Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2023

61 in the agricultural and artisanal sectors, as well as expanding our science and education programmes. WD: Ponant’s ‘Blue Horizon’ road map focuses on reducing emissions across our fleet by 2025. In addition, we aim to decrease carbon dioxide emissions by 15 per cent by 2026 and 30 per cent by 2030, as well as eliminating single-use plastics onboard and ashore. We also aim to ensure that 85 per cent of onboard waste is recyclable and plan to participate in the Blue Nature Alliance initiative to create 18 million square kilometres of protected marine areas by 2025. HG: As founding members of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) and the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO), AE Expeditions cares deeply about decarbonisation. Our sustainability initiatives are focused on minimising our footprint, educating others, supporting people and communities, and protecting the environment. One of our key goals is to instil the hope of protecting our planet in our passengers so they continue to be advocates for sustainability when they return home. AZ: Swan Hellenic’s main objective is to visit destinations without disturbing the environment. We achieve this by designing our ships to be as sustainable as possible – incorporating everything from waste heat management systems to reusable water bottles. Due to the supply chain for alternative fuels and our seasons in the Arctic and Antarctica, we are limited to the type of fuel that we can operate on but we make sustainable choices whenever we can to balance this. Expedition brands pride themselves on visiting remote (and often environmentally protected) destinations. What technologies or solutions have you invested in to ensure that your ships have minimal impact when they’re sailing, and anchoring or berthing, in these areas? DB: The overarching goal of any expedition is to observe a natural ecosystem without disrupting it, which can only be achieved with considerable care to the area’s inhabitants. Smaller ships are less disruptive to wildlife and produce less emissions, so we have made significant efforts to limit the size of the vessels we send to remote places with fewer than 100 guests onboard many of our voyages. In addition, our crew has been trained how to conduct our voyages with the greatest care and respect, informed by our more than 50 years exploring many of these delicate ecosystems WD: The more technologically advanced a vessel is, the less it will pollute, so we’ve invested over €1 billion ($1.2 billion) in our fleet. All Ponant ships operate on small guest capacities and are equipped with electric-powered engines. Our newest polar exploration vessel, Le Commandant Charcot, is also able to operate on LNG power. Plus, it has shore- and wind-power capabilities to reduce the emissions it produces, as well as an innovative selective catalytic reduction filter system and wastewater treatment facilities. HG: Our vessels feature an Ulstein X-Bow, which is an inverted bow that cuts through the water. This enables faster transits through sea passages, reducing our fuel consumption and the number of vibrations that the vessel projects underwater. This, in combination with Rolls-Royce dynamic stabilisers, offers unrivalled stability and comfort on ocean crossings. Both of our vessels can also stay in position using virtual anchoring – which holds the ship’s set position on the water without lowering anchors – in protected areas. AZ: We have Tier III engines to reduce our production of nitrogen oxides and use hydrodynamics to maximise “ One of our key goals is to instil the hope of protecting our planet in our passengers so they continue to be advocates for sustainability” Hayley Peacock Gower AE Expeditions Swan Hellenic is supporting crew well-being by designing large spaces for them to relax and providing extra Zodiacs to carry out private expeditions Photo: Swan Hellenic