Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2023

ROUNDTABLE heat recovery onboard. Our dynamic positioning, however, is what allows us to keep position without harming the environment by anchoring on the seafloor. The ships are also being prepared to receive a battery package upgrade of up to three megawatts, which will allow us to travel slowly, noiselessly and emission-free through wildlife sanctuaries. What other initiatives do you have in place to conserve the health and biodiversity of the waters you sail in, or the destinations you visit? Can you share any examples of how particular initiatives are helping? DB: Every itinerary undergoes a rigorous screening process to ensure we can protect the biodiversity of the waters we sail in. One example is how we craft our menus to avoid using seafood grown via non-sustainable methods. To help conserve marine life, we have increased the volume of invasive and predatory fish on our menus and have stopped using single-use plastics. To reduce our carbon footprint, we source our ingredients as locally as possible – for instance we use 40 tons of food grown by local farmers in the Galapagos Islands annually. WD: Regardless of the destination, we follow rigorous protocols for each disembarkation to ensure we have a limited impact on the places we visit. Ponant is also an executive member of the IAATO and AECO associations, so follows protocols from each to reduce its environmental footprint. In June 2019, we created The Ponant Foundation, which enables us to support several research, awareness and conservation projects to protect oceans, polar regions and communities. HG: Our Green Program was developed in partnership with our partner and hotel management experts AngloEastern Leisure Management (formerly known as CMI Leisure) with the aim of reducing the environmental impact of our expeditions. We’ve implemented various actions, including reducing single-use plastics, improving our waste management practices, adopting more environmentally friendly products in bathrooms and in laundry facilities, and building a more sustainable supply chain. We’re also raising awareness of nonsustainable fish farming via a ‘Sustainable Sea Day’ on selected itineraries. AZ: We have partnered with the SETI Institute to assist with the collection of scientific data and help monitor forms of life in areas with extreme weather conditions like the Arctic and Antarctica. SETI then compares this data to data taken on other planets to understand the chance of life beyond Earth. Our Citizen Science Programme also involves monitoring whales and assessing the sky to help conservation efforts and to respond to climate change. The installation of laundry filters across our three ships is also preventing microplastics being discharged into the ocean. How do you incorporate social well-being into crew management and the guest experiences? DB: We carry out extensive research with local leaders, scientists and educators before creating our itineraries. We then craft training for our teams and develop the educational content for our guests. Most of our expedition leaders and naturalists hold advanced degrees in science conservation and are established individuals in their fields. We’ve found that guests connect with our experts so much so that they will travel all over the world to join expeditions led by these specialists. WD: Annual interviews for all our 62 The Ponant Research Foundation aims to carry out research on vulnerable species Photo: Ponant/Nick Rains