The Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) will celebrate its 10 year anniversary in Oslo Oct. 15 and 16, focusing on responsible, environmentally friendly and safe expedition cruise tourism in the Arctic.

AECO members and third parties, such as researchers, scientists, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and others with an interested in cruise tourism issues in the Arctic, will gather in Oslo to attend the annual conference.

The agenda covers updates, regulatory issues and news from Russia, Svalbard, Greenland and Canada as well as Pan-Arctic-issues with a presentation from the Arctic Council.

AECO said in a prepared statement that its members are working to protect the environment, not only because it is the responsible thing to do – but also because environmentally friendly, sustainable and safe expedition cruises are the key to future success for its member operators.

Among its efforts, AECO ships do not use heavy fuel oils in the Arctic.

A new satellite-based tracking system of vessels is in place, implemented so far by approximately 20 member vessels.

AECO has a comprehensive set of guidelines for operators in the Arctic to protect the environment, local cultures and cultural remains above and beyond current requirements by local, national and international regulations. The guidelines include additional safety measures.

Working with the University in Tromso, Norway, researchers are looking at the effects of bio-security measures– i.e. the cleaning of clothes and washing of boots onboard AECO-vessels – in order to prevent seeds and microorganisms to spread throughout the Arctic.

More than 30 international AECO members operate approximately 27 vessels all over the Arctic.