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Climate change and sustainability have become buzzwords in the tourism industry with some river lines such as Avalon Waterways and Uniworld leading the way in environmental initiatives.

Avalon is focused on reducing its environmental footprint with the philosophy “take memories, leave only footprints.”

Committed to preserving the environment, Avalon will remove single-use plastic products such as straws and disposable water bottles on all its ships by 2020.

As part of the Globus family of brands support for The Ocean Cleanup, Avalon will commit to a number of sustainability efforts including the use of LED light bulbs, state-of-the-art propulsion systems and upgrade the sewage treatment onboard its river fleet.

In partnership with Landmine Design, the river line has introduced a social enterprise project to educate and provide jobs for women living in poverty in Cambodia. This has provided dozens of women with the opportunity to work at home by 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 Wildlife Conservation Network with every dollar translated into tangible, long-term protection of 87 species in crisis across 38 countries.

Boutique river line Uniworld has partnered with TreadRight Foundation to monitor and reduce the environmental impact which cruising might have on rivers and surrounding habitat.

The Sustainable River Cruising Project provide measures to reduce the environmental impact of cruising on rich rivers such as the Nile, Danube, Rhine and Rhone.

Uniworld is also commited to support family-run enterprises and organic wineries in various destinations. The aim is to connect guests with local and sustainable ventures around the world.

Uniworld will also ban the use of single-use plastics including straws, water bottles and plastic bags by 2022.

The line is also 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 One Tree Planted partnership, where guests who book their 2020 cruise and choose to receive their pre-cruise documents digitally, one tree is planted in their names – a simple move that can have lasting impact.

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.

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 in the forefront of responsible tourism and is focused on achieving best practice in economic, social and environmental responsibility.

APT in conjunction with Opportunities of Development Thru Art (ODA) and the Rotary Club of Atherton, Queensland have built a school in an impoverished area near Siem Reap in Cambodia to provide free English education to children. 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 wildlife Conservation, particularly indigenous wildlife in three sanctuaries in the Kimberley, Cairns and Perth.

To reduce energy waste, APT with AmaWaterways 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 heating system.