Responsible Travel Philosophy

A  Commitment to Responsible Travel

One Ocean Expeditions is proud to operate in some of the most remote and pristine locations in the world, providing our guests with an unparalleled travel and educational experience. Since day one we have been committed to running an operation that prioritizes sustainability, environmental and social responsibility. 

To us, responsible travel means ensuring the ability to experience unique places today without compromising the health or integrity of the environments visited now and in the future. Dedicated to taking every step to minimize our impact, sustainable travel is imbedded in our entire voyage planning process.

From behind the scenes with our operations, marketing, and communications teams, to on the ground, in port and at-sea, we are always working to uphold these principles. Eco-conscious choices are showcased in our purchasing polices, along with our efforts to reduce waste and single use plastics onboard. Expansion of other onboard elements, such as our culinary program, have been crafted to include more plant-based and locally sourced dishes in the effort to reduce our food miles and carbon footprint. 

By undertaking sustainable tourism practices including partnerships supporting research and education and comprehensive visiting guidelines, we are proud to operate using world class standards and procedures that are a model to other expedition companies. 

By implementing our responsible travel philosophy, One Ocean Expeditions helps to protect the sensitive ecosystems we visit, whilst creating environmental ambassadors for these special places so that future generations have the opportunity to witness their beauty.

RCGS Resolute. Photo by Stanley Leroux

FUEL 

Our Vessels | Our vessels burn Marine Gas Oil (MGO), a clean burning fuel with low emission factor, and the lowest content of Sulphur (1.5%) of Marine Fuels. MGO is a distillate fuel and in the unlikely event of a spill, MGO will remain on the surface and breakdown rapidly with UV and wave action. Although considerably more expensive than the alternative, heavy fuel oil (HFO), One Ocean Expeditions is taking the lead in the industry in using MGO for all of our vessels.

Zodiac™Engines | Our inflatable boats are powered by low-emission, four stroke outboard engines. 

WASTE MANAGEMENT

MARPOL, IAATO and AECO | Our vessels comply with MARPOL, IAATO and AECO regulations and policies governing disposal of waste, greywater and black water at sea.

Waste Management | All waste is kept onboard and disposed of appropriately in ports-of-call. An effort is made throughout our onboard program to minimize the creation of waste onboard the vessel. Recycling stations are located throughout each vessel and our staff encourage and educate passengers on the proper use of these stations.

ITINERARY PLANNING 

We believe it is unnecessary for the vessels to motor from one landing site to the next at full speed. By adapting our sail plan to allow for a more leisurely transit from one site to the next, we gain the flexibility to view wildlife along the way, stay at a site longer if the day is exceptional all the while reducing our fuel consumption and emissions. By travelling leisurely, we also lower our noise pollution. Marine animals depend on their hearing to navigate, communicate and catch prey. 

COMMUNICATIONS

The majority of our communications occur electronically and digitally. Guests are given pre-voyage and voyage information online. Guests are given a digital copy of the photos from the voyage. 

Ocean Wise divers working with OOE. Photo by Roger Pimenta.

SCIENCE & EDUCATION 

One Ocean Expeditions facilitates world leading oceanographic and marine mammal research, providing more than 120 days per vessel per year of ship time for accredited science projects. 

We are proud to work with a range of select partners including: The Royal Canadian Geographical Society, Ocean Wise, Oceanites, California Ocean Alliance, Recreation and Parks Association of Nunavut, Vancouver Maritime Museum, South Georgia Heritage Trust, Scott Polar Research Institute, and the New Zealand Antarctica Heritage Trust. 

This important work ranges from collection of data for critical meteorological and oceanographic studies used at an international level, to the tagging and tracking of migrant whale populations for universities and science institutions.

We are proud to partner with the Coastal Ocean Reserch Institute at Ocean Wise, hosting researchers onboard each summer in the Arctic to conduct water sampling to study the presence of micro plastics in the ocean. Commissioned by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, this is a vital research project to inform policy making. The research is done onboard alongside our passenger program and provides education on the issues of plastics in our oceans. 

We are key partners with Oceanities as well as Dr. Ari Friedlaender, our resident marine mammal experts, facilitating world-leading research in specific survey sites in Antarctica. Through this collaboration, important data is collected annually which contributes to broader studies on wildlife populations and the impacts of climate change, and policy decisions including the creation of Marine Protected Areas

In support of ongoing, nationally accredited science and outreach programs, One Ocean Expeditions’ OneLab is a custom-built laboratory equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, providing an inclusive space for scientists to conduct their work while traveling in isolated coastal areas. Analysis of data captured will provide crucial information and allow researchers to develop measures to protect fragile ecosystems and natural habitats worldwide. While onboard, researchers also engage with expedition guests, explaining the purpose of their studies and creating ambassadors for the sensitive and remote regions in which we travel.

