Offered by certified sustainable tour operators, these special tours are available across Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s (RCL) family of cruise lines: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara, and Silversea Cruises.
These tours include unique experiences around the world, from kayaking along Mallorca’s west coast to an underground Mayan River Cenote in Cozumel and grape harvesting at Pizzorno Winery in Montevideo, Uruguay.
The initiative began as part of the company’s 2020 World Wildlife Fund (WWF) target to offer guests 1,000 tours provided by operators certified to the UN-created Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) standard. By reaching and surpassing the goal nearly one year ahead of schedule, Royal Caribbean is underscoring its commitment to operate sustainably and provide its guests with responsible options while ashore.
Engaging with its portfolio of global independent tour operators was a key part of the program. Together with GSTC, RCL’s Global Tour Operations team conducted informational sessions to educate its tour operators of the company’s commitment, the importance of certification and sustainable operations, and the process to become certified by any of GSTC’s accredited certification bodies.
GSTC standards, known as the GSTC Criteria, are organized around four main themes: effective sustainability planning, maximizing social and economic benefits for the local community, enhancing cultural heritage, and reducing negative impacts to the environment.
The team worked with GSTC-accredited certifier Travelife to provide access to training materials and reporting tools to help tour operators gain GSTC certification. Tour operators also had access to webinars and seminars at industry trade shows and are entitled to recognition on RCL brand websites and tour collateral.
In 2016, Royal Caribbean announced a partnership with WWF to take its sustainability performance to the next level. This partnership set ambitious sustainability targets in three key areas: emissions reduction, sustainable food supply and destination stewardship. This effort takes the company beyond its self-contained operations and supports sustainable travel and livelihoods at RCL destinations.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) is a global cruise vacation company that controls and operates four global cruise lines: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara and Silversea Cruises. They are also a 50 percent joint venture owner of the German brand TUI Cruises and a 49 percent shareholder in the Spanish brand Pullmantur Cruceros. Together, these brands operate a combined total of 63 cruise ships with an additional 13 on order as of June 30, 2019.