River cruise lines are spending heavily on moves towards more climate friendly vessels as part of the industry’s pledge to meet new emissions and other targets.
Avalon Waterways’ philosophy is “take memories, leave only footprints”. The line will remove single-use plastics, such as straws and disposable water bottles, on all its ships by 2020.
It has also committed to a number of sustainability efforts including the use of LED light bulbs, state-of-the-art propulsion systems and upgrades to sewage treatment on board its river fleet.
In partnership with Landmine Design, the river cruise line has introduced a social enterprise project to educate and provide jobs for women living in poverty in Cambodia. The initiative has given dozens of women the opportunity to work at home, hand-rolling paper beads and crafting them into beautiful jewellery.
To help secure the future of some of the world’s endangered wildlife, Avalon will support
and every dollar translated will go towards tangible, long-term protection of 87 species in crisis, across 38 countries.
Premium line Viking River Cruises has introduced integrated design and cutting-edge technology on its longships with sustainable upgrades such as solar panels and energy-efficient hybrid engines that reduce vibrations for a smoother sail.
Boutique river line Uniworld has partnered with the TreadRight Foundation to monitor and reduce the environmental impact cruising might have on rivers and surrounding habitats. The Sustainable River Cruising Project focuses on introducing these measures to rivers such as the Nile, Danube, Rhine and Rhone.
Uniworld is also committed to supporting family-run enterprises and organic wineries in various destinations. The aim is to connect guests with local and sustainable ventures around the world.
Uniworld has announced it will ban the use of single-use plastics, including straws, water bottles and plastic bags, on all its ships by 2022.
And the line is supporting the community of Kanambu in Ecuador by delivering access to clean water to drink and use for cooking, developing healthy sanitation facilities and building irrigation infrastructure to facilitate food production.
Uniworld has a One Tree Planted partnership, where for each guest who chooses to receive their pre-cruise documents digitally, one tree is planted in their name – a simple move that can have lasting impact.
Luxury line Scenic has joined Climate Friendly, an Australian-based organisation committed to reducing large-scale greenhouse gas emissions by funding renewable energy projects. The line has measured 100 per cent of emissions generated by its business and taking steps to reduce the greenhouse gases and offsetting the emissions that are created.
APT Group is also at the forefront of responsible tourism and is focusing on achieving best practice in economic, social and environmental responsibility.
In conjunction with Opportunities of Development Thru Art (ODA) and the Atherton Rotary Club in North Queensland, APT has built a school in an impoverished area near Siem Reap in Cambodia to provide children with free English classes. With every cruise to Cambodia, APT contributes to the ODA to cover the cost of the building and staffing including the teacher’s salary and costs.
Since 2003, the APT Charitable and Conservation Fund supports Australian native animal conservation through its donations to wildlife sanctuaries in the Kimberley, Cairns and Perth.
To reduce energy waste, AmaWaterways with APT uses fuel-efficient, low-emission generators on the Zambezi Queen ship in Africa during the day, and operates on battery power at night. The ship’s hot water is provided by a solar-heated system.