Our main environmental aim as a cruising company is to make sure that we leave no trace of our activities on the pristine natural environments that we visit. In fact we do better than that – if we find any waste, especially plastic on our shore trips we try to take as much of it on board as possible and then dispose of it properly ashore. Our crew are hand-picked and a commitment to environmental sustainability is a major criteria in joining our team. In fact often they come up with new ideas on how we can further reduce our impact. Our new multi-use water bottles were a great idea in 2019 and much appreciated by guests. In fact we have noticed that our guests are also very interested in protecting the environment and are happy to contribute suggestions and receive information and knowledge from the Crew. There is a specialist Wildlife Expert on board every one of our cruises, with a university degree in subjects such as Biology, Ecology and Geology and many have close ties with the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT). These vital crew members know the marine habitats of the Hebrides, where to find wildlife and identify species for our guests. They also accompany our guests on shore trips and are just as informative about the nature on land. There is no doubt that our guests love the sociable and informal way they gain wildlife knowledge which then fires their own passion for protecting the environment. Guests also help with cetacean sightings that are reported to HWDT through their Whale App, providing statistical information for their vital work.
For our annual environmental review 2020 we are going to build upon our success so far in minimising the use of raw materials, emissions and waste generation which resulted in our green tourism silver award in 2019 of which we are very proud.
This year we have identified further local food and drink produce and how to avoid unnecessary packaging. However, we will be continuing to hand dive our own scallops and hail any fishing boat we pass to get the freshest catch available! Although our cleaning materials are already very eco-friendly we have identified a few areas that we can improve upon. We will continue to work on our objects for a truly sustainable environmental business as follows:
- Protect the environments we visit – the flora, fauna and landscapes
- Support, respect and benefit local communities – both economically and socially
- Conserve natural resources – from the office to the most far-flung destination
- Minimise pollution – through reducing noise and emissions and regularly servicing boats and vehicles to ensure their efficiency is maintained
- Make efficient use of natural resources by conserving energy and water, minimising waste especially through recycling and using recycled materials
- Keep transport use to a minimum and encourage guests to travel to us by public transport
- Work with our suppliers to encourage them to recognise and reduce the environmental impact of their products and transportation.