The Port of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada has recognized Crystal Cruises with a 2019 Blue Circle Award as part of the port’s EcoAction Program, which encourages efforts above and beyond requirements in order to reduce air emissions and carbon footprint. The awards are given to cruise lines and other marine carriers who maintain the highest standards of fuel, technology and environmental management, voluntarily implementing emission reduction measures and other sustainable practices. Vancouver is a highlight destination of Crystal’s Alaska voyages, which sailed during the summer months of 2019 aboard Crystal Symphony and are set to resume with Crystal Serenity in 2022.
“To be recognized by our shoreside port partners in Vancouver for environmental excellence is an honor, as this region of the world is particularly conscious of its precious natural resources and the delicate environmental balance that must be maintained,” said Tom Wolber, Crystal’s president and CEO. “We take our responsibility to explore this world with care very seriously and we are proud of the programs and measures we’ve implemented over the years, while we will always seek new ways to improve them.”
The Blue Circle Award is the latest recognition in Crystal’s long history of exceeding environmental regulations of individual ports and destinations. Historically, Crystal’s Ocean ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, have earned environmental awards from the ports of Stockholm, Venice and San Francisco. This year, Crystal River Cruises’ fleet received the Green Award certification for its exceptional environmental standards and efficient design features. The Green Award promotes responsible environmental practices on vessels and is determined by a panel of global maritime industry members and experts according to the foundation’s stringent protocols.
Crystal’s comprehensive sustainability program spans corporate and guest-facing areas alike, with sweeping measures including, for example, careful planning of itineraries to maximize fuel efficiency and utilizing low sulfur fuel; “You Care, We Care” voluntourism excursions for guests and crew; a food digester that eliminates food waste discharged at sea; the minimization of plastic bottles and containers whenever possible, plus a fleet- and company-wide ban on all plastic straws; meticulous sorting and recycling processes; and LED lighting throughout all ships.
With 30 years of cruising to the far reaches of the world, Crystal has a long tradition of implementing and maintaining the highest health and safety policies at sea. While the fleet is paused, the Crystal team is developing new procedures and policies that will support all public health and regulatory requirements and ensure that guests’ vacations continue to be not only relaxing and pleasurable but safe and healthy. Details of these new measures and initiatives will be announced soon.
Additionally, the inherent design of Crystal ships maximizes personal and public space, offering plenty of options for those who choose to keep a healthy distance during their voyage. All Crystal ships across the fleet including Ocean, River, Yacht and Expedition offer nearly double the space per person than ships of a similar size, which is among the highest space ratios in the industry and their social spaciousness will be further augmented through the new measures we will be implementing. Further, Crystal Endeavor and Crystal’s River ships are all-suite and all-balcony suites and most staterooms on our two Ocean ships feature private verandas for fresh airflow.
The safety of guests and crew members is Crystal’s number one priority and the fleet will resume service only when the company’s expert team and global health and government authorities indicate that it is safe to do so.