Holland America Line (HAL) has developed a programme to educate cruise guests about protected marine environments around the world as part of its ‘Our Marvelous Oceans’ partnership with the Marine Conservation Institute.
The ‘Our Marvelous Oceans’ partnership, which began in 2010 and will continue until the end of 2016, aims to educate guests and crew about marine conservation issues. Developed in collaboration with the team at Marine Conservation Institute, the new programme will include a series of onboard presentations that explain what a marine protected area is and how guests and crew can visit one without causing harm to the habitat and wildlife. This information will be enhanced through featured shore excursions.
“The goal of this partnership is to promote marine protected areas around the world, especially in those regions where our ships sail, and the new programme will create enrichment opportunities for guests to learn more about these important conservation locations,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president of marketing, sales and guest programmes at HAL. “Together with Marine Conservation Institute, HAL shares a belief in our responsibility to protect the oceans, and we want to educate our guests and crew about these special places and about how we can collectively make a difference.”
In the Caribbean, the programme will largely focus on marine life and a variety of tropical ecosystems. For example, in Key West, guests can go snorkelling to see coral reefs in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, or embark on a night-time kayak adventure to the bio-luminescent bay of Laguana Grande of Fajardo in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Meanwhile, guests in Australia and New Zealand can take a nature cruise to observe Hector’s dolphins at the Akaroa Marine Reserve at Akaroa, New Zealand.
“We are excited to create another meaningful programme in partnership with HAL,” said Lance Morgan, president of Marine Conservation Institute. “Marine protected areas are an important tool for safeguarding critical ecological places around the world, yet they receive little attention and awareness. This is a fantastic opportunity to bring more focus on these special ocean places.”
HAL will also continue to work with Marine Conservation Institute to provide sustainable seafood options for its guests.