When we travel and plan travel, we like to know that that we are leaving the world a better place without compromising the travel experience or quality of accommodations.
We love to work with great operators that help to preserve the environment, give back to the communities they operate in, and support the protection of cultural and natural heritage, ensuring that the destinations you visit are cared for and enjoyed by all for years to come.
From South America to the Norwegian coast, here are three trips that focus on supporting local communities and preserving the environment.
Experience Nordic Nature
Norway takes nature seriously. In fact, it has a “right to roam” law, or allemannsretten, that guarantees peoples’ freedom to explore the great outdoors – as long as they show respect for the environment. Do both this summer on Ponant’s eight-day sustainability-focused expedition cruise from Bergen to Oslo. Between gazing at crystalline fjords, alpine peaks, and gushing waterfalls, guests can chat with climate-change researchers in Bergen, a ranger in Raet National Park, and onboard guest speaker Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History. Good to know: Ponant recently became the first international cruise line to receive Green Marine certification for its eco-standards, so count on the 184-passenger Dumont-d’Urville to pass lightly through pristine areas such as UNESCO-protected Geirangerfjord. Departure: June 30.
Watch Textile Weavers Work in Peru
The first person from Chinchero, Peru, to attend college, Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez went on to become a community organizer, author, and international speaker. In 1996, she also co-founded the Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco to preserve Peru’s pre-Incan textile traditions and generate economic opportunities for her fellow female weavers in the region. “This is a project started by women, for women, and managed by women,” she says. Travelers with tour operator Luxury Gold can visit the center to meet Callañaupa Alvarez and learn about her life’s mission, watch weavers at work, and buy woven goods. Such visits are urgently needed now, says Shannon Guihan, chief sustainability officer of The TreadRight Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Luxury Gold’s parent company. “In a post-Covid era, sustainable travel will be even more critical as we begin to explore the world again and help rebuild local economies,” she says. Lend a hand during a 12-day Peruvian journey that also connects travelers with artisan markets in Chinchero and Cuzco’s San Blas neighborhood. Departures: Multiple dates, March 19 through October 29.
Ramble On in England’s Peak District
What’s missing from official maps in England and Wales? Nearly 50,000 miles of historic footpaths, according to the UK-based Ramblers group, whose finding follows a citizen geography effort to shine a light on the countries’ lost trails. Next step for the group that’s wild about green spaces and all things walking: gathering support to legally register the newly discovered routes so perambulators can enjoy them in perpetuity. Travelers can stretch their legs in England’s Peak District, home to one of the Ramblers’ picks for “best places to roam free.” A three-day walking tour from Intrepid Travel wends past ponds, dales, and farmland en route to historic villages – and village pubs. The low-carbon tour celebrates slow travel, says Intrepid environmental-impact specialist Susanne Etti, who adds, “It features smaller-scale accommodation plus village eateries, bakeries, and microbreweries, which supports local communities while also allowing travelers to stroll to each meal.” Departures: Multiple dates, April 2 through October 20.
Those are just three examples of what sustainable travel can look like.
If your vision of travel is to leave lasting and positive impacts through meaningful experiences, then I invite you to connect. Let's chat about making your next trip just that!