Seattle, Wash., Jan 5, 2016 – As part of its “Our Marvelous Oceans” partnership with Marine Conservation Institute, Holland America Line is moving into the second year of featuring programming that highlights and educates guests and crew about marine protected areas around the world.
Developed with the team at Marine Conservation Institute, the program features onboard presentations by shipboard personnel that enlighten guests and crew. Topics cover what a marine protected area is and how to visit one without harming habitat or wildlife. This information is enhanced through guest participation in featured shore excursions at select ports.
“Our partnership with Marine Conservation Institute has enabled us to collectively find ways to create enriching experiences for our guests and crew, while at the same time continuing our mission as environmental stewards,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “Our guests appreciate having the opportunity to learn more about marine protected areas when they cruise with us, and we’re proud to continue to evolve this collaboration.”
The program largely focuses on marine life and a variety of tropical ecosystems in the Caribbean, South Pacific and Australia/New Zealand. A total of 31 guest shore excursions that feature marine protected areas are offered on cruises in those regions.
In the Caribbean, three new marine protected areas were added for the 2015-16 cruise season: Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Cozumel, Mexico; and Bridgetown, Barbados. Guests on cruises calling at those ports will have the opportunity to SCUBA dive at Casuarina Reef Marine Park in Grand Cayman, Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park in Cozumel — home to the second-largest coral reef system in the world — and Carlisle Bay at Bridgetown.
“We are excited to continue this meaningful program in partnership with Holland America Line,” said Dr. Lance Morgan, president of Marine Conservation Institute. “Marine protected areas are an important tool for safeguarding critical ecological places around the world, yet they receive little attention and awareness. This is a fantastic opportunity to continue to bring more focus on these special ocean places.”
The “Our Marvelous Oceans” partnership began in 2010. The goal of the program is to educate guests and crew about marine conservation issues, including the new focus on sensitive marine protected areas. Holland America Line also continues to work with Marine Conservation Institute to suggest responsible seafood options for its guests.
Marine protected areas are ocean places designated by government or international authorities to conserve marine life such as corals, fishes and dolphins. Similar to parks on land, these underwater preserves are recognized as important places for conservation because of their ecological value.
Currently there are more than 13,000 marine protected areas around the world, with varying levels of protection. Some do not allow human access. In locations where human access is permitted, activities that are allowed will vary depending on the designated degree of protection. Marine Conservation Institute is working to catalyze strong protection for at least 20 percent of the ecosystems in each marine biogeographic region of the world’s oceans by 2030. For more information on marine protected areas visit MPAtlas.org.
About Marine Conservation Institute
Marine Conservation Institute is a team of highly experienced marine scientists and environmental policy advocates dedicated to saving ocean life for current and future generations. The organization’s goal is to create an urgently needed worldwide system of strongly protected areas — the Global Ocean Refuge System (GLORES) — a strategic, cost-effective way to ensure the future diversity and abundance of marine life. Founded in 1996, Marine Conservation Institute is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization with offices in Seattle, California and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit marine-conservation.org or call 206-686-1455.
For more information about Holland America Line, consult a travel professional, call 1-877-SAIL HAL (877-724-5425) or visit hollandamerica.com.
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About Holland America Line [a division of Carnival Corporation and plc (NYSE: CCL and CUK)]
Holland America Line’s fleet of 13 ships offers more than 500 cruises to more than 400 ports in 98 countries, territories or dependencies around the world. From shorter getaways to 115-day itineraries, the company’s cruises visit all seven continents with highlights including Antarctica explorations, South America circumnavigations and exotic Australia/New Zealand and Asia voyages; four annual Grand Voyages; and popular sailings to the Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico, Canada/New England, Bermuda, Europe and the Panama Canal. The line currently has a new 2,650-guest ship, ms Koningsdam, on order for delivery in April 2016, as well as a second Pinnacle Class ship due for delivery in November 2018.
The company recently announced $300 million in brand enhancements to secure its position at the leader in premium cruising. Fleetwide, the ships feature innovative initiatives and a diverse range of enriching experiences focused on destination immersion and personalized travel. Guests can expand their knowledge on board at the Culinary Arts Center, presented by Food & Wine magazine; Explorations Café, powered by The New York Times; and Digital Workshop powered by Windows. Outstanding entertainment fills each evening at venues including Lincoln Center Stage, Billboard Onboard and B.B. King’s Blues Clubs. The dining experience can be savored at a variety of restaurants with menus that feature selections from Holland America Line’s esteemed Culinary Council that comprises world-famous chefs who design dishes exclusively for our guests.
Contact: Sally Andrews