Wondering if sustainable luxury cruises even exist? We’re glad to say they do! Read on to learn more
By Lora O’Brien
For many, when it comes to booking a vacation a cruise is their go-to. And I get it. Being at sea is relaxing, as is lounging on the deck while you enjoy tropical breezes, sunsets over the ocean and the plentiful forms of entertainment that accompany this type of holiday.
But did you know this? They’re usually absolutely terrible for the environment. For so many reasons!
Why Typical Cruises Suck
You know those massive boats by cruise ship companies like Carnival or Princess? You know, the ones that look like whole cities? Well, not only are they absolutely hideous to look at, but they’re seriously damaging our planet.
Here are just a few horrible consequences of those massive cruise ships:
- Though it’s illegal, they’re notorious for dumping raw sewage into the ocean
- Large cruise companies have been found guilty of dumping garbage into the sea, time and time again
- Their diesel fuelled engines pollute the air. In fact, per passenger, cruises actually have a worse carbon footprint than flying. A cruiseliner such as Queen Mary 2 emits 0.43kg of CO2 per passenger mile. Compare that with 0.257kg for a long-haul flight.
- It’s not uncommon for sea animals like whales and dolphins to get shredded by their propellers
- Ballast water from large cruises allows invasive species like starfish or algae to embed themselves within the water. When they get sucked up at one place and dumped out at another, their nastiness just spreads.
Those are just 5 things we are repulsed by. But huge cruise ships bring many more problems, too. Like: overconsumption of food, overcrowding of tourist hotspots, and more.
Luckily, there are some conscious cruise companies. They really are looking to change the damage cruises cause to the planet, cultures, the oceans, and animals. So, if you love holidaying at sea and are wondering if sustainable luxury cruises exist, we’re here to tell you that the answer is: yes!
Eco Luxury Cruise Ships
The sign of a good holiday is when you come home and you still think back to it many years later. Each trip you take is an opportunity to create lasting ties with the places visited, whether it’s taking in the sights or learning about new cultures. Whether your vacation choice is a Mediterranean cruise or an expedition journey to the heart of icy Antarctica, PONANT luxury cruises have only one destination: a sustainable future.
You – and the planet – are in good hands with PONANT.
For the last 30 years, they have been taking guests to the most remote, hidden and out-of-the-way locations on our planet, and they’re doing so while being responsible for both man and the environment. They’re very conscious about taking great care of the ecosystems and communities that live in these areas.
Whether you’re on sea, land or ice, PONANT’s sustainable luxury cruises strive to minimise their footprint. Being ahead in terms of innovation, the company works on a daily basis to promote a more responsible and sustainable form of tourism through its PONANT Blue Horizon programme.
They also strictly adhere to these 6 environmental commitments:
- Minimise nitrogen and sulphur oxide emissions
- Reduce CO² emissions through using wind power
- Eliminate single use plastics totally
- Reuse and trace all waste
- Embark scientific research teams to help monitor the environment
- Support the creation of Marine Protected Areas
PONANT’s Admirable Everyday Actions
It’s admirable to want to do good, but it’s a conscious choice we need to make each day. Thus, PONANT has concrete everyday actions that they adopt and use onboard their ships each time.
First up on their sustainable luxury cruises is their energy saving measures.
Onboard, LED light bulbs are used to reduce electricity by 75%. PONANT has prohibited the use of plastics, such as drinking straws, laundry bags, cups, and single-serve food portions. All packaging is removed at their depots. And to stop the use of plastic bottles on all of their ships, passengers are provided with a stainless steel flask that can be filled up at water stations on board. This eliminates a shocking 10 plastic bottles per passenger, per ship!
The company also adheres to a circular economy model. For example? PONANT supports local organisations by donating furniture and equipment that is no longer needed. This gives them a second life and prevents waste.
And this travel brand is eco-responsible right down to its brochures, too! To reduce the environmental impact, they print on 100% recycled paper. They send all unused materials to a recycling centre to be transformed and reused.
Caring For Sealife
As I mentioned above, one of the greatest tragedies cruise ships bring is to marine life. To prevent this, all PONANT ships are fitted with seabed detectors. In areas known to be inhibited by marine animals, PONANT sustainable luxury cruises reduce their speed to a mere 10 knots. Alongside this, naturalist guides are available on the bridge with officers to help detect the presence of animals.
When it comes to noise pollution, PONANT’s fleet is among the quietest ships in the world. This is something they take great care up uphold, ensuring they cause as little underwater disturbance to wildlife as possible.
As for stopping, they’re careful then, too. They use an electronic dynamic positioning system for ships, which prevents them from dropping the anchor in sensitive areas, thus eliminating the risk of harming marine life.
Luxury At Sea
Ok, so now you know sustainable cruises exist. But…are they sustainable luxury cruises?
The answer is: heck, yes!
PONANT cruises are guaranteed to make your holiday a dream one. The cruises will take you to discover exceptional destinations while offering you a travel experience that is authentic and high end. How so, you may ask?
Well, their decor is elegant, modern, and French (yes, this is a French company). Their healthy, delicious food also reflects French refinement.
But if you ask me, luxury largely about service. All PONANT’s staff are very attentive and experienced. Whether you stay in your room, venture to the lounge or eat at one of the dining areas, all of your needs will be met. In fact, you can even book tailor-made sustainable luxury cruises.
A La Carte Service
Their “à la carte”service was designed specifically to match your individual needs and requirements.
They have a dedicated travel consultants are available to help you ensure you have a smooth trip, from door to destination. You can also book special menus, such as vegan meals; private excursions and additional sightseeing visits and tours, depending on your requirements.
With this tailor-made option, you will be able to enjoy the unique experience of a trip designed to ensure your complete comfort, right down to the very last detail.
Intrigued? Want to learn more about their destinations? Click here.
This was a paid partnership with sustainable luxury cruises by PONANT