June 4, 2019

Sustainability in Travel

Picture of Nick Cabugos
Nick Cabugos

Creative Director, Montecito Village Travel

These Companies are Making Waves in Sustainable Travel

Today, eco-tourism isn't just for college kids and backpackers seeking a rustic escape. There are so many luxurious, eco-friendly resorts, cruise lines, tour companies and more that are making waves in the travel industry, so sit back, and feel good about your next green escape, without compromising a thing. 


For nearly 40 years, Royal Caribbean has carried out its strong commitment to environmental stewardship by following strict company policies, practices, regulations and special initiatives that they call the Above and Beyond Compliance. The initiatives help  achieve the highest possible standards of environmental and community stewardship. Before Royal Caribbean announced its 2020 target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent as part of a five-year partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), it had to do something never before done in the cruise industry.

One such initiative is their Save the Waves® program, which was established in 1992 as a program that focused on waste management and evolved into a company-wide philosophy of social responsibility and sustainability practices.

Royal-Caribbean-Waste Royal-Caribbean-Waste-Recycle Royal-Caribbean-Waste-Management


As part of Royal Caribbean's aggressive waste management operation, they hand-sort the waste from every trash receptacle on the ship, including those in staterooms. Materials that can be recycled are carefully separated, and when their ships arrive at ports in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Tampa or Port Canaveral, Florida the materials are offloaded to the appropriate places. Recyclable clothing and books are donated, and dry waste and internationally regulated food-contacted waste that cannot be directly recycled are sent to a waste-to-energy facility where they are converted into electricity. 

Other areas to be tested or already in use for carbon reduction:

  • Using seawater in cold climes to supplement chemical coolants in ships’ HVAC systems, which are the second biggest energy consumers.
  • Assuring that when refrigerants are used in ships’ chillers, they’re both efficient and contribute minimally to global warming. “We try to manage that so we’re getting the best of both worlds where possible,” Rose says.
  • Replacing hot incandescent bulbs with cool LED in systems that automatically dim lights in public spaces and staterooms when no motion is detected.
  • Keeping pace with the most efficient equipment for preparing and storing food in ships’ galleys.


Six Senses Hotels & Resorts

Back to nature at Six Senses Zil Pasyon

Consistent with the commitment of the group, Six Senses Zil Pasyon has built sustainability into the design. Their theme for this island paradise is habitat restoration, supporting threatened ecosystems by ridding the island of invasive species and creating genuine conservation value by our propagation of rare local plants.

To support our environmental and social sustainability activities, Six Senses has developed policies and procedures in line with their standards. These policies and procedures will be renewed at least annually to ensure that we are always current in our approaches.

"We are committed to comply, wherever possible improving upon, Seychelles and international legislative environmental requirements, such as environmental, public and occupational health and safety, hygiene and employment legislation."

Six Senses stated that wherever possible and feasible, they will give preference to the employment of persons living in Seychelles, local products and services which do not adversely affect the resort's operational activities, viability and environmental and social impacts.

Book with us and receive exclusive Virtuoso Amenities like:

  • Upgrade on arrival
  • Complimentary Buffet & a la carte Breakfast for two daily for duration of stay
  • $200 USD equivalent resort credit to be utilized during stay 
  • Early check-in/late check-out
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

Ponant Luxury Cruises

ponants-le-boreal-credit-lorraine-turci-1200x628PONANT ANTARCTICA CRUISE

Ponant goes above and beyond environmental regulations in force (for example, the MARPOL convention for the prevention of pollution from ships and the Polar Code) by studying ways to help minimise their impact on the places they visit. Thanks to these efforts, all PONANT ships have been awarded the international “Clean Ship” label, which certifies that we have reduced our environmental impact.

Ponant is in the process of designing a luxury cruise polar exploration ship. Completed in 2021, it will be fitted with the latest sustainable development technologies and will surpass the requirements of the IMO (International Maritime Organization) 2020 regulation.

The Icebreaker features perfected “Clean Ship” fittings that go beyond the current industry-standard environmental regulations:

  • Reduction of SO2, NOX, CO2 and particle emissions thanks to the use of LNG
  • Zero emissions when in electric hybrid mode


Energy Management & Water Treatment:
  • Energy optimisation system that precisely measures consumption and optimisation of ship sailing methods
  • Waste Heat Recovery System
  • Electric output optimised and consumption reduced through the use of latest generation electric batteries
  • Advanced Waste Water Treatment system

Find out more about Ponant's Luxury Icebreak Ship here.


Lindblad Expeditions

Inspiring Ocean Cleanup Our Fight Against Plastic Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic


Lindblad has built a global travel company with conservation and environmental stewardship as core business tenets. The company’s commitment to the places they explore includes (since 1997) $15.8 million to support stewardship efforts, currently through the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Fund (LEX-NG Fund), which awards approximately $1.5 million dollars in grants per year.

In 2017, that funding supported initiatives in Alaska, Baja, Galápagos, the Peruvian Amazon, Cambodia, Antarctica, the Pacific Northwest, Central America and beyond. Funding also went toward National Geographic’s Pristine Seas project, which is working to find, survey and protect the last wild places in the ocean, with a goal of protecting 20 of the ocean’s wildest places by 2020. LEX-NG Fund initiatives include killer whale research in Antarctica, artisan training in the Peruvian Amazon and Galapagos, and conservation-based research projects to protect humpback whales in Southeast Alaska.

