As part of our Green Tourism Gold Award, we have nominated our expert Wildlife Guide, Lynsey Bland, as our Green Initiative Crew Member. The role involves actively seeking out ways in which Hebrides Cruises can be even more environmentally sustainable and assisting our company to implement them.
2022 is Lynsey’s 5th Year as a crew member with Hebrides Cruises, working primarily as a Wildlife Guide but also occasionally helping out as a Steward aboard our cruises. What we love about Lynsey is she fully understands what Hebrides Cruises is all about, especially our visits to the most remote places and the excitement of spotting wildlife, while being aware of the conservation issues at the same time. She engages and makes friends with our guests, fostering relationships that often address the conservation issues that she cares about while at the same time creating a lovely atmosphere on board. Guests are always delighted to have her as their Wildlife Guide and will regularly choose to book another cruise, where Lynsey is one of the crew
We feel very fortunate at Hebrides Cruises to have Lynsey as part of our team. She is incredibly knowledgeable about all wildlife with an amazing eye for spotting species. She is always professional and attentive but her own delight every time she spots a whale, cannot be suppressed as she performs her own fun ‘Whale Dance’ to celebrate! Lynsey is also a very good photographer, with many of her evocative images from our cruises displayed on our website, social media and brochure.
Lynsey has been fascinated by the natural world for as long as she can remember. Her father inspired and encouraged her love of nature, spending a lot of time outdoors together, often birdwatching. She is now a keen bird watcher and in particular developed a fascination for birds of prey after volunteering at a bird of prey centre in her teens.
Lynsey was 16 when she and her father visited the west coast of Scotland for the first time, in search of eagles on the Isle of Mull. It was on this trip that she saw her first-ever whale and knew from that moment that she was hooked. She says “It doesn’t matter how many times I get to watch whales, the excitement of that first time will always be there”
After studying geology at university, Lynsey changed direction and decided that cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) were her main passion. This was her reason for coming to the west coast of Scotland 6 years ago and within a year was working with Hebrides Cruises. The attraction was not only being out at sea, spotting cetaceans but the strong emphasis on caring for nature that the cruises embraced.
Lynsey has strong connections with the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust and is instrumental in helping develop the unique Whale Track App which was piloted on board Hebrides Cruises. She is also passionate about sustainable tourism and began implementing improvements on board the cruises, such as providing multi-use water bottles, buying fresh produce locally for guests’ meals and finding ways to reduce packaging.
As our “Green Initiative Crew Member” Lynsey is now further supporting Hebrides Cruises in their ambition to be more sustainable. She is currently measuring and reviewing the number of single-use plastics and setting targets for reduction. Addressing the company's carbon emissions is a major challenge but Lynsey is working on initiatives and projects to help combat these.
In the visitor off-season, Lynsey can be found helping with painting and maintaining the Hebrides Cruises vessels, but also creating wonderful artworks, especially of wildlife. Her talent is exceptional and Hebrides Cruises is delighted to display her work on both our vessels.
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