Your Guide To Being A Responsible Traveller

Just like you, Swan Hellenic are passionate about responsible, sustainable travel. Our planet’s rich environmental and cultural heritage inspires us to explore the world’s most incredible places and cultures. We recognise our guests care deeply about the environment too, and you want to join us in preserving the world’s beauty for future generations. With that in mind, we’ve compiled this simple guide, using advice from the AECO (Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators) and IAATO (International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators). So you can enjoy traveling to the polar regions with us, knowing you’re an ethical and responsible traveler.

Leave things unchanged

When you visit somewhere, preserve the area's natural state by leaving things as you find them. Steer clear of littering, making engravings, or moving things like stones, feathers and driftwood. Also, watch where you step to protect flowers and plants, and never pick them.

Preserve wildlife

Avoid disturbing animals and birds to help protect them. Keep conversation low and calm, and don’t make loud noises. Also, follow your leader’s guidance about how close you can get to wildlife.

Protect cultural sites

Watch where you’re walking and standing when visiting cultural remains – an area of 100 metres around them is protected by law. Walk around, rather than in between objects, and don’t touch or rearrange anything.

Stay safe

You may run into severe winds on excursions, so secure your belongings to avoid anything blowing away. Also, always take wildlife in the polar regions seriously. Animals, such as polar bears, are potentially dangerous and also vulnerable. Follow your guide’s instructions and never stray from your group.

Have a positive impact

Always remember you’re a guest when visiting local communities. Here are some ways you can respect the people you meet and local cultures…

• Ask before taking photos

• Bear in mind cairns may be signposts – do not alter them

• Never barter or bring banned substances into a community

• Buy local souvenirs and products, but be aware of the legalities of importing/transporting your purchases into other countrie

• Work against prejudiced attitudes

• Respect privacy – keep a good distance from private houses and never glance or photograph through private windows

• Talk to, rather than about the people you meet

• Avoid visiting graveyards or other areas of religious or cultural significance without permission

• Embrace new cultures and try to understand any differences you encounter

Thanks for following these guidelines, and embracing our travel philosophy. Its the easiest way to preserve the world’s wonderful polar regions for all those who visit after you.

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