MSC Cruises has launched a range of 25+ new shore excursions, which set objectives for local tour operators to become internationally certified under the Global Sustainable Tourism Council certification program.
Dubbed ‘Protectours’, the program offers guests the opportunity to make “a positive contribution to the planet through activities aimed to help protect and preserve”.
“Protectours gives guests the chance to enjoy original insights into the natural world while at the same time preserving its beauty and helping to ensure a greener future,” the cruise company said in a statement.
What sets these tours apart is the exceptional service and element of onshore adventure that guests are accustomed to receiving on MSC Cruises excursions, with added close contact with nature in a variety of environments around the world.
MSC Cruises became the first global cruise line to become carbon neutral across marine operations at the start of the year. Its commitment to the environment now extends to onshore activities as well, with Protectours.
The tours will be offered across multiple regions around the world, with highlights including:
Animal Haven Rescued Dogs Forest Hike, Jamaica:
This half day experience allows guests to not only hike with rescued dogs from the Montego Bay Animal Haven but also to learn about Tammy Browne’s great work in rescuing these animals and contribute to their lives. The dogs at the Haven have all suffered from either starvation, dehydration, injury or abuse. Once rehabilitated, the farm’s dogs personify the ecstasy of a second chance at life. Experience their exhilaration, rejuvenated excitement, and happiness as you walk or run with a pack of 50 to 100 dogs over lush Jamaican terrain.
Discover the magical world of bees in Corfu, Greece:
Corfu is known for its beautiful countryside and here, in this idyllic landscape, guests will immerse themselves in the magic world of bees, learning all about these vital insects, which were recently named “the most important living being on earth” by the Royal Geographical Society. Guests travel towards Lake Korission and Bioporos Farm, where they’ll get up close with honey bees. Here they’ll meet this wonderful insect, learning about the dangers it faces and its importance for our ecosystem. Following the encounter, they’ll dine in Bioporos Restaurant, the only fully organic restaurant in Corfu.
Desert conservation in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates:
Guests seeking a desert adventure will want to opt for the ‘Desert conservation’ tour, where over the course of six hours, they will help preserve the unique landscape of the United Arab Emirates. Through this excursion, guests will have a chance to help “save” the desert, following an expert guide as they drive deep into the desert. Not only will guests experience all that the desert has to offer in terms of natural splendour, but they will be able to actively maintain it by collecting waste and restoring the environment.
Iceland on horseback with tree planting in Reykjavik, Iceland:
Guests on this trip will have a chance to discover Iceland’s countryside for themselves, as they saddle up on a Viking-age Icelandic horse and trek into the scenic wilderness of lava fields and green hillsides, rich with birdlife. Following the trek, guests journey to Guðmundarlundur forest, where they will be met by a forester from the Kópavogur Forestry Association, who will guide them in planting a tree, aiding the forestry service’s efforts to help conserve this unique area and simultaneously contributing to lowering carbon emissions.
For more information on the Protectours itineraries, click HERE.