Adventure World's Caryn Young with Damian Perry, Hurtigruten Adventure World's Caryn Young with Damian Perry, Hurtigruten

Hurtigruten's sustainable approach

When it comes to sustainability and authenticity in the cruise industry the focus needs to be on making continuous progress rather than an unobtainable goal of perfection says Hurtigruten’s Asia Pacific managing director Damian Perry.

‘Progress is about making a significant investment into sustainable shipping – be that shore power, bio-fuel, food waste, supply chain issues and many other factors.’

He says supply chain is something often overlooked when it comes to sustainability.

‘At Hurtigruten we now have 80% of our food services supplied locally. That’s a really important part of the environmental solution but it is also important to the customer. Our guests want to experience the destination they are visiting and food is a key part of that.

‘In Norway we have 250 suppliers across many areas – not just food and beverage but also things like engineering, hardware and goods on the ship. The Norwegian clothing we sell in our shops is made in Norway.’

He says the thinking extends into how guests are encouraged to explore destinations when on an expedition cruise.

‘Of course we want people to enjoy our food, comfortable cabins and our lounges but we also want them to be immersed in the places they are visiting. We don’t serve food on board where is the opportunity for people to eat on shore. We want them to shop and dine within the local community – that underpins how we support communities and our partnerships.

He says Norway is a good example when it comes to excursions and exploration.

‘We work with our local partners to align these experiences for our guests. We don’t operate our own buses because we know that if the locals are operating the trips then both the community and the guests benefit.’

He says there is often a question asked around whether people should visit the Antarctic of not.

‘I think whatever people choose, if they are having that discussion they are actually on the same page. My position is that if you go with a responsible operator focused on sustainability it is 100% ok. With modern technology the environmental impact is minimal. For example, we know anchors do damage, so we don ‘t drop anchor in Antarctica unless absolutely required for safety reasons.

‘Most people are going for education, awareness and knowledge. Even those who are just looking for an experience come back with more knowledge and they want to share it.’

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