Reinforcing Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s commitment to the planet, its people, oceans, land, and wildlife, RCL’s “Destination Immersion” brand Azamara has launched a new project to support World Wildlife Fund and its conservation efforts in South Africa.
Azamara’s announcement of People to Planet Voyages and Excursions advances RCL’s ongoing partnership with the world’s leading conservation organization, a key element of the company’s dedication to sustainability of the oceans it sails and the places it visits.
“At Azamara we partner with organizations that share our commitment to our planet,” said Larry Pimentel, Azamara President and CEO. “As we continue to connect people to people, and people with themselves, we will go one step further to find meaningful connections with the planet, all starting with WWF in South Africa.”
Set to launch in early 2021, People to Planet Voyages will feature WWF experts who will join guest discussions on topics from sustainable agriculture and conservation to champion wine farms, water resources, food elements, sustainability, and wildlife. As part of the partnership, Azamara will unveil six destination conservation themed shore excursions, such as WWF’s sustainable seafood initiative in Cape Town, tours of the Addo Elephant Park in Port Elizabeth, and experiences with endangered black rhino experience in Richard’s Bay.
“WWF-South Africa is delighted to partner with Azamara,” said WWF South Africa CEO Dr. Morné du Plessis to provide passengers a peek into the vital work we are undertaking to protect our natural resources – oceans, land, wildlife – so that we can continue to benefit from food, energy and fresh water.”
“The partnership assists WWF achieve its aim of creating a future where people live in harmony with nature,” Du Plessis said, “by bringing guests closer to nature and promoting a greater understanding and respect for the role nature plays in our daily lives.”
In further support of WWF’s South Africa initiatives, such as reducing the impact of illegal wildlife trade, Azamara has announced a $100,000 gift to WWF from all People to Planet Voyages, and a commitment to donate $30 from the purchases of any of the new excursions.
Since RCL and WWF became partners in 2016, the organizations have shared common goals, including:
• Obtaining Marine Stewardship Council and Aquaculture Stewardship Council Chain of Custody certification for RCL’s global fleet to ensure seafood marked as MSC or ASC certified is traceable to a certified fishery or farm
• Eliminating procurement of highly vulnerable species identified by WWF using IUCN and CITES rankings, including shark fin
• Setting a target for RCL’s private destinations to become certified to a Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) standard
• Increasing the number of sustainable guest tours certified to the GSTC standard
• Supporting WWF ocean tourism and coastal conservation projects to advance ongoing efforts and drive sustainability within the tourism industry