Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Protection
Environmental protection policy:
“Cruceros Australis” carries out its operations in such a manner as to minimize any actions that may harm the environment.
We are aware and sensitive to the need to maintain an ecological balance between human activities and the beauty and proliferation of nature. Our policy aims at responsible environmental protection; our objective is to prevent any type of contamination in our operations, as well as producing minimum impact in the places where we have our excursions. One of our main concerns is not to affect the ecosystem of the flora that is endemic to the region nor alter any reproduction processes of local fauna.
Cruceros Australis and its employees obey the applicable regulations concerning the prevention of pollution or environmental damage to the land, ocean, and air where its activities are carried out.
Our ships comply with the National and International standards for environmental protection. (SOLAS, Marpol, etc.)”
Our company adheres to the national and international covenants on environmental care and protection, conservation of cultural and natural patrimony, and the sustainable development of tourism activities.
A cooperation covenant was signed with CONAF (National Forestry Corporation), in charge of the protection of Protected Wilderness Areas, for the protection and the implementation of the Alberto De Agostini National Park, the Cabo de Hornos National Park, and the Los Pingüinos Natural Monument undertaking “actions of maintenance, conservation, and protection of the areas visited, and of the flora and the fauna, always preserving the natural and indomitable conditions of nature”.
A scientific and tourism cooperation covenant was signed with CEQUA (Center of Quaternary Studies Fuego-Patagonia and Antarctica) for the development of top level sustainable scientific tourism which provides information from its direct source to the tourists, who will have the opportunity to take part in and see the procedures of scientific expeditions that are carried out on cruise ship journeys. The agreement also established the contributions that the Cruceros Australis Expedition Team can make to CEQUA with photographs of glaciers, marine and land mammals, and measurements of water temperature in zones of glaciers for their scientific analysis.
In the area of tourism
We are concerned about the effects that tourist activities can have on the conservation of the natural and cultural environments, since we work in a pristine natural area practically untouched by man.
- Massive tourism is avoided.
- The excursions are guided by expedition leaders who have been trained to provide real information with scientific basis.
- The scientific data is constantly updated, to provide the tourists with real current information.
- The Expedition team is constantly trained in all necessary areas, as education is the best tool for the protection and conservation of the environment.
In the Scientific field
Convinced that nature, its rich biodiversity, and the multiple systemic relationships generated within it need mechanisms of protection, conservation, and sustainable use and that areas of high biological diversity deserve special attention and care, we are aware of the importance of scientific research for the conservation of the environment and the development of ecotourism.
Our main objective is to promote regional tourism based on the criteria of sustainable development, taking into consideration not only the cultural, social, and natural patrimony but also the traditional activities of the communities, with full respect towards the environment.
We support the inventory of the biodiversity and scientific cooperation as an enriching element of the development of sustainable tourism activity, by cooperating with the scientific world. (The Center of Quaternary Studies Fuego-Patagonia and Antarctica, the Chilean Antarctic Institute, CONAF, Universidad de Magallanes, the Patagonia Institute, and Fantastico Sur Birding).
Towards the future
We agree to promote long-term biodiversity evaluation and monitoring systems to use as indicators of sustainability in the sites we visit.
We intend to promote the interchange of scientific research that contributes to the conservation and sustainable tourism use.
We will report and disseminate the results of scientific research with the aim of generating greater environmental awareness for the development of sustainable tourism.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION PRACTICES
On our ships:
- Prior to weighing anchor, we hold a meeting with the passengers, in which information about life on board is provided. One of the main points we emphasize is the commitment that Cruceros Australis has with the environment. In order to transmit this ideology, we explain what must be done to prevent these virgin territories from being contaminated.
- We motivate the responsible use of towels aboard ship, explaining the ecological cost of washing practically unused towels.
- Our ships have treatment systems for sewage, gray water, and organic waste, established by the SOLAS Standard (Marpol).
- All solid waste is separated, compacted, and unloaded in both ports (Ushuaia and Punta Arenas).
- In the ship galleys the garbage is separated into different batches to prevent the formation of toxic gasses.
- Used batteries are not thrown overboard. They are collected onboard and delivered to land for their proper treatment.
- Smoking is not permitted inside the ships, so ashtrays are placed on deck for smokers. Passengers are shown where they are located on the first day so they can prevent cigarette waste from going into the sea.
- Internal recycling of Expedition paper used for passenger information is done.
- Every passenger cabin has a brochure explaining our concern for taking care of the natural environment.
- Our excursion boats have 4-stroke engines which are not as polluting and are more environmentally friendly.
On our expeditions:
- Instructions for the protection and conduct of the passengers are provided prior to each excursion indicating the visit to our National Parks with the express prohibition of extracting organic or non-organic materials from the places we disembark. (Rocks, flowers, leaves, branches, feathers, insects, sea shells, etc.)
- The excursion groups do not surpass 20 people per guide.
- All passengers are accompanied by guides, no passenger may circulate alone in the Alberto de Agostini and Cabo de Hornos National Parks, or the Los Pingüinos Natural Reserve.
- Marked trails are used to avoid having an impact on fragile vegetation. • We have a serious policy to allow the recovery of trails and sites when they show any impact.
- In the past few years wooden walkways have been built in those places that require it due to their ecological fragility, thereby preventing the accelerated wear and tear of the vegetal layer, a damage which would take dozens of years to recover in some cases.
- When we disembark we do not allow snacks or picnics thereby reducing the possibility of generating garbage.
- We ask passengers to cooperate with nature, encouraging the collection of any garbage we may find.
- At the end of each expedition we gather what has been found and return it to the city for its treatment. We leave no waste in the Parks.
- For each excursion we have recipients for any garbage found.
- In Wulaia Bay, there is ecological equipment, a wind generator and solar panels.
- When we disembark we strictly control the approach towards land animals such as elephant seals, sea lions, and penguins. We teach passengers how to observe the fauna properly.
- The prohibition of acoustic contamination is established while promoting the enjoyment of silence in the southern part of the world, without shouting or making disturbing noises.
- When we visit historic sites, we avoid trampling the area and the collection of elements, explaining the archeological value of these sites to the passengers. (Wulaia Bay).