One Ocean Expeditions has donated funds equivalent to one million USD to numerous charitable organizations committed to assist in underfunded health and social programs, ecological awareness and preservation plans, as well as projects dedicated to historical preservation. 

One Ocean Expeditions Panama Shore Clean Up. Photo by Jason Ransom

RESPONSIBLE SITE MANAGEMENT 

Our itineraries are designed to integrate local communities and support the economies in the regions we travel. We understand the importance of respectful community visits in these regions, which begins with advanced planning and communications with community contacts directly, including local businesses, tour operators, and officials. We are proud to employ local guides in the Canadian Arctic and in most regions we visit, while integrating our passengers with local artisans and providing cultural and environmental education specific to the communities visited. 

Antarctic Site Visit Management | As a dedicated member of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO), One Ocean Expeditions supports and follows all established guidelines and recommendations for tour operators and visitors to Antarctica. Our senior management team is deeply involved with the leadership and committees of the associations, contributing guidance and industry knowledge to the benefit of Antarctic conservation. 

Association of Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) | One Ocean Expeditions is a proud member of AECO, our industry association in the North, dedicated to managing environmentally friendly, safe expeditions in the Arctic. All members agree that expedition cruises and tourism in the Arctic must be carried out with the utmost consideration for the fragile, natural environment, local cultures and cultural remains, as well as the challenging safety hazards at sea and on land.

Clean Sea Initiative | One Ocean Expeditions is a participating member of the Clean Seas Working Group under our industry association, AECO, contributing to discussion of best practice strategies aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Clean Up Svalbard | One Ocean Expeditions along with our guests are proud supporters of the ‘Clean up Svalbard’ program, collecting garbage along the beaches of Svalbard to help maintain the environment and protect the wildlife each year. 

Shoreline Cleanup in Squamish | In One Ocean Expeditions’ local community, we partner with Ocean Wise, WWF-Canada, and local businesses to participate in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, a national conservation program.

Education | Staff Training | Accreditation | While every tour operator has a responsibility to educate their staff and guests, One Ocean Expeditions has gone beyond the industry standard and developed a comprehensive staff training and accreditation program. Our staff are trained to operate at a level well above industry standards for safety and environmental conservation. 

Wildlife Viewing Guidelines | One Ocean Expeditions strictly adheres to all guidelines in regards to wildlife viewing, always maintaining a safe distance between wildlife, passengers and staff. Through our experienced staff of guides and expert scientists, we instill in our guest a sense of respect for nature and it’s inhabitants.

Photo by: Roger Pimenta

SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES ONBOARD

Purchasing & Provisioning | We always purchase bio-degradable and sustainable products when there is the option. 

We work to supply our gift shop with ethical, locally sourced items, considering the manufacturing and working conditions, types of material used and distance of required transportation in all our purchasing decisions.

Single-Use Plastics | Every guest receives a reusable stainless-steel water bottle once onboard. Refill stations are available throughout the ship. Plastic water bottles are not available, nor are they encouraged to be purchased while ashore. 

One Ocean Expeditions does not provide plastic shopping bags onboard, but instead, passengers are encouraged to use their own bags for gift shop purchases and other purposes.

During our voyages we regularly host outdoor barbeques and offer mobile hot chocolate and coffee stations while on excursion. When doing so, we ensure only reusable dishes are provided and recycling options are made available.

In-Cabin Toiletries | Each cabin and public washroom is equipped with biodegradable soap, shampoo and conditioner in refillable dispensers, purchased from an ethical producer on Salt Spring Island, Canada. Not only does this help reduce luggage for travelers, but also minimizes waste onboard and protects the environment. 

Cuisine | Our menus are designed to integrate local produce whenever possible (e.g. Canadian East Coast seafood, Arctic teas, Argentinean beef, South American wines). Through these efforts, we maximize support for local economies while providing the highest quality ingredients for passengers and minimizing environmental impacts from transportation. 

Seafood products are purchased based on internal standards and guidelines mirroring MSC and the Audubon Society, considering the sustainability and management of fisheries from which we purchase seafood.