Expedition cruise vessel MV Quest with Alks, Svalbard by Ilja Leo LangThe Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) has announced that approximately 40 Arctic expedition leaders from all over the world will meet in Copenhagen in Oct. 17 and 18 to discuss how to conduct sustainable expedition cruising in the Arctic. Participants are slated to come from Svalbard, Greenland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Russia and Canada.

The conference is organized by AECO in co-operation with Visit Greenland and Cruise Iceland and, with financial support from the North Atlantic Cooperation Fund (NORA) and the Danish-Norwegian Cooperation Fund.

The following issues will be on the agenda: how to safeguard the Arctic nature and environment; what expedition cruise operators can do to protect Arctic cultures and cultural remains;  how to make sure that local communities are benefitting from tourism; what role expedition leaders and guides play to maintain sustainable operations in the Arctic.

AECO is an organization safeguarding responsible, environmentally-friendly and safe expedition cruise Tourism in the Arctic. A majority of the expedition cruise operators in Svalbard and Greenland are members of AECO, which currently have 31 members. 21 of which operate approximately 26 expedition cruise vessels all over the Arctic. AECO’s members have committed themselves to act sensibly and according to the strict rules and regulations in the vulnerable Arctic region. AECO has developed a comprehensive set of guidelines for Arctic operations, which AECO-members are obligated to operate in accordance with, and also publish visitors-, site-specific- and wildlife guidelines.

Participants in conference include: Albatros Travel, Hurtigruten, Grand Espaces, Oceanwide Expeditions, Quark Expeditions, Polar Quest, Poseidon Expeditions, One Ocean Expeditions, Lindblad Expeditions, Noble Caledonia, Tallship Company, 69 Nord, Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators, Visit Greenland, Svalbard Tourism, Cruise Iceland, National Park Russian Arctic, Lakehead University, Greenland’s Self-Rule, Danish Center for military studies, Danish Maritime Authorities, International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators, Destination East Greenland, Nanu Travel, Destination West Greenland, Greenland National Museum & Archive and Norwegian Institute for Nature Research