Star Clippers


Miami, FL (December 2018) — Star Clippers is pleased to announce that they have been named “World’s Leading Green Cruise” as well as “World’s Leading Luxury Sailing Cruise Company” in 2018 by the World Travel Awards. This marks the sixth time Star Clippers has won the World’s Leading Luxury Sailing Company and the fifth time for World’s Leading Green Cruise.

Star Clipper has set out a  Blue Seas Policy, a commitment to their customers and to the planet that they will strive to provide the most sustainable, Carbon-Neutral and pollutant free experience possible. Star Clippers are commited to showing everyone the wonders of the worlds seas and to preserve those wonders for generations to come.

“In addition to sailing by wind power as much as possible, our ships also employ eco-friendly practices on board such as biodegradable cleaning products and reverse osmosis systems to purify and recycle seawater to fresh drinking water.” - Mirell Reyes, President of Star Clippers America

Commitments to sustainability that form the backbone of the Blue Seas Policy:

  •  Striving to use primarily wind power on all voyages and commit to at least 70% wind propulsion on every trip (weather permitting).
  • Only using a cleaner burning, lower pollutant fuel that has earned us a International Air Pollution Prevention Certificate.
  • Never dumping dirty or ‘grey’ water into the oceans. Thanks to the advance treatment systems the only water released is thoroughly sanitised and non-polluting.
  • Wherever possible Star Clippers strives to only use Bio-Degradable and Environmentally Friendly products aboard the ships and properly dispose of waste on land rather then out at sea.
  • Wherever possible they provide transport to embarkation that is low-emitting or, where flights are necessary, to offer customers the chance to offset their emissions in a real, meaningful way.
  • Working closely with local suppliers and governments to provide accommodation and experiences that fit most closely with the ideals of Sustainable Tourism laid out by the WTO [1993] 

Crystal Cruises

crystal-sustainability-in-travel-1CRYSTAL SYMPHONY & SERENITY

Crystal Cruises recognizes that our wonderful world is precious and fragile. They are commited to developing plans for preventing pollution, complying with worldwide environmental regulations, and continually improving their environmental management system.
Among other practices, Crystal has reduced the use of plastics, increased recycling and improved fuel consumption efficiency. On board our ships, guests are also invited to participate by re-using towels. Environmentally-friendly bath amenities are used onboard. Additionally, Crystal Cruises uses dry cleaning machines that recycle dry cleaning solvents and minimize hazardous waste.

"Crystal is dedicated to preserving the marine environment and oceans upon which our ships sail."

Fuel reduction program, via the following initiatives:
• Hull cleaning
• Propeller polishing
• Application of advanced technology hull coatings when ships are painted in dry docks (such as Intersleeck 900, a state of the art polymer based paint that will returns significant fuel savings)
• Fuel additives that improve combustion efficiency and reduce visible stack emissions.
• Itinerary planning which considers optimal speeds between ports (and more time in the ports themselves)
• Reduction of electricity usage

Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji


“A pioneer in eco-tourism, Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji was one of the world’s first eco-luxury hotels. All of Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort’s operations and management practices are guided first and foremost by consideration for the environment, and the resort creates an incredible opportunity for travelers to visit, experience and support the region’s efforts to preserve its beauty for generations to come, while enjoying it for themselves.”

The Fijian people have flourished for over three thousand years by living off the natural bounty that surrounds them. Jean-Michel Cousteau and his team of conservationists believe our modern society can learn a lot about achieving a sustainable environment from the Fijian’s agricultural and fishing practices. Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji is a luxury eco friendly resort that is dedicated to the preservation of a pristine environment where physical, mental and spiritual rejuvenation come naturally. Since its inception, this luxury eco resort has dedicated itself to taking care of the environment and demonstrating that we can use what Mother Nature has to offer in a sustainable way. 

Jean-Michel Cousteau No Borders



Our ethic at the JeanMichel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort is to take as little from the environment as possible, to give back as much as we can and to respect others with whom we share this place. 

Norwegian Cruise Line


Norwegian Cruise Line understands that protecting our environment and our oceans is not only vital to our industry but also to our planet. Their Safety, Security, Health and Environmental Protection policy establishes a commitment to conduct operations safely, securely and with sensitivity to the environment around us. Preserving our oceans and protecting our environment is one of our core company values that Norwegian strives to meet through their daily goals:

  • Prevent accidents and incidents involving pollution of the environment
  • Reduce the environmental impact of their operations
  • Dispose of garbage and materials in accordance with national and international rules and regulations
  • Recycle and reuse materials
  • Continually improving ISO 14001 certification objectives and targets
ncl-waste-mitigation-hero. ncl-Sail-and-Sustain


Across their fleet, Norwegian has implemented many of the most innovative environmental policies and technologies in the cruise industry. As such, they meet or exceed all international, national, state and local port regulations, including those set by MARPOL, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

They are also accredited to the international ISO 14001 standard for Environmental Management Systems. This achievement recognizes that Norwegian utilizes a core set of standards for an effective environmental management system that reduces their environmental impact and increases operating efficiency.

Start planning your next trip

Send Us a Message