Eco-Friendly Shore Trips


San Juan, Puerto Rico

Royal Caribbean cruisers on an onshore walking trip in San Juan, Puerto Rico


Be it aboard the ship or at a destination onshore, clients on a cruise leave a carbon footprint. CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. asked its agents in a recent survey how interested their clients were on eco-friendly cruise shore trips. Of the respondents, 47.5 percent said their clients were not strongly interested, while 29.5 percent said they weren’t at all. For the 23 percent who said their clients were keen, here are a few ideas.

USE CLEAN-FUEL VEHICLES: Though small at the moment, this movement is growing. Some cruise lines use bio-fuels in their motorcoaches or support operations vehicles. In Oslo, HMK Coaches—serving many cruise lines—uses clean-burning natural gas in all motorcoaches. Elsewhere, Vancouver Eco Tours utilizes vehicles that mostly run on recycled cooking oil.

WORK YOUR LIMBS: Bicycling, hiking and kayaking tours are a great exercise and don’t use fossil fuels. At Costa Maya, Mexico, Carnival Cruise Lines fields a two-and-a-half-hour Bike and Clear-Bottom Kayak Adventure for $50 per person. Crystal Cruises runs Bali by Bicycle for $103 per person.

TAKE A SHORE TOUR VIA SEGWAY: Research shows a Segway PT produces 4.5 times less greenhouse gas per mile than the leading hybrid vehicle. ShoreTrips has a Bermuda Segway tour for $81 per person while runs a half-day Segway Adventure & Snorkel Tour in Cozumel for $70 per person.

PLANT A TREE: In Auckland, New Zealand, Coast to Coast Tours encourages its individual cruise guests to purchase a tree for planting and reduce their carbon footprint. Group tours booked with this operator receive one complimentary Carbon Credit Native Tree Planting at its native-tree nursery.

VOLUNTEER FOR GREEN PROJECTS: Holland America Line has developed a Cruise with Purpose guest volunteer program in Juneau, AK. Costing $179 for adults, $139 for kids 12 and under, this shore trip sponsors the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program and the Marine Conservation Alliance. Guests clean up beaches, document whale populations and make ocean water measurements while taking in spectacular sceneries.

DONATE ONBOARD: Costa Cruises raises funds onboard for the World Wildlife Fund to help sponsor marine projects in Brazil, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. Celebrity Cruises guests may donate onboard to the Galapagos Fund. Likewise, on Lindblad Expeditions, guests often donate to a joint fund the line runs with National Geographic for conservation and sustainable tourism projects.