Love Thy Ocean
Five Fave Programs to Support the Sea
Today is World Oceans Day, a day of ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future. This year’s theme is “Our Oceans, Our Future,” with the goal to promote prevention of plastic ocean pollution. We at Porthole Cruise Magazine, and we’re guessing you as well, are big proponents of the world’s wonderful waters. After all, without them, where would our favorite ships sail?
You may not realize that many cruise lines go out of their way each and every day to protect the oceans through various onboard programs. And some companies go even further in their ocean efforts to protect, conserve, and educate. Our captain’s hats off to you!
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s Ocean Fund and World Wildlife Fund
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL, parent company to Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Azamara Cruises) established its Ocean Fund in 1996 to support efforts to restore and maintain a healthy marine environment, minimize the impact of human activity on this environment, and promote awareness of ocean and coastal issues and respect for marine life. Annual grants go toward a variety of nonprofit groups and institutions that conduct activities directly related to marine conservation.
In addition, in January 2016, RCCL announced a five-year global partnership with the World Wildlife Foundation to help support ocean conservation with ambitious and measurable goals to reduce the company’s environmental footprint and support WWF’s global oceans conservation work. The partners jointly developed 2020 environmental sustainability targets that include carbon emissions and sustainable seafood, and have agreed to develop and announce new targets by June 30 that will address destination stewardship.
Un-Cruise Adventures’ Responsible Travel
Small ship line Un-Cruise Adventures is an example of smaller ships that get as close as possible to nature and wildlife. Part of the line’s responsible travel efforts include day-to-day onboard efforts as well as partnerships with various organizations.
For example, the line has partnered with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program, which helps seafood buyers support wild, diverse, and healthy oceans by purchasing seafood that is fished or farmed in ways that minimize environmental impact, as well as The Passenger Vessel Association (PVA), which recognizes the line as a member of its Green WATERS Program for its dedication to a cleaner, greener marine environment.
Carnival Corporation’s Carnival Foundation
Carnival Foundation, which oversees the philanthropic efforts of Carnival Corporation’s 10 cruise brands, supports hundreds of organizations annually through monetary and in-kind donations, employee fundraisers, and hands-on volunteer efforts.
One of the foundation’s key initiatives includes The Nature Conservancy’s global marine protection efforts and, as part of achieving its 2020 sustainability goals, Carnival Corporation is providing a $2.5 million gift over a five-year period that began in 2014.
Highlights from 2015 include helping the Bahamas expand marine protection areas by more than 11 million acres; supporting the establishment of National Protected Area Trust Funds in seven Caribbean countries; advancing marine protection efforts at Los Haitises National Park and Samaná Bay in the Dominican Republic; and launching an Atlas of Ocean Wealth, which is supported by international online tools, detailed maps, and marine life databases to educate and inspire community leaders engaged in ocean planning.
Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic’s LEX-NG Fund
Another small ship expedition line, Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic, created the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic (LEX-NG) Fund to support projects at the global, regional, and local levels. Efforts aim to protect the last wild places in the ocean, support innovative local projects, and facilitate conservation, research, education, and community development projects in the places the line explores.
Together with its guests, the line has granted more than $12 million, with 100 percent of guest contributions going directly to on-the-ground projects, which include preserving wildlife and clean water in Alaska, studying marine animals in Antarctica, and helping coastal communities in Europe.
Holland America Line’s Our Marvelous Oceans Program
Holland America Line put forth its best education efforts with its Our Marvelous Oceans in-stateroom video series. In collaboration with the Marine Conservation Institute — a national and globally focused nonprofit organization dedicated to maintaining healthy, living oceans — Holland America developed the series to educate guests on marine conservation issues. Featured topics include responsible seafood, ocean conservation, protecting ocean life, destructive fishing practices, climate change, and environmental protection.
The video series was an extension of Holland America’s three-year Our Marvelous Oceans program, which was announced in 2010 and commits to the exclusive use of responsibly sourced seafood on the line’s menus, guest and staff education, and support for critical marine conservation biology research.
— Jodi Ornstein
Sign up for weekly cruise news, fun contests, and exclusive offers delivered right to your inbox!