinations.



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