PolarQuest, a leading operator of small expedition ships in the Polar Regions, is now intensifying its sustainability work. In cooperation with South Pole, the company has calculated all emissions from flights, expeditions cruises, over-land transports, meals and hotel nights and is now climate compensating for all trips and other company activities.
— Sustainability has always been at the heart of what we do, and climate compensation is the natural next step. We also strive to over-compensate every year to slowly pay back to mother earth for emissions made back in time, says Johanna Vakkila, Product Manager at PolarQuest.
PolarQuest has also trained its staff towards a sustainable business model in cooperation with Erik Huss at Husstainability.
— The travel industry’s consumers rarely hold climate and environment as important factors when booking a trip. It is therefore very satisfying that PolarQuest disregards this and sets an example to the rest of the industry. As a glaciologist, I find it extra invigorative, and I hope their initiative inspires others. We need to act fast to prevent the large ice caps from melting, says Erik Huss.
The unique eco systems of the Arctic and Antarctic are extremely sensitive to global warming. The ice and eco system of the Arctic will most likely not survive a global temperature increase of 2 degrees Celsius but could manage an increase of 1,5 degrees. Rising sea levels and altered eco systems will eventually eradicate many species and affect our communities.
— The vulnerability of the Polar Regions is something we hope our guests will become more aware of during an expedition. I hope that everyone who comes home from a trip to Svalbard is awe-struck by the archipelago’s remarkable nature and as a result give thought to how they go about their daily lives. At least that’s our ambition – to create ambassadors for these unique areas, says Johanna Vakkila.
PolarQuest has always focused on small ships expedition cruising. The three ships they operate in Svalbard take 12 or 53 passengers. The industry, however, is trending towards much larger vessels.
— Unfortunately, the large vessels are getting more and more common, but I believe that the modern and aware traveller, understands what is sustainable at a destination like Svalbard. Just imagine viewing a walrus on an ice floe in a group of 10 to 50 passengers or in a group of 250 to 500, deems Johanna Vakkila.
Read more about how PolarQuest works with sustainability at our website.
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