Exploring our blue planet for more than a century has taught us the importance of being green.
Over decades, our Captains and crew, Expedition Teams and returning guests have witnessed the impact of climate change on vulnerable polar areas with their own eyes. We want the Arctic, Antarctica, and everywhere in between to remain places of pristine nature, pure water and clean air. Sustainability is therefore at the heart of who we are and what we do. From the beautiful natural world to remote communities, we want to ensure our expedition cruises protect them both.
You’ll know us as green pioneers, bringing together cutting-edge ship design and advanced battery technology to create the world’s first hybrid- powered expedition ship. You might have also heard of our strong stance on heavy fuel oil or our war on plastics. Beach clean-ups and plant-based menus made from locally sourced ingredients are another two ways we give back to the areas we visit and to the planet as a whole.
Saying goodbye to plastic
We announced our war on plastics in 2018 when we were the first expedition company to ban non-essential single-use plastic throughout our entire operation. That means you won’t find items like plastic cups, plastic straws or plastic cutlery on board our ships. You also won’t see our shops selling microplastic-made fleeces but stocking natural wool clothing instead.
Absent too are plastic water bottles. We provide all our guests on an expedition cruise with a complimentary high-quality reusable bottle for use at water refill stations dotted around the ship. This simple act saves at least 1,000 plastic bottles a day on some of our larger ships.
Inspiring environmental ambassadors
Witnessing the beauty of our planet is sure to leave a lasting impression on you, and you’ll talk enthusiastically about these stunning destinations with friends and family for decades to come. To make sure you can speak informatively when you return home, every one of our expedition cruises has a focus on the environment.
The Expedition Team give lectures that raise awareness of climate change, ocean plastic, and the measures we can all take to help ease these issues. It is our hope that engaging with nature on our expedition cruises will inspire you to do all you can to cherish and protect the precious world we all share.
Connecting with communities
We are dedicated to supporting the local communities we visit, and to creating beneficial ripple effects that continue long after we’ve left. By trading locally and sourcing services such as food produce and excursions from local suppliers, we contribute to the livelihood and welfare of people.
We strive not only to connect with these communities, but to share genuine friendship with them while always respecting their values and customs. As guests in their home, our emphasis is on appreciating their unique culture and ensuring our interactions are positive and upbuilding for all. You can therefore enjoy authentic experiences knowing your visit is doing good, both for you and for them.
A footprint we’re proud of
You’ll likely encounter a range of wildlife during your expedition, doing so from a safe distance. We’ll be sure to never get too close to them, out of respect for their welfare as much as yours. By not disturbing wildlife with our presence, you’ll be able to observe their natural behaviour, in their natural habitat. We want to leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but pictures! In fact, in many of the areas we visit in Antarctica, we even specifically wipe out our footprints so as to prevent penguins tripping and falling into them.
Photo: Dominic Barrington, Agurtxane Concellon and Genna Roland
Working together as one
Sustainability isn’t something we can do alone. Everyone in our industry needs to work together for a greener future. We are therefore founding members of the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) and members of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO). These trade member organisations work to establish sustainable tourism in polar regions, fighting mass tourism by limiting ships and shore visits, and creating guidelines that protect fragile environments and rare wildlife.
We’ve also committed ourselves to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. These guiding principles will take us steps ahead of current regulations to offer you greener and more sustainable expedition cruises on and for the planet.
Serving planet-friendly plant-based food
We offer full menus of delicious plant-based dishes that will impress even those yet to be convinced by this way of eating. These meals not only have low or even zero CO2 footprints, they also promote healthier living and prove conclusively that vegan and vegetarian cuisine can still taste great. We’ve also put in place food management waste programmes on all our ships, aiming to reduce food waste by at least 30%.
Investing in green tech
Building our two new hybrid-powered expedition ships, MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fridtjof Nansen, represents the biggest investment in our almost 130 years of history. They are packed with ground-breaking green technology, such as battery packs, heat recovery systems, and a cutting-edge hull design. These innovations combined reduce carbon emissions by more than 20 %, compared to other cruise ships of the same size.
Hurtigruten stopped using heavy fuel oil more than a decade ago and campaign for its worldwide ban. To set a new standard, we are also considering a range of new, green fuel options, including biofuels made from organic waste.
Doing your part
There are a range of simple things you can get involved in during your cruise to do your bit. Help out on a beach clean-up where the refuse we collect is brought back onto the ship to be recycled. Citizen Science projects get you to observe our natural world closely and contribute to current research.
Even hanging a tag on your cabin door to say your towels and bed sheets don’t need changing can save energy and water. You also have the option to donate to the Hurtigruten Foundation which funds projects around the world.
We are setting a new, more sustainable standard for expedition cruising. You can be sure we will continue with our commitment to sustainability; leading the way with green tech, protecting our planet, supporting local communities, and inspiring more to action.
With the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as our compass, our cruises to the planet’s most stunning corners are where explorers can truly feel at home.